To me – catching pacific crabs is like catching fish – “it’s a zen state of mind”. To catch a crab, you must; “be the crab”, “think and act like the crab”; and “look at the world through a crabs eyes”. You are; under water, cold, hungry, no home, in the dark, your whole life is about finding food and making more little crabs.
For survival, most wildlife (including crabs) survive by taking the “path of least resistance” to conserve energy, the more energy they expel the more food they need, the more food they need the less chance they have of survival if food becomes scarce.
It is said that 90% of fish are caught be 10% of the fisherman, I think this true with crabbing. It’s not just about the type of trap or bait you use, but where and when you put your traps down and pull them up.
With that load of trap said … 🙂
Our favorite trap for the Mac is the Felxfold, we have square collapsible Danielson traps for day fishing from our flat bottom boat in local water.
We have used almost all the types of traps except the plastic pyramid. (but s/v Mover loves it). Here are some tips for which ever you chose:
– use weights in whatever trap you use (the current can easily take the trap it away, and with most traps the weight of the trap can sink the float)
– if using the square metal trap, spend a few extra bucks and get the door weights. (keeps doors closed, the current surge can open doors and leak crabs)
– always use sinking line. (floating line can get run over but boats and you lose everything, also sinking lead line coils very easy for pulling and storage)
* If you are just starting out, get the $25 Danielson and have fun. We’ve had many great crab feasts by using this type of trap.
Round verses Square:
I have heard the info that Gemini’s spoke of, but am skeptical. Round traps are easier for the crab to walk around to find a door, and they are always the same distance from the bait bag, while walking around a square trap takes the crab further from the bait on the corners, and the crab may just keep on walking at the corner.
I agree to a certain amount with this hypothesis, however crabs find food mostly by smell. So it depends more on the direction the current is moving the bait scent than it does on the proximity to the physical bait bag in the trap. Once the crab gets further away from the bait scent, the crab will turn and find the scent again and return to the trap and try again.
I think that our delicious local crabs (Dungeness and Red Rock) are like squirrels, they are not “monkey smart” … but when it comes to executing tasks for finding food – they are brilliant! No one in this Victoria “crab party” video seems to mind the square trap – 🙂 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBYyklFhq08
Also consider that:
– all square traps have four doors, most round traps usually only have either two or three (rectangle traps only two) does this more door fact compensate?
– the local Pacific commercial fishers for Dungeness mostly use round traps at depth, the Aleutian commercial fishers for King and Opilio use square traps (safer on deck?).
Most popular local traps:
– Best trap for a Mac.
– Folds up very small into a nice case and can be kept below with no smell if rinsed well after use. We also put our into a plastic zip lock bag as well.
– light weight, easy to use
– never rusts
– most expensive @ $150
Round Stainless steel:
– great sold trap and lasts forever
– never rusts
– pricy @ $120
– rigid does not fold so hard to store on a Mac
Round mesh spring-up:
– good compromise if you like round trap
– about $60
– folds so can be stored on deck or in tender.
– mesh so little rust
Danielson collapsible square metal
– cheap $20-$23
– folds flat so can be stored below on in the tender
– will rust over a few years use
Pacific Traps 24" Deluxe Folding Crab Trap
– stows below deck or in tends in bag about 4’ by 8” diameter
– never rusts
– great fun on the dock or at anchor
– can not just leave it must haul up evry few minutes
– cost $15
Pacific Traps Casting Crab Trap with 100ft Rope
“Sail Safe, and Leave Only Wake”