Tuesday March 25, 2008
Crabbing with Crab Traps
Dael Leathe

Just like fishing, catching crabs using simple equipments is rapidly gaining popularity. With its increased popularity, recreational crabbing has become a great choice for families to spend the weekends together.

But unlike fishing, crab catching is a far cheaper hobby. As compared to the fishing gears, a hobbyist could have his own crab trapping device for as little as two dollars.

For an even cheaper sum, crab-catching enthusiasts can make what is commonly known as crab traps. A crab trap, which is usually smaller and lighter in weight than a crab pot, is a boxed-type device made out of welded wires with collapsible sides, with each of its side tied with a cord. The sidings of the crab trap lies flat on the floor the moment it is dropped to a portion of a water surface. At the center of the crab trap is bait, which is normally a chicken neck, tied at the base of the gear.

While crabs are known to be omnivores, they tend to eat more meat than plants. There are many other possible bait forms such as fish parts and bull lips, but it would be advisable to make use of the chicken necks as bait because chicken bones could hold on to the welded device.

The moment a crab gets to the center of the crab trap (underneath the water), the cord, which is attached to the top portion of each of the four sides, is pulled to allow the sides to rise and re-assemble itself into a box. Then the crab trap is pulled out from the surface of the water.

Crab traps are being used by hobbyists and families on a weekend day out in a park where freshwater crabs are bred and made available as recreational activity, or near freshwater bodies of water, such as rivers and lakes.

But while crab catching may have been rapidly getting everyone into it, there are Federal laws governing the hobby. Under such law are implementing rules and guidelines as to where these activities could be done. Crab trapping, which is of course far from being a revenue earner as the gear offers minimal haul, gets more leniency than that of crab potting, which allows bigger hauls. Crab potting has likewise been limited to privately-owned waterfront properties. Commercial crab catching has stricter guidelines, and comes with stricter penalties too. These regulations are found in federal laws governing commercial crab fisheries.

Now, how would you like fresh crabmeat sandwhiches for a picnic dish? Crabs are definitely sumptuous, but the crabs we catch ourselves taste even better.


Dael Leathe
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