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Old 11-03-2009, 08:46 PM   #1
chocolatelab
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Default crab transport

i was told you dont want to cook dead crab. so how do you transport your crab from the ocean home ive heard of wet newspapers to just a 1/4 inch of water in the cooler but im sure someones got some better ideas out there?

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Old 11-03-2009, 08:50 PM   #2
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Default Re: crab transport

Keep the arerator on the live well on and they will be fine, ready to fight almost 5 hours later.
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:01 PM   #3
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Default Re: crab transport

Weve kept them in livewells and in a cooler with ice, both work fine
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:03 PM   #4
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Default Re: crab transport

I always (Usually cuz tired) cook mine the next day they're in a cooler in ice water all night and never had a problem and sometimes they still move a tiny bit.
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:09 PM   #5
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Default Re: crab transport

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Originally Posted by chocolatelab View Post
i was told you dont want to cook dead crab. so how do you transport your crab from the ocean home ive heard of wet newspapers to just a 1/4 inch of water in the cooler but im sure someones got some better ideas out there?
How far do you have to travel? It takes me like three minutes to get from ocean to home. Or two hours sometimes.
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:19 PM   #6
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Default Re: crab transport

Transporting crab in water without an aereator will kill them quickly. I don't think a bunch of ice benefits anything, we aren't crabbing in the Bering Sea, drastic temp changes generally aren't beneficial to live fish/shellfish. You don't want them getting warm, either.

If you clean them first, I'd put them on ice. Otherwise, cool and dry-ish does the trick.
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:45 PM   #7
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Default Re: crab transport

Vu taught me to flip them on their head laying them on ice. He says they have made it through a 5 hr trip and still lively when picked up.
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:47 PM   #8
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Default Re: crab transport

I had 1/2 a cooler full of crab back in September that spent the night submerged in saltwater and ice. In the morning they were all totally dead. I've also heard "you don't want to cook dead crab". I did some research and found that if you caught them and they've only been dead a few hours, and they are chilled, there is no problem. The saying comes into play when you don't know how long the crab has been dead or how it was taken care of. We cooked all of them up and they were great. I'd still like to cook them alive so now we make sure they are not submerged in water, kept cool, and have fresh air (prop the cooler open), and they can live for a couple days.
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Old 11-03-2009, 10:15 PM   #9
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Default Re: crab transport

We keep our crab in sea water until we head home,then I drain the water out of the tank or cooler and bring them home. Never have had any deadloss doing this only fisty mad crabs bent on trying to pinch off my fingers while trying to get them to take a nice warm bath!
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Old 11-03-2009, 10:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: crab transport

If it's an hour or three drive, out of water on ice has always worked for me.
It seems to keep-um alive, but a little lethargic until cleaning and hot bath time.
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Old 11-03-2009, 10:39 PM   #11
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Default Re: crab transport

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Originally Posted by justfish View Post
If it's an hour or three drive, out of water on ice has always worked for me.
It seems to keep-um alive, but a little lethargic until cleaning and hot bath time.
This works for me too.
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Old 11-03-2009, 11:02 PM   #12
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Default Re: crab transport

I routinely put them in a cooler, no water, iced down, fish or whatever, drive to Salem, and they are still in a very lively state. Clean and cook. When the pot is hot in Newport, I like to clean them and have them cooked there.
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Old 11-04-2009, 09:09 AM   #13
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Default Re: crab transport

Ice, not water. You can use water if it's oxyginated, but if not, they will drown.
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Old 11-04-2009, 09:17 AM   #14
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Default Re: crab transport

I keep them in my fish box with water from the river. I purchased a small battery operated airator like the kind you use for a fish tank ($10) and they keep good for a good 5 hours
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Old 11-04-2009, 10:17 AM   #15
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Default Re: crab transport

I live in vancouver so when we take the boat out to tilly and come back with crab i generally just clean them at the dock (making sure I am on land before I take their top off of course). Then u dont have to worry about not being able to cook them for a while as long as they are on ice. To me they taste a lil better when cooked alive but then u arent taking a chance of getting sick or anything.
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Old 11-04-2009, 10:21 AM   #16
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Default Re: crab transport

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Originally Posted by B33R View Post
Vu taught me to flip them on their head laying them on ice. He says they have made it through a 5 hr trip and still lively when picked up.

my understanding they can live 24hrs on ice that way. I always boil mine on the beach
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Old 11-04-2009, 10:38 AM   #17
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Default Re: crab transport

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Originally Posted by arkansasbasser View Post
This works for me too.
We use ice for up to 6 hours, works great they just get a little slow
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Old 11-04-2009, 11:17 AM   #18
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Default Re: crab transport

Do not keep them in water, it will kill them. I place them in the bottom of my cooler, then I cover them with a wet berlap bag. They will stay alive for days this way.

The old man at the cleaning station told us to do it this way. That is how they ship live crab.
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Old 11-04-2009, 01:00 PM   #19
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Default Re: crab transport

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Originally Posted by Hooked up View Post
Do not keep them in water, it will kill them.

Yea, that.

I pack them in ice in the cooler but then leave the plug out so no water accumulates as the ice melts.
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Old 11-06-2009, 08:57 AM   #20
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Default Re: crab transport

I transported a few in water while crabbing in S OR over the summer and they were dead about 6 hours after leaving the crabbing site. Then, at Charleston a few months ago we were with friends and a guy at the RV park at the harbor was cleaning his crab BEFORE he cooked them. He had met a guy there that did this all the time and said it was much easier to clean them before being cooked than after. He also said cooking dead crab was only relavent if they had not been cleaned before. I have always heard you cannot cook a dead crab but I would like to know scientifically why this is so and if in fact you can cook crab that have been cleaned while alive and then cook them a few hours later? Anybody know the "FACTS".
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Old 11-06-2009, 11:12 AM   #21
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Default Re: crab transport

Ice, no water and you will be fine.
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Old 11-06-2009, 01:31 PM   #22
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Default Re: crab transport

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Originally Posted by chocolatelab View Post
i was told you dont want to cook dead crab. so how do you transport your crab from the ocean home ive heard of wet newspapers to just a 1/4 inch of water in the cooler but im sure someones got some better ideas out there?
A good friend of mine is in the Crab business and if he is not transporting in an airated tote with salt water he does what you wrote here. Small amount of water, wet newspaper and if it's warm out he will throw in enough ice to keep it cool.
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Old 11-06-2009, 02:06 PM   #23
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Default Re: crab transport

Fishbuck, your friend was correct, yes you can cook a crab that was alive then killed while cleaning. The crab processing plants do that (called sectioning) for all crab that will be frozen, held in freezers and picked out at a later time. Saves them a lot of freezer space! Otherwise they whole cook for the supermarkets.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishbuck View Post
I transported a few in water while crabbing in S OR over the summer and they were dead about 6 hours after leaving the crabbing site. Then, at Charleston a few months ago we were with friends and a guy at the RV park at the harbor was cleaning his crab BEFORE he cooked them. He had met a guy there that did this all the time and said it was much easier to clean them before being cooked than after. He also said cooking dead crab was only relavent if they had not been cleaned before. I have always heard you cannot cook a dead crab but I would like to know scientifically why this is so and if in fact you can cook crab that have been cleaned while alive and then cook them a few hours later? Anybody know the "FACTS".
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Old 11-06-2009, 02:14 PM   #24
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Default Re: crab transport

If you can clean the crabs without losing a finger, that is the way to go. Once you remove the bottom flap, shell and gills and the yucky stuff, hose them out and put them on ice. If is a cooler, be sure the drain plug is out. You don't want to have them sitting is water, even cold seawater. I have done this many times and the crab will last with no signs of degradation for 12 hours or more. When I transport in a cooler, I lift one edge to inusre the water drains out on the way home. Also, I find the crab has better flavor after cooking them without the shells on.
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Old 11-07-2009, 05:18 AM   #25
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Default Re: crab transport

Last summer my buddy and I got our limits as well as some bottom fish so we covered everything with ice for the trip home. While he unloaded the boat I dealt with the crab. Being tired from the long day we decided to clean the crab before cooking so as to only need to cook one pot full. The crab were slow but alive and when halved seemed to be jellied inside, from the cold, which made it super easy to clean them. One shake and a quick strip of the gills and they were clean. He couldn't believe I was done in 15minutes but that is how it went. Ice'm and dice'm!
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Old 11-07-2009, 07:46 AM   #26
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Default Re: crab transport

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bofus View Post
Fishbuck, your friend was correct, yes you can cook a crab that was alive then killed while cleaning. The crab processing plants do that (called sectioning) for all crab that will be frozen, held in freezers and picked out at a later time. Saves them a lot of freezer space! Otherwise they whole cook for the supermarkets.
Bofus: Sectioning was exactly what they were doing. He had a device that was sort of a sharpened angle iron on edge and would split the crab from the bottom by holding on to it with a hand on each side holding the legs and then just smacked it right in the middle. The crab split with half the body and half the legs on each "section" and it was real easy and quick. Seemed to me it was a lot easier cleaning with this method than after cooking. The guy also said the crab tasted better. I'm going to try it next time.
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Old 11-07-2009, 08:11 AM   #27
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Default Re: crab transport

I've taken the crab to the cleaning station and backed them and cleaned them before they were cooked and put them on ice and cooked at home. You don't get the crab butter, but they are still good!
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Old 11-07-2009, 08:14 AM   #28
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Default Re: crab transport

I transport crab and it doesn't matter if it takes two hours or two days to get home. Below is a post from awhile back.

Rich

Quote:
Originally Posted by SummitOne
SC - How long will the crab stay friskyt for? I live in central Oregon and have often thought about trying the setup you described to make the four hour journey. In the past we always just cook them on the coast and pack them in ice.

While on the water, we simply put them in ice as many have described above.

Paul


SummitOne,

I have two aerators that I bought from Cabelas. One is 12 volt that I use to keep the crab alive when I travel from Orcas Island back to Longview. When I get home I plug the 110 volt one in. I keep crab alive for a week and they are as frisky as when I caught them. Use a big cooler (150 qt.) so they are not too cramped. Check the water temperature once in awhile and add a little ice if necessary. If the water feels too warm, I like to throw in a plastic milk jug that was filled with water and then frozen.

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Old 11-07-2009, 08:35 AM   #29
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Default Re: crab transport

The way my dad explained it some 35 years ago, when in water, the crab breath all the oxygen and drown. If you have an aerator your OK. When thrown in a five gallon buck or cooler, they can last 24 hours if not submerged in stagnant water or get too hot. As a kid, I remember putting them in a bucket and keeping them beside the camper till the next day when we cooked them. Of course this was typical Fall Oregon coast weather. Rainy,nasty,windy and cold. Best weather for crabbing! Others may not agree, this is just what my pa taught me years ago and I have found to work for me.
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Old 11-07-2009, 08:51 AM   #30
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Default Re: crab transport

We have been crabbing down at Hammond this fall and have been bringing them back home in the fish box or cooler. I have and have not added ice. I have not noticed that it makes a difference. They have been alive and well before taking the hot water plunge sometimes 6 hours after being taken out of the traps. The ice seems to slow them down a little which insures that the two little boys playing with them do not lose a finger! I always cook them whole and alive.

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