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Old 03-14-2008, 10:44 AM
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My family and I are Going to Florida in a few weeks. While visiting the beloved mouse is the main stay of our trip, I wanted to do other things as well. ONe of those things is to go crabbing. My children are young (the oldest is 7) and would not make it long on a boat, so it will be done from a pier. I have done my home work and gotten the basics down, I feel it is never a bad idea to get some info from someone that has done it before. So anyone that has ANY information they can share with me about crabbing in Florida, I would really love it. Like what kind of traps work best? what are the best times of day to "crab"? I've heard that chicken necks are the best thing to use for bait. Can i get these at a grocery store? how do I find a good spot? and what is some of the equipment I will need aside form the trap and a cooler? and the best ways to cook them? and last but not least, what kind of crabs can I catch from shore/piers this time of year. As you can see, I have alot of questions. So any help I can get would be great!!
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Old 03-14-2008, 12:13 PM
Location: Palm Island and North Port
7,484 posts, read 19,041,519 times
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When I was a kid we used to go out to the beach at night to catch crabs(that sounds funny). We'd tie a chicken neck on a string and drag it along the sand. One person would hold the flashlight and one would hold the bucket and long handled net. Once the crab would get close enough we would scoop them up. We caught all kinds, blue, stone and rooster. I probably wouldn't recommend this exact method due to the increased risk of sharks at dusk or night.

You might want to find a seawall or pier and you could try the same thing just off the seawall.

To me it's a bit more exciting catching them in a net instead of a trap. I do remember when we used the traps you would come up with some pretty cool things i.e. octopus, crabs, weird fish, etc

Another idea would be to get a long net and find some grass flats and scoop the flats. You can usually come up with some pretty neat stuff like that as well. Seahorse, shrimp, cool fish, etc. We had an aquarium we'd keep all of our finds in.

I spent some of my younger years living out on Little Gasparilla Island in SW Florida. There were no cars, no t.v., no kids, etc. and you could only get to the island by boat. I had to do something with my time

You'll probably mostly catch blue crabs. If you catch any stone crabs you can only take one claw and you must throw the rest of the crab back (they will regrow the claw). I think there might even be a season for stone's as well. You might catch a few rooster crabs.

I would think that most fishing stores would sell crab traps. Most are made out of a mesh wire material and have a string with a buoy attached so you can pull them up out of the water.

I would say the best time of day to crab would be at night. It think that they are mostly nocturnal. We usually try to get the males as opposed to the females. On the bottom of the female there is a half moon pattern, the males have like a small skinny triangle pattern on the bottom.

Just checked with dear old mom and she said that you put them in a big pot with an inch or so of water in the pot. Add a tablespoon or so of vinegar to help with getting the shell of easier. Some people like to add Old Bay Seasoning to the water. Make sure you have some tongs to keep the lid on. Mom's chased them across the floor before. When they turn red they're done, probably 10-15 minutes. Pull off the legs and the claws and open them from the bottom side. It will have like a triangular piece on the bottom. Pull on it like a pop top can and then you can remove the whole shell. Rinse out the greenish white guts and then the white meat is what you eat. Use a nut pick to get the meat out. This is for blue crabs. For stone's just use a nut cracker to break the claws.

Last edited by SoFLGal; 03-14-2008 at 12:29 PM..
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