Fishing Baits - Peeler Crab
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One of the most natural baits
This came from someone in North Wales but conditions would be similar anywhere from there round the West Country to the middle of the English Channel and just about all of Ireland.
I would like to try for Bass using Crab. However my son took a trip to the tackle shop & came back with 10 LIVE crabs, WHAT do I do with them, use them live or not & how / where to hook them?
You know they are fresh. Dead crabs quickly become useless. Keep them in the fridge as otherwise they'll finish peeling and revert to hardbacks.
Traditionally you peel all the shell from them - they are 'peeler' crabs because they are in the process of shedding their shells, and then tie the soft flesh to the hook using fine elastic.
Take just the back shell off. Stab the crab between the eyes with your hookpoint to kill it and prevent it suffering and then put the whole crab, including the shell, on the hook by pushing the hook through the shell leaving the point clear of the back. If the crab is too big for this cut it in two and fish just one half by hooking it through two leg sockets.
Do not use these baits in bright daylight as wrasse will grab them. Do not cast them into deep water as you'll waste them on dogfish. At dawn and dusk fish them close alongside weedy rocks in two or three metres of water. Use as little lead as possible. Use light line, a sharp, fine wire, wide gape #4/0 hook and cast no more then 30 metres. Bass expect to find peelers where there are hiding places and they are used to eating them shell, spiky bits and all. When you feel a bite count one, two, and strike.
Unless stated otherwise: Everything in this site refers to fishing in the British Isles and similar northern European waters.