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Attended a seminar on crabbing at BWY Rendezvous last weekend. Anacortes West Marine manager catches hundreds of crab every year. Recommended the cheap $25 collapsible square trap. Use for a couple yeas then toss. Easy to store. He claimed biggest problem is was electrolysis from different metals in the trap that repels the crabs. Cheap ones have vinyl cover and only one kind of metal. Adding a couple lead down rigger balls to weight the trap doesn’t seem to affect electrolysis and definitely worth doing to prevent trap drifting away. He also suggested some lead to weight the doors to help keep the crabs from escaping.
Suggested using clams for bait. Mussels don’t seem to work as well.
Another cool trick was to leave a legal male in the trap and he will keep all the small males and star fish out. Females tend to stay away so all you get is a bunch of big males. He claims it works great.