This is the fourth page in a series of "All About Crabs". Click HERE to see the index and page order.
OK... so the net has been in for about 10 minutes. Depending on the depth of the water you may even be able to see if there are crabs in the net.
What you need to do now is to pull the net up, without the crabs getting out.
The technique here is that once you start the pull, don't stop. The crabs are very quick (as you are about to discover), and will scurry out of the net at the first little disturbance.
Even if there are no crabs in there, pull it up all the way anyhow. You can inspect the bait to see if there are any marks on it where they have been biting, or maybe you have left it in too long and the bait may just be hanging by a thread. Fix it up and chuck it back in.
In the event you have managed to snare a crab on your first pull, get the net onto the jetty with the crab.
At this point, a word of WARNING!! Those pincers the crabs use for arms are SHARP! They will draw blood very easily. Also, the reaction time of a crab is FAST.
So... how do you get the crab from the net into the bucket? Well, the crabs are very predictable. The first thing they try to do is bite, and because of that, your crab will probably be latched onto some part of the net. The other interesting thing about crabs is that if they can feel their own weight, they will let go. So all one has to do is invert the net over the bucket, and provided the crab is not tangled up in something, it will probably let go.
The ratio of crab to bucket size is important at this time. The crabs do have a tendancy to grab a hold of the side of the bucket on the way in if the mouth of the bucket is too small. Should this happen, watch out for your toes. Large crabs are more likely to go on the offensive at this particular point in time. While dancing and trying to keep out of the way of the crab, keep an eye on where the edge of the jetty is. It's a long way down.
If you are brave enough, and have good reflexes, it is possible to pick the crab up without it biting you. The crabs long arms cannot reach behind it, so if you can pick it up from the back, all is safe, just don't let your fingers go too far underneath. Many people hold them by the back leg joint on the body.
Once the crab is in the bucket, they will sit quietly unless disturbed. The disturbance is normally another crab being chucked in on top of them, so a commotion will follow.
So.. check your bait, and chuck it back in for another one.
It is important at this time to note that there are limits for crabs. Click here for the latest limits. Be sure to return undersized crabs to the water.
When you have enough crabs, pack up your gear and head back. It would be timely to mention at this stage that you will need some salt water to cook them in. I'll leave that to you to figure out, depending if the tide is in or out. Next is how to cook your crabs ......
The series of web pages, All about Crabs, is copyright to ETWebs and used on this web site with permission.