Blue Crab Traps

The different blue crab traps and my 20 years experience experimenting on which blue crab traps catches the most crabs




  Before we get started let me tell you that I do indeed use the so called blue crab trap. I have used these crab traps for more than 20 years. From April until sometime in November I go crabbing at least once a week.Yes I have tried just about every crab trap out there even the newer ones. I'll take the same amount of each trap and mix them up so all of one kind of a trap are not together.

  There are many different sizes and shapes of these blue crab traps, usually called crab box traps.

   The most popular is the ten inch square box trap. It comes with four doors that open up when it hits the bottom. There are several variations of this box trap. Some come with only two doors and some newer ones come with no top. This advantage to this last one is that you can stack them inside one another. Believe it or not the crab does not get out of this trap unless you are pulling it on too much of an angle sideways. The remedy to this is just approach the trap slowly when using a boat. This will not effect you if you are crabbing from a pier or bridge.

   Then we have the same kind of trap as the ten inch square trap but this one is only about six inches high. You can also get this trap with two or four doors that open. The advantage to this crab trap is that you can fit twice the amount of traps in the same space as the bigger traps.

   Next we have a newer trap that has just recently come out. This blue crab trap has a twelve inch square bottom, a eighteen inch top and two doors. It folds completely flat. To use it you simply bend the top part to fit into two pieces of wire on the bottom of the trap. This creates a half dome shape which is actually two sides and a top all in one domed shaped piece. All that's left is your two doors. These work great for crabbing from a pier or bridge. In a boat you still have the problem with storing the crab trap floats. That brings us back to the box traps. The floats are stored inside these traps.

   There are other homemade crab traps that I've seen advertised on the computer. Some of these people want up to thirty dollars a trap. In my opinion don't even bother. When I look at the pictures of some of these traps I can always find something about them that would not make them work properly. Trust me on that one. You see I also make my own box traps and ring traps from scratch. I have perfected my ring traps so well that I will out catch anyone that is crabbing around me. As a matter of fact that's probably why there is now a law in Maryland where I crab that also limits the number of these crab net rings as they have named them. I  had been using these traps for years where no one was around. Then I started using them alongside some commercial crabbers. I was catching way more crabs in my ring traps than they were with their mile long trot lines. Boy did they get ticked. Seems funny the following year there was a new law on the books for these ring traps. Now there's a trap worth thirty dollars. Don't look for them anywhere because I don't sell them. I won't even let anyone look at them. As for my homemade ring traps, they'll blow anyone away. They'll be boats coming in from crabbing when I get to the boat ramp around noon. When I ask how they did they'll show me anywhere from a couple of crabs up to maybe a dozen or so. Keep in mind they've been crabbing since daybreak which is supposed to be the prime time. I'll go out and get two dozen within the first hour in the heat of the day when everyone thinks you can't catch crabs. That how good these ring traps are. I'll even catch more than the people who run trot lines.

   Now for the results of which store bought  blue crab traps work the best. I guess you can figure out the four door crab traps work the best. As with all box traps you sometimes have a door or two that will not come open when it hits bottom. You know if the bottom is not completely level your trap will be sitting sideways. This makes it impossible for the door on the higher side to open. Another factor is that there's always the problem of the strings that are attached to the doors getting caught on a piece of wire. Therefore the more doors the better. As for the big or smaller crab trap all in all I have found no difference. This is just a personal choice for each individual. I guess the ones who use the bigger crab trap must be thinking the crab comes up to the trap and sees that the top being that far up is not a threat. I'll  throw that theory out the door for you. I've done made traps that were only three inches high and have had no problem with them. As a matter of fact my homemade box traps I was referring to earlier are only five inches high. That's the only box traps I use unless I'm experimenting with another type of trap.

   So there you have it. In my opinion I'd stick to the smaller six inch blue crab traps with four doors. At least you will be able to use two of these for every one of the bigger traps and they will catch just as many crabs as the bigger traps.