Fish Sniffer On Demand Digital Edition Issue 3902 Jan 3-17 - Page 31

Jan 3-17, 2020 SALTWATER SALTWATER VOL.39 • ISS. 2 29 Crabs on the Cheap, Part 2 C rab snares have really caught on as a relatively inexpensive way to nab a crab or two, and rightly so. The traps themselves don’t cost much, the bait is cheap, they can be used in a great variety of places, and they work! Before crab snares caught on with anglers, land bound crabbers basically had one alternation, the crab hoop. There are other crab catching devices such as the star crab traps, pyramid traps, and other some such, but none of them compare to the simplicity and effectiveness of the good old ringed crab hoop trap. The problem with the ring crab trap is that it can only be used from a place of elevation, like a pier. Since netting Dungeness crabs in San Francisco Bay is illegal, the only nearby legal spot to crab is the Pacifica Pier; and that makes for a very popular and crowded place to legally crab. Crab snares, on the other hand, can be cast from any legal spot, which includes many beaches and breakwa- ters. (As a note, there have been, at times, when Dungies have come up into the surf to frolic. There have been times where people walking in the wet sand at low tide have accidentally stepped on crabs that were buried in the sand.) The best rods for casting crab snares are, by necessity, big beefy surf rods; and the best-selling rods locally have been the Daiwa Beefstick surf rod. Other inexpensive surf rods by other companies such as Okuma and the famous Shakespeare Ugly Stik will work as well but the Daiwa is a good combination of “cheap+good.” Most people will opt for using a you are in crab snatching spinning reel for this style heaven. of crabbing and I don’t One of the best things to blame them, but choice come to crab snaring is the of reel can be critical. arrival of the super braid Cheap plastic (“graphite”) lines. It was common to use reels are not going to do nylon monofilament line in the job easily. Sure, you the 25 lb.-30 lb. test sizes but can easily subdue a 30 lb. one had to fight the stretch striper with one, but when in the line more than one you pump and wind as you needed to fight a crab, which usually do with fish, you by Steve is basically dragging a dead are essentially winding in “Hippo”Lau weight across the bottom of slack or semi-slack line. the surf. When you crab, you are Any effort exerted in dragging a crab simply dragging in the crab on a very with the braided line means your crab tight line, and as such, putting a very is coming towards you. Load up your heavy load on the reel. A wiser choice in reels would be one reel with some 50 lb. or 65 lb. test line, tie on a crab snare, and you are that has an aluminum body. Vintage ready to do some crabbing! reels from the 60s and 70s are hard to NEXT TIME: Crab snare designs beat, especially the older Penns. If you and little things that matter. can find (or have!) an old Penn 704, FISH SNIFFER COUNTRY SALTWATER REPORTS: CONTINUED FROM PG 28 BODEGA BAY cont. crab with limits of both on every trip. Saturday’s trip produced 35 limits of commercial-grade Dungeness crab along with quality rockfish while Sunday’s trip was more of the same with a light load of 18 anglers scoring limits of both species. He said, “The conditions were much better as the swell back off, and we have been picking up a few ling cod although we haven’t been targeting the lings. We were tied up to the docks by noon, and people have really been happy getting off the boat just after 12:00 noon since they are able to beat the Sonoma and Marin County traffic. 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