Home West Central General Fishing & The Outdoors

Pass Crab Question - Transporting

Will pass crabs live if not totally submerged in water?

I typically transport blue crabs by having an inch of water in the bottom of a bucket/tub with a wet towel over top of them. I am wondering if the same can be done for pass crabs..

Thanks

Replies

  • CaptainBlyCaptainBly Posts: 2,250 Captain
    I would say yes....I TRIED to bring some home from Boca a few weeks ago. I was going to put them in a cooler with saltwater and add some ice to cool it down a bit to put them in a bit of a slower state. I had done similar to what you are talking with a wet towel and some ice for blue crabs many years ago....

    I put too much ice in the cooler of water and we thought it was TOO cold so we left my live well full and through some ice in there and trailered the hour and a half home.

    As I was about half way I noticed water coming out of the boat and realized the post in my livewell probably popped out, which it does when we hit big waves occasionally. So I figured we would lose them all.

    Got the boat in the water and filled the well back up and shockingly the vast majority of them lived with NO water for over an hour.

    So I think you can get away with your plan. I had heard the ice thing from somewhere years ago so you might try and throw some ice or freeze a bottle of water and put it in the water to keep it cooler for them.

    Good luck. I am going to do the same thing when I head to Boca Grande this weekend. Getting crabs (and hopefully a ****) tonight.
    In Loving Memory of James Zielske, January 19, 1957-July 5, 2013
  • stpetebaitmanstpetebaitman St. PetePosts: 925 Officer
    Thank you! That is good information. I am hopeful now. Blue crabs are easy but those pass crabs are not near a hardy.
  • PilchardPilchard Posts: 1,373 Officer
    Are you trailering your boat? How far?

    Fill up your livewell half way and use a fish tank bubbler. $15 at Walmart. Use an adaptor and plug it into your 12v.

    Short of a 12 hour trip, you'll be fine.

    The temperature thing is nothing to be concerned with. The water will not be significantly warmer than the water they are living in daily.
  • stpetebaitmanstpetebaitman St. PetePosts: 925 Officer
    Update: had about 15 pass crabs and 6 blue crabs with a tiny bit of water in a cooler with a wet shirt over top of them with the intent of keeping them alive from my lunch break until I got off work (a technique that has proven effective many times prior with blue crabs). Half the pass crabs died and all of the blue crabs lived. The good news is that we have gone 13 for 26 so far this week just fishing after work and trying to dodge the storms.
  • FusionZ06FusionZ06 Posts: 1,001 Officer
    We keep them in the well in a Lindy Original Bait Tamer (https://www.amazon.com/Lindy-Bait-Original-Tamer/dp/B00274LK9M) until transport and then use the Tetra Whisper 100 pump (https://www.amazon.com/Whisper-Pump-100-Gallon-Aquariums-Tetra/dp/B00W1QI0N0/ref=sr_1_10?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1469103694&sr=1-10&keywords=tetra+whisper+pump) in the bucket in the truck while the crabs are in the Bait Tamer. If we have a lot of crabs, like we did coming back from BGP, we use several Bait Tamers and multiple buckets. Probably put no more than 50-75 crabs per buckets / Bait Tamer. When they come home they go into a 90 gallon aquarium. The big brown / red leg pass crabs fair much better than the purple leg. Expect some losses anyways at least 25% of your pass crabs are going to die. The blues are just much more hardy.
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 14,269 AG
    I have given up trying to transport/keep pass crabs. You can do it, but you need more water and good circulation. Still, you'll lose a lot more. They simply aren't as hearty.
  • permit_mepermit_me Posts: 1,055 Officer
    Tarponator wrote: »
    I have given up trying to transport/keep pass crabs. You can do it, but you need more water and good circulation. Still, you'll lose a lot more. They simply aren't as hearty.

    Correct. the 25 percent loss is about right. and,
    . you need to swap out water every 6-8 hrs with the pass crabs ( i keep a 5 gal bucket full for swapping). blue crabs once a day to once every three days (must be clean water and clean crabs).
    Another tip, keep crabs in a cooler rather than bucket and keep cooler and extra water indoors w/ A/C.
    Work might not appreciate it, but the cooler water helps alot, IMO.
    I currently have about a dozen blue and and 4 or 5 pass crabs that have been in the same water for 2 days. They were fed tripletail ribs 2 nights ago and now awaiting their fate. the aquarium aerator is good to use, you can even T it off to separate your blues from pass crabs. Always change water after feeding.

    geeze, you catch as many fish in a week as I do all season, with about 13 outtings, up to 15 fish. we wont discuss the mishaps and lost fish this year...
    good luck
  • CaptainBlyCaptainBly Posts: 2,250 Captain
    Threw 6 pass crabs in a 5 gallon bucket and they made it fine to boca grande. Was fishing for permit but I think Mr. tarpon took a couple. Whatever it was, I couldn't even slow it down. I thumbed the spool and literally was burning my hand. Had the wife on the boat so couldn't chase it down. Can only guess it was a **** that grabbed it and never looked back. Couldn't do much on 20 lb test. But it was fun....
    In Loving Memory of James Zielske, January 19, 1957-July 5, 2013
  • TooLooseTooLoose Posts: 55 Greenhorn
    I tried to keep about 50 pass crabs alive overnight in a 75 qt Yeti.

    I put a few bags of ice down, soaked a few towels in saltwater, and put the towels on top of the ice. The crabs were laid on the towels. I checked on them 4 hours later and all were dead. Has anyone had success this way? I have also had them die in a bait pen stored overnight. Have yet to be able to keep them living outside the livewell.
  • CaptainBlyCaptainBly Posts: 2,250 Captain
    I have kept them alive for weeks in a bait pen but need to feed them...
    In Loving Memory of James Zielske, January 19, 1957-July 5, 2013
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 14,269 AG
    I've kept them alive for weeks in a baitpen too. Feed them every day a few mullet or whitbait.

    I've also heard, but not confirmed personally, that pass crabs can't survive out of water like blue crabs can.
  • Al_hmsAl_hms Posts: 200 Officer
    Pilchard wrote: »
    Are you trailering your boat? How far?


    The temperature thing is nothing to be concerned with. The water will not be significantly warmer than the water they are living in daily.
    This is a physics thing. Warmer water can hold less dissolved oxygen, so by cooling the water you both lower metabolic rates and increase dissolved oxygen in the water. This makes survival more likely. The warmer temp won't kill them if it is in their range of tolerance but reducing metabolism and increasing available oxygen will make survival more likely.
  • PilchardPilchard Posts: 1,373 Officer
    Al_hms wrote: »
    This is a physics thing. Warmer water can hold less dissolved oxygen, so by cooling the water you both lower metabolic rates and increase dissolved oxygen in the water. This makes survival more likely. The warmer temp won't kill them if it is in their range of tolerance but reducing metabolism and increasing available oxygen will make survival more likely.

    That's what the bubbler is for.
Sign In or Register to comment.