Grab the string and very, very slowly and steadily pull it toward shore. On an outgoing tide, they can easily be scooped up with a net as they cruise by. All rights reserved. I have found it helps to have a running tide, since the moving water will clear up the water faster. Blue crabs can be found in the Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf of Sign up for our FREE Fishing Reports Today! As far as nets go, you want to stay away from the large, cumbersome models that are more suited to landing 20-pound stripers. One thing I’ve learned to minimize this kind of damage is to place large clumps of seaweed in with your catch. Blue crabs have been caught as far north as Nova Scotia and as far south as Argentina. There, however, the crab is invasive. Blue crabs are found up and down the east coast of North America and south into Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico. There are a few different techniques for catching blue crabs, none of which is very complicated or hard to master. A crab pot works similarly to a lobster pot. Split the bottom section of the crab away from the top shell, and crack it in half. Your email address will not be published. I’m from Louisiana and we crab differently, our blue crabs are great, did get some good advice. Even though they live in water, crabs sometimes venture to land, and certain species, such as the robber crabs, can even climb trees. It has the scientific name Callinectes sapidus. Ditch the disposables and make the switch to sustainable products. A blue crab's typical lifespan is between three and four years. Find some sticks and wedge them into the sand along the shoreline about every 20 feet or so. We usually do basket and box traps during the day. The female will lay up to two million eggs in a spongy mass that starts off an orange color, but gets closer to black as it comes time for the crabs to hatch. The best times to target them are August and September. I had my first crabbing experience a couple days ago, and now I know a couple tips and tricks I learned from this article to make me a better crab catcher! Have him corral the crab back toward you. Female blue crabs mate only once in their lives, when they become sexually mature immediately following their pubertal molt (immediately following this molt, the female is known as a "sook.") The pots are baited and sent to the bottom, attached by rope to a float. Just don’t put your digits too far forward, as they can extend those big blue claws underneath their bodies for quite a ways. This can be a lot of fun, and kids seem to really get a kick out of it. 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. Will 5G Impact Our Cell Phone Plans (or Our Health?! Their main prey, like oysters, are expected to suffer from weaker, slower-growing shells due to acidic water conditions caused by the ocean absorbing more carbon dioxide. Check it out. Large males can reach 9 inches in shell width. If you live near the coast of New England, you have a major food source in your backyard. https://youtu.be/IQczD_1fC2o. Predators include the … It also has been introduced in other parts of the world. Blue crabs can be a lot of work to crack and shuck, but it is well worth the effort. This also includes the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Check all local regulations before harvesting blue crabs. Blue crabs love hanging out around pier pilings. Aside from their ecological importance, blue crabs are one of the most economically important fisheries of the Gulf. Place the crabs in a cooler or a bushel basket that is layered with ice packs and covered with a moist burlap sack. This is a time of year when striper fishing comes to a standstill in my area, so I’m looking for another excuse to get out on the water. Both people should be equipped with a net and a spotlight or powerful flashlight, and one of you will have to volunteer to be the bucket-carrier. (This technique also works great on piers, bridges and docks.) There is another crabbing technique that works equally well and requires less work. Blue crabs are found up and down the east coast of North America and south into Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico. Our local waters host many forms of sea life that can be classified as delicacies, and with a little knowledge and determination, you can usually scrounge up a free meal. Once you’ve made a successful capture, flip your net upside down over the 5-gallon bucket and shake it until the crab lets go of the netting. All you really need is a long-handled net, a powerful flashlight and a 5-gallon bucket. You can capture blue crabs during the day using this method, since they are willing to venture out of hiding for a free meal. Blue crabs can be found in the Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf of Mexico they will mostly be at the bottom but sometimes you can find them on pilings Agree with you here although besides the illegal factor I feel right at sunset is when the crabs are at their highest, down in Brigantine those 15 minutes result in half bushel of some monster. This was a very informative article, I’m a newbie and this makes alot of things really clear. Blue crabs love the thick dense meat of chicken legs. Got a list of piers? Males can be seven to eight inches (18 to 20 centimeters) across, while females are a bit smaller in size. The temperatures in the bay have already increased by almost 2 degrees Fahrenheit since 1960 and are projected to continue to increase by an additional 3 to 10 degrees by 2100—an immense change that will have a dramatic effect on the estuary and the species it supports. They’re fun to chase and easy to catch. We live in South Texas near Padre Island. Here in Georgia we also put back crabs that are less than 3″ across. You will come across countless python-size eels, alien-looking spider crabs, bizarre worms, jellyfish and toadfish. While you may see an occasional straggler hanging around during the day, they seem to appear from behind every rock in the bay as soon as the sun goes down. Once a blue crab has found a meal, it will hang tight and defend it with its life. If you look hard enough, you will find something for a tasty dinner. How long can you keep a fresh turkey in the fridge before it has to be cooked? Our local waters host many forms of sea life that can be classified as delicacies, and with a little knowledge and determination, you can usually scrounge up … We were tried the crab cakes, but were disappointed. If you want to check out regional locations where crabbing is good, check out the blue crab hot spots section. A decline in blue crabs could have larger economic implications for recreational fishing and tourism on the Gulf Coast. Although male and female crabs look alike, it is possible to tell the difference by observing under the shell. I’ve seen them circling on the surface of water that was 20 feet deep. Their scientific name, Callinectes sapidus, means "savory beautiful swimmer.". Commercial crabbers bait their pots and check them in two days. The blue crab is so named because of its sapphire-tinted claws. Date of visit: March 2016. I have caught them as early as June, but I usually concentrate my efforts in late August. Required fields are marked *, Copyright © 2020 On The Water, LLC. Pick up a small pack of chicken wings at the market. If you do not have a boat, public piers are a great place to catch crabs. I will often separate all of the claws off the steamed crabs and save those to eat with melted butter. At some point you are going to have to turn around and work back in the direction you came from. Usually your spotlight will have the “deer in the headlights” effect, and the crab will freeze with its claws raised, ready for battle. Perhaps I need to trick them into swimming into the net. You will have to cover a lot of ground to be successful, since your feet are going to stir up the bottom, reducing visibility. them on pilings. Thanks so much! Great Article. The National Wildlife Federation is providing resources to help families and caregivers across the country provide meaningful educational opportunities and safe outdoor experiences for children during these incredibly difficult times. Baltimore MD. They are also excellent swimmers, with specially adapted hind appendages shaped like paddles. If you’re quick enough, you will bag it on your first attempt. Most of the meat is inside the body, at the base of the legs. Great prices for live or steamed Blue Crabs. Late in season the big ones on the piers thrust their arms out rigidly and push out of the net. It shouldn’t take long to catch sight of your first victim. Wrap that leg to the pole line, cast it out and wait for the tugging. I have also encountered them in October in a spot where I regularly go surfcasting for autumn stripers.
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