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Blue Crab

by: April Acres

Blue Crab picture

Not to be confused with blue land crabs, the commonly known Blue crab is aquatic and lives in both fresh and salt water. They are more often sought as a table food themselves rather than as fish bait, but Blue crabs are a preferred bait for large gamefish. Big redfish seem to prefer blue crab over other baits. Blue crabs are also a great bait for tarpon and and sheephead.

Blue crabs are easily harvested with a dip net or cast net from shallow water. In deep water they can be lured closer with chicken or fish meat tied to a string. The crabs can be boiled fresh for food, but it is best to pop the top shell of and wash out the guts first. You can experience the many ways a blue crab can be cooked and eaten at the Blue Crab Festival in Palatka, FL that happens every memorial day weekend.

If you want to use them as bait, you can hook them through the edge of their shell on the side where it comes to a point. This allows the crab to move sideways in the water as they do naturally. Big crabs should be broken in half. It is common to free-line live crabs in the current for tarpon fishing. It is more common to use a sinker and leader rig for targeting redfish and sharks.

Blue Crab photo

 

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