Author Topic: CRABBING: 101  (Read 328 times)

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Offline John Pierce

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CRABBING: 101
« on: September 20, 2019, 09:17:56 PM »
    CRABBING 101

    BEFORE YOU CRAB
    • Valid BC Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence is required.
    • In B.C., the most commonly caught species of crab are Dungeness and Red Rock. Dungeness are the larger reaching a maximum of 23 centimetres width, are olive to purplish-brown and compared to Red Rock, have slender claws. In contrast, Red Rock crab are bright red, have thick black-tipped claws and reach a maximum size of 16 centimetres.
    • Check for fishing restrictions and closures prior to crabbing on-line at www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/recfish or contact your local Fisheries and Oceans Canada office.
    FISHING CRAB - GENERAL
    • Only by trap, ring net (see website for requirements), dip net or (hand picking and bucket); snares, rakes, spears or other pointed instruments is illegal.
    • A maximum of two crab traps or rings (or a combination of both) may be fished by each person in possession of a valid licence.
    • Dungeness crab prefer muddy or sandy ocean bottoms near eelgrass beds. Red Rock crab thrive in rocky areas.
    • Depending on crab abundance in an area, soaking a trap for as little as half an hour or up to a few hours can be sufficient for a good harvest. Bait that attracts crab includes fish offal or fish heads. Dungeness like chicken or turkey legs.
    • Bait: Crabs aren’t very picky, they’ll eat anything from cat food to another dead crab, chicken necks (easy to tie and last a long time in the water).
    WHEN TO CRAB FISH
    • Slack-tide is favourite, roughly one-hour time slot on each side of the high and low tides for the day. At this time the tide is moving the slowest, allowing scavengers, like crabs, to roam around and look for food without needing to fight the current.
    • The best time to catch crabs if you catch them from shore is when the tide is rising to high tide. The crabs will come up from the deep and into your trapping range.
    WHERE TO CRAB FISH
    • Crabs like to hand out in eelgrass beds, look for stems of eelgrass and other debris floating on the water's surface and drop there.
    HAND LINE CRABBING
    • General: Easy method to catch crabs where you use some bait to pull the crabs towards you to scoop them up, don't need a perfect spot vs dip net, and you don’t have to get wet as you can easily crab from shore.
    • Method: 1) Tie a piece of chicken or fish to the end of a 6-12 ft string (depends on the depth of the water) and throw it into min 2ft water. 2) Wait, watch your line, if it starts to become taught, there’s a crab trying to make a run for it with your bait. 3) Very slowly pull the crab towards you, the slower the better, once the crab is near the surface, scoop it up with dip net from behind the crab.
    [/list]CATCH LIMITS
    • Check 1: Measure crab width immediately, if less that 165 mm for Dungeness or 115 mm for Red Rock, if less release gently immediately (crab gauge makes it easy).
    • Check 2: Crab's sex, if female, release gently immediately.
    • Limit: Recreational harvest daily limit for Dungeness or Red Rock crab is four for the South Coast (six for the North Coast).
    • Possession: Limit is twice the daily limit, ie 8 for South.
    • Transport: In BC have to be whole, cannot be shelled or shucked. Use a bucket or cooler (if longer trip, large enough so crabs aren't stacked). Ice packs to keep crabs cool if hot day, when cold, crabs slow down and almost fall asleep, and are much easier to handle. Wrap ice blocks in thin towel so that the crab doesn't contact freezer block directly as shock can kill them. Note: shipping crabs in seawater will kill crabs from a lack of oxygen.
    • Selling: Recreationally harvested shellfish cannot be sold.
    REFERENCE
    « Last Edit: May 15, 2020, 08:02:10 AM by John Pierce »