Tips On How To Crab This Summer
Many of my most enjoyable childhood memories revolve around summer vacations at various beach locations and the fishing adventures my brother and I would engage in. Whether it was digging for clams or jugging for flounder each summer brought another chance to spend time on the water doing what I love. Although I could never have imagined it then, I guess it should come as no surprise I ended up making a living protecting those same waters first in the U.S. Coast Guard and then as a Conservation Officer.
One of my favorite summers was spend at Virginia’s Chincoteague Island pulling crabs. Despite being one of the best fishing experiences we had it actually came about by accident- an older relative had planned on taking use fishing only to find the season was closed. So, we decided to make the best of it and the open piers across the road from out rental house.
Here is an easy, no frills way to get started filling your own crab pot:
- Find a likely location. Ideally it should include a dock or pier in shallow water without debris or other potential obstacles nearby.
- Cut thin twine (I prefer cotton twine as it sinks easily and remains strong when wet) in to lengths long enough to reach from dock to water’s bottom.
- Tie line to pier, tie bait to other end of line and toss into the water.
- Sit down and wait for your first crab. You will know when you have a bite because your line will start to move of become taunt.
- Once you have a crab on the line slowly pull it toward the surface. Just before the crab breaks the surface place a long handled dip net under the crab and finish your retrieval. The crab will drop of into your net when it hits the air.
- Put the keeps in your cooler, put the shorts back and toss you line in for the next one.
- Don’t forget to check the local regulations. Most coastal states have liberal creel limits for recreational crabbers and allow kids to fish for free. However, all states have minimum size limits and most requires adults to obtain a license
- Make sure someone at the house has water boiling.
Other than a long handled net and a spool of twine, the only real equipment needed is bait. Crabs are scavengers and will east almost anything, which can be used to your advantage. A variety of cut baits work well, including squid, but my favorite crab treat is chicken necks . They are cheap and can be purchased at any grocery store. I also like to “age” the necks a bit. To do this place them in a 5 gal. bucket the afternoon before your fishing trip and let the covered bucket sit in the sun. By the next day they might be a little stinky but the crabs will love them.
Good luck, good fishing!