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2018 AOTY/DOTY Entry

Topic: Getting Crabs Home?  (Read 690 times)

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mireland62887

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I tried a search but didn't find what I was looking for.

I'm crabbing for the first time next week, but that has spawned a lot of questions. Most importantly, what is the best way to care for crabs after you catch them?? I'm aware that once they die, the clock is ticking quickly.

Home is about two hours from where we are fishing, so I'm thinking I have a couple options:

1. Put in ice chest with a little ice, cover with a wet towel soaked in ocean water for the drive, and cooking immediately when I get home.

2. Cook them immediately after getting on shore, then put in a cooler with lots of ice.

I'd rather cook them at home, but I couldn't find much information on how long the wet towel method will work.

Anyone? Thank you.


Sailfish

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#1 should work fine.
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yakhopper

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I used to travel from HMB all the way to Fresno with them in a wet burlap sack (in ice chest) without issue.
With that said,
I would rather clean and cook (Steam) on beach if I could. Much cleaner tasting, and less work after a long drive.
Good luck
;0)

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Zzz

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I put them in an ice chest with a wet salty towel over them. No ice. And I keep the lid cracked open for air flow.


yakyakyak

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Inside wet burlap bag, with ice still in plastic bag, cooler closed, everybody always made it home  (but I have a less than 2 hour drive).  Once home, I move them into the sink to roam a little, with some running water.  Then, straight to steamer, usually within two hour or less. 

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crazyfisher

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I used to travel from HMB all the way to Fresno with them in a wet burlap sack (in ice chest) without issue.
With that said,
I would rather clean and cook (Steam) on beach if I could. Much cleaner tasting, and less work after a long drive.
Good luck
;0)

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I second this. I put it in the ice chest with some ice and a wet burlap over them. Then once home I break them apart from the shell, clean it up, split it in half then steam it. I found a huge pot to fit 7-8 crab in there. I would rather clean it on the beach but sometime after a long day on the water, you just want to go home. lol

I used to steam the whole crab but that process takes soooooooo long when processing 10 crabs lol



Mojo Jojo

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Let the hate posts begin.... clean them in the surf ALIVE then your good on ice for a day or two. I prefer the taste of them when boiled or steamed AFTER cleaning...... I know what youíll gonna say, but the ďbutter tasteĒ and hereís my logical explanation.... do you eat your elk or deer after cooking it WITH the guts in it? Me neither. If you want to know how to clean alive I can explain in more detail.


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DiveForFun

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I bought a cheap air bubbler that works off of my 12v  cigarette lighter. When I need to travel long sdistances after crabbing or know I canít cook them as soon as I get home for some reason Iíll theow them in a cooler with some sea water and throw the bubbler in there. They are just as lovely as the second I caught them.


Stone85

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I use a buttery powered air bubbler and toss them in a bucket with ocean water
When itís hot out I will toss a ice pack in as well


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I use a buttery powered air bubbler and toss them in a bucket

Need some garlic and some salt and pepper too  :smt001
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Life_is_Yak

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I've been doing a 2 hour drive to HMB.  I freeze plastic orange juice bottles of water and lay them in the bottom of a 48qt cooler.  I just put the crabs in my kayak hull when I'm coming in and then in the cooler for the ride home.  They can be lethargic when I get home because they are cold.  First time I laid them on the floor while I was cooking them but they warm up and start moving pretty good.  Back in the cooler.  Everything has been good, haven't had a crab die.. the closest I had was when I pulled 2 crabs at 10 am and had them in the hull of my boat all day.  They were still moving their eyes and were bubbling 11 hours later when they went in the boiling water.  So I don't stress covering them with anything wet.  I leave my pots in the water till the end of the day though.


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I bought a cheap air bubbler that works off of my 12v  cigarette lighter. When I need to travel long sdistances after crabbing or know I canít cook them as soon as I get home for some reason Iíll theow them in a cooler with some sea water and throw the bubbler in there. They are just as lovely as the second I caught them.

I use a buttery powered air bubbler and toss them in a bucket with ocean water
When itís hot out I will toss a ice pack in as well

+1 Air bubbler in cooler. Be careful because crabs are very lively and feisty even 10 hours later.
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mireland62887

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All great info. Thank you!

Heading out the 28th. I'll post a report with the results.


LoletaEric

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Don't put them in water unless you do have the bubbler - they'll suffocate in short order.

I leave them in a bucket or cooler with lid cracked all night at times - no probs.

Enjoy your crabbing adventure!  :smt001
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Scurvy

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I've been doing a 2 hour drive to HMB.  I freeze plastic orange juice bottles of water and lay them in the bottom of a 48qt cooler.  I just put the crabs in my kayak hull when I'm coming in and then in the cooler for the ride home.  They can be lethargic when I get home because they are cold.  First time I laid them on the floor while I was cooking them but they warm up and start moving pretty good.  Back in the cooler.  Everything has been good, haven't had a crab die.. the closest I had was when I pulled 2 crabs at 10 am and had them in the hull of my boat all day.  They were still moving their eyes and were bubbling 11 hours later when they went in the boiling water.  So I don't stress covering them with anything wet.  I leave my pots in the water till the end of the day though.

YEP!
1). crabs drown in melted ice water so I use big frozen juice jugs instead of traditional ice. These things are awesome & really last without making a mess. (I use for camping too)
Since cold air sinks, put the jugs on top of your catch for max chill effect.
2) Wet burlap bag is what I use on the water. During the outing, I dunk this"goody bag" in the water (works great for fresh fish too) often and the catch does incredibly well.  Wet burlap bag full of catch is crazy heavy. Helps keep the inmates calmer too
3). Costco sells a giant insulated bag (found near the TP/dog food) for $8.00, which is I transport for sometimes more than 2hrs with live crabs at home
4)  Cook at beach sounds good to me if you're organized. I've found that the 2 hr drive home is extra rough when there's gear to be dealt with along with cooking crabs.  For example: Landfall, then fire up kettle for steaming (less water, better taste, faster, healthier), crack a beer, start breaking down gear, throw crabs in, 15 minutes steam time & break down gear....


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