How to Bait a Crab Pot

by Colby Stream
Crab pots are square and generally made out of chicken wire.

Crab pots are square and generally made out of chicken wire.

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The crab pot is one of many tools used for capturing crabs. The square pot has three separate parts. The first part, called the "downstairs," has two to four funnel entrances. The middle part is the bait trap. This box attracts the crab. The third section is called the "upstairs." When the crab can't get the bait it panics and tries to swim to the surface, swimming through two funnels into the top portion. The crab cannot leave through the tunnels. The key to getting the crab into the pot is to fill the pot with the most enticing bait.

Step 1

Cut eel into pieces about 4 inches long. Many commercial crabbers use this as bait, since it's considered the most effective crab bait. However, eel is a specialty dish in both Europe and Asia. This had driven up the price of eel, making it harder to obtain.

Step 2

Buy chicken and turkey necks from your local butcher or farmer. Include several of one or the other in the bait trap. These can last for several days. Ensure the necks aren't too small; you don't want them to fall through the bait trap.

Step 3

Use menhaden, the food of choice for commercial crabbers today. This fish ranges from 12 to 15 inches long and can weigh up to 2 lbs. Many crabbers believe that frozen menhaden attracts crabs better than fresh.

Step 4

Insert the bait into the metal box in the middle of the crab pot. Ensure that the box is closed tightly to keep the crab from getting to the bait. There should be space for the crab both above and below this box.

Step 5

Check your crab pots and rebait, if necessary, every day. Crabs will die without food, and they are also cannibalistic -- they'll kill and eat each other for food. Some baits, such as the menhaden, need to be replaced daily. Other baits may not deteriorate as quickly and can be used for several days.

Photo Credits

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