Fishin’ with Brycin

By: Brycin

Blue crabbing is a fun and exciting way to explore our Florida waters. Blue crabs are a delicacy in the crab industry and blue crabs are the reason some commercial crabbers make a living. Blue crabs are also great for our ecosystem as they are scavengers so they will eat the dead fish and other things on the bottom. Blue crabs in the larva stage also filter the water and eat zooplankton.

Why would you buy blue crabs when you can go out and catch them? Blue crabbing is very inexpensive. There are a few ways to catch blue crabs. The more traditional way to catch blue crabs is with a blue crab trap and blue crab traps are fairly inexpensive. You allowed 5 blue crab traps per family member. In Southwest Florida, there are about 6 other ways to catch blue crabs. In our area, the legal methods of harvesting blue crabs are dip nets, landing nets, dropnet, a fold up trap, hook and line, push scrape, or a trotline. What to use for bait? One of my favorite bait for blue crabs is fish carcasses and rotten chicken. Regular store-bought chicken or anything with a strong smell will work.

When out on the water, be aware where you place a trotline or crab trap. Don’t put them in channels cause if you put them in channels, you can risk your traps getting cut off by boat traffic and you can risk damaging someone’s boat and prop me easily. I like to put my traps near grass beds and near channels beaches and wrecks. If you are using hook and line, make sure you find a good area where you know where they’re at. I use drop nets off docks and piers.

If you see commercial crabbers, please don’t put your traps in their lines of pots, and don’t pull their traps and take the crabs. This is how they make their living!