Catching blue crabs won’t be such a difficult task. The activity is actually considered as a family activity for the summer time. Recreational crabbing is a very popular outdoor activity, since it is relatively inexpensive and provides for a tasty meal. This, and the fact that the blue crab is one of the most common crabs to be found in the Western Atlantic Ocean, from the Gulf of Mexico all the way to New England, makes this an open activity for everyone. You’ll be able to find different kinds of crab traps on the market to fulfill your needs.
In order to ease up the catch for you, here are a few tips that will help you get more successful results:
Check Your Local State Regulations
Before starting your catching of blue crabs, check on your local state regulations to keep in mind the size and characteristics of the crabs you are allowed to take with you. This way, you will avoid future problems and preserve harvest for next summer.
Verify the Appropriate Crabbing Season
There is not a specific time when crabs come out to shore. They can actually be caught at any time of day, but if you are having very hot weather, then consider that crabs will be more active during the early morning or late afternoon, when the sun is not on its peak.
Check the Movement of the Waters
Usually you’ll be able to find more crabs where the water is moving. Areas with tidal water movements are the best for catching blue crabs. Tides do influence the feeding habits of crabs. This, you have to keep in mind in order to take advantage of feeding patterns. During the last few hours of a falling tide, crabs move out of flooded shoreline vegetation into open waters.
Use the Appropriate Bait
There are several types of baits used for crab catching, but you have to be a little patient in all cases because it takes a while for the crab to smell and find the bait. It is recommended to use chicken or turkey necks, or wings, as bait. They're the most common and effective way, since they can last longer to the ripping of crabs when they feed. Those are really easy and cheap to find in any market.
Storing Your Catch
The best way to store your catch is by keeping them alive as long as you can. To accomplish this, you must have a proper container. It should be ventilated in order to allow the flow of oxygen. Don’t place the crabs in a closed water container, since this will suffocate them. Market baskets are a good option. Dip them in water occasionally to keep them moist and fresh, and cover them with a wet towel or piece of cloth. Be sure to place your container in the shadow.
Holding Your Catch
You should know the correct way to hold a crab. This will be helpful in case they get off your basket or container. First, in order to hold it, try to get it still with a stick. Remember that you must always hold it from the back, away from the snapping claws. It would be better to use both hands in case of bigger crabs. Remember to always wear gloves when manipulating your crabs, though their pinching will not hurt much, since they feed on waste on water, they are full of bacteria and, in a few cases. if the claws go through your skin, it could actually cause blood poisoning.