Best Time to Crab
It is possible to catch crabs at any time during the day but you need to consider some natural factors for better results. If the weather is hot, crabbing will be more productive if done early in the morning or late in the afternoon or evening. The heat slows down their feeding habits. Also, tides will affect their feeding behaviors. Best catches will happen during a changing tide. Once the tide becomes low, the crabs will move out to deeper waters.
Talk to a crabber and each will probably tell you the best crab bait to use. Many times you will find all of these bait recipes are a bit different. Chicken or turkey parts such as the necks, backs and wings, have proven popular baits for catching crabs for quite a few years. You can also use 4-inch sections of eel, cow organs and lips, fish such as shad and mackerel, and beef parts such as suet, tail, bones and ribs.
Since crabs have pinchers, bring a pair of heavy duty gloves on the trip to protect your hands when you handle them. In most areas 5 inches is the minimum size crab you can keep so make sure to bring a measuring stick with you. You don't want to be caught with undersized crabs. Store your freshly caught crabs in a bushel basket in the shade and place a damp cloth over the top. You can also store them on ice, though they won't remain alive for too long. You also will need a dip net no longer than 6 feet. If you use one any longer, it might become cumbersome to maneuver.
Catching the Crab
The oldest method of crabbing is using a hand-held line and dip net. A weight is tied to the end of the line and the bait is attached to the line. As soon as you feel tugging on the line, you slowly pull it up, scooping up the crabs with your net as they reach the surface. This process may take patience. The most common and popular method of catching crabs is with a crab pot. Though they come in several styles, their functions are all the same. You fill the pot with bait, lower it into the water and the crab swim in and become trapped. Though the traps can be pricey, they are the easiest method to catch a quantity of crab with.