You'll need one of the following to fish for crabs: 1. A wire basket crab trap that crabs can enter, but cannot escape from. 2. A star trap that has a square bottom with four triangular sides that form a star when open and a pyramid when closed. 3. A mesh net with a hoop around the opening. 4. A simple piece of string.
Crabs are scavengers that will eat almost anything. For bait, some people use squid or fish parts left over after cleaning their catch. The best bait is chicken. Use the cheapest raw chicken you can find. Also use chicken that is still on the bone. This will make it harder for crabs to grab a bite of chicken through the mesh of the trap and it will be easier to tie the chicken to the trap.
Baiting the Trap
Tie the bait to the trap, using the string that came tied to the bottom of the trap. A square knot works well and is easy to untie.
Using the Trap
After you have baited the trap, slowly lower it into the water with the rope that is provided. Wait. After about 30 minutes, pull up the trap, empty the crabs into a cooler or bucket and lower the trap again. A wire basket trap has a trap door you can open to retrieve the crabs. A star trap will open completely and let the crabs run out if you are not careful. If you use a star trap, hold three of the sides closed as you open the fourth side and dump the crabs into a cooler or bucket. A mesh net has a hoop around the opening, with a cord attached in three or four places. As you lift it, the trap forms a bag that holds the crabs in place. To empty a mesh net trap hold the bottom with one hand--being careful not to get too close to the crabs' claws--and the hoop with the other hand. Pour the crabs into the cooler or bucket.
The simplest piece of equipment needed for crab fishing is a piece of string. Tie your bait to one end of the string and toss it into the water. Wait a while and very slowly pull the bait in. When the crab is close enough so you can see it, slow down, but keep pulling. If the crab sees you it probably will swim off. If it does, wait for it to return. This technique requires patience and is not very productive.