Stone Crabs....where are you?????

2 pulls since the 15th in a spot that was pretty productive last season, lets say bayside upper keys. Nada, nothing but a puffer fish, micro fish and snails and jellyfish. Last time 2-4 crabs per trap. Bait has held up, using pigs feet in the cup and a can of cat food, if there is a decent amount of foot left, I throw it in the bottom. Traps were unmolested unless someone is reaching in through the neck opening. My line of traps looked spot on from the way I left it. I see some of the other traps from last time there, you learn them as you float thru the minefield. So I'm not the only one there. And the kicker is last season it was just my 4 traps since one was liberated, this year I replaced the one and now my wife has 5... Anybody have any ideas what I'm doing wrong, if I am?

Thanks in advance for suggestions.

Replies

  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,283 Captain
    Maybe you're not holding your tongue right.....I dunno, I'm clueless. All I remember, is that the same has happened to me and then I remembered that I put my traps IN OCTOBER......where I had done well most recently, meaning at the end of the previous season. Perhaps where you have your traps now, will come in and bear crabs, later on in the season.

    I'm actually trying to forget about stone crabs. The amount of meat in the claws and the ease of opening them, has spoiled me for eating blue crabs, which I used to love as a kid. Now I don't have the patience for them. Figure if I stay away from stone crabs, maybe I'll forget and a bucket of blues will be fun again.
    .......Rick
  • sparse greysparse grey Posts: 1,751 Captain
    Having the same thing down here. My pigs feet do not last a week. 79 degrees. Records from last year show similar results. Hoping for an up-swing SOON.

    Rick Enjoy blue claw & have found a way to catch them down here. Wife loves them & has the patience to pick them. If I had an un-limited supply & nothing else, I would probably starve.
    Ron Conner Release the fish, keep the memories. Once a Knight is enough.
  • edczachor36edczachor36 Posts: 219 Officer
    I started thinking about it more. And I actually put the traps down closer to after the holidays. I have been seeing warm water temps, low 80's high 70's. A lot of commercial guys are in deeper water from what I hear, which is probably cooler. And just a few feet deeper than what I am might be making a difference. I think I just need to be patient and stay put. Hitting the oceanside with my flats boat and the wind and seas during fall & winter won't be fun. Last week was really windy bayside, you hook the buoy and wave up and it's time to go around again. Thanks folks.
  • HumpinitHumpinit Posts: 199 Deckhand
    This is my first year doing it and my first pull had small crabs in it. My buddies are doing it and killing it. Thank God they are generous.
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,283 Captain
    With only 5 traps per person now, I'm surprised more people don't bite the bullet and put their traps out in the Gulf in about 18 ft. of water. There's a secondary reef out there and that's where all the commercials start putting their traps in the Fall. Of course, you'd have to be extra diligent in pulling them, as they're more apt to be robbed by said commercials.
    .......Rick
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 10,459 AG
    Permit Rat wrote: »
    With only 5 traps per person now, I'm surprised more people don't bite the bullet and put their traps out in the Gulf in about 18 ft. of water. There's a secondary reef out there and that's where all the commercials start putting their traps in the Fall. Of course, you'd have to be extra diligent in pulling them, as they're more apt to be robbed by said commercials.
    That's funny, I find the rec sector really enjoys pulling my gear if it's in close and shallow.
    Holiday weekends and blue crabbing? Ha, at least 25% of my gear will be robbed by the rec sector.

    Pinfish traps, my neighbor tried a go at the bait business, got all his licenses and gear..
    He couldn't buy traps fast enough to replace the ones stolen by recs, he finally took the buoys off and linked two traps with 20' of sinking rope then grappled them up when he pulled them.
    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.
  • BigguyBigguy Posts: 99 Greenhorn
    when I had traps out of the upper keys, always did better oceanside...
  • CaptJCaptJ Posts: 889 Officer
    We let our traps soak for two weeks in the upper keys and got some in one and none in a few. Enough for dinner. Life is good!
  • fishingbuddiesfishingbuddies Posts: 636 Officer
    Got 16 my first pull and 8 on the second one. I'm down in Big Pine now and set them on the ocean side.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    “When you have to choose between two evils you still choose evil” Jerry Garcia
  • edczachor36edczachor36 Posts: 219 Officer
    I'm hearing some of the same from others, better upper keys on ocean side and lower keys better overall especially if you head up into the gulf. We'll be checking ours again this weekend. I'll let you know.
  • edczachor36edczachor36 Posts: 219 Officer
    Here we go again, 1st trap of the season GONE!. I just don't get it, they don't cost much to buy and anybody with a Florida fishing license can have up to (5). Sooo, what happened?
    1) boat hooked it and cut line-the area is loaded with traps so your not going to fly through there.
    2) commercial boat grabbed it-we really try to watch our spacing and be considerate of others.
    3) someone stole it-hell doesn't even want you.

    Of the traps we have left it was jellyfish, baby stones and blues. One very weird fish, it was too windy and rough to take pics of.

    I'm going to give it one more pull next weekend and then take a break for a few weeks.
  • KlingerKlinger Posts: 1,854 Captain
    Just my .02 If there are a bunch of traps out, it's not uncommon to have a cit-off from a boat. This can be minimized by putting weights on your lines a few feet below the floats so the lines won't be floating on the surface.
    In my many years, I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame,two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.-- John Adams
  • sparse greysparse grey Posts: 1,751 Captain
    I've been doing better last couple of pulls. Sorry you lost one.
    Ron Conner Release the fish, keep the memories. Once a Knight is enough.
  • edczachor36edczachor36 Posts: 219 Officer
    It's a minefield area but everyone seems to have enough room between. I even made sure I was further away from the commercial floats thinking they are harder to turn and are larger. The other rec boats I have seen pulling traps are under 25 ft. If the winds are down over the next week or two I'll climb up on poling platform and take a look. I have never grabbed one, but if a trap line is run over, is it common to just cut the line or do they drag them for awhile?
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 10,459 AG
    Here we go again, 1st trap of the season GONE!. I just don't get it, they don't cost much to buy and anybody with a Florida fishing license can have up to (5). Sooo, what happened?
    1) boat hooked it and cut line-the area is loaded with traps so your not going to fly through there.
    2) commercial boat grabbed it-we really try to watch our spacing and be considerate of others.
    3) someone stole it-hell doesn't even want you.

    Of the traps we have left it was jellyfish, baby stones and blues. One very weird fish, it was too windy and rough to take pics of.

    I'm going to give it one more pull next weekend and then take a break for a few weeks.
    More than likely boat traffic.
    I've got 3000+ of my own traps that I know what they were baited with and what kind of bottom they are on, I don't have time or need to pull your 5 traps..
    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.
  • BPK JerryBPK Jerry Posts: 32 Greenhorn
    You lose one trap, it's a cut off or an accident. You lose five traps simultaneously like I did last year, that's enemy action.
  • edczachor36edczachor36 Posts: 219 Officer
    I really want to think accidental cutoff, but would it be real close or do you think it dragged for a distance, I;'m hoping for a calm day during Christmas where I can get up on poling platform and look for a stray near my spot without a buoy. As far as commercial, I would think in the way, grab it because it somehow wound up in a line of pulling then throw it back. I've never seen commercial pulling and dropping so I was just thinking if it did get pulled, by time it's noticed, maybe it's dropped further than I would think to look. I have no issue with commercial, otherwise I'm not eating stones. And by the way I pulled my traps (9) Saturday and will try again in a month or so. My back isn't doing well and kneeling and pulling hand over hand so the wife can help is rough. Going to go back to fishing for awhile. Looking forward to step son coming for Christmas week as he has the last few years and get out as much as the weather permits.
    Thanks to all for your comments and have a safe holiday season and put some fish or crabs in the box.
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