Crab basics

Bob Budesa
Bob Budesa
I've only crabbed (in Charleston) for maybe 7-8 years, and had mixed results. So, I'm trying to figure out the best times to sink the pots. I live 4 hours away, so I'd rather spend time harvesting big, full crabs, as we all would! šŸ˜

I've read that male dungies molt in the fall, females in the spring. True/false? Not sure, but more info would be nice. If that's true, then you'd think males would be putting on weight all year leading up to the molt since growth is what triggers the molt. I've also had friends say they've scored some monster limits in the dead of summer, which stands to reason, given the above statement.

I've gone out in Jan/Feb, and although we've caught a fair number of 6-7 crabs, they've mostly been light (again, it stands to reason if they'd just molted).

I'd really appreciate any info you longtime crabbers can offer to aid in my search for the best times to crab in the bay.

cheers,
 
M
MartinH523
I usually start crabbing in August.
You get a mixed bag of full or near full.
But you are usually safe if you remember the old standby dates, crabbing is best during the months that end with "R".
I like using chicken leg quarters that are marinated overnight in Pro Cure for Crab.
But of course I have a secret recipe that I ad to the Pro Cure .
I crab from a dock and limit out each time I go.
My wife got so tired of eating crab, so I would cook them up and share with the neighbors.
 
Bob Budesa
Bob Budesa
Some good mates limit out every time in September, so August makes sense. I'm usually salmon fishing all of September, so hate to break that up, especially being 4 hours from salt.

"crabbing is best during the months that end with "R", which would only include Sept-Dec, right?

I use chicken legs, but never thought of marinating them in anything. We have Pro Cure for anchovies when salmon fishing. Don't know why it wouldn't work here too.

We usually set pots from a boat from Strawberry Island down around the corner to training jetty. Sometimes they come up clean, but many times covered with kelp (probably on the incoming).

Thanks for your insight! Crab on!
 
EOBOY
EOBOY
I think it is Months with an "R" in them!
 
Bob Budesa
Bob Budesa
Well that's what I thought too.
 
Irishrover
Irishrover
You guy are right. September, October November and December are the months to get crabs. That is when they are hard shelled and full of meat.
Fresh salmon heads and fileted carcass work great for bait. This is a late September Ocean haul just south of the Columbia River Bar. DSC01174.JPG
 
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Bob Budesa
Bob Budesa
Sea lions like salmon too much for me. Down here, they tear into pots with fish entrails, but don't bother pots with chicken for bait.
 
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Irishrover
Irishrover
Have to agree with that. Salmon for bait in the bays does draw those fir bags in. For ocean crabbing they work well.
 
rogerdodger
rogerdodger
I always use fish heads and carcasses (lingcod, rockfish, tuna, salmon) or whole fish (shad, sex herring). Never had a trap messed with by a non-human in CoosBay, ocean, or the Siuslaw. Just lucky I guess.
 
J
Javarock
We crab a lot in Tillamook Bay and catch plenty of keepers whether we use clams, chicken, fish or a few other kinds of bait. Having said that, clams are our favorite and they don't have to be razors. Cockles work great and even after the shells get cleaned out we throw them back in the freezer and use them again and again. If you know where to go you can get your limit of 20 cockles in less than half an hour. We crab year round but they are generally more filled out later in the year. Happy Crabbing!
 
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rogerdodger
rogerdodger
well the sea lions were out on lower CoosBay on Tuesday but again left my pots alone, maybe they just like crazy people on kayaks that talk to them? lol

they actually seemed to be heading past the submerged jetty (where crabbing was slow but I ground out a limit 1 keeper at a time) to the area called 'Hungryman cove' where there were more pots to mess with (and based on PB reports better crabbing). Fishing slow at the jetty except for some smaller BRF in a well known area near #7 and an occasional copper.
 

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