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Crabbing From a Kayak: Tips?

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the wire basket traps work great!!! Been using them for years. I bait up 10-12 traps stack them up and when I get to where I want to start I just start dropping them along a bank then circle around and start crabbing. If you catch crabs drop right back down if not move the trap down the line.

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Homemade pool noodle handlines. Got the idea from a youtube video but he used hooks. Purchased a 12" x 12" x 1/8" piece of lead and cut it into strips that weigh roughly 2 1/4 oz. Wrap around the chicken and it holds bottom. The pieces of green tape are set at about 28' and I have a piece of tape on my net at the same depth so I can net crabs blind in murky water. The rubber bands are to set depth. Just find a crabby area and carpet bomb it with pool noodles, go back and get your crab. Depending on how good the crabbing is, about a dozen buoys is all you'll be able to manage. Take too long to go back through them and they'll just pick you clean. Good luck!.......................I do put crab in the well pictured (risky business!) and in a cooler behind me. Looking at something to tow this season so I can increase my take. Right now I think I max out at about 40 or 50 crab. Plenty of crab for 4 or 5 people but I'd like to throw a good sized party this season in the yard with kayak caught crab.

 

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Don't use chicken. It's illegal to crab with chicken as per fish and game. Use bunker or some other fish. In my opinion fish is a better bait anyway

 

I just looked at the NJDEP website and they say chicken is a good bait. No where does it say it's illegal. Am I missing something?

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Matt Madden in the Hobielife ******** has some good suggestions:

 

Kayak Crabbing Tips and Trotline Setup

Here are some tips that I have acquired from some other veteran kayak crabbers and some other tips I've come up with on my own during my 1st two trips.

 

Trotline Set-up

I use 5# barbell weights for my end weights on my line. The weights are connected to 20ft of rope which connects to the Bucket with lid. Connect the ropes to the side rim of the bucket and not the handle as the handle can pull out. From the bucket there is 20ft of rope connected to 2ft of chain. The trotline clips to the chain with a brass clip. My trotline has 80 snoods, about one every 8ft, which allows for ample space between scoops for crabs. My snoods are made of 8-10 inch pieces of small diameter bungee double knotted to the line. For the end of the line everything is the same as the first half.

 

 

Tips

 

1. Mark the last 1 or 2 snoods at each end of the line with a colored sharpie so you know for sure you are on you last snood and can get the line of the prop stick before you get to the chain.

 

2. Use buckets as floats as they allow for great storage of the trotline, weights and chains. And I like orange the best as it is highly visible.

 

3. Pre-rig chicken necks prior to crabbing and just allow the line to coil in one bucket. The line with run out smoothly as you set the line.

 

4. Set your line over a change of depths. I like to cover at least 4-5ft of depth change. Generally 8-13ft or so is good.

 

5. Make your PVC prop stick about 3-4 feet, depending on your arm length and the length of net you plan to use. I use a 4 foot net and 4 foot prop stick.

 

6. Using your net upside down works great as a hook to grab your line to put on the prop stick.

 

7. De-baiting is a lot easier to do as you pull you line than it is to do when you get home.

 

8. Crabs can climb out of you basket, so either build a cone style top on top or be prepared to bat them down with the net.

 

9. A wire net is a must, especially when you need to shake off a female crab and there is another crab on the next snood.

 

10. Run the trotline with the wind at your back. It can help push you slowly down the line and generally less chop in the water.

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Nice crabs! I like to clean mine before I cook them, don't like messing with all the "crap" inside them while I am eating, but I know some people love the yellow stuff :upck:

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Out of curiosity, and at the risk of asking a dumb question: Does anyone know why it's illegal to use chicken necks as crab bait in NJ?

 

I don't know if it is illegal or not but think about it for a second. You throw over your piece of raw chicken which the crabs start to chew on. The raw chicken is then sitting in it gut which you plan to eat later. I'm sure if properly cooked you won't have a problem but I don't take the chance. The very best crabbing bait is actually tuna scrap/carcass if you can get your hands on it.

 

John

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I don't know if it is illegal or not but think about it for a second. You throw over your piece of raw chicken which the crabs start to chew on. The raw chicken is then sitting in it gut which you plan to eat later. I'm sure if properly cooked you won't have a problem but I don't take the chance. The very best crabbing bait is actually tuna scrap/carcass if you can get your hands on it.

 

John

 

Makes sense. Thanks for your response.

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I don't know if it is illegal or not but think about it for a second. You throw over your piece of raw chicken which the crabs start to chew on. The raw chicken is then sitting in it gut which you plan to eat later. I'm sure if properly cooked you won't have a problem but I don't take the chance. The very best crabbing bait is actually tuna scrap/carcass if you can get your hands on it.

 

John

 

Dude ........... everyone that I know has been using chicken necks for for crabbing bait for as long as I can remember ..... .... over 50 years and probably 100 before that without any problems ......and I'm from the Chesapeake Bay that is world famous for it's blue crabs...... and how would you know that Tuna scraps are the best if you haven't even tried checken necks or salted eel ........... can't put tuna scraps on a trot line ..........

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Game wardens are telling everyone that its illegal now. Can't find it in writing but know a couple people who were told to immediately pull it out of the water and don't use it anymore. Maybe someone should call and ask. It doesn't bother me because I always used bunker or blue fish as bait

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I don't know if it is illegal or not but think about it for a second. You throw over your piece of raw chicken which the crabs start to chew on. The raw chicken is then sitting in it gut which you plan to eat later. I'm sure if properly cooked you won't have a problem but I don't take the chance. The very best crabbing bait is actually tuna scrap/carcass if you can get your hands on it.

 

John

 

Unless you are eating the crabs raw, I am not sure how this is relevant. Also, crabs and other sea creatures passively harbor salmonella bacteria, so whether the crab got if from the chicken or already had it, is irrelevant, just cook 'em and you'll be fine.

 

There maybe another reason to not use raw chicken, but I don't know what that is,

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