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Old 10-16-2012, 05:53 PM   #1
AnotherBlindSquirrel
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Default Crabbing how do you set up your boat?

Hello all,
I am taking the kids crabbing this weekend and would like some pictures or suggestions on how you like to sort the crab once aboard?

I do not want to dump crab/pots on the floor as bait gets spill which equals clean up etc and then chasing down the crab.

Has anyone made a sorting table? or bought something that works good.

I have an inboard/outboard with a dog house I can set traps on it but then the kids have to reach in to get the crab. Looking for something better. Also where do you keep the crab measuring gauge? I do not want to put a hook in the boat where a kid or me could get cut but it would be nice to have a place that is handy and it is kept ready for use.

Thanks
ABS

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Old 10-16-2012, 06:07 PM   #2
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Default Re: Crabbing how do you set up your boat?

I have a bucket or a cooler and I just pull the one's out of the pot that make it or might make it then I hang the pot over the side and shake out all the small ones back into the water. Once I place the pot back in I go back and measure the ones I set aside throwing the small ones back
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:08 PM   #3
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Default Re: Crabbing how do you set up your boat?

I dump my traps into a large plastic tub with a few inches of water in it. The water cushions the crabs' landing and the container somewhat controls how much saltwater gets inside the boat, and corrals the crabs to boot.

Keepers go into a cooler with sea water in it. The tub and the undersized get dumped over the side. I bought the tub from my local WalMart for about 3 bucks.

I keep crab measures all over the boat. I definitely need more than one. In recent trips I have had two blow out of the boat while running, one got snatched by a crab just as I pitched it back into the bay, and on another occasion when sorting crab I tossed the caliper into the bay and retained the undersized crab I had just measured. (No, no, your OTHER left you idiot!)

Incidentally, I know that if I keep my crabs in water in a cooler they will asphyxiate and my family and I will die of dead crab toxin poisoning. I read it here all the time. For the last 50 years, though, my experience has been that they will live just fine for a trip from Tillamook or Newport back to Salem. We had a die-off one time, on a 90+ degree day, when we topped the crabs with two bags of ice. Ate 'em anyway, still here.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:10 PM   #4
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Default Re: Crabbing how do you set up your boat?

Taking all the fun out of it.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:14 PM   #5
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Default

Saw a guy use a small plastic wading pool once.

One thought- if it is just you and young kids, anchor up an throw pots off the boat. I have done that with my kids before they were old enough to run the deck by themselves.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:21 PM   #6
M 10/24
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Default Re: Crabbing how do you set up your boat?

Here is the set up we use, table saves the back


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Old 10-16-2012, 07:51 PM   #7
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Default Re: Crabbing how do you set up your boat?

What a great question.

I use Danielsons and smalls drop out the bottom of the trap and end up scooting all over the floor. Those get picked up and tossed. Then I pop the side door open and fish out the possibles that get measured and put into the fish box or go over the side. The rest get dumped out before the trap goes back in.

Round traps where the top opens is handled differently. Again, the smalls fall out and get tossed, but you can then just reach in and pick out the possibles.

Nothing set up like a table, just put them on the floor or on top of another if I'm picking them up for a move.
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:10 PM   #8
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Default Re: Crabbing how do you set up your boat?

We just dump 'em right in the boat (bait is contained in the cage, unless it's been several pulls and needs the occasional re-baiting); that way we can get the trap back in the water ASAP to minimize the 'out'/down time and sort/toss on our way to the next trap/pull (also helps to disperse the crabs that get tossed en route so they aren't all tossed directly back right on top of where we drop the trap, so as not to keep hauling up all the same crabs over and over).

On my brother's boat, I do the pulling out of the bow while he drives; the windshield console neatly segregates the dumping/sorting zone from the rest of the boat. I'll pass back the obvious keepers or close ones so he can measure while I continue to toss the rest as we motor over to the next pull. When we're in the canoe, they all just get dumped in the bottom; it's a small enough area without any complex nooks/equipment so reaching/sorting them isn't too complicated. The gauges are just looped to a thwart, gear bucket, or cooler on a short-ish cord so they stay within reach and don't fly away or get lost.
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:20 PM   #9
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Default Re: Crabbing how do you set up your boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by M 10/24 View Post
Here is the set up we use, table saves the back



WE built a tray JUST like that for our duck / bay boat. It REALLY helps keep the boat clean and the small crabs from hiding under the seat and floorboards. I built it from a tray that had been designed to sit on the dog house. If you can, do the sorting in a tray or tub and the boat stays a LOT cleaner.

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Old 10-16-2012, 10:21 PM   #10
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Default Re: Crabbing how do you set up your boat?

I pull traps from the transom area and set my trap on the gunnel. I use Dannielson traps and "deligate" one side door (marked with a red yarn) for opening/closing/removing keepers/near-looking keepers/rebaiting. All other sides are crimped tighter so the trap doesn't come accidently disconnected. The "red" door is crimped to open fairly easily as it will be accessed frequently. As I remove the "potentials", I measure them and throw them in a cooler (no water) . I have 3-4 of the measuring guages laying accessable but I attach a red/white clip on cork on a cord attached to each guage in case one goes overboard; it will stay afloat. Since I am loading/unloading from one side of the trap, easily visualized by the red yarn marking, I can just dump the undersized/females out directly into the water. Since I don't usually bring the trap into the boat, I get very few runaways nor "gunk" in the bottom of my boat. I can remove any moss on the ropes/cages while pulling the rope in or when the trap is setting on the gunnel. I will wet a burlap sack and lay it over the gunnel to set the trap on so it will not scratch my metal gunnel and when through crabbing, rewet the burlap sack and cover up the crab. Add ice on top of the crabs if they are in for a long transport or on a hot day. Sorry for the length but hopefully you pick something up that is useful to you.
P.S. Get gloves for the kids; it's part of the ambiance of crabbing for kids!
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:41 PM   #11
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Smile Re: Crabbing how do you set up your boat?

Step one- get the old guys out back pulling pots. Make sure the line/pots never touches the outside of the boat. That stainless apron aint for looks. If they fail to comply, punish appropriately. Walking the plank seems to work. Allowing crab on top of the slip ring or pot to escape is NOT acceptable. Lay the law down.



Step two- sort the crab and re-bait.



The rear fish boxes are great for sorting "for sure" keepers, and "maybe" keepers. Deckhands should know the difference. If not, it's a long swim back to the beach.

When all is said and done, you should have limits of tasty dungeneez onboard.


Last edited by Seon; 10-17-2012 at 03:09 AM. Reason: Edited wording
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:13 AM   #12
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Default Re: Crabbing how do you set up your boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Coot View Post
I dump my traps into a large plastic tub with a few inches of water in it. The water cushions the crabs' landing and the container somewhat controls how much saltwater gets inside the boat, and corrals the crabs to boot.

Keepers go into a cooler with sea water in it. The tub and the undersized get dumped over the side. I bought the tub from my local WalMart for about 3 bucks.

I keep crab measures all over the boat. I definitely need more than one. In recent trips I have had two blow out of the boat while running, one got snatched by a crab just as I pitched it back into the bay, and on another occasion when sorting crab I tossed the caliper into the bay and retained the undersized crab I had just measured. (No, no, your OTHER left you idiot!)

Incidentally, I know that if I keep my crabs in water in a cooler they will asphyxiate and my family and I will die of dead crab toxin poisoning. I read it here all the time. For the last 50 years, though, my experience has been that they will live just fine for a trip from Tillamook or Newport back to Salem. We had a die-off one time, on a 90+ degree day, when we topped the crabs with two bags of ice. Ate 'em anyway, still here.
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:15 AM   #13
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Default Re: Crabbing how do you set up your boat?

I lost a couple of measuring gauges before I started attaching 3 oz bobbers a12" of braided line to them. Now if they go overboard I can fish them out.
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:24 AM   #14
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Default Re: Crabbing how do you set up your boat?

we pull, dump & sort all on the bow. Keeps the line farthest away from the prop & keeps the crabs from scurrying all over the boat.
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:58 AM   #15
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Default Re: Crabbing how do you set up your boat?

Large laundry tub.....that is all.

Learned this first time out with my (then) 8 year old daughter after she was snatched just inches away from jumping off the transom because the crabs were "chasing" her.
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:22 AM   #16
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Default Re: Crabbing how do you set up your boat?

I built a table to rest the pots on while sorting the crab but found it just a easy or earier to drop the pot in my splash well while pulling keepers out. Undersized fall out into splash well. Saves the mess in the boat

If you have kids on board - go buy a couple of Danielsons crab tongs (keeps the small fingers attached to the kid). My kids have a hoot picking up the undersized with the tongs and getting them back in the water while I take care of the keepers.
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:56 AM   #17
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Default Re: Crabbing how do you set up your boat?

Put an old blanket or large towel on the floor. It will soak up most of the salt water/mess.
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Old 10-17-2012, 12:40 PM   #18
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Default Re: Crabbing how do you set up your boat?

You already have the perfect crab sorting table with your motor dog house. We cut a piece of heavy duty fabric reinforced belting to fit the top of ours. That way there is no damage from the pots.

All you have to do is open up the pot and start measuring. We put the keeper size crabs in the cooler that sits on the swim platform. The undersize ones are tossed back into the water.





The next picture shows the pots stacked on the dog house ready for transport.






This is a side view showing the crab pot arm that we use for hoisting the pots up off the bottom. Pots are loaded and we are ready to head to the coast to harvest the crusty crustaceans.


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Old 10-17-2012, 12:43 PM   #19
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Default Re: Crabbing how do you set up your boat?

MattPark,

I like that stainless steel skirt. Do you have a picture of it from the outside of the boat? Who fabbed that up for you?

Looks nice.
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Old 10-17-2012, 01:26 PM   #20
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Default Re: Crabbing how do you set up your boat?

We pull the pots with a davit. Rubber bath mat on the gunnel to set the trap on if we need to remove any seaweed. Swivel the pot/davit to dog house. Dog house has a heavy rubber mat to set the trap on. One door marked with colored string to open. Open the door, everything into a plastic tub. Rebait and over the side with the trap. While traveling to the next pot, the crew sorts, sizes, etc and keeps a count. All keepers to a cooler.
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Old 10-17-2012, 04:00 PM   #21
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Default Re: Crabbing how do you set up your boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hookachinook View Post
I pull traps from the transom area and set my trap on the gunnel. I use Dannielson traps and "deligate" one side door (marked with a red yarn) for opening/closing/removing keepers/near-looking keepers/rebaiting. All other sides are crimped tighter so the trap doesn't come accidently disconnected. The "red" door is crimped to open fairly easily as it will be accessed frequently.
Very good idea! Thank you
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Old 10-17-2012, 05:02 PM   #22
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Default Re: Crabbing how do you set up your boat?

I use a large mortar tub from Home Depot. These are made from polypropylene and tough as nails, could be a small tender in a pinch. The boat gets a rubber floor mat the type you see on floors like in the NAPA parts store tossed over the rail down to water line. The mat is 48" x 60", its long enough that it hangs inside the boat and is pinched to the inside rod rack tray with only two harbor freight plastic spring clamps. This provides plenty of side protection from kids dragging in pots and keeps the pots from hanging up as they come over the rail. The bigger grandkids use the Ace line hauler and then onto the rail, clip the nylon tie on the pot and dump the crab into the mortar pan. Watching 3-4 kids sorting crab is one thing I will always get a laugh out of. But for few more bucks than some kiddie pool a mortar tub will last a lifetime. When not being used for crab sorting the tub serves as my drain plug drip catcher in the shop.
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Old 10-18-2012, 11:45 AM   #23
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Default Re: Crabbing how do you set up your boat?

Some great ideas thank you for sharing!

I am going to rig up the boat this weekend and i'll take some pic's of what i did.

full pots
ABS
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Old 10-19-2012, 09:37 AM   #24
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Default Re: Crabbing how do you set up your boat?

if you let the kids pull the traps ,place a piece carpet over the sides of boat and dont have to worry about scrating the boat, thill have a good time at least for the first pulls!!!
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Old 10-20-2012, 08:32 AM   #25
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Default Re: Crabbing how do you set up your boat?

Learned that one the hard way Now I have some gel coat repairs to make in the spring.

Happy Happy Joy Joy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyDog View Post
if you let the kids pull the traps ,place a piece carpet over the sides of boat and dont have to worry about scrating the boat, thill have a good time at least for the first pulls!!!
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:58 PM   #26
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Default Re: Crabbing how do you set up your boat?

Thank you again for all that replied.

Soulakala great idea!!! We use the concrete tube and it worked great!! Less mess in the boat and easier to sort crab.

hope that others found some good ideas too.

tight lines and full pots,
ABS
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:09 PM   #27
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Default Re: Crabbing how do you set up your boat?

I went to Walmart and bought a battery operated aquarium aerator. I purchased 2 long bubble sticks and a long hose. I plug up my fish box and fill it up with water. I place the aerator in my bow anchor box and run the hose to the fish box. This keeps the crab very active. Remember to super glue the hoses as the crab like to try to pull them off
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