CRAB SNARE REVIEWS AND RESULTS from this weekend

T
TOJIACK FLOATMAN
So this is what myself and flocaster came up with collectively insofar as how different crab snares perform and which seemed to work the best. I started out at Girabaldi on Saturday using 2 crab traps and one snare from the local pier and had an issue with some form of sea grass there being too thick to allow the snare to work as would ball up on such a small object and render it useless where the traps sat on top of the grass and did ok. At the other end of the pier were 2 crabbers using rings and one snare each and had located a spot where no grass was present. By virtue of being able to cast closer to the river channel they were out crabbing everyone else on the docks having 18 keeper crabs between them. All but 3 of their Crab fell victim to the snares. The other half dozen of us using traps and rings didn't have that many between us. Score one for snares. The following day I hooked up with flocaster at florence and we proceeded to head to the pier at South Jetty park to get some Crab. We were using traps and rings only until around an hour before high tide when his dad joined us and then flocaster and I each started to use a snare turning some of our traps over to papa. Crabbing was extremely poor that day with crabs being small and nearly 80% female. We were using small snares that flocaster had made with a large ball of mono attached that looked like a birdnest. We had no issue getting the small crabs to the docks with these types of snares but when put to the test with larger crabs many were lost when "THEY" let go after being hoisted above the water ( grumble grumble ) and we even lost double crab hookups this way. After switching to a snare with actual leg snare loops on them no more escapies and were able to bag 4 nice keeper males and 1 in a ring. Although Crab hawk snares work well as saw others using them , they are castable to far shorter ranges than the snares and bulkier to pack. I feel the smaller snares with a bait cage appx 5"x2"x2" and with with 2 snares on each long side and 1 on the ends to be the ticket. You can drop sinkers ranging from 2 or 3 ozs. into the end away from your swivel and wire tie them for best castability and weights will be changeable based on tide pull or how rough the seas are . Stout poles 7 to 8 ft. or more will be needed and either good tough mono such as Trilene Big Game in 20 to 25 lb. test is plenty heavy and still castable or some good castable braid if you want to go heavier. Like all fishing check your line near the snares often and retie as needed. You will find snares in my crabbing arsenal from now on , count on it. Kudos to flocaster and his dad !!! GREAT down home folks to crab or fish with . Thanks for all your hospitality guys .
 
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flocaster
No problem man! I just wish the crabbing had been better...oh well. We definitely got in some good r&d on the snares though.
 
R
rum runner
the snares are ok but i have become a huge fan of the crab hawk rigs/ flapper trap i have had 4-5 of them things and they are awesome just make sure you are using good heavy line! they get heavy fast if there are good numbers of crabs in and unlike the snares you can get 3-5 crabs at once and you dont want to use you good rods i went out and bought a rod/real just for them i went with a 10 foot heavy action bait caster and got a beefy bait caster real from wal mart and filld it with 100lb braid nver had any issues with casting them and snapping off on the cast or pulling them in in heavy tides and breaking then.
 
T
TOJIACK FLOATMAN
That outta do nicely BrynaCecil. On the outing described above we did encounter a minor issue when close in on the rocks but we came up with a solution for this as well. Taking a long telescoping decoy line retriever that doubles as a hiking staff getting out onto the jettys I have modified it in this way. I have taken a small trout landing net and lashed it to the end of the pole and on the very nd of that is a wide "V" shaped fork appx 3 inches long that allows me to gather the line and push it out from the rocks if need be when getting ready to bring it up. Works best if 2 of you are crabbing and alternate back and forth netting/assisting each other when bringing in the crabs. Am going probabaly Wed. to S.jetty at Barview to put it to the test. Will post results here when return home. Am using 2"x5"x1 1/2" cages with a 3 oz. Pyramid sinker lashed to the end away from the shock cord on the other end that goes to the rod. has six 130 lb. test snares . On a dry land practice run from my 9 ft heavy spinning rod I got right at 45 yd. casts in 15 mph wind. That otter do it !
 
GraphiteZen
GraphiteZen
Great report! What do the Crab Hawks run? Crab is BY FAR my #1 food (that I can gather myself) of choice but in the past I usually have to wait until my cousin get a hankering for Ling Cob to catch a ride with him and pull some traps.

I go out off Newport in my Fishcat for rockfish, do you think it would be reasonable to drop a bunch of castable traps with buoys? How many can you get with one trap? Adequate space is a huge problem on a ten foot pontoon boat so the ability to pack a bunch of smaller traps down in a stowbag would be a huge bonus. Of course tide and weight would be a concern in trying to prevent them from getting swept into the deeper pools but, assuming I could manage that adequately, do you think this would be a good strategy?
 
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TOJIACK FLOATMAN
I was just yesterday mulling over the same thing using my Togiack tube ( even smaller ) and this is what I came up with. I would use the lightweight wire rings made by Offshore Angler. They have at least twice the capacity of Crab Hawks . As for floats on snares they could be used but not so well. Any float big enough to keep a lead line afloat would want to try to lift and drift the snare on the bottom and crabs arent fond of chasing their dinner. Also you would need something like the bottom half of an old spinning rod with at least one big eye on it and a way to disconnect the float from the lead line, attach it to the line on the pole and have it feed through the reel bail guide without any issues. I wouldnt hand retrieve snares as they must have a moderately fast steady pull on them to work properly rather than a pause and pull rythem that could occur by hand. Food for thought as well is a way to stow the crabs once you get them abaord. As buckets and coolers are bulky and space is a premium I am opting to use my very large wire mesh collapsable fish basket rigged to float along side my tube. As for "a bunch of snares" you are allowed by law to use a maximum of 3 in combonations of traps, pots, rings, snares or handlines per licensed crabber who has to be present and work his own traps. In other words dont set out your buddies traps too who is setting on the beach and work them for him. The law will say you were using an excessive amount of traps and crabbing will get really exspensive.
 
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C
CoastieFlo
You can cast the 'crabhawk' type of trap very far if you use the right gear. Like a 10foot rod (Fred Meyers has some Okuma ones for less than $30, even less when they are on sale) a big el cheapo spinning reel (look for these at garage sales or get one at FM or BiMart) and heavy mono (braid is expensive, just use 50# cheap mono). A few sinkers of various sizes and you are ready to go.

Actually a person can make a 'crabhawk' type trap very easy, especially if you are close to an Englunds Marine or similar store because they have the heavy SS wire you need for the frame. Everything else is pretty easy to get.
 

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