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Thread: Crabbing around Kodiak/Afognak help.

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    Member Longbow6360's Avatar
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    Default Crabbing around Kodiak/Afognak help.

    A friend moved from our bay last year and left me a couple crab traps. I set them a couple times last fall with chicken, salmon and herring baits in depths of 25' 50', 100' and 200'. I haven't caught anything but starfish and a couple flounders. I've searched for info here and on the web and found a lot of good info about Tanner and Dungeness but nothing specific about crabbing here. I would think I would at least luck into one crab but in about 10 sets I have nothing to show. I'd really like to make this work. Do we just not have any crabs around Afognak? I'm looking for grass beds and deep, flat bottoms and letting them soak for 24 hours. Cabin fever is setting in and I'm ready to get out and try again. Any advice?

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    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longbow6360 View Post
    A friend moved from our bay last year and left me a couple crab traps. I set them a couple times last fall with chicken, salmon and herring baits in depths of 25' 50', 100' and 200'. I haven't caught anything but starfish and a couple flounders. I've searched for info here and on the web and found a lot of good info about Tanner and Dungeness but nothing specific about crabbing here. I would think I would at least luck into one crab but in about 10 sets I have nothing to show. I'd really like to make this work. Do we just not have any crabs around Afognak? I'm looking for grass beds and deep, flat bottoms and letting them soak for 24 hours. Cabin fever is setting in and I'm ready to get out and try again. Any advice?
    I think i'd get off the grass and look for mud bottom. Did your friend catch any crab near you ??

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    I haven't had much luck lately around there, either. If you're looking for tanners, try about 50-70 fathoms in the mud guts. You might find some dungies up at the head of the bays or off the kelp lines. If you know where there are clams you'll probably find some dungies there in 10 fathoms. Good luck. We'll compare notes in about three weeks. Heading down Wed to get cod and rockfish fishing. We'll be looking for bears the 20th.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Tanner crab like muddy trenches in 300'-500+' of water.
    I make a bait from ground hooligan and herring. Maybe throw in some salmon guts and hang in a bait can or mesh bag.
    Then hang some salmon carcasses in there.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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    Member Longbow6360's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by potbuilder View Post
    I think i'd get off the grass and look for mud bottom. Did your friend catch any crab near you ??
    He did but he was dismissed from his job so we didn't have a lot of time to visit. I know of a few semi-flat spots that feel like mud when we jig over them while fishing. They're 160 -210' deep. Should I set some pots there? Is this a good time to try?

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    Member Longbow6360's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seinerman View Post
    I haven't had much luck lately around there, either. If you're looking for tanners, try about 50-70 fathoms in the mud guts. You might find some dungies up at the head of the bays or off the kelp lines. If you know where there are clams you'll probably find some dungies there in 10 fathoms. Good luck. We'll compare notes in about three weeks. Heading down Wed to get cod and rockfish fishing. We'll be looking for bears the 20th.
    I know of two kelp beds I can a pot by. I'll try a couple sets there. Thanks Seinerman.
    We've seen three bears so far this year. Tomorrow I'll run out to the beach I told you about and take some pictures and look for sign. I'll let you know what I find.

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    Member Longbow6360's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    Tanner crab like muddy trenches in 300'-500+' of water.
    I make a bait from ground hooligan and herring. Maybe throw in some salmon guts and hang in a bait can or mesh bag.
    Then hang some salmon carcasses in there.
    I have some herring I netted this spring. I'll try that. I have 300+ feet of line. I might have to rustle up more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Longbow6360 View Post
    I know of two kelp beds I can a pot by. I'll try a couple sets there. Thanks Seinerman.
    We've seen three bears so far this year. Tomorrow I'll run out to the beach I told you about and take some pictures and look for sign. I'll let you know what I find.
    Awesome! I'll bring my subsistence tanner pot and see what we can find. I can fish out in front where you can't go. If we get a hit, we'll have a crab boil with you guys! What's the policy on a keg of Wingnut in and around your location?

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    Member Longbow6360's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seinerman View Post
    Awesome! I'll bring my subsistence tanner pot and see what we can find. I can fish out in front where you can't go. If we get a hit, we'll have a crab boil with you guys! What's the policy on a keg of Wingnut in and around your location?
    Good deal. Hopefully I can learn something from you guys.
    Kegs, or any other is just fine.

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    Member Anythingalaska's Avatar
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    Regardless of geographical location, the habitat for Dungeness (and other crab) doesn't change much or at all. Dungeness and most crab like muddy bays and edges, usually but not always off a flats/estuary. In the spring they will migrate from the deep water (30 fathoms ish) into the shallows (15 fathoms up to zero fathoms) where they will stay until the fall (September-ish). The Dungeness down here in Southeast right now are out in 150' of water or more. In the summer time I like to set in about 60-30 feet of water. Also, I disagree about setting near kelp beds, unless you want a pot full of starfish. Kelp indicates a rocky/hard bottom where there will not be any crab.

    As far as bait, everyone is different. I will say that some people really like herring, but I personally don't. I usually use pink salmon or black cod heads which are by far the best (leaves a sheen of oil as soon as it hits water). It's more about location though and not bait; as even with the bait you are using, if you land on the crab you will catch something.

    So in the long and short of it, find a muddy bay, set off some flats in the appropriate depth of water for the time of year and you should find some crab!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anythingalaska View Post
    Also, I disagree about setting near kelp beds, unless you want a pot full of starfish. Kelp indicates a rocky/hard bottom where there will not be any crab.

    As far as bait, everyone is different. I will say that some people really like herring, but I personally don't. I usually use pink salmon or black cod heads which are by far the best (leaves a sheen of oil as soon as it hits water). It's more about location though and not bait; as even with the bait you are using, if you land on the crab you will catch something.

    So in the long and short of it, find a muddy bay, set off some flats in the appropriate depth of water for the time of year and you should find some crab!
    That explains a lot. I caught one crab once off a kelp bed and never caught another one. But I keep trying. What is that about making the same mistake expecting different results? Thanks for the tip. I'll try more diligently for dungies with your suggestions!

  12. #12
    Member Longbow6360's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anythingalaska View Post
    Regardless of geographical location, the habitat for Dungeness (and other crab) doesn't change much or at all. Dungeness and most crab like muddy bays and edges, usually but not always off a flats/estuary. In the spring they will migrate from the deep water (30 fathoms ish) into the shallows (15 fathoms up to zero fathoms) where they will stay until the fall (September-ish). The Dungeness down here in Southeast right now are out in 150' of water or more. In the summer time I like to set in about 60-30 feet of water. Also, I disagree about setting near kelp beds, unless you want a pot full of starfish. Kelp indicates a rocky/hard bottom where there will not be any crab.

    As far as bait, everyone is different. I will say that some people really like herring, but I personally don't. I usually use pink salmon or black cod heads which are by far the best (leaves a sheen of oil as soon as it hits water). It's more about location though and not bait; as even with the bait you are using, if you land on the crab you will catch something.

    So in the long and short of it, find a muddy bay, set off some flats in the appropriate depth of water for the time of year and you should find some crab!
    Good info Anythingalaska! I just got back from setting a pot and looking for bear sign along a beach. I couldn't get one of the boats that have a depth finder in it because they were already checked out. But from the amount of line I had out, I'd say it's 80' down. I'll have one of the big skiffs tomorrow and go out and check it and move it to a deeper place. I'm going to make this work for me.

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    Member avidflyer's Avatar
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    during the summers growing up around here we always caught tanners in 6-20' of water. Never had to fish deep for them. For kings we would set pots in 40-60' of water. Muddy bottom was the only option where we were as that is all we had LOL. Drop a crab ring down in 6 or 8 feet of water let it sit 5 to 10 minutes and we would pull up piles of nice tanners.

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    Member Longbow6360's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by avidflyer View Post
    during the summers growing up around here we always caught tanners in 6-20' of water. Never had to fish deep for them. For kings we would set pots in 40-60' of water. Muddy bottom was the only option where we were as that is all we had LOL. Drop a crab ring down in 6 or 8 feet of water let it sit 5 to 10 minutes and we would pull up piles of nice tanners.
    I'll try that. I haven't caught any crabs yet but I'll keep moving my pot around until I catch some or I'm convinced they just aren't around. If there was a market for starfish I'd be rich though!

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    Never been to Afognak but i've hunted dungeness alot. From what i've seen while diving for them crabs burrow into the sand & mud when they're not moving around and they are often found in areas with strong tidal currents when there's food. They also eat alot of clams, if you know of any large clam beds would be a good spot to try.

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