Here is what I have noticed and believe, just my observations and opinions.
There are two MAJOR sheds each year. One in May during and right after the full moon and one in August at the same time. The one in May generates alot of the softies for the year and is probabbly the single biggest shed.
Throughout the other months of the summer, the crabs will shed at the full moon supposedly because the added tide strength helps them get out of their shells.
The fullest crabs will be those that areready to shed and therfore must be caught right before the full moon.
The lightest crabs will be caught right after the full moon. This is not to say that you can't catch full crabs then, because obviously not all crabs shed every month.
I have also noticed that if you are getting a disproportionate number of light crabs move to a different area. There are defintitely areas that attract more shedders.
Finally, once the the shed is over in August, you will see a great quality of crab as they fatten themselves up until the end of the year. Now through about Halloween is when you see alot of big heavy black crabs, when you almost have to beat them off of trotlines. They are trying to get their last meals in and probably WILL NOT shed again.
Again, just my observations.
19' Renken "Double Trouble"
13' Boston Whaler "Little Dipper"
"The Chesapeake does not impress those who know it best as the grandest or most of anything. For all its size and gross statistics, it is an intimate place where land and water intertwine in infinite varities of mood and pattern."
William W. Warner "Beautiful Swimmers"