Maryland blue crab up close by Benjamin Wilson
When fishing by the seashore, you enjoy nothing more than standing in the sand and letting the water wash up to your ankles. It is a refreshing and comforting feeling as you patiently wait for a fish to take your bait. After only a few minutes fishing, you feel a slight tug on your fishing line. You carefully debate reeling in your potential catch as it doesn’t feel as heavy as a normal fish may feel. As the bait begins to rise to the surface, you are disappointed to see that you have just caught a crab – a blue claw crab.
While you weren’t hoping to catch this crab, the blue claw crab is a prized seafood along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is extremely popular in the Chesapeake Bay Area. The meat is the claws is very much desired and is quite delicious!
During the summer, the female blue claw crabs lay their eggs that were attached directly to their body. Often, you can see a female crab’s eggs easily when you catch one. Make sure to throw her back! These eggs will hatch in about two weeks into larvae. Young crabs will take time to grow and develop new shells but will mature within one year. The Blue Claw Crab is both a predator and scavenger. This makes a lot of sense when they seem to be lured by whatever bait in on your fishing hook! Make sure your know how to catch your own live bait to avoid catching these crabs on accident. When your live bait eventually dies, you’ll notice a lot more crab activity on your fishing line.
The Blue Claw Crab prefers a brackish type of water nears mouths of bays, rivers, streams and coves by the seashore. The crab is a remarkable sea creature as it is an extremely active, alert and aggressive animal. They move quickly in the water and even tend to “fight” other male crabs from time to time.
While it can be frustrating catching a crab while fishing, crabs are actually a big component for fishermen. Many crabs are used as bait. The Green, Blue, Lady, Hermit & Fiddler crabs are all ideal bait methods when fishing. The larger crabs shells are usually crushed with the meat taken out to hook on your line. Crabs are also great live bait because they are easy to keep alive, even without fresh water to keep them cool.
All in all, the Blue Claw Crab is a main creature that helps contribute to the beauty of the seashore. It is also an absolute treat for us to eat and enjoy on land.