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Author Topic: Cull Stick?  (Read 6636 times)
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Stuck Not Anchored
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« on: July 20, 2014, 08:48:24 AM »

Does anyone know where I can buy a cull stick for the NJ 4.5 size?  Eastern Marine only has the Delaware and MD sizes.  I would prefer plastic.  I have made my own out of wood but I think the swelling and contraction cycles from getting wet make them useless after a few trips.  I also use tape measures but they rust at a frightening rate.  Thanks.
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« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2014, 12:29:24 PM »

Does anyone know where I can buy a cull stick for the NJ 4.5 size?  Eastern Marine only has the Delaware and MD sizes.  I would prefer plastic.  I have made my own out of wood but I think the swelling and contraction cycles from getting wet make them useless after a few trips.  I also use tape measures but they rust at a frightening rate.  Thanks.

Why not buy a piece of PVC and make your own? Home Depot sells Fascia made out of composite material and PVC.

Copy one that is made for MD or Del with the right sizes for NJ.
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Ron
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« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2014, 01:12:39 PM »

I use an old adjustable shoe measurer.   It works just fine.
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« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2014, 11:21:50 PM »

We use paint stix.  Grab a bunch - measure and mark them up with a fine point Sharpe - throw them around the boat and you can always find a stick when culling. We mark ours at 4 5/8, 5 1/2, then go up by 1/2" from there. Toss them if they get really wet. 
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« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2014, 12:28:52 AM »

41/2" cull sticks should be illegal.. Lol jk. I would just get a jigsaw and make them out of wood or plexiglass and if wood give it a couple good coats of paint. I have wood ones that have lasted 9 years and over 100 trips.
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« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2014, 08:23:51 AM »


     pounder   Y HuhHuh   should it be illegal   
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« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2014, 04:10:01 PM »

I use an old adjustable shoe measurer.   It works just fine.

Where in the h.... did you find that?  Since all shoe stores are now out of business, I guess I have to sneak one out of Dicks or Foot Locker.
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« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2014, 05:40:11 PM »

Where in the h.... did you find that?  Since all shoe stores are now out of business, I guess I have to sneak one out of Dicks or Foot Locker.

I have a spare one I can give you.    I'll leave it on your boat.
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« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2014, 07:24:55 AM »

Awesome.  EBay only had the ones with length and width.  Those are unwieldy.
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« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2014, 05:08:02 AM »

Of all the things I have used, I actually prefer this stainless steel hook ruler. You can find it on Amazon for $10. I also want exact measurements not just if it is too small. The notch on the end makes the measurement fairly quick if holding the crab firm with a glove or tongs.

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« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2014, 08:11:27 AM »

I prefer to have something solid on both ends that the crab either touches on both sides (legal) or falls between (not legal.)    I don't want to be "eyeing" the measurements out on the water.
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« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2014, 11:15:06 PM »

I use a beer can.  If you omit the ring at the bottom of the can, it measures exactly 4.5 inches.  But I'd say 4.5 inches is worthy of throwing back for another time.
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« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2014, 07:24:46 AM »

I use a beer can.  If you omit the ring at the bottom of the can, it measures exactly 4.5 inches.  But I'd say 4.5 inches is worthy of throwing back for another time.

You'd still have to be "eyeing" the crab to determine it's big enough.   
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« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2014, 12:19:39 PM »

Just my $.02 so take it or leave it.  A 4.5" crab is small.  Comparing a 4.5 to a 5 to a 6 inch crab, they get larger exponentially.  Meaning a 6" crab is not twice as large as a 3" crab, it is 4 or 5 times larger by volume and meat content (assuming both crabs are hard & full).  In the pic below, the top shell is a 5" crab & the bottom one is 7".  Notice how much more volume there is.

You may want to consider keeping only larger than 4.5" crabs (such as setting a personal limit of 5") so you: 1) don't have to worry about keeping short crabs; 2) contribute to keeping an active stock of good size crabs; and 3) make your efforts picking crabs much more fruitful (lots more meat).  If we all kept 4.5" crabs, simple logic says that there will then be fewer larger crabs because so many are taken at "just legal" length. 

For many crabbers picking a 4.5" crab is not worth the time & effort for the meat yielded.  Plenty will argue that point but to each his own.  So long as their legal, I'll never bust chops over what you put on your table.  

Enjoy & happy crabbing.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2014, 12:25:02 PM by CaptMoose » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2014, 12:26:28 PM »

    pounder   Y HuhHuh   should it be illegal    

Yes. Keeping crabs 4.5" is crazy. Personally i dont eat crabs under 7". I dont have to. But to each their own. I usually cull at 51/4" even when i crabbed jersey.
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« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2014, 12:33:34 PM »

Whoa, I got way off topic there, but stand behind the point I was making.

Cull sticks: I've seen some at Walmart, but not lately.  You may have difficulty finding one as small as 4.5".  NJ has a smaller size requirement than many states. 

If you make one, I suggest having a wide end to butt the crab's point against.  Ron's pic shows that perfectly with the shoe measurer.  Plastic cutting boards are good material to use, but I don't like having to get the edge of the board thickness on the crab's point. 

My stick is made from a piece of composite lumber cut out in an "L" shape with an aluminum ruler screwed to it.  The part you hook on the crab's point is about 1/2" wide which is pretty easy.  Then you eyeball the measurement.  It ain't NASA so the tolerance is and you can hold the crab with one hand and measure with the other.

Ron, does that shoe measurer take 3 hands or 2 hands and a foot?
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« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2014, 12:41:56 PM »

Ron, does that shoe measurer take 3 hands or 2 hands and a foot?

It takes one hand.   This allows you to have a free hand to smack wannabe comedians in the back of the noggin.   
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« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2014, 12:43:19 PM »

Great explanation of logic Capt. Moose.  Never seen or heard it broken down that way. Never really even thought about it that way.  In your pic thats 7 does look almost twice the saze of that 5.

I usually keep what I can legally which is 5 inches in Delaware. Often time if it looks small in a trap I'm pulling it will go back.  I'm just not a fan of picking meat from the little crevices. If thats all we are catching they'll go in the basket but I try to take 5.5's on up.

I tried once to make a cull stick.  My cuts were terrible tho so it wasnt very accurate.  Come to think of it that was several years ago, I think I've gotten much better with a saw I should probably give it another shot.

I bet that just about any local bait shop or marine store would have a nice metal one for sale.
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« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2014, 12:47:02 PM »

Great explanation of logic Capt. Moose.  Never seen or heard it broken down that way. Never really even thought about it that way.  In your pic thats 7 does look almost twice the saze of that 5.

I usually keep what I can legally which is 5 inches in Delaware. Often time if it looks small in a trap I'm pulling it will go back.  I'm just not a fan of picking meat from the little crevices. If thats all we are catching they'll go in the basket but I try to take 5.5's on up.

I tried once to make a cull stick.  My cuts were terrible tho so it wasnt very accurate.  Come to think of it that was several years ago, I think I've gotten much better with a saw I should probably give it another shot.

I bet that just about any local bait shop or marine store would have a nice metal one for sale.
Just remember wood floats metal doesn't.  The guys I crab with all use wood...
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« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2014, 12:51:20 PM »

Agreed Tom.  I recommend a floating material for the cull stick.

Now if they only made floating tongs...  They have a much better chance of going overboard.
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