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Old 06-29-2013, 01:00 PM
 
Location: Punta Gorda Isles
177 posts, read 369,390 times
Reputation: 106

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I've seen crabbing discussed here and would like to get some information from some of you experts. I bought a good crab trap (the Fishin' Frank model) but I'm not having any luck, as of yet.

I'm using chicken necks for bait and have it placed near my dock. I live very near to the Ponce outlet in PGI and it's a straight shot so if there are crabs in the canals, a lot of them have no choice but to go by my house.

So, what's my problem? Is it the time of year? If so, when is best? Are they not in the PGI canals? I thought I'd probably do pretty well but so far, my count is zero! HELP! Thanks for any and all advice!
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Old 06-29-2013, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Florida
2,291 posts, read 4,943,236 times
Reputation: 5236
I am not a catcher of them....just love to eat them. My brother and his friend have attempted to trap them and they believe that they have done so...however...they have been poached many times...no matter how good they think they have hidden the traps, the crabs have been taken...he and his friend have given up, so now we a buy them from our local fish and bait shop.

Hope that your luck is better than theirs has been!
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Old 06-29-2013, 06:12 PM
 
Location: Sugarmill Woods , FL
6,235 posts, read 5,892,396 times
Reputation: 13647
When my brother was out successfully catching the crabs, he wasn't using the same bait as you! ; )
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:19 PM
 
Location: Florida
1,640 posts, read 2,202,330 times
Reputation: 1099
I have never had luck with chicken down here. I tried for weeks with it and no crabs were caught. Then I tried whatever was left of the fresh fish I caught after filleting and could catch 5 crabs a day. Ladyfish and mullet seem to work the best for me, no need to fillet them, just cut up in chunks.
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Old 06-30-2013, 04:39 AM
 
Location: Port Charlotte, FL - Pasadena, People's Republic of Maryland
2,953 posts, read 2,846,605 times
Reputation: 2433
I live near the end of Ackerman Canal (PC) and was catching some in May, using both chicken or fish heads/guts as bait. I haven't tried lately, as I'm not in the area at present, so I don't know if things have changed with a rise in canal water temps.

What is the current like near you, since you say you're near Ponce Inlet? If the current it too fast, the crabs will be swept right by your traps. I have a friend who lives near the inlet/outlet of the Ackerman and the current moves so fast past his house with the tide changes that he couldn't even get his traps to stay on the bottom. And that's with eight pieces of rebar added to them for weight!
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Old 06-30-2013, 07:13 AM
 
Location: Punta Gorda Isles
177 posts, read 369,390 times
Reputation: 106
Default Thanks!

Thanks to all of you for your responses. I was interested to hear that they aren't thrilled with chicken....I'll switch to fish pieces and see if my luck changes. The current is surprisingly negligible and the trap always 'stays put' even though I can see the outlet from my house.

Is any part of the year better or worse for catching crabs in the canals?
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Old 06-30-2013, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Port Charlotte, FL - Pasadena, People's Republic of Maryland
2,953 posts, read 2,846,605 times
Reputation: 2433
Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckycheese View Post
........Is any part of the year better or worse for catching crabs in the canals?
I started trying in February and didn't catch a single one; just mini conch-like snails and an occasional catfish. I continued trying off and on until I started catching some in May, at which time I was catching them regularly until I left June 1st. I know others closer to the harbor were catching them weeks before I was. Since this is my first summer where I'll be crabbing, I don't know yet if they're still around when it's warmer (but I'll know next week when I get back ).
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Old 06-30-2013, 08:15 AM
 
Location: Punta Gorda Isles
177 posts, read 369,390 times
Reputation: 106
Default Thank you

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikMal View Post
I started trying in February and didn't catch a single one; just mini conch-like snails and an occasional catfish. I continued trying off and on until I started catching some in May, at which time I was catching them regularly until I left June 1st. I know others closer to the harbor were catching them weeks before I was. Since this is my first summer where I'll be crabbing, I don't know yet if they're still around when it's warmer (but I'll know next week when I get back ).
Thank you....that sounds very encouraging. Safe travels!!
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Old 06-30-2013, 08:28 AM
 
Location: Punta Gorda and Maryland
6,102 posts, read 13,093,870 times
Reputation: 1220
If you have the good crab traps - I'll buy them from ya for $5.00 each - since they aren't workin for ya. LOL and just teasing.

I have been catching crabs all spring and summer, intact i caught a (good for nothing catfish the other day), and thought - let me put this in my trap and see how I do. Well . . . in one day, I caught two nice crabs and a big black grouper!! How the heck it go in the trap is a mystery because it is bigger than the crap entrances!!

Yesterday, I put out three traps with chicken necks in them. Later I'm going to check them - although the planned Harvest day is Tuesday.

In one day, I caught 19 crabs using chicken necks - that's my record. Dunno why my canal seems loaded - I have friends that use the Ponce Inlet canals too, and they caught nothing, and a couple of them have offered to give me their traps in frustration.

I think the reason I catch crabs though is because when I do catch and clean fish - i toss all the waste in the canal and it feeds them. I sit on the dock regularly and fish (a few times a week when I have nothing to do - I will at least do that). When I catch a catfish (for some reason it dies after the encounter with me), and ends up becoming food for the crabs. So, they hang out here with a steady food source.

I have a friend that is in the crabbing business - I doubt they are cleaning out anyone's pots, they fish up river most of the time. I think the crabs like brackish water, but less salty, I could be wrong, or maybe the southern harbor areas have a lot of predators that keep the population in check - dunno. But they like to crab in the upper river areas and do very well.

I know that a lot of guys that go Tarpon, Grouper and Cobia fishing like to use crabs as bait. I wouldn't doubt some fisherman checks a pot or two on his way out.

Maybe I should joke and say, "Only really really really smart guys can catch blue crabs!!!" ;-) But, its not true, so I won't.
Or, better yet, Maybe I should say that to have real success catching blue crabs, you have to "sit on your dock and watch your traps with a skilled crabber, and you have to have both - a lot of patience and a LOT of Yuengling!!!" Yeah - that's what I'll say! As your serving Yeungling - you never know what you'll learn. ;-)
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Old 06-30-2013, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Sunny FLA
686 posts, read 1,411,674 times
Reputation: 292
Haven't tried lately since the comercial crabbers depleated out canal. However I did find out our crabs loved bonita as well as mullet for bait. Catfish, not so much.
Fishn Franks didn't have the correct sized bonita last time I checked as well as fresh mullet. He was carrying something pre packaged. Haven't have the energy to try to cast net my own mullet lately.
You'll learn what works best in your area by trial and error. On yea, the Yuengling is a necessity! w/o, nuttin' is going in your traps. If you don't drink Yuengling, many of us do here and we can drink it by proxy for ya! I think that works better..... Yep, I'm sure of it!
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