Peeler crabs are soft-shell crabs that are often used as bait for catching large freshwater or saltwater fish. Professional fishers use live peeler crabs while fishing for best results. However, amateur fishermen will be satisfied with using frozen peeler crabs. Frozen crabs are easier to keep, less difficult to peel and cost much less. Attach frozen crabs to the line in the same manner as fresh crabs.
Thaw crabs the day before you want to fish. After the crab thaws, remove the legs and claws. Peel back the shell using your thumbs and fingers. If the crabs are true peeler crabs, you should be able to remove the shell with no problems or special tools.
Store the crabs in a cooler packed with ice to keep the meat fresh while you fish.
Use saltwater rigging with peeler crabs to ensure you have enough strength in your line and reel to support the weight of larger fish. Peeler crabs attract fish that weigh 20 to 50 pounds or more.
Pass the hook between the crab's eyes and through the body to the tail. Tie the crab to the hook using elastic bait line. Tie two or three rounds of bait line to the crab to secure it in place.
Cast the line like you would for any other fishing bait. Use peeler crabs in lakes or on the ocean to catch larger fish. Cod fish, bass and other large, mouth-feeding fish love eating peeler crabs.
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