Crabs for bait

Crabs are choice baits for plenty of saltwater species and are often a prime bait for winter redfish.

Enhance the appeal of blue crabs as bait by cutting them to produce scent while still saving enough bait to stay on a hook and attract fish. The following steps will walk you through the process.

Step 1. With a heavy bladed knife and cutting board, place the blade on top of the crab and divide the carapace in half, creating equal portions.

Step 2. Remove the carapace from the half to go on the hook. The bait will keep longer with the carapace on, and is generally easier to remove when cut.

Cut chunks of fresh blue crab will attract redfish of all sizes.

Step 3. Cut the claw off just past the pivot point of the pincer. This exposes additional meat to generate more scent.

Step 4. Insert the hook into the body cavity and exit through the leg joint. Make sure to expose the barb so the bait won’t back off the hook in current.

Smaller baits can be created by cutting the crab chunk in half, effectively quartering the crab. Removing the legs from quartered bait can be done to reduce the size of the bait. A quartered crab with the legs removed makes excellent bait for many types of saltwater fish.

Crabs can be caught in baited crab traps and can also be purchased at a variety of local seafood markets. Fortunately for kayaking anglers, blue crabs can be kept alive for fairly long periods of time if they are kept wet and in a closed container.

This post first appeared on CarolinaSportsman.com.

About Phillip Gentry 403 Articles
Phillip Gentry is a freelance outdoor writer and photographer who says that if it swims, walks, hops, flies or crawls he’s usually not too far behind.

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