Crabbing spots in Tampa / St. Pete

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  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 10,281 AG
    edited May 18 #32
    ANUMBER1 said:
    I do not agree that blue crabs in TB are in trouble.  And if anything has had an effect on them in TB and CH it's the tarpon crab market -- for all practical purposes it's an unregulated market and they are taking juveniles who haven't had a chance to reproduce.

    By my count (which is to say watching them float by us while tarpon fishing under the bridges) there are more in OTB than there has been in a decade.  It's always been a cyclical thing in my eyes.

    I'll ask around a few folks who fish them commercially here in TB and let you know what they say.
    Current rec limit is two 5 gallon buckets with no min size.
    Two 5 gallon buckets full of tarpon crabs is around 700 crabs, there is a huge backdoor (illegal) market for those small crabs and none of those sales produce trip tickets or are counted in the overall harvest #'s.
    FWRI needs that data for good stock assessments

    New proposals are a 5" min size for rec harvesters with 2 dozen undersize for bait (5 or 6 dozen for guides) unless one has a receipt from a licensed retailer.
    A no cost rec blue crab endorsement is on the table too.

    As far a reproducing we still harvest mature females (sooks) here, no guarantee that they have ever spawned at the time of harvest, also all the softshell (female) crabs on the market have never spawned.
    The guys I know who catch and sell tarpon crabs aren't the type that report their catch.  It's a problem.

    I didn't know about the lack of breeding on the more mature crabs -- thanks for that info.

    Art, Do you fish for blue crabs?  Where?  What's your take on the health of the blue crab fishery?

  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 8,671 Admiral
    ANUMBER1 said:
    I do not agree that blue crabs in TB are in trouble.  And if anything has had an effect on them in TB and CH it's the tarpon crab market -- for all practical purposes it's an unregulated market and they are taking juveniles who haven't had a chance to reproduce.

    By my count (which is to say watching them float by us while tarpon fishing under the bridges) there are more in OTB than there has been in a decade.  It's always been a cyclical thing in my eyes.

    I'll ask around a few folks who fish them commercially here in TB and let you know what they say.
    Current rec limit is two 5 gallon buckets with no min size.
    Two 5 gallon buckets full of tarpon crabs is around 700 crabs, there is a huge backdoor (illegal) market for those small crabs and none of those sales produce trip tickets or are counted in the overall harvest #'s.
    FWRI needs that data for good stock assessments

    New proposals are a 5" min size for rec harvesters with 2 dozen undersize for bait (5 or 6 dozen for guides) unless one has a receipt from a licensed retailer.
    A no cost rec blue crab endorsement is on the table too.

    As far a reproducing we still harvest mature females (sooks) here, no guarantee that they have ever spawned at the time of harvest, also all the softshell (female) crabs on the market have never spawned.
    The guys I know who catch and sell tarpon crabs aren't the type that report their catch.  It's a problem.

    I didn't know about the lack of breeding on the more mature crabs -- thanks for that info.

    Art, Do you fish for blue crabs?  Where?  What's your take on the health of the blue crab fishery?

    ANUMBER1 said:
    I do not agree that blue crabs in TB are in trouble.  And if anything has had an effect on them in TB and CH it's the tarpon crab market -- for all practical purposes it's an unregulated market and they are taking juveniles who haven't had a chance to reproduce.

    By my count (which is to say watching them float by us while tarpon fishing under the bridges) there are more in OTB than there has been in a decade.  It's always been a cyclical thing in my eyes.

    I'll ask around a few folks who fish them commercially here in TB and let you know what they say.
    Current rec limit is two 5 gallon buckets with no min size.
    Two 5 gallon buckets full of tarpon crabs is around 700 crabs, there is a huge backdoor (illegal) market for those small crabs and none of those sales produce trip tickets or are counted in the overall harvest #'s.
    FWRI needs that data for good stock assessments

    New proposals are a 5" min size for rec harvesters with 2 dozen undersize for bait (5 or 6 dozen for guides) unless one has a receipt from a licensed retailer.
    A no cost rec blue crab endorsement is on the table too.

    As far a reproducing we still harvest mature females (sooks) here, no guarantee that they have ever spawned at the time of harvest, also all the softshell (female) crabs on the market have never spawned.
    The guys I know who catch and sell tarpon crabs aren't the type that report their catch.  It's a problem.

    I didn't know about the lack of breeding on the more mature crabs -- thanks for that info.

    Art, Do you fish for blue crabs?  Where?  What's your take on the health of the blue crab fishery?

    I both hard crab and peeler crab may thru september.
    I sometimes do a little sook crabbing in the winter months if stone crabs sales are slow.
    I crab out of Crystal River and it's slow right now like every May, June , and July, as we move into a summer time pattern with more rain crabbing will pick up, usually around August (when sales bottom out).

    I,ve been crabbing for 30 years, there is good and bad years but it's difficult to base on just harvest #'s, 2010 was a prime example, we had good numbers of crabs all summer but our sales dropped to nothing after the spill.
    CPUE (catch per unit of effort) gives better data.

    I do belive higher salinity levels will negatively affect the inshore crab populations.
    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.
  • Slo Poke1Slo Poke1 Posts: 315 Deckhand
    ANUMBER1 said:
    actually for hard crab it's 600 inshore and 400 offshore.
    Peeler traps I'm allowed 400.

    And I know where you are going with this so before you put you foot in your mouth you really should educate yourself.
    1400 lbs a day and you say the rec guy is the the problem with 10 gallons per day.   Except the rec is not taking every day but commercial guys are. 

    I knew a couple of commercial fishermen and their attitude was to catch all you can while it lasts. 
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