Fish Sniffer On Demand Digital Edition Issue 3902 Jan 3-17 - Page 31
Jan 3-17, 2020
VOL.39 • ISS. 2
Crabs on the Cheap, Part 2
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
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 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
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
is basically dragging a dead
are essentially winding in
weight across the bottom of
slack or semi-slack line.
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,
CONTINUED FROM PG 28
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. The loads are lighter
over the next few weeks, and there
are only two weeks left of the rockfish
CONTINUED ON PG 30
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