It is legal if you hand line.
After seeing a post from a fellow TF'er (name purposely withheld) about crabbing at night with green lights in the water, I thought I would give that a shot this year.
I am fortunate enough to have a fairly decent creek out my back door that produces enough crabs to make it fun. I was going to try the night crabbing method this year to kill a summer evening....But then I read this;
Recreational crabbers may set recreational crabbing gear and crab from boats:
during Apr, Oct, Nov and Dec
between 1/2 hour after sunrise to 5:00 PM main Bay
between 1/2 hour after sunrise to sunset in tributaries
during May, Jun, Jul, Aug and Sept
between 1/2 hour before sunrise to 5:00PM in the main Bay
between 1/2 hour before sunrise to sunset in the tributaries of the Bay
Why is it now illegal to catch crabs at night from a boat?
It is legal if you hand line.
I want to try this using handlines. A friend uses fishing poles with nx tied to the line and does well.
Maybe attaching those small 1" glow tubes to the lines would help.
If you don't go, you won't know and you gotta have bait in the water!
I have terminal Crabiteis and there is no hope.
Burchbeer, Chicken Necker Ameritus (Not to be mistaken with Emeritus)
Butthead - I'll guess it was me you referred to. The only legal to crab at night is with handlines. It's in the rules but near very end.
B. Recreational. Except for handlines and dipnets, a person may not set any recreational crabbing gear or catch crabs for recreational purposes from a boat during:
(1) May through September between:
(a) 5 p.m. and 1/2 hour before sunrise in the main Chesapeake Bay; and
(b) Sunset and 1/2 hour before sunrise in tidal waters tributary to the Chesapeake Bay;
(2) April, October, November, and December between:
(a) 5 p.m. and 1/2 hour after sunrise in the main Chesapeake Bay; and
(b) Sunset and 1/2 hour after sunrise in tidal waters tributary to the Chesapeake Bay.
C. A person may not catch blue crabs in the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries from December 16 through March 31, inclusive.
I was told by DNR the night rule was to reduce pressure on crabs plus allow better enforcement. I used to trotline at night from about 1 am until sunrise. It was awesome - many commercial guys did same. This was back in 80's though before new laws.
Night handlining is more about fun then catching. We manage a bushel most trips but that is from about 7-8 in evening to 6 am next morning.
What could be more mundane than dying of old age or of natural causes when there is death by misadventure to be pursued ? Skip
B. Recreational. Except for handlines and dipnets, a person may not set any recreational crabbing gear or catch crabs for recreational purposes from a boat during: (Specified dates and times).
Maybe I am dense, maybe I'm interpreting what is written the way it suits me, maybe I am correct. One thing for certain.... I could have written the rules so everyone could understand and make sense of them.
Here's my take on the meaning of what is written pertaining to this topic and only this topic and only for the Bay and its tribs. No more, no less.
No recreational crabber may set gear from a boat or catch crabs from a boat on certain dates and during certain hours of the those specified dates, days and times. That's easily understood.
Since an exception is made for handlines and dipnets, those dates, days and times do not apply to them.
Therefore, like in the past, prior to all of these rules, it is still legal to dip crabs from a boat 24/7, (including Wednesdays which is covered elsewhere in Comar).
If I am incorrect in my interpretation of this subject, please illustrate with excerpts from Comar where I am incorrect.
Thanks for all of the clarifications guys...Yes Skip it was you, but didn't want to call you out if in fact you were doing something wrong and didn't know it Looks like a helluva good time when you post pics.
I never saw where it said except handlines, but Thank you all for posting it and clarifying it. I may just go out there and actually have a little fun while I am having a beer at night. If I can stand the mosquitoes .
Right, now go have some fun.... See you out there maybe
LIFE ISN'T ABOUT WAITING FOR THE STORM TO PASS...... IT'S LEARNING HOW TO DANCE IN THE RAIN!
Now i am wondering, if you go out at 3:00 am, anchor the boat and sit there and do handlines, and then you are already in position come sunrise to set your trot line, is that legal?? Nothing like holding the good spot by hand lining until its time to set the line??????????????????? Is that cool??