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Trotline Crabbing??

NumberOneRicNumberOneRic Charlotte Harbor, Fla.Posts: 1 Greenhorn
1) I see U-tubes of Trotline Crabbing in the Chesapeake Bay. Has anyone tried Trotlining Crabs in the Charlotte Harbor and surrounding areas of Florida?? 

2) How bad has Hurricane Ian hurt crabbing & fishing now and in the future??


  • tankeredtankered Gainesvill, FlPosts: 1,602 Captain
    Since this thread is out there twisting in the wind...

    1. I have never heard of anyone trotlining for crabs anywhere in Florida. Not saying it wouldn't work, but I've only seen it done up north as well. 

    2. Hurricanes are a natural part of our weather cycles. Water might be stirred up and difficult to fish and / or crab for a little bit but it will have little future impact. Stuff gets back to normal faster for nature than it does us. 
  • AlwaysLearningMoreAlwaysLearningMore Junior Member Posts: 221 Deckhand
    I have not seen anyone trotline crabbing in Charlotte Harbor either, but I have seen a few handlining with chicken necks.  After Hurricane Charley in 2004 both crabbing and shrimping got really good in Charlotte Harbor the following winter.
  • bswivbswiv Senior Member Posts: 8,472 Admiral
    To OP........more of an idea as to what you mean when you say "trotlining"......describe it. 

    I may be of help but do want to know what you are really asking.
  • ivnivn gvillePosts: 241 Deckhand
    I think he's referring to the practice of putting a chicken wing or neck every few feet on a rope.  Drop one end in water, stretch rope out to other end, let it soak.  As you go back to drop point for first end, rope comes up with greedy crabs not letting go of chicken, you scoop 'em up in a net.

  • One DropOne Drop Member Ormond BeachPosts: 428 Deckhand
    The only trotlining I've seen around here is a Vietnamese family hanging salt pork on hooks from tree branches and catching all the local freshwater turtles. Not sure if that is legal but they use the retention ponds around plazas as their hunting grounds. I pulled them all the other day to the dismay of the guy that was doing it and claiming he didn't speak English I proceeded to show him pics of sick turtles and the TFVI outbreak and he slipped up and said holy #hit. I told him he's probably going to die if he eats them which was a lie but who knows with that weird turtle disease. In any event I took a look yesterday and all his lines were down in the 3 plazas I saw them at. So maybe he went crab trotlining instead. Hah
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Senior Member Posts: 4,799 Captain
    In the quiet shallows up inside the Everglades...where it's mostly brackish - you can actually pole along and be looking at the nice big blue claw crabs in less than a foot or two of water... The only reason I've never harvested any of them is all the trouble you have to go to picking the meat after boiling... Need lots of crab to make a meal.... but getting a livewell full of them should only take a morning in some places... Every now and then as I'm poling I'll ease my pushpole over near one then watch is scuttle away in the clear but stained waters of the interior... A good number of the crabs I see are in the six to seven inch size range... 

    Many years ago up in North Alabama I knew folks who did well with trotlines for catfish but other than that - never seen one here. 
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • One DropOne Drop Member Ormond BeachPosts: 428 Deckhand
    Bob, I know exactly what you're talking about. When I was guiding down there, I'd keep a chicken leg on a rod for a client so they could harvest a dozen or so throughout the day. Big boys and girls all over those shallow mud flats. I used to to tell the wife that a dozen crabs would save the day if we had a bad day fishing but since The Glade's are a special place I never had a bad day fishing, slow days yes but never a bad day out in the Backcountry. Plus stopping at the chickees for lunch and catching tarpon on a crab while eating some sandwiches was always a bonus. Hell once, we caught an upper slot snook on a crab knuckle while sight fishing reds. Goliaths as well eat them like candy. I moved to NE Florida, missing flamingo. 😞😞😞 I gotta make a road trip soon. 
  • bswivbswiv Senior Member Posts: 8,472 Admiral
    ivn said:
    I think he's referring to the practice of putting a chicken wing or neck every few feet on a rope.  Drop one end in water, stretch rope out to other end, let it soak.  As you go back to drop point for first end, rope comes up with greedy crabs not letting go of chicken, you scoop 'em up in a net.

    I was hoping that he'd describe what he is thinking and what he is calling a trotline.

    But he seems to have disappeared..?
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Senior Member Real close to the Fakahachee StrandPosts: 11,593 AG
    There's a guy on TicTock named Matt the Crabber... Commerical guy.
    Thats the way he works it. Several real long Trotlines and a roller just in front of the center console.
    Just eases along and scoops them as the dropper lines come up.
    Most of the time he's got his boy up front netting
    Bushels full daily.
    Killin and Grillin :grin
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