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Author Topic: Keeping Crabs alive  (Read 8221 times)
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jettatrb
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« on: July 29, 2006, 12:21:35 AM »

I am going out crabbing tomorrow for the fist time, just wondering if anyone has any hints for keeping crabs alive. I heard a few different things like putting them on ice, keeping water on them and some people have told me I should just keep them in the bushel basket.
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« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2006, 01:22:00 AM »

Keep them out of the heat, keep them moist.  I've always kept them in the bushel basket and kept them damp by keeping some wet newspaper or sea weed in the basket on top of them.  I'm about 2 hours by car from where I crab in MD and I haven't had one die in transportation yet. Before I leave for home, I dip the basket in the water or spray it with a hose (mist setting) to re wet the crabs.
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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2006, 09:53:33 AM »

Ice chest with open drain plug. Don't stack them or pile them. Cover with burlap soaked with water they were caught in. Fist sized ice chunks on top. Keep ice cheat in shade.
There is another thread with more on this subject. Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2006, 10:09:43 AM »

Crabs can suffocate in an ice chest, use a bushel basket, it has vents on the side that will let air circulate.  Keep them moist, the burlap idea soaked in water from the same place you caught the crabs is a good idea.
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« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2006, 12:01:24 PM »

I always just put them in a bushel basket and put a very wet towel on top of them.  Every once in a while, I will dip the basket in the water for a minute or two, and then one more time before I leave the water.  If you keep the crabs wet, and their gills stay wet, they can actually diffuse oxygen from tha air for a time...

Chilly I
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« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2006, 12:29:58 PM »

 I do the same only I wse wet newspaper between layers of crabs.  GOOG luck.
I always just put them in a bushel basket and put a very wet towel on top of them. Every once in a while, I will dip the basket in the water for a minute or two, and then one more time before I leave the water. If you keep the crabs wet, and their gills stay wet, they can actually diffuse oxygen from tha air for a time...

Chilly I
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« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2006, 09:13:29 AM »

we always use a cooler with ice, not a whole lot of ice just enough to keep it cool. crabbed from 6am-5pm, 2 hours drive home, every single one was alive, always, and no need to bother with wet towels, paper, etc... when you bring them home just drain the water and let them sit in a shade 5-10 minutes, they will start moving. if you want to keep claws on while steaming, dump more ice to freeze them back, then when you cook them they want break each other's limbs.
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« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2006, 12:53:52 PM »

I always just put them in a bushel basket and put a very wet towel on top of them.  Every once in a while, I will dip the basket in the water for a minute or two, and then one more time before I leave the water.  If you keep the crabs wet, and their gills stay wet, they can actually diffuse oxygen from tha air for a time...

Chilly I


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« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2006, 10:14:40 AM »

we always use a cooler with ice, not a whole lot of ice just enough to keep it cool. crabbed from 6am-5pm, 2 hours drive home, every single one was alive, always, and no need to bother with wet towels, paper, etc... when you bring them home just drain the water and let them sit in a shade 5-10 minutes, they will start moving. if you want to keep claws on while steaming, dump more ice to freeze them back, then when you cook them they want break each other's limbs.

Actually I dont think they loose their limbs because other crabs break them. I think they do it as a defense mechanism.
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« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2006, 11:06:20 AM »

i think its both, cuz they drop claws in defense and when they get all rowdy they put the vulcan neck pinch on each other and start pulling legs claws and everything off each other.
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« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2006, 03:14:15 PM »

While crabbing I dip my bushel every so often to keep them wet ( gives em a drink )  I also keep a wet towel on them in the baot to keep the sun off them when it is real hot and they don't dry out.  Right before I come in I dip them again and cover with soaking wet towel per bushel.  I put them in the back of my pick up with a cap on the bed and crack the side windows to allow a breeze on em.  I then place a 20 lb bag of ice on top of the bsuehl with the wet towel.  I have brought crabs home 2-3 hour ride in 95 degree heat and have only lost a crab or two. If you lose a crab or two so be it.  Don't eat em.  can make you sick.  I have even gotten stuck in back ups form beach traffic which casued me an extra hour plus time todrive home and the crabs still held. I thought I would lose more, but still only lost 2 out of a bushel and half. 

................Cdog
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« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2006, 11:54:09 AM »

WHAT KILLS CRAB.

1) HEAT
KEEP THEM COOL OFF THE SUNLIGHT.

2) LACK OF MOISURE.
IF KEPT OFF THE SUNLIGHT THEY SHOULD BE MOIST.

3) LACK OF OXYGEN.
IF PUT IN A WATER CONTAINER THEY WILL DYE OF LACK OF OXYGEN. JUST LIKE A FISH.
IF YOU PUT THEM UNDER THE THE BUCKET FULL OF CRUSHED ICE. THEY WILL DYE OF LACK OF OXYGEN ALSO.


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« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2006, 04:16:17 PM »

Can verify that they need to have air..............had a dozen in a cooler, a little ice, all dead in the AM because the lid was shut tight........let em breathe........let em live................Oh [Sam Hill], steam em up and eat
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