Some Information in Crabs

Amberjack
Right now Dungeness crabs are getting ready to molt. This means they are going to loose their back shell. This is similar to a snake molting. This is so they can grow larger. While the molt they turn soft and hide. They use a lot of their body mass (the meat in the legs that you eat) to grow a new back shell. After the new shell is formed they become very aggressive and eat like crazy. They are still considered "soft" and not much meat in the legs.

Crabbers may find full pots with legal crab but yield little meat.

Just some info for you folks
 
JeannaJigs
Think that's what I got today. That thing was irate! Very scrawny legs but he still drew blood
 
Bad Tuna
Thats a great reminder for people. Nothing worse than a pot full of empty crabs.
 
RunWithSasquatch
Crabs and blood= bad news
 
JAFO
So they molt twice a year? Had the same problem in August when I was there.
 
n8r1
I suppose that this may spark a debate about legal retention, but if you catch a soft crab please throw it back. If you catch a legal sized crab that's soft in the legs, there's virtually no meat on it and the little bit that is there is stringy and bland. Just give the back leg a little pinch, and if the shell goes in at all, then the crab has just molted and there's very little meat inside. If it's firm, then the crab is worth keeping.

I don't mean to start a long thread similar to the dark fish/throw it back ones that show up on here periodically, but it's the right and sensible thing to do. Put it back in the water and catch it again in a few months when the meat is firm and tasty!
 
the_intimidator03
If I recall the females molt before the males generally but dont quote me on that.
 
bythesea
JAFO said:
So they molt twice a year? Had the same problem in August when I was there.

Love your avatar,moved here (florence) in june from nampa..."is this heaven"...months ending in R it works for me but,my best time was Captain's charter with my daughter we both limited out on crab and bass now that was heaven......thank's amber
 
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RosenthaDR31
typically right now is there still hard crab to be caught or are they all pretty much useless and soft?
 
CoastieFlo
Amberjack said:
Right now Dungeness crabs are getting ready to molt. This means they are going to loose their back shell. This is similar to a snake molting. This is so they can grow larger. While the molt they turn soft and hide. They use a lot of their body mass (the meat in the legs that you eat) to grow a new back shell. After the new shell is formed they become very aggressive and eat like crazy. They are still considered "soft" and not much meat in the legs.

Crabbers may find full pots with legal crab but yield little meat.

Just some info for you folks

Your molting timing is a little off.
Female crabs molt in the spring.....I think we are still in winter :)
Male crabs molt in summer (june-july typically).
This is for Dungeness.......now for some other crab back east that might be different, I dont know.

Since you can only keep males legally, there is still lots of good hard shelled crabs to be had until closer to summer. Who cares if females are soft, you can't keep em anyway.
 
Amberjack
As I said they are getting ready to molt, spring is right around the corner. Obviously they do not molt all at the same time. All of our Captains run comercial crab during the "Off Season" this information was passed on to me.
 
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