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Old 04-09-2015, 13:58   #1
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Crabs

Had some adventures today. Anchored in one of the Solent estuaries, tried to run upriver against the tide in the dinghy, ran out of fuel, landed to walk around a little, almost got stranded by the falling tide, caught -- a crab.

Caught and released.

Rowed back a couple of miles, but with a big boost from the tide.

But I love to eat crabs -- maybe it's time to start bridging the gap between eating them and catching them?

Does anyone carry crab traps?

What do you do with them once you have them? Sorry for the extremely naive questions -- for all of my love for the sea, I am a complete ignoramus where fishing and such things are concerned.
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Old 04-09-2015, 14:10   #2
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Re: Crabs

Dockhead,

There probably are restrictions on what you can take (no females with eggs), and what size, so you'll have to find what applies where you go.

Crab pots are often available at local hardware stores. Bait with canned cat food (fish flavor) that you poke a hole in..

Boil up a big pot of water, put the crab in, cook till it changes color.

If this horrible death bothers you, for perspective, I've seen an otter tear off half the legs on one, munch them up, while the crab moves in circles on the otter's belly, then eventually finish it off. This particular otter had two going at one time.

Cheers,

Ann
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Old 04-09-2015, 14:11   #3
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Re: Crabs

Woke up the other morning and for whatever reason the pilings on the dock we are currently using were just filled with crabs. Loaded. I grabbed a net and scooped up 31 of them in a couple of minutes.

Steamed and picked them, invited two other couples for dinner and had a jumbo crab cake feast.

So to answer your questions: yes, and steam them - eat whole or pick the meat for cakes, chowder, etc.

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Old 04-09-2015, 14:13   #4
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Re: Crabs

being in the medical fraternity, your thread title had a whole different meaning for me.
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Old 04-09-2015, 14:14   #5
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Re: Crabs

We prefer to put a small amount of water in a pressure cooker and heat until the steam just starts to release. They come out perfectly cooked and less watery than boiling them (and takes less time). Works well for lobster also.

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Old 04-09-2015, 14:17   #6
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Re: Crabs

Wow, so much useful information! Thanks!

OK, so you just throw them in boiling water (or pressure cooker), and that's it?

The horrible death bothers me, but I guess I'll get over it

And Weavis -- your mind is in the gutter as always
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Old 04-09-2015, 14:25   #7
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Re: Crabs

When I'm in a place with crabs I will use a device which is basically a wire loop with netting attached,weighted so it sinks,a piece of bait tied in the center. Pull it up slowly every 15 minutes,most of the crabs just stay there eating, although having a net under it before you pull out of the water increases productivity. It takes up a lot less room than a trap, costs almost nothing and I have also been able to make one if I don't have access to a fishing store.
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Old 04-09-2015, 14:27   #8
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Re: Crabs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Had some adventures today. Anchored in one of the Solent estuaries, tried to run upriver against the tide in the dinghy, ran out of fuel, landed to walk around a little, almost got stranded by the falling tide, caught -- a crab.

Caught and released.

Rowed back a couple of miles, but with a big boost from the tide.

But I love to eat crabs -- maybe it's time to start bridging the gap between eating them and catching them?

Does anyone carry crab traps?

What do you do with them once you have them? Sorry for the extremely naive questions -- for all of my love for the sea, I am a complete ignoramus where fishing and such things are concerned.
Don't need a trap. Tie a chicken neck on a light line. Lower near a piling. Pull it up periodically to see if a crab is holding on. They won't let go until they break the surface. Scoop them with a net before they let go.
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Old 04-09-2015, 14:30   #9
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Re: Crabs

There are some parts you can't eat, the "dead man's fingers" so worth watching this:

https://youtu.be/TY_xvzYGAWM

A small screwdriver and set of nut crackers will do for the claws.

If you go West of Portland Bill then you will end up with Spider crabs during the summer, thousands of them around the bill.

Be careful in the Channel Islands with a crab pot, they have different rules which protect the local industry and yes I have been boarded by their fishery protection whilst we had scallops, lobster and fresh crab in a large bucket on board

Btw, don't mix live crabs and lobsters in any form of storage container. The lobsters will eat the crabs and the crabs will panic and try to escape.

If you only have one or two crabs, cook and add to fresh fish to make layers in a fish pie with mash on top will fill a hungry crew.

Cash to a fisherman as he lands his catch normally has a favourable outcome.

Cottontop is right about using underwater features, which crabs and lobsters use for protection, along with Conger Eels. The pots along the South Coast will be targeting a ridge, wreck or drop off. Your mooring chain sinkers could be worth a shot.

Lobsters and large edible crabs seem to disappear during the winter so its late Spring onwards for pots.
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Old 04-09-2015, 14:33   #10
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Re: Crabs

A good Chesapeake-style coated wire crab pot (over half the size of a Maine lobster trap) is a difficult thing to stow on a cruising boat. But I've seen folding cloth-mesh crab traps for sale on EBay and often thought about buying one.

As for cooking . . . you can't go too far wrong just steaming them in seawater and dipping in butter or the sauce of your choice. For more ideas on crabs and many other seaside delicacies, get a copy of Euell Gibbons' "Stalking the Blue-Eyed Scallop." Amazing how much food you'll start seeing in the intertidal zone.

This summer we gathered a lot of mussels in Maine, and they were covered with ladyslippers (slipper shell, a kind of limpet, I believe). Old Euell said they're good eating, so when we steamed the mussels we ate the ladyslippers that fell off their shells, too. They tasted like . . . mussels.
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Old 04-09-2015, 14:38   #11
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Re: Crabs

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Originally Posted by Cottontop View Post
Don't need a trap. Tie a chicken neck on a light line. Lower near a piling. Pull it up periodically to see if a crab is holding on. They won't let go until they break the surface. Scoop them with a net before they let go.
Sorry, forgot where you are. I was thinking of American blue crabs. No idea how to catch a British crab.

One can buy commercial "crab boil" products in the grocery stores here that nicely season the crabs. Garlic is good, too.
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Old 04-09-2015, 14:42   #12
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Re: Crabs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cottontop View Post
Sorry, forgot where you are. I was thinking of American blue crabs. No idea how to catch a British crab.

One can buy commercial "crab boil" products in the grocery stores here that nicely season the crabs. Garlic is good, too.
I doubt that UK crabs and US crabs have radically different behavior, so I reckon your tip is probably valid
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Old 04-09-2015, 14:47   #13
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Re: Crabs

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I doubt that UK crabs and US crabs have radically different behavior, so I reckon your tip is probably valid
Their claws are the other way round to comply with the IALA bouyage system
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Old 04-09-2015, 14:49   #14
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Re: Crabs

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I doubt that UK crabs and US crabs have radically different behavior, so I reckon your tip is probably valid
The British crab might be more sophisticated than its US cousin, and eschew a chicken neck.
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Old 04-09-2015, 14:56   #15
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Re: Crabs

My favourite memories of boilouts in the States was ordering Crawfish from LA and having a heap of people over........

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