Go Crab Fishing with Chicken Necks
Spring and summer are the best seasons for crab fishing in the Coastal Bend region. Once the cold air in the fall and winter hits the water, the crustaceans retreat into the depths.
The best part about crabbing is that it’s fun and easy. You can purchase crab traps from your local sporting goods store for about $20, which will make catching these little critters pretty effortless. You also can grab a fishing pole and a net for a little more action.
Chicken necks and legs are favorite crab baits. If you have a trap, just let the cage rest in the water with the chicken parts inside. Pull it up when you’re feeling lucky.
For those with a fishing pole, put the bait on the hook and wait for a gentle tug before tenderly reeling in the line. You want to do this carefully so the crab stays attached to its dinner until it's close enough to scoop up in a net.
HOW TO HANDLE YOUR CATCH
Once the crabs are caught, keep them in a bucket with ice and/or a little water. Cover them with a damp towel. Dropping crabs in a bucket full of water will cause them to die from oxygen deficiency. Dead crabs spoil — and start to smell — quickly. While chilled crabs might appear dead, they will start moving again once they warm up. If any of your crabs do come home without a heartbeat, be sure to immediately get rid of them!
Once you get the blue critters home, throw the live ones in a large pot and boil them as you would a lobster. Yum!
Some local crabbing hot spots are: Red Dot Pier off JFK Causeway, Bob Hall Pier, Oso Pier, the T-heads, North Beach and any of the many shores located off Corpus Christi’s bayfront.
Don't forget: Crabbing requires a valid fishing license complete with a saltwater stamp. There's no limit to the number you can catch and keep in a day, but each crab must be at least 5 inches measured across the widest part of the body. For more details about the rules and regulations for crabbing in Texas, visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.
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