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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of the questions I get asked most often is "How do you use crab for bait?" This is sort of a starter guide for people that have never used crab. I'm not saying that this is the"Best" way or "Only" way, but it is both easy and effective. If anyone else has a different way of doing it please feel free to share. To start out, always buy live crab, never dead or frozen because the meat will not stay in the shell once you cut the crab. They easiest way I've found to keep crab alive it to simply put them in a ice chest on top of ice, never put the ice on top of the crab because this will kill them. When you get ready to use one for bait simply remove the back, legs, and claws and cut the body in half along the seam, but the smaller ones can be used whole. To rig the crab on the hook, insert the hook into one of the leg holes and out the bottom of the shell, hooked in this fashion the bait will not come off easily and it leaves plenty of the hook exposed to ensure a good hook set. Don't forget about the claws, they are excellent bait. To rig a claw simply insert your hook in one side of the elbow joint and out the other, it will not come off and you don't have to fight trying to get the hook through the heavy clay shell. After it's on the hook break the shell up some with a pair of pliers to get the scent out. I hope this will help people just starting out to be more successful at winter time surf fishing.
 

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I did not use the claws last time I fished. I'll have to save it and throw a few lines out with it. Thanks for sharing the tip, very helpful.
 

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Has anyone had luck finding crabs lately? My usual Asian grocery stores in SW Houston have had empty crab bins the last couple of times I've checked and the Surfside bait camps haven't had crabs either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Has anyone had luck finding crabs lately? My usual Asian grocery stores in SW Houston have had empty crab bins the last couple of times I've checked and the Surfside bait camps haven't had crabs either.
Baybrook seafood in Seabrook has tons, I picked up 20lbs today.
 

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Excellent info Mr. Sharkchum. I had not figured out how to effectively use the claws yet. It was bugging me because I knew that somehow, they had to be good bait. Hated wasting them.
 

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One tip I will add that makes either of the above methods a mite easier, in my opinion. By the way, Sharkchum and Oscar are two of the best surf fishermen around, if you hadnt already figured that out from their reports.

Use a pair of garden shears versus a knife. You can hold the crab in your hand and cut the legs, cut the body in half, and words especially well for snipping the tips off the shell in Oscar's whole crab method. You dont need a cutting board or lay it on the sand. Wash it well to keep it from corroding. I also use it for cutting up shad and small mullet or other cut bait.
 

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Bjones - It works on my laptop but not on my phone. I'm really not sure why. Try copying and pasting it.

TT - Is right those shears are great!
 

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Do you pinch on a small weight 2ft above the hook to set it on the bottom, or just let it float?
 
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