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Fla Crabbing

FLORIDA STONE & BLUE CRAB

Please track and remove your crab traps. When setting traps attach enough line to the trap so that the buoy can float to the top of the water. During high tide moon events, traps can become dislodged and travel down the river. This becomes a problem to boaters who strike the traps with their props and lower engines. Run away traps can become expensive, make sure your information on your buoy is legible at all times.

 

Florida Stone Crab

  • Saltwater Fish Measurement Stone CrabSeason October 15th – May 15th, bait ahead no harvesting
  • Saltwater license required
  • Claw size regulation is 2 and 3/4 inches
  • Limit is 1 gallon claws per person, 2 gallons per boat
  • No harvesting claw from egg bearing females
  • You can take both claws if legal size but …
  • 53% chance of survival with no claws, 73% if has one
  • Can’t take by hook or spear, trap only
  • Crab is compromised eating, eating helps grow claws back
  • You can bait traps 10 days before start of season
  • Place in 8 to 10 foot of moving water, shell & rocky bottom
  • Soak traps 3-4 days
  • Good bait chicken necks, grouper heads, pig feet
  • Stone crab can grow back a claw in 1 year based on diet
  • Stone crab take 3 years to grow a claw back to legal size
  • Stone crab can live as long as 9 years
  • Washable car mats on your deck is good place to place trap on once pulled
  • Crabs move at night, cold fronts are great for stirring water and stirring up the crab movement
  • Dwell in hard surface areas, stones and rocks
  • For best crab taste, DO NOT ice down, keep in bucket of water/livewell
  • If claw floats to top of water, its a molting claw and may not contain as much meat-still yummy
  • Regenerated claws have bumps inside the claw shell to note this fact
  • By time a female has legal claws, she has spawned x3 times, good for fishery

Trap Regulations

  1. Full Pot5 trap maximum per boat, set traps 75 feet apart in zig zag pattern on ledge
  2. Letter “R” readable on marking buoy at least 2 inches high
  3. No buoy necessary if deployed from dock
  4. Buoy must have your name & address
  5. Traps must be pulled manually and not by machine assistance
  6. Traps are to be pulled during daylight hours
  7. Traps are NOT allowed to be set in navigation channels
  8. Can be constructed of wood, wire or plastic
  9. Dimensions 24h x 24w x 24d = 8 cubic feet
  10. Trap mesh 1.5″ min, throat/entrance on vertical side
  11. Best bait is fish heads, will last 5-7 days to attract crabs
  12. Double the depth = how much line to attach to trap and buoy
  13. Crabs not released need to be kept shaded and damp until released
  14. Trap specifications may be found in Rule 68B-13.008, Florida Administrative Code.
  15. Weighting bottom of trap keeps traps upright

For important links from full regulation description, overview and stone crab educational stonebinformation or how to assemble your stone crab trap, click links below.

  1. For 2012 DETAILED Crab Trap regulations laws (click here)
  2. Overview of habitats, diet & everything you want to know about stoner
  3. Video How To Put Together Stone Crab Trap
  4. Best place to buy concrete floor for your stone crap trap
  5. How to safely snap the claw of a stone crab video
  6. How to cook and crack stone claws

How To Cook Stone Crab

  • stonesBoil water, put in crab claws, boil will disappear, wait for it to return
  • Set timer 6 minutes once the second boil starts
  • Ready to eat right from the hot water
  • For cold claws, ice them down for 45 minutes.

 

 

 

FLORIDA BLUE CRAB

blue-crabIt is lawful to possess a female crab that has no egg sack. But it is recommended ALL females be released regardless to ensure the health of the fishery.

Do not hang lines over bridges to interfere with boat navigation. You do not want to prop foul boats passing underneath the bridges. Don’t be surprised if they cut your lines if you do not move them as they pass under a bridge.

  • Season closed Sept 20-Oct 4th (every other year), to remove abandoned traps in water
  • Requires saltwater license
  • 5 traps maximum
  • If traps are not removed during closure they are assumed to be “ghost” traps
  • Limits = 10 gallons per person
  • No minimum or maximum sizes, nothing to measure
  • NO possession of egg bearing females
  • Bottom-dwelling habitats such as mud flats, oyster bars, channel edges, and tidal marshes
  • Reach full maturity 12-18 months
  • Rarely live more than 3 years
  • Males can grow as big as 9 inches
  • Best bait is oily fish (bluefish, ladyfish)
  • Can trap by dip, landing or drop net, hook & trot line
  • Fold up trap = 1 cubic foot

 

Trap Regulations completedpot

  1. Letter “R” readable on marking buoy at least 2 inches high
  2. No buoy necessary if deployed from dock
  3. Buoy must have your name & address
  4. Traps must be pulled manually and not by machine assistance
  5. Traps are to be pulled during daylight hours
  6. Traps are NOT allowed to be set in navigation channels
  7. Can be constructed of wood, wire or plastic
  8. Dimensions 24h x 24w x 24d = 8 cubic feet
  9. Best bait is fish heads, will last 5-7 days to attract crabs
  10. Double the depth = how much line to attach to trap and buoy
  11. Crabs not released need to be kept shaded and damp until released
  12. Trap specifications may be found in Rule 68B-45, Florida Administrative Code.
  13. Weighting bottom of trap keeps traps upright

 

Important Blue Crab Links

 

Identifying Blue Crab Genders

abdomen_jimmy2 abdomen_sook2

A juvenile female will have a smaller triangular flap. We try to release all the females whether they have an egg sack or not. This keeps our fishery healthy.

 

painted_fingernails2 male_blueclaws

The female have a red tip on their claws and the male have blue tips. Females molt 21-22 times per life before becoming sexually active.

 

 

sponge_crab

This is a female with an egg bearing sack. When you trap a crab that have a sack, release this crab back into the waters. An old sack sponge will appear dark brown. We still release all females back to the wild even tho the  law allows you to keep non egg bearing females.

Females can lay up tp 9,000,000 eggs a year.

 

 
 

FACEBOOK SHRIMPING/SCALLOPING INTEL

Scalloping reports on Facebook at the “Florida Shrimping Academy – Tips & Tricks™”. CLICK HERE. This is the largest group for shrimping, scalloping, lobstering and gator hunting.
 

WEBSITE VISITOR’S – OLD INTEL GIVES LOCATIONS