if you judged their hardness on their looks you may be surprized to find that some were not reaaly hard. ive been catchin the crabs your speaking of for about 4 weeks, some acually had lines on their shells where thy were in the bottom or mud. i posted about this in a previous thread hear but no one else replyed that they had seen the same. what river were you in? some of these that i've cuaght were papershells when you sqeeze the tips but latlythey've been better. i caught 3 1/2 bu sat. and could've catch more.