Crab fishing offers a unique experience, combining tradition with modern techniques. The variety of nets available, such as the single ring or witches hat crab trap, tangle net, and drop nets, cater to different fishing styles. The drop net, in particular, is known for its efficiency, collapsing on the seabed and enticing crabs with its pasty-shaped shell that contains soft, brown meat. This technique contrasts with the loop net, similar to a ball net but with a narrow metal hoop running through its top.
Crab nets like the Dennett Crab Trap, measuring 30cm x 60cm, are designed for ease of use, with features such as an anchoring string for stability. For larger catches, the XXL net, with 16 holes, opens to 35cm x 80cm, making it ideal for both fish and crabs. Another notable option is the SOONHUA Fishing Net, which is foldable and features 6 or 12 holes for quick setup.
Legal regulations play a crucial role in sustainable fishing. For instance, the Minimum Conservation Reference Sizes (MCRS) set limits on certain fish and shellfish species. In addition, specific regional closures can last up to 10 days, prohibiting the harvest of blue crabs with traps to protect marine life. When using hoop nets for crab or spiny lobster, limitations are also in place regarding the number of nets per person and vessel.
The art of net making and repair is a skill passed down through generations. Local fishermen, like those in Dunbar, Scotland, craft and mend nets for their creels, used in lobster and crab fishing. This tradition, integral to the fishing industry in Scotland, is highlighted by organizations like Seafood Scotland. For recreational fishers, it’s interesting to note that no license is required for crab drop/scoop netting or prawn netting, unless using a throw net.