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Author Topic: crab molt ?  (Read 3237 times)
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wag
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« on: June 01, 2012, 11:59:44 PM »

  
      Have a  ?  on crab molt size change.   Know crab is about  33%  larger coming out
      a molt but about how much larger (lenght) from point to point is the avg. increase
      say on a  6" molting crab?      The reason I ask is a  6"  crab before molt is usually
      a full (meaty) crab  and  after molt lets say it's  6 3/4"  and considered a whitey
      light empty crab.  So the info I'm asking is does this  6"  before molt has the same
      amount of meat when it's  6 3/4"  right after molt?    Because I read that a lot of    
      crabbers throwing back the whitey light crabs which to me was a full crab about  
       < 3/4" smaller size ago.   I hope I'm asking this right --- basically do a crab ( 6" )
      loose any meat mass during a molt?    Know it appears empty because the same  
      amount of meat in a larger body.      
      So if this is correct with my guestamation --- crabbers that throw back a  6 3/4"  
      whitey light crab are actually throwing back ( equal to ) a  6"  full meaty crab.  
      Let  me  know  your  opinion  ----- am  I  right  or  at  lease  a  little  bit  right?    
        
« Last Edit: June 02, 2012, 01:49:01 AM by wag » Logged

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genecrabman
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« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2012, 06:19:31 PM »

All crabs are white crabs after they shed/molt....But they still have mest in em after they harden for a week or so....Save some and try em for your self....Never take anyones word for it...We sell em to trucks that haul em to Maryland and D.C.........The Yanks Love em... Wink
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Dead Eye Dick
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« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2012, 10:48:08 AM »

I worked sluff boxes for for ten years and have probably handled over a hundred thousand softcrab's in my life. The crab's fatten up for the shed becouse it takes all of their energy,which sometimes is not enough if they have a wound,bite from another crab or some type of disfigurement. In that case they get hung up while shedding and either drown or have a heart attack,not sure which of the two,we never did autopsy's we just ate em(Those were the day's !). 33% growth rate is very accurate,and a 6 inch peeler crab ends up being more like over 7 inch, and most of the time that will be his last shed or, next to last shed for his 3 year life span. This year will most likely be different due to the warm winter and most likely will produce many 9 inch plus crab's and very possibly a new state record. Right after the shed or molt as you correctly call it,they are as soft as butter and almost like velvet.As they rest they start filling up with water to start the hardening process.This is the best time to eat them,they have reached their full size and have not yet begun to hard'n. After the shed,it has most of the meat and fat that it had before,but now is a third larger so after hardenning it will appear light or empty. The hardenning of the new shell can take anywhere between 2 and 24 hours depending on the moon phase or condition's. If it is a large shed (many crab's shedding at the same time) nature somehow speed's up the hardenning process as to protect the population against predators or cannibalism. This is the stage that we call them papershell's or whitey's. The shell seem's hard but the crab seem's empty and it is,he has to fatten back up and get hard again so that he can breed the female right after she sluffs out of her shell.The male is at it's hardest and fullest (Jimmy) after about 2 weeks of heavy feeding and right before the female's shed. It's amazing how similar all of God's creatures are,and I hope I answered your question ! I am a firm believer in throwing whitey's back as it is a waste of a good crab,and that same crab will be fuller anywhere from a few day's to a week. However,if we really need some crab's to eat on a rare occasion I keep some, but concentrate on the crab's at the next size level down as they will be the fullest and will not fill an entire basket. I just get enough for us to eat,and plan my next trip for a week later,when those bigger crab's that are in the whitey stage have become rock hard and fat Jimmy's !!! Just think how our crabbing world would be,if everyone followed this practice....but then again that would be like asking everyone not to shoot spike buck's or button buck's !!! It aint never gonna happen !!!!!       
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wag
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« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2012, 12:32:39 PM »


      THANKS  for  reply  and  info  -----  So  a   6" er  gains  about  an  inch  (becomes

      a  7" er)  after  a  shed / molt  that's  good  to  know ----- THANKS  again 
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