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2014 AOTY/DOTY Entry

Topic: General Crabbing Tips  (Read 23229 times)

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hiltxan

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Hey all, I'm planning on going crabbing for the first time off a kayak and was wondering if there were any pointers. The area will be in Albion, near the RV campground by the river. I'm mainly going for dungeness crabs.

I had some questions after reading some articles and messages on the forums.

1. I'm going to use crab pots because the crab nets seem too flimsy for the ocean. Will the crab pots themselves be heavy enough or will I need to add weight to keep them down?
2. What is the best type of bait? Chicken? or fish bait like squid, anchovies etc.
3. How far out from the shore do you usually drop the pots? I think the last time I went there were people who dropped them off about half a mile from the shore. Also, is there a certain depth / structure to look for?
4. Anybody have any experience crabbing near Albion before?

Thanks in advanced for your help!


ocean_314

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With pots hang your bait from the top so that its as close to the bottom as possible, another words usea big fish carcess. Throw those plastic bait holders away.
Dugies are al the way up the river in albion from where you launch to a mile out.
Crab in 15 to 20 feet of water with nets and pull them up every 5 minutes or so as the crabs come into the bait and take a piece and then leave. dugies are highly agressive and will fight with the other crabs driving them off the baits so the crabs take a chunk and run.
Try something different, dive for them and pick them up with your hands..its a blast!


Sledge

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Dugies are all the way up the river in albion from where you launch to a mile out.
Crab in 15 to 20 feet of water

Damn, only if I would of known...was there 2 weeks ago and saw all the pots.....damn...thx for the tip... :smt003
"Get Some" !!!


redwoodfox

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i take bags of squid, sardines or fish scraps and mash them up  into goo then i freeze them in small blocks, stuff a few in your bait keeper and they slowly melt giving off a nice scent trail, not to mention if its legal season for fishing from a boat in your area its not a bad idea to drop a line while you soak your pots. that chum down there will attract more than just crabs. And i prefer to use crab rings u can stack more on your boat,just remember with a crab ring to alwayas use a bait keeper or they will just dine an dash. and never be tempted to keep any undersized crab,even if there only a little under dfg is very unforgiving.


Monterey10

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Craig


ChuckE

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Winner - 2013 Doran Beach Crabfest
2nd Place tie - 2012 Alameda Rockwall Halibut Derby
Winner (Biggest Rock Crab) - 2010 Half Moon Bay Crabfest
Winner - 2009 Alameda Rockwall Halibut Derby
Winner - 2009 Paradise Halibut Hunt
Winner - 2007 NCKA Angler of the Year
Winner "Grand Slam" - 2007 Bendo @ Mendo III
2nd Place - 2007 Monterey Bay Kayak Fishing Derby
Winner - 2004 Santa Cruz Kayak Fishing Derby


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Here's an old article from our site...

http://www.norcalkayakanglers.com/index.php?page=18

Best Article ever! When is the crab season on San Mateo Coast I know its somewhere in November, also how many crab you can keep? Thanks
Live today for tomorrow's sake.
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.


Sledge

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Here's an old article from our site...

http://www.norcalkayakanglers.com/index.php?page=18

Best Article ever! When is the crab season on San Mateo Coast I know its somewhere in November, also how many crab you can keep? Thanks


Nov 6th up here Darius...man we got hit albion jan...were u there when that guy was talking bout how in jan...a fresh group comes up the river...I think u were...and that was a great read ChuckE... also Richs thread was awesome...thx...guys...I'm so ready for some dungies...even some rocks... :smt003
"Get Some" !!!


hiltxan

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Ha, it's been awhile since my last crabbing expedition off of Albion with a kayak. I ended up with 1 keeper dungie for two traps during my two days there in June. (pretty pathetic) Most of the time when I pulled it up it was seaweed and molted crab shells along with tiny rock crabs. It probably wasn't the best time to crab, since it was the end of the season anyways and the swells were high - my pots moved a lot even with weights.

Now, with crabbing season just opening up, I've decided to try again. This time, it'll be around the Bay Area. I have all the equipment already from last time, just need some pointers on where to go. It seems like Linda Mar and HMB are the best bets from reading old posts, but then again, I see a lot of rants about people stealing pots in HMB. Is this still going on or is it a thing of the past?

Also, I was wondering if there are other places, especially near the south in Santa Cruz. I did a search, but not many reports came up from the Santa Cruz area. Is this place in general just not as productive as the northern areas?

I'm planning on going out Thanksgiving break and getting limits. Hope the swells are friendly and that the crabs are there.


selway

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Ive been out crabing in Santa Cruz and havent seen a legal Dungie.  many very small ones and legal but small rock crabs all over the reefs like new brighton beach.  I hear Waddel is good and north........I crab in HMB but get tired of bumping into other peoples trap floats.  Lindamar in Pacifica is killer it is just hard to get out sometimes.


Freddie

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For whatever reason... I'll drive the extra little ways to HMB for crab. Eventhough, that place gets hammered pretty good the quality of crab seems to be way better. 40 to 50 feet of water is all you need. Check your traps and bomb the area that produces. You'll have to move around to find the crab. But when you do... it's on. The crabs at LM were good but not as clean and not as thick as the HMB crabs. My .02 when you head out. As far as crabbing south of LM... I've tried it once... ONCE!!! I'll never do that crap again.

Freddie


hiltxan

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Alright, it seems like I'll be heading out this Wednesday from 12-4 pm. Forecast is:

WED
NW WINDS 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT.
W SWELL 6 TO 8 FT.

so I'm guessing it will be doable. I got my traps setup and using squid, dropping them in about 40 feet of water. I'll probably leave them for a couple hours. I just threw a 5 lb. brick in there for weight, so will this be enough? Also, I'm afraid of people stealing the traps; are there still thieves out there?

Thanks


hiltxan

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Since I can't post on the reports yet...I guess I would just give a quick recap of today.

I left the harbor at 1 pm, pedaled for about 30 minutes to right outside the buoy to drop the first pot, about 35-40 feet deep. Then I went out probably another half mile and dropped the second trap around the same depth. For the next hour and a half, I just wandered around the bay and harbor, looking at different boats and things around HMB. For bait, I just loaded a trap full of frozen squid.

Picked up the first pot after a 1:30 soak and had one, pretty large rock crab. Didn't look that promising. Got to the second trap and lifted it to see 2 large red crabs, 1 large (7.5"+) and 1 medium (6") dungeness. Kept all of them and it made a nice dinner.

Only complaint was that it was a far way from the kayak launch and that maybe next time, I would just stay out there and fish. Anyways, I thought it was a successful trip and will probably be back for more, depending on the weather. Maybe I'll try Linda Mar next time.


superd270

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Hiltxan,

Thanks for the updated report.
I'll be hitting HMB tomorrow for my first crab fishing. If it's too rough outside, I'll just fish inside the breakwaters by the NW side and find some sandy areas to crab fish.
Hopefully, I can post a same report if not better.

40 to 50 feet of water is all you need. Check your traps and bomb the area that produces. You'll have to move around to find the crab. But when you do... it's on.
Freddie

If nothing else, I could just do a search mission to find out productive areas as pointed out by Freddie.

Danny
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Winds from the south, hook in
    the mouth.
Wind from the east, bite the least.
Wind from the north, further off.
Wind from the west, bite the
    best.


jaybee

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I noticed there's been talk about going crabbing, so that must mean crabbing season is just around the corner. I've been crabbing many times at HMB on the jetties but never in a kayak. After reading the great article written by ChuckE about kayak crabbing 101 I'm very interested in giving it a try. So my question is...the article was written in 07, are you guys still using the same crab traps that are posted in the pics??? I have a t13...what kind of crab traps work best and what do you guys perfer???

Any bit of info on crabbing from a kayak would be helpful!!!

Thanks!