The daily bag limit for recreational fisherman is 10 gallons of whole blue crabs. No more than five blue crab traps per person are permitted, although the crabs also can be collected by trotline, dip net or fold-up trap. Traps must be pulled manually and during daylight hours only. Females with eggs may not be harvested. There is no blue crab size limit. Regional blue crab trap closures do apply, so check with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission before crabbing.
Stone Crabs (pictured above)
Only the claws of the stone crab may be taken, and they must measure a minimum of 2¾ inches from the elbow to the lower finger (bottom pincer). The season for stone crab claws runs from Oct. 14 through May 16. The daily bag limit is one gallon of claws per individual or two gallons per vessel, whichever is less. Although both claws may be lawfully taken, many anglers opt for only one claw to encourage success of the stone crab population and fishery. Trap regulations do apply. Check the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for more details.
Blue Land Crabs
Blue land crabs may only be harvested by hand or use of a dip net. The season is closed from July 1 through Oct. 31. The daily individual bag limit is 20 crabs. Harvesting eggbearing blue land crabs is illegal. Blue land crabs cannot be harvested from any upon, or in the right-of-way of any federal, state or county-maintained road or from a Florida state park.
Land hermit crabs may be taken, but others are protected from recreational harvesting. No more than five land hermit crabs may be taken per day with a two-day possession limit of 10. A saltwater fishing permit is required.
These crustaceans are not true crabs but surviving members of the ancient class Mesostomata. Recreational fisherman are prohibited from collecting horseshoe crabs.
Article Written By David Chandler
David Chandler has been a freelance writer since 2006 whose work has appeared in various print and online publications. A former reconnaissance Marine, he is an active hiker, diver, kayaker, sailor and angler. He has traveled extensively and holds a bachelor's degree from the University of South Florida where he was educated in international studies and microbiology.