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Author Topic: crabbing Mosquito Lagoon New Smyrna Beach Florida  (Read 1491 times)
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SHELLFISH
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« on: May 18, 2021, 02:22:02 PM »

A good friend Tom (CaptainCrab55) from BCA moved south next to me in New Smyrna Florida!
We got together for our first crabbing trip together. We tried Doris Leeper Park first I used 5 throwable Bass Pro ring traps baited with chicken backs and some small grunts were on the last trap.
Tom used 5 large ring traps baited with chicken necks, gizards and liver? After two hours  of an incoming tide Tom got one female of good size that was released. We then moved a few miles south to Kennedy Park in Edgewater by the boat ramps and tried off the seawall on the newly renovated dock.
After two hours on an incoming tide Tom had one small female that was released and I had a small white line peeler that was released and a 5.75 " male that I kept. My first crab of the year and since 4-25-2020! I had never seen a white lined peeler before; only red lined peelers. Tom knew exactly what it was and explained it to me. He later sent me an excellent paper describing white lined peelers! Thanks Tom; new info for me!
We had back to back hurricanes a couple years ago followed by a Brown Tide Algae super bloom. This superbloom wiped out the seagrasses where all the little crustaceans hide for predator avoidance. As now barren the predators have free access to suck down the little critters at will! Crabbing has suffered tremendously! In 2018 I took 123 crabs for the year; about average. In 2018 I took 35 crabs and in 2020 I only took two crabs! Just pitiful! It certainly isn't looking good for 2021!
Even the commercial crabbers can't keep the bait shops with crabs. I see the commercials set out a line of traps one day to see them pick them up the next day to try somewhere else! Just pitiful!
I spoke with the University of Florida Oyster biologist about the superbloom and its affects. She said the superbllom stressed out the Oysters with high mortality and about totally exterminated the clams. Evidently the bloom in such heavy concentrations plug up the clam and Oyster ability to filter feed.

I had a good time crabbing with a good friend again even if I couldn't show him full baskets!
We will try again..................they gotta be somwhere!
« Last Edit: May 18, 2021, 06:12:06 PM by SHELLFISH » Logged

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captaincrab55
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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2021, 05:32:20 PM »

Jim,  Thanks for sharing your land/pier/sea wall fishing and crabbing spots.    Even with the action part down, it was still a great day on the River.    With the strong breeze, it wasn't a good day to take the small boat out.
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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2021, 08:11:52 PM »

Thanks for the report
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SHELLFISH
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« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2021, 02:24:02 PM »

I called a number of bait & tackle shops along the east coast of Florida to query them on fresh Crab availability.
From Jacksonville area including the St Johns River and tributaries south to St Augustine all shops had fresh Blue crabs for bait!
From Ormond Beach south through Merritt Island including Mosquito Lagoon, Indian River Lagoon and Banana River most shops only had frozen Crabs for bait.
Further south at Jupitor, Vero and Jensen Beach crabs were found fresh at area bait shops!

My query was due to my inability to catch local Crabs in the Mosquito Lagoon. You can catch a crab here or there but they are few and far between! It would appear that if you are looking to catch some crabs you would be well advised to travel an hour or two north or south of Daytona Beach area to explore more productive areas!
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saltysenior
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« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2021, 07:16:18 AM »

 down here in the Stuart area there are 5 bridges that give you a great view of our waterways.....no crab pot buoys to be seen..
 
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SHELLFISH
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« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2021, 08:20:04 AM »

Thanks for the input! Interesting that just south of you at Jensen Beach they said that they had plenty of crabs!
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« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2021, 07:57:41 PM »

 
I'll check on that , but local markets are getting La. crabs..
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« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2021, 07:58:04 PM »

 
I'll check on that , but local markets are getting La. crabs..
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SHELLFISH
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« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2021, 07:19:59 AM »

That could very well be the case! I have heard that some of the commercial crabbers are pulling their boats out of Mosquito Lagoon to crab in more northern waters around Jacksonville and the St Johns River and even traveling across the state to crab on the west coast of Florida!
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« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2021, 07:07:53 PM »

Could be thats why my go to spots haven't been productive.
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