One of the most frequently asked questions I get while running charters in the Tomoka Basin in Ormond Beach is, “what are all those bouys for?” my reply is always simple, commercial blue crab traps. As the water warms in the Spring, the crab pots start showing up. First you see a trickling and then hundreds, especially in the basin. Commercial fisherman aren’t the only ones taking blue crabs. Recreational fisherman also take advantage of the bountiful abundance of blue crabs in Ormond Beach. See FWC link for rules and regulations: http://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/recreational/blue-crab/
Blue Crabs are often over looked by newcomers to the area but are great fun to catch and even better to eat. We grew up using the kite string and crab net method most of the time. Basically what you do is take some cheap parts of raw chicken like the neck or a hunk of mullet or other fish carcass and tie them to the end of a line. Make sure whatever you are using sinks to the bottom (fat floats so chicken skin needs to be removed). Toss the lines into the water and tie off to something on the bank. Get 4 or 5 of these lines out and start checking the lines periodically. When a crab is on, he usually tries to drag the food away and the line gets taught. Slowly pull him in towards your net which is already down in the water. When the crab is close you will scoop up with the net to try and catch him. This is a bit of an art form that takes practice. When the crabs are thick it doesn’t take long to catch a few dozen big ones. Spring and summer are the best times to get them. If you go onto YouTube there are a host of videos on picking or cleaning the crabs.
Capt Eric Greenstein