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I've been a crabbing machine the last couple weeks, I've tried out several different types of bait (chicken, turkey legs, cat food, albacore heads, salmon carcass, lingcod carcass, rockfish carcass) - so far I've had the best luck with the albacore heads and the turkey legs. The worst has been the cat food. Curious if other folks have any sort of crab bait "secret weapon"? I've heard shad work well, never tried them myself though.
 

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I too have had excellent luck with turkey legs. The fat in poultry is more water soluble than that in fish thus producing a "scent" trail quicker; important if you are not leaving the pots out over night. I fish kokanee quite a bit in the spring and save the carcasses and as with most fish with lots of oils have found them to be an excellent crab bait. Perhaps the best crab bait is clams and squid will work as well.

I usually fish turkey legs and either kokanee or clams together. I typically fish with the cheap "square pots. The advantage with them is that crab get in them easily and you can check them every 40 minutes or so. A couple of fishers with 4 pots can easily fish different depths and areas moving the gear that isn't catching crab until have things dailed in.

With the kokanee carcasses, clams and squid using bait boxes with a very small mesh helps to extent the time they fish (much harder for the crab to get at them).

Tight lines
Curt
 

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Chicken legs have been good for me. After having one square pot go missing I'm not fishing a $40 round pot. My neighbor swears that round pots are better than square as crabs can't turn corners but will circle a round pot looking for an entrance. I'm not ready to swear to this but he may be right.
 

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Ever done the "place favorite bait into a blender", put in freezer and create a Baitcicle? Used in addition to the normal hunks of whatever you prefer. I have heard Tuna is great, due to the oil content, but have yet to try it.
 

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On the back of the fishing regs there's an ad for pots with glow in the dark accessories. They include bait boxes, doors, etc... I didn't realize that this was legal. What about lights? We've been using turkey legs lately and getting fuller pots than average. That being said, there have been more undersized and soft-shells than I remember.
 

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I like salmon and chicken carcasses...I was told by an old crabber, that clams (smashed) out fishes everything, but I have not yet tried it...Halibut has not produced for me well.

I crab evey day of the season (Wed thru Sat) and have done pretty well this year, only losing 1 pot (Boat clipped line) I fish the cheap square pots with leaded core line...
Griswald
 

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i like smashed clams and salmon leftovers
seems like a good year for everybody
i tie lead chunks to the bottom to reduce drift (i saw lead ingots on the bandsaw into 1 inch slabs and drill a few holes)

good luck out there fellas
 

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Salmon leftovers for me, spines, heads, skin, fins. I put them into quart or half gallon zip log bags when I clean the fish and then the freezer. This frozen block goes into the bait box and seems to do well. I did a lot more crabbing before the girls arrived and often dropped pots then went off to fish a few points, beaches, eel grass or kelp beds then pulled the pots on the way back in. Now when I go out with the little ladies we drop pots, drive a bit and pull pots. For them it is more about the action. For me it is less productive because there is not much soak time and a lot more work since I'm the only one pulling the rope over the pully manually. We should go out more, work or not, productive or not. The girls love going out.
 

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A friend's freezer went out when he was on vacation for a week. We used the bear meat sausage that thawed out during the week. The crabs were trying to free themselves from our grips to get back to that bait bail. It was the best crab bait I've ever used. Not sure if it was all the grease, the spices, or just the luck of the day. It didn't take us but a short time to get 2 limits.
 

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most anything that comes to hand works with crabs. turkey drumsticks are relatively cheap and effective. the shrimp heads and guts were killer while we were still able to fish for spot shrimp. salmon parts work but don't last very long if you are an overnight soaker. we have also used left over BBQ ribs, costco cooked chicken carcuses, if it stinks the crab will come.

here in area 6, it has really slowed down since the indian pots went in. we are competing with thousands of commercial pots at the moment and the fact they are still fishing tells you something about how slow the crabbing has become. add to that lots and lots of undersized and of late soft shells, and so it goes.
 

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Throwing a pot out before and after fishing is a treat!

I like free bait best. Horse clams are good and can be used over and over. Salmon carcas. I didn't save the halibut or shrimp scraps, but should have...

A productive crabbing hole is the key to good crabbing haha!
 

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We always used turkey legs. But, my we did have success with tuna balls though. Not the kind under them either. LOL. We were out fishing, and we'd take tunafish out of the can (oil type, not water) and put in mesh cloth and rig on our sturgeon hooks. We forgot our bait for our traps and tossed a couple in there. Worked pretty good, and cheap.
 

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Buy the cheapest, nastiest smelling canned cat you can find. Poke three/four holes in the can and toss in the trap.
Works great for shrimp, too. Discounted cases at food outlets can be found.
 

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humm, having read the various ideas, it strikes me that what was not clarified was the length of your soak. if you are a day fisherman, more than likely all of these notions will work just fine. if you drop your pots and leave them, as do the commercials, you should be thinking about what will produce a scent trail over that 24hr period. my top 2 choices, given the lengthy soak, are drum sticks combined with the shrimp remains. if i had access to clams, i have talked with several commercials who echo the advice above with regard to this as bait, i'd give this a serious try.

all that said, you need to find a productive area, one that is not heavily hit up by the commercials, and you will do just fine. i heard just a day or two ago that after padilla opened up it was hot, hot, hot.
 

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Used the catfood and pulled twice a day. Morning and late afternoon.
Attraction seemed to last 24hrs or a bit more depending on current.
 

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My neighbor, a commercial gill netter and crabber, has a commercial permit for Razor Clams. He digs those and freezes them whole, and uses those for his bait. When we had that huge population explosion of Humboldt Squid, and a mass of them washed up on shore and into the Westport Boat Basin, a lot of crabbers scooped up a bunch of those to freeze for bait, too.
I might start setting a couple of pots here in the Harbor, and probably will use razor clams or salmon heads/carcasses, but it sounds like maybe I should consider the turkey legs.
 

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I usually just use salmon carcasses because its what i have available but have had success with just about anything and everything.
The one thing i did try the other day and didnt get touched was herring. I was very suprised by this. I had some black labels in with a salmon head and the crabs didnt even touch the herring while devouring the salmon.
 

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I use to run a meat and seafood department in a grocery store and I would use chicken thighs from packages of chicken that were too old to sell let them come to room temptature for two days in my back yard
when I opened the packages it smelt so bad it would make you want to puke

I let my pots soak for 15-20 minutes and they were usually full
I crabbed off Camano Island

people always told me fresh bait works best but that was not my experience

having access to all kinds of meat and seafood scaps this was still my most productive bait
ps you go through alot of rubber gloves and dont want to get any of it on you
 

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Shadalicious shad.

Pulled one pot last weekend after a 2 hour soak and had 11 keepers and about 40 smaller crabs. After pulling all our pots-3 men and my two sons and came home with 25 crabs.

We use the large octagon pots.
 
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