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OBX for newcomers


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Blue Crabs. Are the basic crab found and usually the target for most crabbers

The basic way most people use is a chicken neck on a string and a dip net. You need to be on a dock or structure to do this. There are some community docks under the bridge to Manteo that you can do this if you don't have a home on the water front on the sound side. You can also use a number of different types of traps you can buy at most tackle shops and variety stores . The all sell chicken necks too. But my first choice on crab bait is a fish head or left over parts . This seems more logical to me as the crab are use to eating fish and not chicken. although they are scavengers and will eat any thing that is dead floating in the water..

This method requires constant attention . Its a good way to keep the kids busy when you want to relax and just take in the sun on you deck.

I have seen people with a chicken neck on a string walking along on the sound side with a net in hand, but the crabs are skittish and will run from you so I dont recommend this way. However its not to say this doesn't work.

As I said before using a crab pot is the easiest method. Having a boat to set them will help too you can get out into deeper waters and bigger crabs too. But as I said there are laws as to how many pots you can use before you need a license.. But all in all this method works well all you need to do is check your pot once a day. It does all the work for you.

License: None required for the following method of crabbing
Season: Year-round
Quantity: 50 Blue Crabs per person, per day (100 per vessel)
Size: Must be at least 5" wide ( measure across the shell, point to opposite point)
No female crabs with eggs present may be kept (eggs will look like sponge on bottom of shell)

Recreational Coastal Waters Guide for Sports Fishermen

I have see people crab in many ways on the Outer Banks. I am convinced the best way to get a crab meal for you family is to buy them, however it not imposable to catch some to add to the pot.

Here is tip from Steve who posted in my guest book. It sound like a great idea.

If you are going to handline and dip net for crabs, put the bait in a small mesh plastic bag (like from onions or oranges at the grocery store) -- when the crabs go for the bait in the mesh, the rough part of their claws and legs get caught for a few seconds so they can't let go as quickly -- gives you that extra few seconds to net them. I've done it since I was a kid and I can net twice as many as with it. Bait also doesn't get pulled off as quickly

Thanks Steve



How To Cook them

Grab a big pot and fill it about 1/2 to 3/4 full of water. Bring to a full boil. Season the water as desired. Crab Boil season works well or try Old Bay seasoning. While the water boils, place the crabs into the pot.. Allow to boil until the crabs turn red. That's it. Don't overcook!
Be very careful handling the crab. A long pair of pliers or barbecue or salad tongs work best. Spines on the sides of the shell are pin sharp. They can be very painful.

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