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Thread: New Green Crab Trap

  1. #1

    New Green Crab Trap

    Was visiting "Industrial Marine Marketing" located in Wakefield, RI and noted a new (at least new to me) green crab trap that they were carrying. See the following link to see a picture of what the trap looks like:Other Traps | Brooks Trap Mill and look nine traps down from the top of the page.

    Since the togging season is only a few weeks away, it seemed appropriate to bring up anything new that appears on the market relative to catching this species. This is probably one of the most expensive ($70 to $80 price range) green crab traps that I have ever seen and was really itching to buy one so I checked it out, but my wife was with me. It is a fairly large trap and appeared to me to be well designed. It probably would be well suited for someone who would need large quantities of green crabs like a conch fisherman, charter boat, or a commercial tog pinhooker. With the dollar being able to buy less and less, and the more or less conventional green crab traps going around $50 or more, this trap just might have to be considered as being a good value for the dollar spent.







    I must have spent 1/2 hour giving it a good once over and believe this one will probably out fish any green trap I have seen previously. It has two entrances such that if a conch or a large spider crab gets lodged or stuck in one entrance, the other entrance will continue to fish. The entrances are located at either end of the quonset hut arrangement with a rather small bait compartment located directly in the middle of the quonset hut. The bait compartment can be accessed through a door located on the bottom of the trap. What struck me as being unique in the design of this trap is the vertical shaft located at each end of the roofs of the quonset huts. It is rather obvious how this trap works: the crabs enter heading for the bait compartment. Since the bait is in a protected compartment, the instincts of the crab would be climb up one of the two vertical shafts trying to get a better shot at the bait. When they get to the top of the shaft they fall down into the very large holding area and still are in no better position to get at the bait. The designer of this trap seems to have thought of everything: very large holding area and a small bait compartment area for which should have a very long life before re-baiting because the crabs never really have a direct shot at the bait. I suspect this trap will catch like hell using a minimal amount bait; wish I had one.
    "Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go" by William Feather

  2. #2
    Senior NBS Member raindropfx's Avatar
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    . .. .. I saw this trap on Brooks Trap Mill's web site a couple weeks ago.. ..I was poking around looking for pictures to get some ideas. Was hoping to get a better view of it . .. . .but the picture stayed the same size when you click on it. .. . .it's also one of the only traps on their page that doesn't give any dimensions. It appeared to be rather large in comparison to the usual traps. Although it's seems to be a very well built and sizable trap. ... it is a pretty pricey trap too. .. ...especially because it always seems to be a gamble of if/when someone is going to decide they need it more than you!! I was hoping to get a couple of the Ketcham top chute crab traps before togging season, but that's not going to happen. ......I'll be using the old ones (eel pot style) again this year. Maybe I'll have time to try and build another Home Cheapo one that is more like the Ketcham trap.. ...

    . .. .. ...It is funny that you posted this now. ..yesterday I was trying to talk a buddy in taking a ride to Industrial Marine Marketing to take a tour of the 'candy store'. . ...it was a no-go. I may venture up there myself. .....especially after reading this!!!
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  3. #3
    Senior NBS Member finsaholic's Avatar
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    That place really is a candy store. Didn't know about it until a few weeks ago, and it's right up the road which is even better...
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by raindropfx View Post
    . .. .. I saw this trap on Brooks Trap Mill's web site a couple weeks ago.. ..I was poking around looking for pictures to get some ideas. Was hoping to get a better view of it . .. . .but the picture stayed the same size when you click on it. .. . .it's also one of the only traps on their page that doesn't give any dimensions. It appeared to be rather large in comparison to the usual traps. Although it's seems to be a very well built and sizable trap. ... it is a pretty pricey trap too. .. ...especially because it always seems to be a gamble of if/when someone is going to decide they need it more than you!! I was hoping to get a couple of the Ketcham top chute crab traps before togging season, but that's not going to happen. ......I'll be using the old ones (eel pot style) again this year. Maybe I'll have time to try and build another Home Cheapo one that is more like the Ketcham trap.. ...

    . .. .. ...It is funny that you posted this now. ..yesterday I was trying to talk a buddy in taking a ride to Industrial Marine Marketing to take a tour of the 'candy store'. . ...it was a no-go. I may venture up there myself. .....especially after reading this!!!
    If you are heading up there, pick me up in Stonington as you fly by. Would be more than willing to share the driving costs with you as that place is truly a fisherman's candy store and even better, my wife will not be along to control my spending.

    Hold off on purchasing a new green crab trap as I just put one together that has to be the cheapest and simplest green crab trap ever made. I tried it out two days ago and caught 8 crabs in less than an hour. I expect it could easily take a 100 crabs plus overnight. I did have to modify it somewhat this evening by drilling more holes in so it sinks faster and drains faster, and the clap trap way I keep it in place needs some attention (or a brick) but I plan on dropping it off tomorrow morning on my way out, and picking it up on the way in to see how it fared. Typically one has to multiply the catch caught in the daytime by at least three when used at night. I do not think I have spent even one dollar in putting it together and it took me around two hours to find my electric drill and saber saw but once I found my stuff, the trap only took 35 minutes to build mostly out of things that should of been heading for the trash can. If my idea flops then I will not post it because most will think I should be headed for the loony bin; if successful, which I think it will be, then I will post how to make these simple and dirt cheap green crab traps up.
    "Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go" by William Feather

  5. #5
    Senior NBS Member raindropfx's Avatar
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    . .. . ..okay. . .. what's the verdict? How did the new trap make out?? Interested to see what you used and how it's made!
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  6. #6
    Not sure, the verdict is still out. I dropped two traps out in the same area, one conventional and my claptrap on the way out. Both did about the same coming back in with the conventional getting 18 crabs and the claptrap catching 13. Probably the claptrap had more weight in it as some of the green crabs were extremely large, so large they could not fit into the opening of a conventional eel trap.

    This is what I had done: thinking that trapping green crabs is not really necessary since they are not likely to leave until the bait is gone, I decided to use the white square four gallon buckets that my clam snot comes in. They nestle together leaving a 3 inch void at the bottom between them. All I did was cut the bottom out of one of the buckets and fit in wire mesh. The second and outer bucket I drilled a million small holes in it's bottom to allow the claptrap to sink and quickly drain when pulled. To bait it up, just drop the bait in the outer bucket, then insert the the inner bucket such that the bait is caught between the two. The crabs cannot get at the bait from the outside so are forced to enter and move to the rear (bottom of the bucket in this case) where they have to attack the bait through the wire mesh.

    In a way, I still think this trap can take a large number of crabs very quickly (measure in hours) but would be semi useless if baited on a weekend and then checked the following weekend as even through the mesh all the bait would be gone. It would be better suited should one be headed out then checked on the way in or if left out overnight for which I have yet to try.

    Here are the problems I have yet to solve: there is very little weight to the claptrap yet it still has quite a bit water resistance; not much of a problem if used where there is little current, but it will need either some weight internally, externally, or both to prevent it from walking in strong currents. This can be solved but not sure yet of the best way of going about it.

    The second problem is I never knew green crabs could grow so big. My current green crab traps have modest size entrances so very large green crabs cannot fit through them while any sized crab can enter the the claptrap. Not really sure if this is a problem but even if quartered, one would still have to do some crab trimming because of their large size. I always favored the smaller crabs, these monsters would make one nervous reaching down blindly into a bucket for bait.

    The trap works but not sure if it will out catch a conventional trap yet. I still think it will for short time spans, and is very easy to make and at nearly zero cost but somehow weight has to definitely to be added.
    "Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go" by William Feather

  7. #7
    Senior NBS Member raindropfx's Avatar
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    . .. ...picked up my pots after a 2 day soak. .....filled two 5 gallon buckets with green crabs.. ...and you're right about the size! All were much larger than usual. ...... the two pots I'm using are the eel trap type, so there's the long chute. . . .I can't believe some of these guys made it in! I prefer the smaller ones, but . ... .. .nothing a little trimming can't take care of. Good news is there was only about 1/2 dozen spider crabs in the traps.. ..

    . . ....Scup is there a way to add the weight between the two buckets with the bait? Maybe a of lead weights . .. .even rocks?!
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  8. #8
    Senior NBS Member raindropfx's Avatar
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    . .. ..took a rainy day ride to Industrial Marine Marketing on Friday.. ..can see why the commercial guys like that place! I was looking for a large holding car for green crabs. I've been using two 5 gallon buckets with screw tops. . ..with A LOT of holes drilled in them. Seeing that I filled both of them with my first set I wanted something a bit larger. The only ones up there were the 2'x1'x1' cars. .... .and they were more than I wanted to spend. They did have those large white pails that Scup had mentioned. . ... .but they didn't have lids and would have taken an entire day just drilling holes in 'em. It gave me an idea though. . ....the heavy duty plastic baskets I use are a pretty decent size. . . .and fairly cheap at $15. I had some of the cheap wire mesh left that I made some traps out of. .. .... if could make a top out of that . .. . . .. ...I think it just may work.

    . . ...so with my trusty bag of tie wraps and my cutters. . ...I gave it a go. The end result isn't too bad. . . . ..a cheap and easy holding car.
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  9. #9
    That should work out fine! Be sure to tie a brick on the bottom for some weight.

    My claptrap was taken, either by full moon currents or by someone. Likely because of its size, at low tide, one could easily see the white sides of the trap just below the surface. I really doubt it walked because of the heavy weights attached to it. Before its loss, it was catching about the same as a conventional green crab trap. High visibility is a bitch when it comes to green crab design as it can prove to be just too much of a temptation.

    The rather large, very expensive, and high built green trap that started this post, now makes me wonder if its Achilles Heel just might be at low tide it had better not be easily visible from passers by. Last year, at first, I was catching rather poorly until I tied a four pound test leader to the door that would be broken when opened. It was broken the very next time I hauled the trap in. Somebody was helping themselves! Removing its float, same general location, and my green crab catch soared.

    One trick that I use that has never resulted in a theft is to make up a mini trawl. Tie a cement block to a short float. Then tie two or three traps to the cement block. Hence one float, three traps. Without picking up the cement block, grapple the three traps with your boat hook when needed. A potential thief, or a curious boater, after lifting the heavy cement block will typically just drop it back down to the bottom without further ado. Use nylon line for the rodes as you would wish to have nothing floating to tangle with propellers or give an invitation to someone.
    "Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go" by William Feather

  10. #10
    Senior NBS Member raindropfx's Avatar
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    . . .. ..pulled the traps again last night. . ..not as full as the first set, but it was the choice of bait. .. ...still filled another 5 gallon bucket. Won't be able to set them again for a while because of some lonnnng hours at work. . . .. but I have enough. Filled up the new 'cheap guys holding car' and it works great. . . ..now it's just a wait till next Saturday. . ...!!


    . . .. . . .this is the 'Crabbing Crew'. .....(on nice days!)
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