If you’re heading out on the water for a day of crabbing, nothing will suck the life out of your fun day more then forgetting an important part of the crab catching process. Luckily for you we’ve compiled a list of thingies that are a must have in the boat so the next time you don’t forget something as stupid as bait, like we did.
The following are in not particular order of importance because it’s recommended that you have all of these on hand.
Salt Water Fishing License
You need a license to fish for crab. A fishing license is relatively inexpensive and (if you follow our crab catching guide) will pay you back two fold. Make sure you know what the size limits are and how many crabs you are allowed per day. Also, if you’re fishing in Washington bring your crab logging book.
Crab Measuring Device
I have at times had to resort to using a measuring tape but if your crab isn’t way over the legal size limit this measuring tool isn’t going to help. When I’m prepared, I use the plastic crab caliper found at any store for under five bucks. It has the notches cut in for each size species and gives you the legal size limits for different areas you might find yourself in. I have also made my own by cutting the notches out of a wood block. Some crabbers have carved out the notches right on the wooden railing at the fishing piers. Rulers and measuring tape will work, however, it takes patience and precision to get an exact measurement.
Again, check your local fishing regulations to see how many traps you are allowed to use (per person or per boat) with a recreational fishing license. If you are fishing for Dungeness in B.C. waters bring two traps, fishing for blue crabs in Chesapeake Bay-bring thirty.
Crabbing for Dungeness -use the box trap with the one-way doors. They keep the crabs in the trap until you pull it up.
Use leaded rope or rope with a weight attached. You don’t want any boaters getting tangled in your crab trap. It’s common courtesy on the water.
- Because rope burn is a bitch
- Because getting pinched by a crab’s claw is la bitch.
A Cooler with a Couple of Frozen Water Bottles
You will need something for storing your fresh caught live crabs in. I like to use a cooler, but only for short periods of time -say four hours. I put seawater in the cooler and a couple of frozen water bottles. I change out the sea water every couple of hours.
Bushel Basket if you’re catching Blue Crabs
Bushel baskets are ideal because they hold a good size catch and the wood stays wet. If it’s a hot day dunk the whole bushel with crabs in the water then place a wet towel over them.
- Fishing license
- Crab caliper