Jollyrodger

Green Crabs for Blackfish

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I have always pried off the shell of Green Crabs for Blackfish, but recently saw a Skinner youtube where he kept them on. What method do you prefer and have you noticed a difference in hookups? 

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I peel the shell if I'm using a jig because I've found i get a better hook-up ratio with a peeled shell vs a shelled crab.. ive found I dont have to let them nibble as long with a peeled shell, I set the hook after only a moment.. when I use a regular rig or a snafu I leave the shell intact but crush/crack it up a bit.. i also let them eat it a bit longer before setting the hook. 

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Why does Skinner say to leave the shell on?  This is just a theory of mine so take it with a grain. Blackfish will feed more heavily on crabs as it gets later into the season. Earlier in the season they aren't physically able to consume the tough parts of crabs like the shell or they'll prefer crabs with softer shells. Some sub species of green crabs have much tougher thicker shells than others and early in the season tog may shun those or not prefer to eat them as much. As water temps drop, they'll feed more heavily on crabs and eventually will be physically able to handle the tougher shells of those sub species of greens and also  white crabs and you'll get much harder bites on those baits.  You can tell when they've been feeding really heavily on crabs the anal vent is much larger and has a reddish color showing some trauma to the anal vent.  Usually see that late in teh season when togs are really zeroing in on the crabs.

 

Keeping the shell on also keeps the crabs innards intact which may help you get a better bite and hook up. Again- my .02.  Skinner may have other thoughts.

blacklabnh and b4loran like this

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If a whole crab i cut the corners, half a crab i leave it on so it lasts longer in the barrage of little fish trying to pick you clean. The bigger fish will swallow the whole thing anyway and crush the shell easily

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I Have found there is no correct answer to this because I sometimes take the shell off because it gives off better scent in the water and other times I leave it on because it is a more durable bait. When they are finicky  they only hit it when its off sometimes it doesn't matter.

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here down south I fish for sheephead with crabs during the winter and fish for big bull reds with bluecrab in the fall. idk if its any different for blackfish, but I feel as though I get hit more ofter with a cracked shell because its releasing more scent into the water to attract fish. it may be coincidence, but maybe not. just a thought

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I fish for Tog a whole bunch.  Eventually, I became super aggravated with using crabs in general.  They are pricey and difficult to use.  Not to say that they don't slay blackfish, but I was just done with it.  I went to a local seafood restaurant and bought 50 pre-cooked, pre-seasoned shrimp.  I took them out to the jetty and broke them up into 3-4 pieces each shrimp.  After one day I was hooked.  They slay tog in my area and are super plentiful and cheap. You can also buy them in Walmart,  I believe that you can get 24oz of shrimp for less than $10.  

 

Edit: I also love to use those sand fleas (mole crabs) that can be found and caught in the surf.  They are super easy to catch and also work great.  If you catch too many of them, simply bring them back to the house and boil them.  After that, I put them into a zip lock bag and freeze them.  They make rakes to dig them out of the sand.  

Edited by The Salty Fisherman
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I have heard before that soft seafood will work, and have actually caught with salt clams once. A local Asian supermarket has ginormous squid for $5/lb that I buy for porgy, I can get like 6 trips out of each squid tipping a 3/8oz bucktail. The body of these is super thick and stays on the hook, I wonder if tog would like them? Be so much easier than buying or gathering crabs and freezes well.

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14 hours ago, gellfex said:

I have heard before that soft seafood will work, and have actually caught with salt clams once. A local Asian supermarket has ginormous squid for $5/lb that I buy for porgy, I can get like 6 trips out of each squid tipping a 3/8oz bucktail. The body of these is super thick and stays on the hook, I wonder if tog would like them? Be so much easier than buying or gathering crabs and freezes well.

Problem with squid is everything else will eat it too.   If you have porgy's around they will go nuts on the squid and drive you crazy. 

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On 11/6/2018 at 10:57 AM, Fly By Nite said:

Earlier in the season they aren't physically able to consume the tough parts of crabs

I've read this a few times, what would cause that, does something with their mouth change throughout the year?

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