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Old 09-16-2011, 06:40 PM   #1
pharmseller
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Default How long do crab survive in a holding pot?

I've seen folks put their live crab in a bucket with a lid on it and then hang it off the dock until they want to cook it. Some guys have a crab pot with no door, just the top that opens, for the same purpose.
How long can crab stay alive and tasty (not start to absorb their own flesh for food) under these circumstances?

P

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Old 09-17-2011, 06:34 AM   #2
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Default Re: How long do crab survive in a holding pot?

Was just told if you do BE sure to put some food or they will eat each other.
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Old 09-17-2011, 07:19 AM   #3
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Default Re: How long do crab survive in a holding pot?

I have held them for a week.Make sure they are not too crowded though.
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Old 09-17-2011, 08:12 AM   #4
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Default Re: How long do crab survive in a holding pot?

We commonly get bar bound along the Coast in wintertime. Pots that soak for 2-3 weeks or longer still have live crab if not sanded down. In bays during rainy weather, your crab should be in deep water near the bottom as fresh water/low salinity flows near the surace. We have held crab on our boat for 3+ weeks with minimal dead loss (usually a cracked back) and the only crab eaten are those with softer shells.

We never feed our crab in the holding tanks as old bait could sour the water. I have found lost pots over a year old with crab still in them before we started using bio-strings on our gear that rot and make escape holes.

Warm temps, low salinity or poor water circulation is what to watch for.
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:12 PM   #5
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Default Re: How long do crab survive in a holding pot?

My understanding is they are able to filter feed and fulfill their food requirements.
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Old 09-18-2011, 04:44 AM   #6
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Default Re: How long do crab survive in a holding pot?

I have left crab soaking for as much as a month with no problem, except one time when we packed them in. On that occasion, 2 or 3 had broken shells and were dead. I have a fairly large bucket that can hold about 20 crabs, but now never put more than a legal limit in it.
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Old 09-18-2011, 10:38 AM   #7
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Default Re: How long do crab survive in a holding pot?

I did a little bit of King Crabbing up north and I was told that occasionally they would snag a pot lost from the previous year and it would have a bunch of crab in it. They said the crabs filtered food from the water. Who knows?

(We did catch a couple of seals in really deep water...so weird stuff does happen).
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Old 09-18-2011, 11:12 AM   #8
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Default Re: How long do crab survive in a holding pot?

On one of the early episodes of Deadliest Catch. They explained that lost pots continue to catch crab because dead crab get eaten by live crab. It is a never ending loop. That is why it is important to retrieve lost pots. They never stop killing crab if crab are constantly in the area.
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Old 09-18-2011, 12:10 PM   #9
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Default Re: How long do crab survive in a holding pot?

When I commercial crabbed, back in the 70s. We caught several year old pots that had lost bouys and the rope got tangled with our gear. they were packed with good mossy backs, but just how long were they there???

A few years ago we had a bunch of crab motels hanging off the dock. We took the 55 gallon plastic drums and drilled 3in holes all over them with the hole saw. Cut in a door and tied a bridal. We kept the soft August crabs in them and had some measure of success in keeping them till they were hard. If we just held them they would eat each other, and slowly harden, but if we fed them they did better.
The trouble with feeding them is to get the bones out, any sour stuff made the crabs slimy and less desirable.

we have tried to keep them in pots and on the bottom, but same results.

Since you can only put 2 limits in any live box, it has prevented us from building the real big live tank. Always saw a good use for the old OreAqua ponds when they were there, load them up and have fresh crab all year.

Last edited by wak'm&stak'm; 09-18-2011 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 09-18-2011, 12:27 PM   #10
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Default Re: How long do crab survive in a holding pot?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pharmseller View Post
How long can crab stay alive and tasty (not start to absorb their own flesh for food) under these circumstances?
Our son in law had a 50 gal fish tank they no longer used sitting in his garage. So I got it from him and made a live tank for crab in our garage. I used a Rule 500 gph bilge pump connected to some pvc pipe with foam as a filter. I then added an aquarium air pump rated for up to 60 gals. When we have more crab than we can/want to eat at one sitting we now throw them in the tank. I don't know how long they will live because we have never been able to resist them for more than 3 days

I am thinking of putting rubber bands on their claws like lobster because inevitably we find claws in the bottom of the tank. Not only is it a waste but I don't know if that would contribute to making the others sick...
I got the idea from a guy on the internet (of course) who says he has kept then in there for as long as two weeks by changing the water every few days.
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Old 09-18-2011, 12:52 PM   #11
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Walknob- how much salt do you put in the water?

Any chance you have a picture? Sounds pretty slick.
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Old 09-18-2011, 01:31 PM   #12
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Default Re: How long do crab survive in a holding pot?

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Pew View Post
Walknob- how much salt do you put in the water?

Any chance you have a picture? Sounds pretty slick.
Here is a link to guy on YouTube where I saw the filter (he has a number of videos about crabbing and live bait boxes etc)

I had a video that I posted on my Facebook but can't find it now. I'll get another pic even if there are no crab in it at the moment.

As for salt its actually quite a lot though I don't think it has to be very exact. I was using 1 cup per gallon. Then I got a salinity meter and found even that was not as salty as the ocean water. We almost lost our first batch. That is when I realized the typical aquarium filter/aerator was not enough for a bunch of crab. They suck up a lot more oxygen than your usual tank of fish.
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Old 09-18-2011, 02:09 PM   #13
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Default Re: How long do crab survive in a holding pot?

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Pew View Post
Walknob- how much salt do you put in the water?

Any chance you have a picture? Sounds pretty slick.
Here is a link to facebook.. not sure how it works within a post here.

https://www.facebook.com/video/video...=3138445179178

That was before I made the heavy duty filter and aerator.

Here is my rendition of the filter.
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