stone crabs

anyone here ever give trapping for stone crabs a try? thinking of getting traps and giving it a shot but don't know where to place them....bay side? ocean side? grass, sand or near the reefs? depth? theft, poaching a big problem? soaking without buoys to prevent that? any info would be appreciated....

Replies

  • divn4$divn4$ Posts: 1,530 Captain
    Ilive2fish wrote: »
    anyone here ever give trapping for stone crabs a try? thinking of getting traps and giving it a shot but don't know where to place them....bay side? ocean side? grass, sand or near the reefs? depth? theft, poaching a big problem? soaking without buoys to prevent that? any info would be appreciated....

    Ask a commercial guy......
    1376843400_20_1_USD_6.25_default.png


    Go Navy.....
  • sparse greysparse grey Posts: 1,751 Captain
    Where are you?
    Ron Conner Release the fish, keep the memories. Once a Knight is enough.
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,283 Captain
    I would say it is not worth it. My buddy just gave up his traps in the Indian River last year, due to theft, poaching and general lack of production. He had upwards of 20 traps, 5 per each immediate member of his family.

    Back about 35 years ago in the Lower Keys, I too put out 20 traps in the shallow water of the basins in the back country. Theft and poaching were not a problem back then (save the occasional porpoise or octopus) and still, it took several pulls to get enough claws for a meal to feed 4 people. After a few weeks past opening day, it might take 2 pulls to feed just you.

    As far as depth goes, I have seen traps produce, whose very tops were exposed/awash at low tide. Another tip is to be sure you do not align your string with the current. Doing this and you'll only have the 2 traps on the ends of the string fishing. If you lay your string out across the current, each trap will put out its own individual scent trail.

    After the first week or so of the season, in order to produce well in the Keys at least, you're going to need traps with longer lines and move them out to the 18 ft. ledge in the Gulf, where all the big boys go. Then of course you'll be subject to all the theft and poaching that goes on out there. My guess is that after pulling traps from that depth just once, and you'll be back taking your chances in the shallow basins.
    .......Rick
  • piner_wahoopiner_wahoo Posts: 3,663 Captain
    shallow rocky and b ready 2 move traps alot- esp. if u start getting the same crabz twice.
    28' SEA VEE BRAND NEW 200 SUZUKI's- LIVE BAIT OFFSHORE WRECKS DEEP DROP REEFS BACKCOUNTRY
    CUSTOM CHARTERS u pick the boat- Capt.Harlan Trammell
    American Allegiance Charters -LOWER KEYS BACKCOUNTRY FISHING,LOBSTER dives, fish the 33' WORLDCAT w/ AOK+Allegiance!
    your boat or mine, my spots+my gear, your fish.
    305.394.7400
    BIG WAHOO
    checkout our new website- http://www.american-allegiance-charters.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/American-Allegiance-Charters/708182519302079[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Ilive2fishIlive2fish Posts: 274 Deckhand
    I'm in Key Largo.....price range for a "kit" ranges from just over a hundred bucks to 175....just wanted to know if Blackwater or Buttonwood Sounds are productive....don't know if it's allowed in Pennekamp....I know better than to cross into Everglades Nat'l. Park...I'm a weekender so won't be able to get to traps for a week at a time....thanks for the replies.....
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,283 Captain
    Judging by your last post, I would again say don't do it. First, the best way to avoid poachers, is to pull regularly...like every other day. If you can't pull but once a week, the poachers will pick up on that and you'll never get a claw. As to whether or not Blackwater or Buttonwood Sounds have stone crabs or not, just wait a few days....see if there are any traps there. Then again, those areas might be ones that produce for a short time, early in the season and then nothing. In Winter, the water might get too cold for them. So once they are all caught out, they might not replenish until next Spring.

    This is just me...I have been there and done that.....and I would never put traps out again. Especially since I would be limited to only 10 traps and as much as I love stone crab claws, for me it just isn't worth it.
    .......Rick
  • BigguyBigguy Posts: 99 Greenhorn
    ok, I have put traps out many years in the Key Largo area but not in the last couple of years due to business travel. Blackwater and Buttonwood sounds have some crabs BUT there will be a lot of traps in those bays and there is a lot of boat traffic so you have buoys cut-off and lost traps, then you also have poached traps. I have put and lost traps in both of those bays. You get some crabs but will lose most of the traps. I would recommend ocean side, out of basic boat lanes so you must travel some from the cuts, with hard bottom. that will reduce the buoy cutoff and some of the poaching.

    You need to check the traps at least once a week. If you go longer they will run out of food and start eating each other. Use pigs feet, they work really good. If you will not be back in a week, pull the traps. There is nothing more depressing than seeing crab shells in the trap and them all dead. Most I have been able to get is 8 days. I thought it was fun and some years productive and other years not. but it forces you to get out on the boat and do something and for that I think it is way worth it. just my opinion...good luck in your decision.
  • Reef BanditReef Bandit Posts: 1,005 Officer
    I too stopped doing stone crabs in Biscayne Bay due to the poaching problem. We would check ours twice a week and before we even got to our lines we could tell they were hit. I would highly recommend if you are going to do it, use the time release clips that dissolve after a certain amt of time or don't use any buoy at all.

    With all this talk of FWC and NOAA using drones, you would think that they'd catch a poacher...even ONE but I guess they're too worried about casita divers. BTW, I don't think it's any secret that the main poachers are the comml trappers. We could tell by the scrape marks on the buoy lines.

    Good luck
  • hodgie2411hodgie2411 Posts: 244 Deckhand
    My friend puts them out in Marathon every year and he does very well. He has purchased 10 traps and now has eight left after three years. He mostly puts them on the gulf side and gives them at least a couple of weeks to soak. I am sure there are some folks poaching but with the amount of Lobster and stone crab traps in and around Marathon they rarely have many issues.
    I picked up 5 traps last year and brought them back to the Ponce Inlet Daytona area. I did get a few claws last year and I did loose one trap. It was fun and I am already looking for the first pull of the year next week.
  • BspotBspot Posts: 189 Officer
    Here is how we solved the poaching issue/cut off issue; attach zinc tabs to the buoy main line. You can get ones that melt over different periods. Once gone the buoy pops up, we used 7 days, and the floats were always there.
  • Ilive2fishIlive2fish Posts: 274 Deckhand
    thanks for all the replies.....been discussing it with my buddy and seems like we will pass on this for now....we already go fishing and diving as often as we can and with all the issues seems like it may not be worth it....
  • cameron sleepcameron sleep Posts: 521 Officer
    Good choice. I put out traps last year, bay side near Marathon.We moved them several times and it was fun for a while. We found a decent spot and got claws, but between weather issues and other more productive fishing exploits, eventually gave the traps away. A case of pigs feet takes away chum space in the freezer. We put zip ties on the trap so if there had been theft, the tie would be broken, never had a problem. At least we knew it was our poor fishing that caused an empty trap! But they do taste GOOD!
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 10,276 AG
    I too stopped doing stone crabs in Biscayne Bay due to the poaching problem. We would check ours twice a week and before we even got to our lines we could tell they were hit. I would highly recommend if you are going to do it, use the time release clips that dissolve after a certain amt of time or don't use any buoy at all.

    With all this talk of FWC and NOAA using drones, you would think that they'd catch a poacher...even ONE but I guess they're too worried about casita divers. BTW, I don't think it's any secret that the main poachers are the comml trappers. We could tell by the scrape marks on the buoy lines.

    Good luck
    I always found the main poachers to be Mariel boatlift Cubans.

    I wish I'd never brought any here.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • keylargo359keylargo359 Posts: 1,249 Officer
    ANUMBER1 wrote: »
    I always found the main poachers to be Mariel boatlift Cubans.

    I wish I'd never brought any here.

    I see you just set your bait out so I'll Bite

    I use to hunt in central Florida I would set Pig traps and castrate the boars I would bait the traps with Corn but I found that those People from Ozzello Would always beet the pigs to the corn.:banana
    The worst day of fishing is still better than the best day of work:\
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 10,276 AG
    I see you just set your bait out so I'll Bite

    I use to hunt in central Florida I would set Pig traps and castrate the boars I would bait the traps with Corn but I found that those People from Ozzello Would always beet the pigs to the corn.:banana
    I wouldn't allow you in Central Fl.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • keylargo359keylargo359 Posts: 1,249 Officer
    :rotflmao Don't worry I don't like sheep either
    The worst day of fishing is still better than the best day of work:\
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 10,276 AG
    lol
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • Noleman2013Noleman2013 Posts: 1 Greenhorn
    I have put traps in the gulf off of SW Florida for several years with great success. Biggest problems were staying under the limit and the commercial guys stealing my traps at the end of season. Pulled the teams every 2-3 weeks and loaded up. It was great fun and good eating. If you do it, pull your traps a week or two before end of season or the commercial guys will simply load them up with theirs....
  • edczachor36edczachor36 Posts: 219 Officer
    Hey folks, going to put my traps out in a week or two. Usually load a large pigs foot and a can of cat food (not sure where I got that from). How long can you leave them in before checking? A few days, a week or as much as two weeks, we usually check once a week? I had one uh huh disappear last year so we're down to 4. Hoping to find a better spot and eat more than one this year.
  • alacrityalacrity Posts: 2,665 Captain
    Bspot wrote: »
    Here is how we solved the poaching issue/cut off issue; attach zinc tabs to the buoy main line. You can get ones that melt over different periods. Once gone the buoy pops up, we used 7 days, and the floats were always there.

    this is the way to go. buy the release tabs at atlantic and gulf in hialeah.


  • Relentless39Relentless39 Posts: 44 Deckhand
    I don't know how you can say its not worth it. I put out 15-20 every year and I get a ton of claws. I put mine on the bay side so the upper keys. I have had occasional issues over the years with jerks stealing out of my traps( caught the same guy twice). I just told him I was going to follow him home and burn his boat. Never saw him again. Anyway, we usually get 2-4 dozen claws every 7-10 days. Just takes a little work to keep baited. I say put them in and enjoy.
  • jbv1492jbv1492 Posts: 1 Greenhorn
    traps cost $100. per 5, plus cost of concrete . we have 10 traps on gulf side of Key West, use pigs feet as bait. always load up. check the traps twice a week. we use balls and all are in about 5 feet of water. put them in a straight line and take a GPS reading on your first and last trap. makes it easier to find a lost trap if the ball is cut off by a boat.
Sign In or Register to comment.