CRABS FOR THE CRABBER

Would you like to learn how to make around two hundred dollars a day for
going out in the boat and crabbing for a few hours? Once you gain the experience
of a commercial crabber, you can earn as much as you want. All it takes is a little
time and effort to learn the basic steps, and, of course, the love of the water. For the
last two years, I have kept the books for my boyfriend's crabbing business. I helped
him from the beginning when we purchased the traps to today, when he is now
running 150 traps.
On the boat, you should always have as many life jackets as people. Flares
and a marine radio should also be on the boat in case of an emergency. For
instance, if you are five miles out over the ocean and the boat runs out of gas, you
could light a flare and reach some help on the marine radio. You should also keep
an oar on the boat at all times. This would come in handy if your boat is stuck in
mud, or if the boat breaks down in the small creeks near your dock. I also
recommend that you have crabbing gloves and rubber overalls from Boater's World.
The gloves have special rubber tips that help reduce the pain if a crab pinches you.
The overalls will protect your clothes from getting drenched and muddy. The last
thing that you should never leave the dock without is plenty of liquids to drink. I
recommend Gatorade or water, but no soft drinks. It is very hot on the boat and
fluids are a necessity so that you do no dehydrate.
Before you can start crabbing, you need certain materials. The most
important is a commercial license to sell crabs. A license can be purchased from the
Game Warden in Richmond Hill. You must go early in the year because they only
sell a limited number. Once you have a license and your personal number for your
traps, you need a large flat bottom boat with a powerful motor. I recommend a
Yamaha Salt Water Series. This motor is very reliable and can handle the long
hours put on it. You should also buy a wench and have it bolted to the side of the
boat. The wench is not necessary, but is will save a lot of time and effort to pull up
all of the traps. A dolly should be kept on the dock to take the boxes of crabs to the
truck. You will also need at least fifty crab traps to get started. These can be
purchased at any boating store for around twenty dollars apiece. When you have all
of your traps, you will need around 2500 feet of rope and fifty floats. After you
have all of these materials, you will need bait fish and premium gasoline on a daily
basis. The bait fish can be purchased anywhere that sells market seafood.
The traps will have to be rigged up before they can be dropped. You should
tie about fifty feet of rope on each trap. The floats will need your crabbing number
engraved with a sauter iron so that no one will mistake them as their traps. The
floats need to be tied on the end of the rope that is not tied to the trap. This will
allow the float to stay on top of the water when the trap is on the bottom of the
creek. Each trap needs to be baited with at least four small fish. When you have all
of your traps ready, it is time to find places to put them.
Small creeks contain the most crabs in the months of April through
November. You must make sure that there are no other traps in the creeks that you
select. Spread the traps out about seventy-five yards apart. Find creeks that are not
used often, so that the public will not rob a few of your traps for their dinner. After
you feel that all of your traps are in good places you can retire for the day.
The next day, you should get an early start. Make sure that you have plenty
of gasoline, boxes to put the crabs in, your overalls, and gloves. I would also
recommend that you bring bait to put in the traps while you have them out of the
water. When you get to your first trap, put