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Author Topic: Crabbing in Tampa Bay  (Read 22959 times)
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empirehorn
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« on: February 24, 2007, 11:57:02 PM »

Hello all,
I'm new to this whole crabbing thing, so I have a few beginner questions.  I don't have a boat, so I'll be crabbing from land....We've been using chicken necks and chicken liver in a mesh baggie it the trap.

1. I have a crab pot that is rounded on top, flat on the bottom, and has entrances on the sides, is it possible to throw it where I want it to go, and leave it be, assuming it lands right side up?

2. Where is the best place to go in the bay area?  I've tried the Palm Harbor area, Ft. Desoto, EG simmons, and Terra Ceia bay with no luck.  If you have other good spots that are good in late Feb/ Early March I would appreciate it.

3. When is the best time of day do go.  Is it sun or tide related, or temperature.

4. What depth of water should I be looking for at this time of year?  Is the pier at Ballast point a feasable option?  What about the park at the north end of the bay, Upper Bay Park? I know they have a kayak dock there but I don't know about crabbing off it!

If anybody else has any tips for the bay area I'd really appreciate it.  I've been out 4 times this season, and we only saw a few dead females it looked like somebody dumped at Terra Ceia Bay.

Thanks again! 
« Last Edit: February 25, 2007, 12:20:27 AM by empirehorn » Logged
Oscar D
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« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2007, 07:01:40 AM »

I posted this elsewhere's.
The water may be too cold, though I pulled some the 1st week of January near Weedon Island before winter hit us (winter?  It's gonna be 80 today).  I just checked noaa for water temps and they're reporting 63 degrees (same air temp at my house) and with a front moving in things should be moving today (for fish, I don't know how much a front effects crabs).

Here's what I know about crabs in TB:

On the west end of the Howard Franklin, exit at 4th Street and as soon as you come off the overpass pull off to the right to the boat luanch area.
I see loads of people (& crabs) there.  This place gets hit hard in the Summer.  It's easy for families to crab so you sometimes have over a dozen people on a nice Saturday crabbing.
On the East side of Howard Franklin go to the deadend on West Cypress St, work your way through the parking lot of the Office Campus there (past the INS office), go towards the bridge (South end of the Office Park) and you'lll find a beach there (nice beach too if it wasn't for the view of the bridge).  Loads of crabs there in the Summer at night time.  I guess they have to be somewhere during the Winter.  You might want to walk North of the beach towards the Mangroves.

I've seen some people handline near the tidal creek running from the Courtney area through to the airport.  Too dangerous there what with the highway and all, plus the possible pollution from the highway too.  You might want to try the tidal basin area on the East end, but be very careful wading there lots of mud, so sty close to the road.

I've rarely see people crabbing at the Gandy or CCC, but find your self a bayou or bay neaar the main bay and you might have luck.

I've seen crabs at Weedon Island while fishing (West end of Gandy) and of course there is always the Crab Shack on Gandy.  Nice little resteraunt.  Stop in for lunch (or dinner).

Basically any cut off of the main bay should have them.

If you get desparate, don't buy them at Port of Tampa/Ybor, go to 40th Street between Busch and Hillsborough.  That guy always has nice crabs at a decent price (less expensive that the Port/Ybor area).  Go North on 40th about a mile over the River on you left hand side.  Can't miss it with the giant blue crab and "Size DOES Matter" painted on the bldg.
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R D
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« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2007, 08:48:16 AM »

If all else fails,you can always catch crabs down at Mons Venus on Dale Maybry,  Wink Grin
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« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2007, 11:50:34 AM »

GOOD luck, hope you find them, have fun and be safe.  Wink
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horsefly
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« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2007, 12:23:24 AM »

Granted I'm not a Fl resident so I don't know the names or nick names of some of the area. I visit friends and family in Safety Harbor usually in late Feb early March. I have caught a few crabs handling off little bridges/walk ways on that side of Tampa Bay down off the CCC bridge and Bayside Bridge. Even caught little crabs under 5-1/2" on the 580 bridge going into Oldsmar. I have seen guys crabbing both commercially and rec at the causeway going over to Caladesi Island and over to Belleair beach. I guess there is crabs over on the Anclot river/creek in Tarpon Springs at least I saw the pots on land and bouys in the water. That is a cool place to visit anyway crabs or not. Take one of those sponge dive tours man that it cool. Oh I mentioned Oldsmar they got one heck of a flea mkt, I think it's on Thursday's. IT's huge!! I guess if ya into that type of stuff there's something for ya to do when it rains. Grin
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Lots of crabbers and crab lovers on here. If you enjoy crabs, lot's of info and good chat about crabs. Why not go ahead and donate to this forum. Deep down after doing research on here and chatting with others,you will find useful info from some new friends.ENJOY!!

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Ray R.
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« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2007, 02:20:35 PM »

If all else fails,you can always catch crabs down at Mons Venus on Dale Maybry,  Wink Grin

Guess we know where you go in Tampa; Ronnie  Roll Eyes Grin laugh laugh laugh

Thought I would add my 2 cents too !  Grin

At the present time , you might want to check out the areas around Ft. Desoto. You could also drive out to-wards the skyway bridge and do some crabbing from the shore. Anywhere north at this time of the year in the bay is worthless, for the time involved and what you would catch. If you can find a good seawall on the inland waterway , you might take home a few for dinner +. Places like Bayport pier and other piers and docks on the Gulf would produce as well.

I checked in at Capt. Brads in Hernando beach last week and got 5 Doz. large crabs for $15.00 a Doz. I had a hungry bunch of neighbors that wanted to eat crabs. And I wasn't about to go and try to catch them.

Crabbin is a great way to spend the day , if ya catch em or not, especially if you have kids along. It's family fun and the kids always have a great time.

Have a great day and hope you catch a bunch.   You to RD at Mons Venus  Grin Grin Grin laugh laugh laugh Shocked Shocked Shocked

Ray P.
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SMILE .. BE .. HAPPY .. GO .. CRABBING .. AND .. THINK .. OF .. ME ..!!
R D
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« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2007, 12:47:44 AM »

you got it all wrong Ray, I got lost and happened to drive by there one time,  Shocked  Wink  Roll Eyes  Roll Eyes
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Ray R.
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« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2007, 09:59:14 AM »

you got it all wrong Ray, I got lost and happened to drive by there one time,  Shocked  Wink  Roll Eyes  Roll Eyes
Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh
 rolleyes2 rolleyes2 rolleyes2 rolleyes2 rolleyes2 rolleyes2

Ha ! Ha ! Ha !   Please stop, my ribs are starting to hurt !
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SMILE .. BE .. HAPPY .. GO .. CRABBING .. AND .. THINK .. OF .. ME ..!!

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