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Author Topic: How my summer went and other adventures 8-26-14  (Read 3459 times)
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Gnifrus
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« on: August 26, 2014, 09:04:21 PM »

Since no one has been posting lately and I have too much spare time on my hands, here is an account of how my summer went and some of the adventures that I bumped into.
Earlier I posted about Mud Creek, a very small creek I found in North Jacksonville. Itís a little dicey to get to and crab. First you have to park on the side of the road and walk down an embankment made of large rocks with all your gear. Then at the bottom you will quickly know why I gave it its name. It is marshy and muddy, especially at higher tide and there are some spots where you have to cross little water inlets by hopping from rock to rock. The creek itself is only 20 feet across at mid tide. There is the bridge that runs over the road, which is about 15 feet above the creek. There is a rail road bridge right next to it that is only 6 feet above the water. You can crab an area along the bank that runs about 50 yards. Then if you walk across the railroad bridge, looking both ways of course, there is another 25 yards to crab. Itís a beautiful spot. Calm water with a great view of the marshes spreading out to the west. Lots of birds and not a person anywhere in sight. Today I was sitting by the railroad bridge right by the water and suddenly an otter popped up about 10 feet away, turned around and looked right at mef or 10 seconds or more.  He was probably wondering why a crazy person was sitting by his creek.

Anyway, itís a great spot to crab. I had my best day today and caught 38 keepers, all male and all a good size. I worked 6 baskets. When I got there I threw them in and waited 10 minutes and then went to pull them. The first one had 3, then 3, 3, 2, 2, 1. Fourteen crabs right away. The crabs there are all males.  Itís not always that good.  I usually get around 15-25. The one bad thing is that around 25% of the crabs throughout the whole summer have been ďlights.Ē Others on this forum told me that the crabs move back up into these creeks to shed their shell. This lets water into their flesh, at least until it hardens after a week or so. Their flesh is watering and really not too good to eat. But Iíll take the other 75%.

Thereís good fishing in there. Lots of black drum. Two weeks ago I caught my first slot red fish ever, 23 inches.  Last week I was walking across the railroad bridge to check my baskets and saw a guy walking right on the tracks heading toward me. Being in the middle of nowhere, I was a little apprehensive. As he got closer, I saw that he had the reddest face Iíve ever seen. Almost like an apple. I said high, avoided eye contact and walked by. Then he turned around and asked me how far it was to Georgia. I told him it was about 25 miles and said good luck. He didnít have a thing with him, not even a backpack.  I donít know if you have ever walked on railroad tracks, but I can tell you it is not easy going. I figure there had to be a VERY good reason why he was on the tracks and not hitch hiking on the road. Between otters, red faced railroad walkers, 10 zillion fiddler crabs, red fish, mud, and blue claws, itís an interesting place.

I did find another good spot recently in Jacksonville. It is a bridge out near Mayport and Hanna Park. You crab on the bridge itself.  Iíve been going there for the last month. It is much closer to the inlet. I have been getting between 12-18, all within the first 30 minutes. After that thereís not much action. I pulled a few 7 inchers out of there.

I hope all of you down in new Smyrna and Edgewater have been doing okay. Last summer I got fed up with the invasion of the Asian hordes at the North causeway bridge and mostly crabbed the South causeway bridge. There are a lot of old time local guys there who keep things under control. I also found another spot. If you are driving north on Route 1, you make a left at the first light past Perrines fruit and vegetable market. This is Turnbull Bay road. Turnbull Bay bears to the right after a mile or so. Then you come to the small bridge . Park by the side of the road. The crabbing from the bridge itself isnít so good. Plus there are cars whizzing by. If you walk down to the water on the west side, you can catch crabs. There is path to the railroad bridge (here we go again!) and I have done real good there. I would get anywhere from 12-18 mid summer, although it does start to slow down around late August. I always crabbed it with baskets, but there are lots of local people there who use chicken tied to strings with a net. Something to keep in mind. 

Keep trying new places and be sure to watch your fingers.
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SHELLFISH
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« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2014, 10:55:22 AM »

Thanks for your summer progress report! It was an interesting read!
It sounds like you are doing well up your way. It sounds better than down in the Edgewater area!
With the warmer water the crabbing has slowed way down and there are a lot of egger females around now too.
With the warmer water the bait doesn't last too long either. You have to rebit every other day!
The crabs in this area are remaining small. Of about 150 crabs only one has been 7 inches!

I have known about Turnbull Bay but have never tried it yet.
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« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2014, 11:10:53 AM »

Great read , thanks
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« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2014, 05:28:18 PM »

Interesting report.  Thanks
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« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2014, 09:14:32 PM »

Great read.   Thanks for sharing.
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