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Who here likes to go crabbing?

Discussion in 'On the Water' started by gi_joy, Jul 14, 2014.

  1. gi_joy

    gi_joy Novice Camper

    I'm from the Ocean State so it is natural for me to want to go crabbing off the dock. I use the simple method of tying rotten chicken to a string and letting it sink to the bottom, waiting for an unsuspecting crab to grab it. It's almost the prime season for blue crabs in my area--does anyone else here like to go crabbing? What are your techniques?
    NaturalBeauty_35 likes this.
  2. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    Is there any specific reason that it has to be rotten chicken? Haha.

    Do the crabs really hold on to the string as you pull them up? I assume you have some sort of hook on there too? When I used to go for vacations in South Carolina I would see lots of crabbers with netted crab traps like these:


    BMWPOWER Moderator Staff Member

    when the crab goes into the net its gets trapped. works like a check valve.

    im curious how you catch crabs with a string though
  4. gi_joy

    gi_joy Novice Camper

    I use rotten chicken because it seems that the smell/pungence of it attracts the crabs more than if I use fresh chicken. That trap looks pretty cool! I was really skeptical about the whole string technique at first as well. I did it for the first time a couple weeks ago. I tied a piece of chicken to a rope and let the chicken sink to the bottom. Then as soon as I feel a tug or heaviness, I slowly lift the string up. Low and behold I saw a huge spider crab grabbing on to my chicken! I have a handheld fishing net with me to catch the crab as I bring it to the surface of the water. Crabs are dumb as a stump and would grab anything they think is food, which is why I believe the string technique works well on them.
    NaturalBeauty_35 likes this.
  5. tess pfeif

    tess pfeif Newbie

    I love going crabbing! I usually go on a pontoon boat and cast the lines off the boat near sandbars or in more shallow water. I find rotting chicken falls or gets eaten a little too quickly. I find chicken necks/gizzards are the hardiest and the best for attracting crabs! However, it can frustrating sometimes due to all the restrictions about blue crabs where I crab thus making me throw back over half of my catches most of the time.
  6. The first time, I went crabbing was with my boyfriend. The technique that he uses is a fishing reel, and fresh chicken for bait. We both will go near the ocean and throw the chicken into the water, and wait until we feel a tug on the line. We will gently spin the reel slowly until the grab comes a shore, and slowly grab it by its gundy. Normally, we cook them right away on the spot or as soon as we reach home. Who wants to cook a bunch of dead crabs!!! :yuck:

    Personally, I rather use the fishing basket net instead lol. Sometimes, we had days without catching any crabs. So instead we leave baskets overnight with fresh chicken inside. Next day the baskets are full with tons of grabs and other suprises lol.

    Fishing Basket

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    Last edited: Aug 20, 2014
  7. Hi, campforums.

    You don't necessarily have to use rotten chicken for bait. Fresh chicken works well also. When crabbing you don't really need a hook to catch a crab. You can use a regular fishing line, and insert a hole into the chicken by passing the line through it. Make sure the line is tied tightly into the chicken, and you can then throw your bait into the water.

    Once you feel your line tugging you gently pull your line slowly until the grab comes ashore. Then slowly scoop the crab up with a fishing net basket or even by throwing a fishing net over it. Remember, the crab is not grabbing the string, it's grabbing onto the chicken. The grab smells the freshness of the chicken, and that's why they come around to nibble on it.

    It depends on how you do your grabbing!!!

    Last edited: Aug 20, 2014
  8. Profit5500

    Profit5500 Explorer

    I never went crabbing in my life so I am a huge disappointment LOL. I wish I could go out more and see places at the docks and see real live crabs. I just don't want any of those critters biting me.
  9. happyflowerlady

    happyflowerlady Survivalist

    @Profit5500, most people are not bitten by a crab. The crab has strong pinchers at the end of its claw-arms, and they grab you with the pinchers. Since it is a tight pinch, and hard to get them to let go again, even a small crab pinching you is quite painful. I have never tried the crab cages, but on the Washington coast; people fish for crabs this way, and I have seen the crab pots with crabs in them that other people have caught.

    I have had crabs bite on my bait when I was ocean-fishing from the dock; but as I got them to the top of the water, they dropped off before I could get the fish net over the crab. When we had our cafe in Idaho, we served fresh craw fish, which my husband would order live, and then cook. I usually kept a few of the largest and friskiest ones for people to look at, and sometimes we would take one out and let it walk around on the table, which always made the kids squeal and scream.
  10. actadh

    actadh Pathfinder

    I grew up in Maryland. We went crabbing a little differently.

    I have fond memories of crab feasts in the backyard. I remember the butcher paper on the picnic table, crab mallets, and the ever present Old Bay seasoning. My dad would stop by Carl's Crabs in Langley Park and bring home a huge bag of crabs. We would have freshly picked and cooked ears of corn to go with the crabs.
    happyflowerlady likes this.
  11. JessiFox

    JessiFox Novice Camper

    I love crabbing! A lot of fun memories, though I haven't really tried to the string technique but I'm interested to hear that you've had some success with it...they certainly aren't the brightest creatures, lol.
  12. JoshPosh

    JoshPosh Pathfinder

    There's two ways to catch hawaii black crab. The first way is to catch them in the dark of night with a glove to protect your hand from their pinchers. That's right, shine your flashlight on them, then turn off your light, and make your way to them by remembering the path you have to take to get to them, and then grab them with the glove on.

    Second way is much easier. If you are crabbing during the day then you could use a long pole with some coconut leaf stems at the end of it. What you want to do is have the crab pinch the stem or place the stem under their eyes and when they retract you can pull them up. I wish I had a video of it, because I know you are going to get confused.

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