While their size varies, the basics of crab pot design are fairly uniform. They consist of steel mesh cages with a network of mesh or nets inside, allowing crabs entry while barring their escape.
An alternative to the pot is the crab dredge. This is an iron bar with several 5- to 7-inch-long teeth and an attached bag, which is dragged along the bottom to collect crabs.
The recreational crabbing kit is rarely as elaborate. A crabbing hoop net is baited with chicken necks and thrown over the side of a pier or boat, left on the bottom and periodically hauled to the surface after about 10 minutes.
One of the major crabbing areas in the U.S. is the Chesapeake Bay, crabbed by fishermen from Maryland and Virginia. Maryland's commercial crabbers produce half of the nation's blue crab catch.
Another major crabbing area is in the waters of Alaska, where the king crab and snow crab industries have been made famous by the Discovery Channel's popular documentary-reality show "The Deadliest Catch."
The Pea Crab is the smallest known species measuring between 0.27 and 0.47 inches long, while the Japanese Spider Crab is the largest with a span of approximately 12 feet between its claws.
Article Written By Edwin Thomas
Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.