adam42

Green crab as bait

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Found plenty of these guys inside fish I've caught so used as bait while nightfishing but caught nada.

 

Average crab is a little smaller than my fist (found full sized ones inside the so I know they can take em this big whole) and i just chomp their big claws off with pliers (for my own benefit) and run a circle hook from the back underneath and through the top

 

Any tips for a novice bait fisheran? 99% of everything I've done has been with artificials

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Crabs have a mind of their own so I’d imagine they are a pain in the ass to fish live. Maybe use a rubber band like a bridle to hold the hook. Otherwise I’d cut that crab up and chunk it to release it’s crabby essence. 

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Like you, I've found them in many a striper's belly upon filleting, as well as in cod guts.  AAMOF, last week one of my slot fish puked up a Jonas Crab when I got her close to the boat so for stripers, Crab - It's what's for dinner.

 

That being said, the dozen or so times I put a crab on a hook, both whole live, and quartered dead, there was absolutely no interest.  I know my Chesapeake buddies use soft shell blue crabs for bait and are very successful with them.  The beauty of that is that you've got a nice dinner, either striper fillets and/or unused soft shell crabs.  I've yet to catch any soft shell green crabs, but would certainly try them on the plate and on a hook...

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To fly fishermen , where there’s crabs is heaven as they throw crab patterns last 15-20 yrs. Buddy has epic days , avg 12 or more 19, 50 yes those guys finger roll the fly pattern and are magical with results. I done some, usually a half dollar size. But not in their league! Permit another story, Yes stripers eat crabs

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Crab flies have always caught fish for me and that’s no mystery. My guess is the way conventional anglers present the crabs, whether it’s a dead crab on heavy rig or hooked Alive, maybe it just doesn’t look right to the fish cause I can’t imagine them not eating them when I’ve caught so many on crabs. 
 

I’ve always theorized that a heavy jig with bucktail splayed out on either side and across the top, with some rubber legs thrown in, might be the ticket for those fishing conventional rods. 

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Posted (edited)

Interesting

 

From my experience, they don't seem to live too long after hooking them that way but they are an invasive species & you can catch 2 dozen by putting out a trap for an hour so have no issues with checking lines every half hour and putting on a fresh one and smashing up the old one and tossing it in a pseudo chum.

 

I've watched a lot of youtube videos but it's never for striper. They either cut them in half and run the hooks through the leg sockets (but this is usually with small crabs to begin with and when targeting smaller fish like tog - no tog in Maine to my knowledge), hook them as I do, or lay the hook on top of them and wrap mono on the crab.  I don't want to do that last one because it seems like a lot of work and I imagine a lot of crabs which are knocked loose will end up inside fish who end up swallowing the mono. Best case scenario there is just littering the ocean which I'm not about.

 

Will try a slow retrieval on a bucktail and see how that goes.

Edited by adam42

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4 hours ago, Ftyer said:

Crab flies have always caught fish for me and that’s no mystery. My guess is the way conventional anglers present the crabs, whether it’s a dead crab on heavy rig or hooked Alive, maybe it just doesn’t look right to the fish cause I can’t imagine them not eating them when I’ve caught so many on crabs. 
 

I’ve always theorized that a heavy jig with bucktail splayed out on either side and across the top, with some rubber legs thrown in, might be the ticket for those fishing conventional rods. 

The slow retrieve of crab flies is deadly in some areas. When I fished fly rod only, your ability to slow the presentation down or speed up has an advantage. Albie snack free drifted is very good. The small crabs here are  plentiful and we see stripers pick them off when we retrieve whatever

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Few years back I managed to scrounge 6 crabs from rocks in York.  Caught 6 stripers in short order on them.  Right in the wash.  

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We have caught stripers in CT while dropping crabs for tautog.  We tried them up here and got a couple of bites. Best results were crabs fished on a tog jig. Basically a bucktail with no hair. 
We might give them a try later this week. 

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I’ve caught on a soft shell green crab before, and always thought of trying to drift some big soft shells through inlets but haven’t got around to it.

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46 mins ago, mcnar said:

I’ve caught on a soft shell green crab before, and always thought of trying to drift some big soft shells through inlets but haven’t got around to it.

The softshell ones rips apart easily. Rather use a hardshell, split in 1/2 and hook through the leg holes. I've caught many stripers using green crabs.

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22 hours ago, mcnar said:

I’ve caught on a soft shell green crab before, and always thought of trying to drift some big soft shells through inlets but haven’t got around to it.

Peeler/shedder crabs make a great bait. 

21 hours ago, foxfai said:

The softshell ones rips apart easily. Rather use a hardshell, split in 1/2 and hook through the leg holes. I've caught many stripers using green crabs.

Elastic bait thread to the hook shank works for me.  Especially if I do a combo with something tougher like a squid mantle. 

 

 

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For those unsure if bass like green crabs...

 

32" fish this AM had a green crab for breakfast...

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I grew up on the Chesapeake, we used "peeler crabs" after shedding, but harder than a traditional summer lobster.  We would cut them with scissors in pieces, chuck on a hook with a few big split shot, and fish rifts under the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

Having said that, I know green crabs work here in Maine.  You can use a rubber band like what was already mentioned, or hook them carefully through the corner of the shell.  I'm not a fan, but when Macs are not around they may do the trick just fine.

 

 

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