Monday, March 19, 2012

Catching Your Own Food Part 3

Crab meat, whether it is from the Blue Crab, Green Crab or Snow Crab, is one of the more popular seafood dishes available. Make your own crab traps to save the money on buying the professionally constructed ones and provide some very delicious dinners for your family. Several different types of crab traps are available for sale, including the box, funnel and open top crab trap. The open top trap allows the crabs to enter and leave at will until it is time for the trap to be retrieved, at which point the four walls rise up and trap the crabs inside.

You will need:

10-pack black mini wire grid displays

1/2-inch metal rings (12)

Nylon rope

2 mini bungee cords

Can of cat food

Examine the wire grid displays. These metal panels are 14-by-14 inch squares with a grid of eight smaller gauge wires criss-crossing through the square. Note that the top of the grids are where each of the smaller gauge wires cross over the top of the frame. Lay out one of the grids front side down in the center of a table. This grid will serve as the bottom of your open top trap. Label the bottom grid “B.”

Lay out one grid front side down on each of the four sides of the bottom grid for a total of five grids to form one trap. Label the grid on the left side with an “L,” the one on the right with an “R” and the remaining two with a “T” for top and “U” for under. These five grids will form a “Plus” shape when viewed from above.

Connect one side at a time using the 1/2-inch metal rings. Slip a metal ring over the lower left corner of “B” through the upper left corner of “U.” Slip another ring over the lower right corner of “B” through the upper left corner of “U.” Pinch the rings together with pliers to prevent the grids from separating.

Slip a ring over the upper left corner of “B” and the lower left corner of “T.” Repeat for the upper right corner of “B.” Use the rings to connect “L” to “B” in the corners and for the “R” grid to the “B” grid as well. Once each corner of the trap is connected to each wall, add a third ring in the center of each grid where it connects to the grid next to it. Each wall should be lifted easily into place to form a box.

Cut two pieces of nylon rope 46 inches long. Tie one end of one piece of rope to the outer rim of the “U” grid and the other to the outer rim of the “T” grid. Tie one of the other piece of nylon rope to the outer rim of the “L” grid, loop it over the first nylon rope and tie the other end to the outer rim of the “R” grid.

Tie one end of nylon rope through the loop you made in the center of the second piece of rope. Secure the end of this rope with a tight knot and wrap the knot with electrical tape to keep it in place. This piece of rope will be the one used to lower and raise the trap. The length you make it depends on how deep the waters will be in which you are crabbing. Choose that length and add three feet slack.

Tie the other end of this line to a buoy. You can either buy a buoy in a fishing store or use an empty milk jug with a cap. Loop one end of the line through the handle and secure it tightly with a large knot.

Bait your trap. Punch a few holes in a small can of cat food and use the mini bungee cords to secure the can in the center of grid “B.” This will allow the scent of the food to escape without allowing one or two crabs to remove the bait entirely.

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