Jetties cont....

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fishfreak13

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Has anyone tried using mole crabs aka sand fleas at the jetties? They are abundant on the beaches and are great bait for surfcasting, but I don't know if they'd work at the jetties or not. If no one has I can be the guinea pig and go dig some up and give em a shot. Free bait is always nice :dance:

*these are the crabs that burrow into the sand on the beaches where the water/waves are receding...
 
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J

joeyota

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I have never heard of it. I have another question though. Why is it that I use hearing when fishing the inner reefs but use sand Shrimp off the jetty? I hope some one has an answer to the mole crabs to, I would like to see a picture or these things?
 
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joeyota

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Looks tasty to me! How big are they, I know the link said that the one pictured was 20mm. I don't know what that mite be in inches?
 
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fishfreak13

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1/2in up to 2in from my experience
 
L

lechner

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According to what little information I could find on the intarwebs, it sounds like mole crabs are definitely a viable bait for jetty fishing. I personally wouldn't want to eat one though :)

I've run across quite a few of these critters while clamming at minus tides. They tend to be quite prevalent at Oregon beaches and can be located in sandy substrates up to a foot in depth. You should look for dime-sized holes in the sand exposed by low tides -- these tend to be where they hide to avoid predatory birds and jetty fishermen.

My best guess to Joeyota's question is that mole crabs which get washed out to sea are quickly gobbled up by the fish that hang out closer to shore (surf perch and rock fish). The species that prefer kickin' it on the reef are likely more accustomed to seeing herring and other bait fish than mole crabs.
 
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fourgotten

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Looks tasty to me! How big are they, I know the link said that the one pictured was 20mm. I don't know what that mite be in inches?

I hear that they are tasty... 'course, I've never put it to the test... I hear that you just fry 'em up and eat the whole thing... like sand shrimp (ghost shrimp)... :)
 
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fish_4_all

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Aberdeen, WA
I have fished here for along time and have never seen them locally. I don't even find them digging sand shrimp.

Am I digging in the wrong places or maybe it is too cold up here? I would use them in a heart beat if I could find them. I know they will work, I have used Chitons before and found a lot of them in fish stomaches.

What types of areas do you find them in down there? Real beach areas where you find clams? Back water areas? I would really like to find them here.
 
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fourgotten

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I have fished here for along time and have never seen them locally. I don't even find them digging sand shrimp.

Am I digging in the wrong places or maybe it is too cold up here? I would use them in a heart beat if I could find them. I know they will work, I have used Chitons before and found a lot of them in fish stomaches.

What types of areas do you find them in down there? Real beach areas where you find clams? Back water areas? I would really like to find them here.

Well, since my last response, I have hunted and eaten them and they are pretty tasty and easy to find.

You'll never find them where you find ghost shrimp (AKA sand shrimp) or bay clams.

You'll find them on a surf-washed beach... if you're near Yaquina Bay, the north beach is just LOUSEY with them... look for a dimple or depression in the sand that's between 1/4" and 1" in diameter and dig. They are usually between 2 and 12 inches deep.

If they are very shallow, they often leave a distinctive show that looks like a heart, deer hoof, or just two little holes with a wash pattern around them. Be careful digging shows like that on a very low tide, however... dungeness crabs can leave a very similar show and the last time that I was on Nye Beach on a minus tide, I knocked two dungies on the noggins while trying to verify that they were mole crab shows and not razor clams... I usually dig a show like that from about 6 inches away just to be sure.

Usually, if you just stick your shovel straight down into the sand and lever back on the handle, the sand will come up with the mole crab sticking out of it, unless it's really wet sand.

On most beaches they will be buried about the middle of the intertidal zone.

You can also strain them right out of the surf.

They are one of the most universally preyed-upon creatures on the beach... surf perch and just about everything else love 'em.
 
C

Chass

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Marcola, OR
Thanks Fourgotten!

I've collected them before when I was a kid just for fun but I didn't know you could eat them . . . or sand shrimp for that matter. How did you prepare them specifically? Anything to watch for? I'll try anything twice ;) Particularly if I caught it :lol:

I've just had such lousy luck with bait fishing in the ocean that I'll stick with jigs but if there is another animal to eat, I'll try!

Chass
ct
 
F

fourgotten

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Thanks Fourgotten!

I've collected them before when I was a kid just for fun but I didn't know you could eat them . . . or sand shrimp for that matter. How did you prepare them specifically? Anything to watch for?

You can simply fry them up whole, or I've seen them battered and deep-fried... in the Phillipines they are a common addition to stir-fry, I understand.

You can removed the legs and telson (or tail) if you prefer (some people get a little squicked at eating something with legs on) but I just eat the whole thing. The shell is quite crispy after cooking.

There's also a recipe floating around somewhere for chowder made by cooking, grinding and straining mole crabs.

You can cook ghost shrimp the same way.... fry them up whole. They, also, are rather tasty.
 

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