This colorfully armored crustacean is one of the best known and most valuable scavengers of the bays and coves along the Atlantic shore.
Tie a fish head on a piece of raw chicken to the end of a twelve foot string. Tote your bait out a short distance from the dock or bank, keeping a little tension on the string. You may have to tie on a weight to keep your bait on the bottom. When you feel a crab pulling, carefully draw the bait and crab toward the surface. As soon as the crab comes into view, your companion will be able to capture it with the net just below the surface. Don't be discouraged if a few get away, crabs are speedy escape artists.
Growth of a Blue Crab
Crabs develop from tiny eggs to adults in several stages. As zoea and megalops they look more like shrimp than crabs. After they take the shape of adult crabs they molt) shed their hard shells) up to twenty times. Crabs that have just molted go through a "soft-shell" stage until their new shells harden.
Commercial crabbers, string trot lines, nets, and crab pots, take hundreds of millions of blue crabs annually. You can catch crabs in this area with a simple bait line and a crab net.
Make sure you are familiar with regulations before crabbing. Information is available at Refuge and Park visitor centers. For practical eating, take only crabs which measure at least five inches from point to point. Take only what you need.
Don't Cook Dead Crabs—-
Dead, uncooked crabs quickly accumulate poisonous substances. Keep crabs alive for cooking by storing them in a cool, shady, waterless container. An open cooler with some seaweed in it is ideal.