Sunday, July 7, 2013

Kayak Crabbing 101

Over the last month or so I have loathed over the idea of really trying the whole crabbing thing on the kayak. I spoke with some of the local experts in my buddies Metroman and Moc, whom you can find all over youtube with kayak crabbing videos.

I looked in the expenses and gathered up some of the items I already had to help cut down on costs of putting together a trotline rig for my Hobie Pro Angler 14.

Kayak Crabbing Essentials:

-Trotline around 500'-600' w/ Snoods (My line is closer to 700' w/ 80 snoods)
-Trotline includes 2 2' chain sections, 2 weights, and 2 matching floats
-4' Wire Net
-PVC Propstick
-Basket to keep crabs in w/ straps to tie down to kayak

MY propstick arm that attaches to my existing PVC rod holder setup. And how I store my net when not in use.
With these essentials you can be on the water crabbing the next day. Having snoods on the line allows for baiting and de-baiting quickly before and after trips. For floats Metroman suggested Buckets with lids and I agree this is the best set up for a kayak. Most importantly because it provides storage for all equipment before setting the line and for putting away the line at the end of the day. Also, make sure to tie your anchor line to the bucket itself and not the handle, because the handles can pull out.

As you can see the Pro Angler provides ample storage space for kayak crabbing equipment and the mirage drive allows for easy propulsion down the trot line, using one hand to steer the rudder and the other to scoop the crabs as they come down the line.

I crabbed the Severn River Thursday and was somewhat successful for my first try. I ended up with around 2.5 dozen crabs over the minimum 5" size requirement point to point on the shell. It was a crazy day to say the least. Shane (Reelaxin) and I set out with high hopes of catching bushel baskets full of crabs, but before Shane was able to run his line for the 1st time his Mirage drive broke. We ended up taking turns using my drive to check our lines, but neither of us were super successful and our lines weren't running as smoothly as we would have liked. Eventually Shane called it a day, but I stuck with it to catch a few more.

I gave it a go again the next day, but I decided to sleep in and just crab the 3 hours before low tide. This seemed to be a lot more production. My line ran much smoother and the crabs started to fill the basket and I finished the 3 hour session with a little over 4 dozen crabs. So I now had over 6 dozen crabs to feed my roommates, parents and Elaina for a little cookout on July 5th, which happened to be the day after Elaina's birthday.

Monster crab 8 plus inches

On Saturday Elaina and I tried our luck with a little dock fishing and she was able to catch her first fish on her new rod. A custom Overboard Rod I got her for her birthday, Black handle and purple blank and engraved with her name.

It was a great birthday weekend!!! More crabbing tips to come soon and hopefully a video if I can find my Go Pro Charger.

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