You can buy simple 2 hoop traps for around $2-3.00 , but they are not ready to use. You have to modify them to suit conditions where you will be fishing and add some rope to pull them up with. You will need the following :
- Pliers and Wire cutters
- Coat Hanger
- Some type of light , flexible wire
- Pyramid Sinker ( I used 6 ounces , go heavier if trapping from an ocean pier )
- Zip Ties
- Some type of rope ( I found some camo tree stand rope on clearance. Minimum of 20 feet)
- A Pizza Box?
- Chicken necks , drumsticks , or fish heads/other fish parts ( For bait )
- Metal salad tongs , or gloves to handle the crabs ( They can really do some damage with those claws )
These traps are designed to lay flat in the water , and then the outer hoop lifts up to make a basket that traps any crabs that crawled onto the net to get the bait. Keep this in mind when working with the coat hangers and wire because anything that can cause a snag could cause the trap not to open fully and let the crabs escape.
|An open hoop trap.|
|I had to have my wife help me with this part. I need to lift weights or something...|
After you have the piece of coat hanger secured across the bottom of the trap , add the light , flexible wire to the "eye" of your pyramid sinker with a twist or two :
Next , you'll want to push the wire up through the center of the bottom ring of the trap , then run a zip tie through the eye of the sinker and around the coat hanger and light wire :
All that's left now is to attach your rope to the ring on top of the trap. I'm using 20 feet of camo rope I got on clearance , because I'll be using these from a dock in a shallow part of a bay. From an ocean pier , I would want a minimum of 40 feet because of the difference in height and the possibility of movement due to strong currents. I use the light wire to hold the roll of rope when packing them away , and this is also how you would bait the trap by wiring a raw chicken neck , drumstick , or fish parts to the bottom.
Oddly enough , an extra large pizza box works quite well to pack these in. The netting can be a real hassle if it gets tangled in fishing rods , and it definitely saves you the trouble of having to untangle a mess when you'd rather be fishing.
When you're on the water and ready to start catching a few crabs for dinner , it's a good idea to either wear gloves or use a pair of cheap metal salad tongs to handle and sort your crabs. I usually only keep males bigger than 5 inches across , but in some states it's OK to keep mature females. Just be sure to stay within limits and keep only legal crabs! You can find out more about crabbing and how to determine sex and age of Blue Crabs HERE!
I'll have more on catching and hopefully eating Blue Crabs in the coming weeks , after I've had a chance to try these babies out! Happy crabbing!