View Full Version : Stone Crabs
05-12-2003, 10:14 PM
Well the vis stunk today for spearfishing in St. Andrews Bay so we opted to get in on the couple of days left of stone crab season...wow it rocked. Not as fun as shooting big fish but when the claws are plentiful and lots this big it aint too bad !!! Just thought I would put up this post...Thanx Jon
05-14-2003, 01:58 PM
How do you get them? I have heard of several techniques from using a net. I have even read in a fishing magazine about guys who grab the crabs by hand and they say that the crab can't pinch so hard or can't take your finger off. Anybody here ever try the "Just the hand" method for getting stoners?
05-14-2003, 02:12 PM
John set out some traps with bait in them and we checked them every so often. He just wore his dive gloves and grabbed them from behind. Twisted off the claw and tossed the crab back in the water.
Those are some HUGE claws!
05-14-2003, 02:17 PM
I've done a lot of stone crabbing and I don't know anybody who uses a net. The trick is to be quick. The crab sits with its claws in front of it. You have quickly push the claws up against the face of the crab with the palm of your hand and then pull the crab out of his hole without letting the claws loose.
Stone crabs are really not that fast, but if they get a good hold of a finger, I have heard of some broken bones, usually just a blood blister, but that is nothing compared to your busted grill.
Best place to get the stonies on the gulf coast is under the Skyway bridge on the rocks of both sides. Average dive depth, 6 FT. ;)
05-14-2003, 03:55 PM
We get all of them by flipping rocks, grabbing crabs and breaking off the big claw...its all done by hand. They are not generally that aggressive and I cant recall ever being pinch by one...a good workout if you do it all day !
05-14-2003, 04:32 PM
Hector: I take practically all my lobsters with a snare. If I see a stone crab, I snare his big claw. grab him from the back and break the claw off.
05-16-2003, 11:56 AM
the way hogwild described is, imho, the best way to do it. i get my crabs by either wading for them, diving, or in traps. i dont have any more traps out cuz they were a pain in the ass, but they did produce some good size claws, even bigger than the ones that were shown in saltwatersniper's pics. if you dive, its best around real rocky areas and under all bridges. just grab them from behind.
05-20-2003, 07:22 PM
You call that dinner? This is what dinner at Blueguns looked like last Monday.
05-21-2003, 02:28 PM
have you ever tried putting a skunk in the trap.:cool:
stoners will flock
no for real I read that its legal to take both claws but I would feel bad for the poor crab sending it to back defensless. What the deal with this?
05-21-2003, 02:47 PM
I do a lot of snorkeling/freediving for stoney's when they are in season. The best method I've found is the lift the rock and grab them, quickly restraining both claws. If you need to toss the crab up in the water in front of you (if you haven't destroyed the vis by getting him out of his hole :D ) and they will automatically put both claws out so you can easily grab both a claw with each hand and then remove the largest. It is legal now to take both claws. If you do the Skyway you better be on it the first day or first week of open season cause the big ones get cleared out of there quickly. I've dove the dolphins around the bridge and they can produce some hefty ones as well, go on slack tide :) . There are MANY places (that don't get picked over) to get stone crabs around here....just open your eyes and you will score.
I good pair of hefty yd gloves from Walmart are needed, a measuring stick (so you can be legal, those claws always look bigger underwater :D ), and some sort of dive bag. It is a good workout if you stick at it all day and hit a few spots. Also a good way to work on your freediving skills.
Have fun and good luck!
05-21-2003, 02:56 PM
I would feel bad for the poor crab sending it to back defensless. What the deal with this?
From what I understand, sending them back with one big claw makes them think they have an advantage and, hence, won't back down in a fight, which leads to thier demise. Taking both claws makes them run and hide, besides they don't need their claws for eating.
I also use the grab quickly and gain control method. I've only been bitten once, and that was when I grew complacent and wasn't paying enough attention to the crab as I was reaching for my crab bag. I didn't take long to get that claw off of that crab. Nevertheless, my best pussy pokin' finger was sore for 2 1/2 weeks. :)
05-21-2003, 05:26 PM
I only take the big one,and let em' go.
05-22-2003, 09:04 AM
Marcus you gotta be smoking something...Taking a claw is way better than being killed out right...dont ya think? How about we just kill everyone that is missing an arm? Also in the crabs case it will grow back. All of the stone crabbers I know do their best to make sure we put the crab back in its tight rock covered home so that little or big trash fish dont peck at the spot of the injury. People are going to eat seafood, atleast this is one thing we can eat without killing the poor creature out right.
05-22-2003, 09:57 AM
You've seemed to have misconstrued my comments and you are being way to presumptuous. I take both claws only if they're really good sized, which is quite legal. I didn't say anything about killing the crab. As for the mortality rate of 1 claw vs 2, read below, 18.5% difference. Being that I go recreational stone crabbing a couple times a year with no traps involved... I can live with that, can you?
The closed summer season and minimum claw size of 7.0 cm propodus length
(2.75 inches) are intended to protect spawning females and ensure at least
one reproductive season before entry into the fishery. The requirement to
return live crabs to their habitat immediately after declawing is intended
to promote survival for regeneration of harvestable claws and added
reproduction. From tagging studies, an estimated 20%-25% of legal-sized
crabs were undergoing claw regeneration. According to studies, claw
regeneration to a harvestable size was within a period of 1 year.
Experiments showed mortality rates of 28% and 46.5% for singly and doubly
autotomized crabs, repectively. Despite such significant mortality,
allowing crabs the opportunity to survive, regenerate, and reproduce seems
preferable to the alternative of harvesting entire crabs for use of just the
05-22-2003, 05:32 PM
Does anyone know how long it takes a stonie to regenerate a harvested claw?I dont know , but I would think it is pretty quick.Maybe 3-6 mos?:confused:
05-22-2003, 06:44 PM
Does anyone know how long it takes a stonie to regenerate a harvested claw?I dont know , but I would think it is pretty quick.Maybe 3-6 mos?
"According to studies, claw regeneration to a harvestable size was within a period of 1 year."
This is from my previous post above slipknot. ;)
05-22-2003, 06:49 PM
We're gonna rename you crabkilla Marcus:D
05-22-2003, 06:57 PM
OOPS:eek: , Sorry I missed that Marcus,That Rum does strange things to me sometimes.
05-23-2003, 10:12 AM
We're gonna rename you crabkilla Marcus
That's alright, I've been called worse. :rolleyes:
That Rum does strange things to me sometimes
Yeah dude. (fitting avatar):)
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