BASS BARN banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,048 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
With the full moon I was wondering how many people get there own shedders for fishing. I know I go at night. I bring A bright flashlight or headlamp and patrol back bay marinas, looking on the poles for crabs. Usually they are shadders. I get about a dozen for fishing. I freeze some for later and use a couple early.
Does anyone else do this? I also have a place I go thats very shallow and walk it with a scoop net. I get plenty of them.
I f you don't do this you might want to think about it, with the price of shedders the way it is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
Do you have a pic. of what a shedder crab looks like?

I know every time I wade in to fish, there's a bunch of crabs doing acrobatics on my feet--not sure what kind of crabs they were though. But there's tons of them...
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
9,261 Posts
SHEDDERS

By Scott E. Albertson



Is there a magic bait? Yes, I think there is. It's called shedder crab. Shedder crabs are regular blue claw crabs that are hours, days, or a week away from shedding their shells and becoming soft shell crabs; people bait! The shedders can be caught in crab traps and off the marsh banks with a net, as well as purchased at a local bait and tackle shop.
There are many methods of determining when a crab is entering the shedder state. The differences between a regular crab and a shedder crab are called signs. The easiest sign to read works for immature female crabs only. If you were to turn an immature female shedder crab upside down and look at an area commonly referred to as its crown, it would be dark purple. A fully mature female has a rounder crown and does not show the same sign. On the males, the crown does not change color. Another sign is a red or orange spot that appears on the joint of the large back swimmer fin. This spot is difficult to pick out, so don't be disappointed if you can not easily recognize it. By handling the crab, you can check the large back swimmer fin for swelling or puffiness by squeezing it with your finger and thumb. The swelling is the newly developed soft shell swimmer fin inside the soon to be discarded shell.

An easy way to find shedders is to look for double back crabs. A male crab will piggy-back a female shedder crab to protect her through the very vulnerable soft shell stage. The bottom crab is always a female and is always a shedder, or a just recently shed, now softshell crab. There is a brief period when the shell is as soft as human skin and this is called a soft shell crab. After about six hours, the shell takes on a tinny vinyl texture and is no longer considered good food. For a nice site about shedders, check out Maryland Blue Crabs.

Back to bait. A shedder must be approximately six to ten hours from busting out of its shell. During this final period the shedder is considered bait ready. A bait ready shedder can be peeled from its shell (hence the term peelers, which is another name for shedders) and cut up into small pieces of bait. A shedder crab that is not bait ready is called a green crab(not the same crab bait we use for blackfish bait though). Most shedders must be ripened into bait ready crabs. To do this, leave the crab in the water and nature will continue to take its course. We check our crabs every 12 hours. A bait ready shedder will split by lightly squeezing underneath the crab's top shell points. A close to bait ready crab will bend, but not actually split, and goes back into the water for a later check.

Ok, now you have a bait ready shedder. An average size shedder can be cut up into 17 baits. Two baits out of each claw(4), 1 bait out of the bottom crown, 2 baits off the top shell, and one bait from each leg socket and claw joint(10). Check out our shedder crab demo, this is done with pictures, so give it time to load!

What makes a shedder crab such a great bait? It's the pheromones. Pheromones are a chemical substance secreted by crabs and other creatures to attract each other. The shedder crab's pheromone signature also draws every fish in the sea, specifically weakfish. Once a crab sheds and becomes a soft shell, it is still good bait, but it looses its pheromone potency and does not work as well as a bait ready peeler. Only a small piece of shedder crab is required for bait, because you are fishing with pheromones rather then meat. Since a fresh piece of shedder will have more scent, it necessary to change the bait regularly. This is also true with other kinds of bait. The easiest lure to work with shedder crab is a bucktail or shad dart. The most common rig is a jig head with a plastic worm of almost any variety. The 1/8 and 1/4 ounce weights are the most popular because they bring the lures down close to the bottom, but do not necessarily drag the lures on the bottom, making them a little more visible to the fish.

[ 09-28-2004, 11:33 AM: Message edited by: NIGHTSTRIKES ]
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
9,261 Posts
I believe also that this is the last shed of the
season this month,but I could be wrong.....
Anybody Know For Sure ?

Thanks,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,008 Posts
Steve,

It's almost the end of the shed. The shedder run slows down big time around Labor Day and you only get sporadic sheds during the next month or so. Talked to a couple of crabbers this weekend, only a couple of shedders out of 300 crabs harvested.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
9,261 Posts
Originally posted by snichols:
Steve,

It's almost the end of the shed. The shedder run slows down big time around Labor Day and you only get sporadic sheds during the next month or so. Talked to a couple of crabbers this weekend, only a couple of shedders out of 300 crabs harvested.
Thanks Steve, I thought so........
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top