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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would appreciate any tips for catching soft crabs in midbay. I've had a tough time separating fact from fiction. result - not much soft crabs.

ps - thanks for hard crabs tip (other thread) regarding following lower salinity upriver thru season.
 

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Gary

Is the best way to just pole along and basically "sight fish" ?

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
i love eating the soft shells. they're always great at home - like crabcake combined with the crispy fried delicousness. but anytime i order them at a restaurant, they seem to have a sour spot. don't know if today's cooks don't know how to clean them proper, or they're not fresh - dunno. seems like a lot of people that like crabs don't like soft crabs. makes me wonder if they've never had a decent one (like i make).

i gave up on restaurants for soft crab some years ago, but only get lucky enough to find a soft crab once or twice a year, and never enough for family guests. my first problem will be finding grassy area i can access by kayak,..., next will be standing up in the kayak (might have to buy/make outriggers). most convenient access i have will probably be pulling them off pilings, or taking kayak for a ride in the powerboat to find some grass. i would love to get soft-crabbing set up to work for kids. thanks
 

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YOu wade the weed beds during low tide with your back to the sun. Wear good polarized sunglasses.
With roller net in hand you push thru the grass and then lift the net every 12 feet or so to see if you have captured a softie. You can also use a net without a roller but be on your toes. Crabs will swim out of the grass quick. Soft crabs and busters move slower than green crabs.

Many people tie a basket in an innertube to their waist as a way to hold their catch.

Dipping crabs off pilings, bridges, bulkheads, etc works well too.

Wear sneakers or water shoes when wading. Sweat pants are also an option to prevent sea nettle stings.

One day back in the 80's when on strike from Ma bell I caught 5 dozen. That was a very lucky time I guess. Everything must have lined up pefectly for me.

I even found an old 5 gallon bucket and poured it out and a whale of a softcrab came out.

I was wading grassy coves in Crab Alley Creek.
 

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Southerly, don't know where you're located, but if you want softies in any amount, make friends or find a waterman on the water that's shedding them his/herself. Bob Evans in Churchton sheds his own during the summer.
 

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Southerly

If you really want a nice treat, try them on the grill with just a little old bay and maybe a very light coat of olive oil. REALLY GOOD, almost makes pan frying seem like a crime
 

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Thanks Chris. I can't get enough soft crabs and never knew about this way of cooking them so I will definitely try it. I got two frozen whales from Big Al's last week.
 

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Turd,
If in Easton, try Easton Hardware.

Jim at Martys in Edgewater has fine mesh roller nets that can double as grass shrimp nets and soft crab roller nets.

Try these guys too if in Belair http://chesapeakecrabbingsupplies.com/default.aspx

Stool
 

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also remember if floating an innertube with a basket inside dont let the soft crabs sit in the water or theyll start to harden up on ya be best if you could float a small cooler or have a damp towel wrapped around them
 

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Good Point Wishin4fishin!

I have used a small inflatable boat for kids. Great boyance, can be lined wih grass and a wet towl placed over it. Can also hold a cooler of moderate size.

I have also gone out in the 12 ft rowboat with 4 hp motor and just tied it to me with 20 ft of line. No problem in fair wx.

Cooler inside for all my busters,peelers (when legal) softies and green crabs.

I love it all so much! I am such a Maryland boy.

Oh well. The less that others know the better!

For me anyway.
 
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