Crab Traps

I have done a little crab trapping in a larger boat (row boat), but never out of a kayak. I have seen portable and folding crab traps for kayaks and / or smaller boats, so getting a trap is not the problem.

My question is, at the end of the day, when I bring the trap up, how do I get it back to shore? In a larger boat I have always had a bucket of sea water to put the crabs in to keep them alive. Can’t really do that in a kayak. Also can’t really just put the trap on the deck of the kayak, as the crabs will probably be dead by the time I hit shore.

I thought of somehow tying the trap off and towing it behind the kayak until I hit shore but don’t really know if that would work given the weight of the trap, etc.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

How big is the trap ?
Can you put said trap in said bucket of water, (hopefully not 5 gallons)and put said bucket between your thighs in the cockpit?

Another option would be to have a small flat platform with the bucket attached to it, and have it bungeed to the rear deck directly behind you.

You could have some gray foam or whatever under the platform so it would conform to any curve of your deck.

As you catch a crab you put it behind you in the bucket of water.

At the end of the day, you just bungee the trap to your front deck.



Sit-On-Top Kayak
This is the kind of thing SOTs were invented for.

Check out and look on their main page and on the forums about fishing.

Inner Tube
If you can find one tow an inflated inner tube behind you. With ropes you can tie off something to carry the crabs in and put the crabpots on top. Just an idea.


May seem like a stupid question - -
but since we don’t have crabs in Lake Erie, it may be.

Isn’t there a way to “string” them up like a fish stringer?? I know I do this in a canoe on one of our inland lakes

Oh - -and as for somebodies comment about the use of a mirror?? - - -Funny I agree, but usually a mirror reflects upon ones own self - - - back at ya

I Don’t Think
there would be any way to string them up. They are not like fish. One idea I did think of is to get some kind of flexible cooler bag, like they have for beer etc., and depending on how many crabs there were, I could put some sea water in the cooler bag with the crabs. That might be one way.

I may not even need to worry about it as on another internet site someone posted on saying that crabs can live a long time out of the water. Maybe being out of the water is not an issue.

In Case Anyone Else Is Interested
I just got a great idea on another web site. A fellow posted on who obviously has done some crabbing out of a kayak and said he just uses a soaking wet gunny sack, puts his catch of crabs in it, ties it off at the top, and then throws it in his cockpit, Says he has been out in the water a long time with this and has never had any crabs die. Sounds like it might be a good solution. Thanks as well for all the ideas here!

keep them wet and covered
from the sun and they will last all day , in the produce bin of your fridge they’ll last several days.

The gunny sack is an old method used by
crabbers everywhere before ice chests became common and affordable. Like a fishing creel, it works by the evaporative process. Just keep them cool For those who don’t know, a gunny sack is a burlap bag. Grain and potatos are two common items that came in them, though haven’t seen many of them lately, everything is plastic and paper these days.

As for crabbing from a kayak, be carful and don’t drop one in the wrong place. There was a pretty long discussion about crabbing from a kayak on the fishing forum a while back, it may still be there.

A simple garbagde
bag , a thicker mil. if ya care to go there . If there is rockweed about you could put enough in the bag to keep em in a friendlier eviroment , just the way lobsters are shipped , or any weed or grass about . I use a it when fishing , south just the bag . Soft shells jacketed in a seasoned flour of your choice w/vadalia onions in white wine and butter/garlic . With a nice bread !----That’s where ye post put me -Thanks —M

Sit on tops with tankwells usually have
enough space to carry a small ice chest, though not if you use a milk crate. Use the ice chest just likd the water filled buck. Also, there are those fish and bait holders that have a flotation donut with a nylon sack to h old the bait or fish, they’re pretty cheap too. And, there are wire fish baskets with flotation now.

I don’t know, the idea of having a bunch of crabs crawling around loose in the cockpit sounds kind of creepy.

Gunny Sacks
If you are looking to find them, I just bought a couple of new ones from a feed store. This is the kind of store that sells feed for animals. I’m sure you can find them other places as well.

Also note that you can get them in different sizes, as sometimes the ones that hold potatoes, etc. are pretty large. I found a couple of new smaller ones for $1.50 each that will fit nicely in the kayak.

Leave traps in water?
I used to run 3-4 traps from a kayak, and would just leave the traps in the water. Every day or two, I would empty and rebait, which was easily done with a large bucket in my lap. I would not keep water in the bucket, just the crabs, and they always survived the trip home as long as they were not left in the direct sun. (Keep a wet towel or t-shirt over the bucket.

To set the traps initailly or to occassionally bring one in, I had to do it one at a time by strapping them to the deck with a bungee cord. THe traps were not heavy, but they were quite bulky.