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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We went crabbing at Tillamook bay and were not having much luck. After tending the pots for about 4 hours we only had 4 crabs in the boat and were about to call it a day. If you have crabbed out at tillamook bay before you probably have noticed the diver anchored out there. We we decided to ask exactly what he was going for. Turns out he dives for clams and asked how our luck was going for the crabs. Told him "not so good" He asked what we were using for bait and we had chicken. His replay was "Of my 30 years of diving in the bay, I have yet to see a chicken down there." He gave us a bunch of Cockles and told us to crack the shells and put them in our bait box and we would have crabs coming out our ears. Turns out he was right. one hour later the 4 of us had our limits. I have never gone back to a different bait.

Just a note: you must stay away from divers a mininum of 100ft. It wasn't until he told us to come over the we crossed that boundry.

SteelieSlammer
 

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Have never used them for bait. IMHO the best bait hand's down is SHAD. Easy to get,they put up a better fight than cockles when you get them for bait. Thanks for the idea though, if I ever come across them I'll have to give them a shot.
GBS
 

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gbs... :laugh:
Cockles are a whole lot of work to get. Shad are lot's more fun. My wife and I have a deal, I pull the pots and she baits 'em... but she refuses to use mink any more, they smell way too bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The daves dive shop down at the marina at garibali will sell frozen cockles at a $1.00 a pound. I usually use about 1 lb per bait box. That usually fills them up. They are not always open but if they are give it a shot and compair to other baits. I have used shad and salmon carcases before and the cockles still out perform.
 

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Didn't know about cockles as bait but I'll try it when we return in October. We used tuna carcases and heads for the first time two weeks ago and did great.

We've used chicken and tuna when we're in a bind for bait with only mediocre results.

Thanks for the tip.
 

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Tuna! AKA Papermaker
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Many years ago, my uncle was a commercial crabber in Netarts. On really low tides we would go up the bay and literally fill the boat with cockles. He and the other two commercials had floating live boxes where they kept the clams and also live crab until they sold them.
Back in those days, there were numerous shacks along the road that sold crabs for either 3 or 4 for a dollar.
I remember when we would deliever live crabs to the crab "shacks", my uncle being paid 50 cents a DOZEN!
Getting back to the point. We would smack the cockles on the side of the boat to crack them and put them in those bait cylinders. :smile:
 

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I agree about shad. But some places have seals, and seals love to rob pots containing fish. That's when chicken comes in handy, crabs don't seem to know the difference.

Kevin
 

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I've never had problems with the seals while using Shad. The past two times out, they were there but didn't bother my rings\traps at all. Also, if using salmon, I will mix chix\Turkey, liver with it.
 
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