Holding fresh caught live crabs.

Davis and Tanis


Here’s a quickie post for those of you who have been suffering lock-jaw pinches from picking up your crabs the wrong way.


Rules to Follow:

  1. Be aware of where the crab’s claws are at all times.
  2. Always approach a crab from their rear end.
  3. Never hold a crab near your face -not even for photographs!


Some crabs are more docile than others and are really easy to handle while other crabs will stick their claws in the air and snap them like a wind-up toy. Those snapping mo’fos scare the shit out of me and all crabs around them. But I still have to pick them up to get them measured and sorted.

When faced with an unruly crab, try to get the best angle on them so you can pick them up from behind. This will seem difficult when the crab will be manuevering to have your hand in the best fighting position (read directly in front of them). The best way to do this is to grab one of their back legs and turn them around. Do this in one motion -quickly.

Once you have the back of the crab facing you grab the body with three fingers -two fingers on the top shell and your thumb on their belly. Now flip him over so you have a clear view of their pincers and your thumb.

If you have to hold the crab for any length of time it’s a good idea to ‘put the crab to sleep’. Here’s a short 57 second video of how to do that.


Now you can measure or cook or throw your crab back to the ocean.

I hope this post saved some fingers.


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