How to keep crabs ALIVE
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  1. #1
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    Default How to keep crabs ALIVE

    I Haven't Had Any Problems Catching The Crabs, However By The Time I Get Home I Usually Have A Few Fatalities.
    I Was Told To Not Let Any Wind Blow On Them, So Now I Put Them In The Back Of The Suv. By The Time I Get Home In About An Hour And A Quarter I Will Have 4-6 Crabs Dead.

    Any Helping Suggestions Would Be Appreciated.

    Funny Story--- My Wife Told Me The Car Stunk, After A Little Research, 1 Had Escaped And Crawled Under The Seat, He Was There A Couple Of Days This Past Weekend.

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  3. #2
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    Default keeping crabs alive

    i set mine in the front of the boat ( on floor)i have a jon boat to keep air off them and just before i leave the boat ramp i have some old burlap bags i make wet and cover the crabs with it it takes me about 2hrs to get home then i clean everything up so crabs are out of water for at least 3 hrs haven"t lost one yet

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    Sometimes they die before they even get back to the ramp. Hot weather, too lite, old age??, anyway, take a big cooler and stop at the first gas station you see and load up on ice.

    The past few trips I've made, the crabs were steamed and ate the next day. Ice them down, a layer of ice then a layer of crabs, etc.

    I also prop the cooler up on one end and open the drain so the crabs aren't submersed in water. Hard to say if any die, but at least they are all cold and I haven't had any complaints of bad crabs.

  5. #4
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    Put a bag of ice in your cooler when you leave the house
    Catch crabs put in cooler
    Get home put some ice on top if room
    before you steam crabs soak in ice bath.they are more manageable, can fold claws in and they stay on.
    Don't worry about a dead crab as long as your steaming them the same day you catch them.In the 13 years I've been crabbing I've never killed anyone or made one sick.
    Smitdogg

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    ahh, chicken neckers

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    Don't worry about a dead crab as long as your steaming them the same day you catch them.In the 13 years I've been crabbing I've never killed anyone or made one sick.
    Smitdogg[/QUOTE]

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    Jalopy-we keep a towel over the basket and wet it about every 30 minutes with river water.Helps keep the crabs cool and their gills moist/wet.

    Some trips-none will die.Other trips we might lose 5-6 from 3/4 bushel.Some get bitten by other crabs .Die off sucks but hard to avoid in hot weather.

    IMHO-I would not eat a dead crab-seafood spoils way too quick.Be careful with ice-too much can kill them. Skip

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    While crabbing, try to keep your crabs wet and in shade. I transport my crabs in the back of my pickup with cap, here's how. I place a small bag of ice on the top of the bushel basket lid and cover with wet beach towel. Last week I lost one crab due to another crab. My drive home is at times longer than most, Lancaster County

  10. #9
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    Forget all this ice business. Weve been using the wet burlap bag method for years and barely ever lose any even in this heat. Keep it on em at all times even while crabbing.
    On another note the ice is good on calming the crabs for steaming, but we use the ice pick in the backfin method to "stun" them before steaming.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogbig View Post
    Don't worry about a dead crab as long as your steaming them the same day you catch them.In the 13 years I've been crabbing I've never killed anyone or made one sick.
    Smitdogg
    [/QUOTE]

    The best way to tell if a crab is safe to eat after it is dead is to bend a leg or 2 (not the backfin) inward,towards the stomach of the crab til the joint seperates at the body.You can do this by holding the dead crab in your left hand and bending the legs with the right.Do this til the joint at the body just breaks loose.Now..let go of the legs.If the the joint snaps back to the body,it meeens the meat is still firm & good.If the leg just hangs,that meens the meat is spoiled and shouldn't be eaten.if you're leary of this,to be on the safe side,you can remove a few legs with scissors.That way,you can ID the crab after it's cooked.If the meat is mushy or has an amonia smell to it.discard the crab.............Bon Appetite
    Fishing can be anything you want it to be

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