Fiddler/Mangrove Crabs?

My sons and I have been invited to fish with another family up in the Jacksonville "El Cheapo" sheepshead tournament in February 2015. One thing that the host family asked us to be on the look-out for is an outlet or source for fiddler crabs, as during tournament time, most of the retailers in Northeast Florida. When asked how many to bring, he said "the" cooler. When we fish for sheepies here, shrimp is a tried and true, but I was told that fiddlers are the can't miss, so I have to bring them up with me.

Any suggestions as to which store stocks fiddlers in multi-gallon capacity? Better yet, any recommendations on islands or bridges where my boys can catch their own? When we lived in St. Augustine, we found that the mudflats adjacent to the intracostal boat ramps would be loaded with the little guys in the summer, and then that would dry up by fall. Is it the same here?

FYI: I have found when you see that big 6 pounder circling the piling, and ignoring a freelined shrimp, a live nightcrawler worm usually turns her head.


  • fieromanfieroman Posts: 230 Officer
    if the temp stays above 65 at night when we have a good negative low tide you can get thousands off the charlotte harbour buffer preserve beach in nw west cape coral. as for a shop that stocks them capt robs on delprado has them and also anderson's has them too or at least they did last year.
  • Reel MullarkeyReel Mullarkey Posts: 1,869 Captain
    Most of the bait shops in Jax stock up HEAVY for the El Cheapo. I doubt you'll have a problem getting them up there. It can be fun catching fiddlers though. I read about a trap you can build by burying a bucket level with the mud and using 2x4 as rails going into the bucket. Then you just wait for them to come out of their holes and chase them into the bucket. Good luck in the tournament. If it is anything like the last 5 years expect a cold and windy day.
    I might try to make it up there this year, it is a fun tournament.
    Jonathan Mullarkey's
    Professional cleaning and restoration since 1999

  • PhlypperPhlypper Posts: 73 Greenhorn
    Thanks for the replies guys. Maybe we will see you up there Reel. We will be several really loud boat with 3-5 kids making lots of noise! In anticipation of the rocks and pilings, we are already having the kids practice their knots!
  • PigskinCaptPigskinCapt Posts: 253 Officer
    I was just at Anderson's a few days ago. They have the crabs.
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