Crab Snares!

OK, I suppose you are thinking what is a crab snare doing on a crawfish trapping website, right? Well, they catch crayfish too! Everything I sell has a history and so does my crab snare.

The picture above is a bait box with 6 leg hold snares attached to it. The principle is simple, you put bait in the bait box, attach the crab snare onto the line of your fishing pole, and cast it out from the shore or a pier. Crabs like crawfish are aggressive eaters and you can feel them feeding on the bait, many times they will grab it and run. Set your snare just like you would setting a hook when a fish bites and reel in like crazy, grin. One or more of the snares will grab the crab or crabs, (you can catch more then one crab at a time), by the legs or claws. As the snare tightens down keep a constant pressure while reeling in the line to keep the snare tight and you'll be eating that big boy by dinner along with a lot of his pals!

The Story:

I was not the one who invented the crab snare but I was introduced to them around 20 years ago. They look of course a lot different then the one pictured above, still they snared crab. Basically they were a round ring with a large hook in the center to hold the bait and had 4 snares attached to the outside of the ring. The biggest problem with it that it didn't take but a second for the bait to be stolen or the bait would come lost when you cast out the snare. The bait problem became more of a pain in the butt and it wasn't hard to loose interest after you have baited the old style snare 100 times. 

Over the years I had lost the snare and now that I live on the ocean front, (an area of Puget Sound which is loaded with crab, grin), I figured I could steal a few minutes now and then from building crawfish traps to add some crab to the dinner table. I soon found there were few crab snares found to buy and finally located one at Wally World, (made in China of course). I won't mention the brand name or the distributor but not only was it made cheaply and non-functional, the material it was made with was illegal in most states and some countries because the bloody thing was toxic with lead. 
 I tried it anyhow and after the second attempt I pulled it off my line and threw it away in disgust. So next I searched the net and darned if I didn't find a couple there. To make the story short, one had the illegal lead and by the time you put bait in it, it weighed a ton. The other was so light weight and the bait box was way to small to get enough scent out in the current, well after much trying I couldn't catch crab one with either snare.  With one of the other snares, I did almost catch one crab. The snare did snag a on one but just before I was able to get the crab out of the water the snare line slipped out of the clamp. The problem was the snare line was to thin for the line clamp. I also had trouble with the snare lines kinking because they were to thin and making that snare loop useless. The heavier line I use is four times more expensive but definitely saves on frustration!

 Well, that was a fine kettle of fish because I just don't have the time to launch the boat and set out crab pots, which I do have many of, plus worry about thief of the crab pots. Then it finally dawned on me to make my own crab snares, after all I make the World's best damn crawfish trap there is right? I must admit that I did make quite a few prototypes before I found what I was looking for and to be truthful it took me quite a while to locate a supplier of one of the components for it's assembly. So success wasn't right away, there was more to it then I originally thought. One of the components I needed to make the snare bulletproof I just couldn't find in the USA so, as much as I hated to I was forced to buy from Asian countries, thankfully not China. As I stated in other parts of my site that all supplies are from the USA well, I just couldn't make it happen this time. 

 Anyhow I have a design that I'm very happy with and I have more then tested it by catching my limit of crabs a day. Let me state that I never caught over a limit of crabs per day, just to set the record straight, even though it may have appeared to anyone that was watching me grin. 

Last July 4th I, or I should say my grandkids discovered the snare will catch crawfish as well!
Our family had a get together at one of my favorite lakes hopefully the grandkids would keep themselves amused fishing for trout. Here, mid-summer is not a good bite and they soon grew bored. Most of us know what happens then, right? For some reason I asked them why they didn't go down and snare some crawfish for the picnic. They thought that was one hell of a great idea. Thankfully I had a box of snares in the truck and off they went, whew. It didn't take long and we all heard some yelling and screaming at the shoreline. The kiddies were snaring crawfish, I could hardly believe it. Needless to say, my brother and son were right along side the kiddies snaring our own crayfish. It wasn't very long and we had a five gallon bucket full of crays. It didn't take very long that day to catch the bucket full, honestly I believe I had more fun then the kids did. After the fun wore off one of the first things which came to my mind was a fact that one of the makers of another crab snare remarked in their advertisement that there snares never broke legs off of crawfish and crabs. The thought gave me a real chuckle because all the crayfish we caught the snares caught them around the body and tail and never around a tiny crawfish leg, LOLs.  It just goes to show you once again how some people sell stuff they have never used, grin. Crabs on the other had were snared about every way possible plus I caught a ton of mud sharks and flounder as well. Don't laugh about the mud sharks until you actually eat them, grin. They are good and even though they say you can cook them to taste like anything, I've found they taste very similar to a scallop.

Down to the Nitty Gritty:

Rants First!

OK, well out of all the different crab snares that I could buy and try one item stood out which was common to them all that hated with a passion. That was the small S-hook used as a latch attached to some type of fixed hunk of small rubber fastener. That really sucked big time and almost deserved a 'throw away as far as you can' mark from the get go. There is no reason what so ever that a common rubber band (100 for .49) which circles the bait box to hold the door shut should not be used. Even if you have old, big, and cold, fingers like me a rubber band is the easiest thing to work with in the world. 

Many of the other crab snares used lead stabilized coated PVC wire. In many states this is illegal to use and other states will be that way soon. In many states, just like US Customs, thrive on seizures to subsidize their budgets. By the time they seize everything you have with you and you are almost walking home naked, you still have to pay a fine on top of that. There is no excuse for ignorance of the law you know. 
Again, all the materials I use in produces are legal in every state!

All of the crab snares I tried did not take weight of the snare and bait into consideration in their construction. The only reason I can think of as to why they didn't is because of their rush to market and not using their own product. They were either to heavy or to light and a crab would find it difficult to get himself snared even if he tried to. There is little question that the times of quality products is a thing of the past. 

Enough Rants even though I could continue, LOLs.

Well, one more that is important, grin. All my snares, (and my crayfish traps), use heavy duty circle clips. All the snares and many crawfish traps, shrimp traps, plus a few others, use thin wire ties. The wire ties are very cheap but they rust out extremely fast, often as little time as a couple of weeks. Beware of anything built this way which is made for water use. 

How to use my crab snare:

There is really not much to their use. The primary item to know is a place that is good for crabs, this is a must, grin. Once you are there, your pole should have 15 lb. test even though I have used 8 lb. test on a light rod, tie a snap swivel on the end of your line and hook the snap through the center of the lid and side of the bait box. You want your bait box filled with some type of fresh fish first before you snap the line on of course, just like a bait box for crayfish.

Once your bait box is full and your crab snare is hooked out onto your line, simply cast out to where you believe the crabs are at. Right after your cast and you believe the crab snare has settled to the bottom, 
take in the slack on your line and sit back until you feel see movement in your rod. Have patience because the crab or crayfish have to first sense your bait and then find it's way to your crab snare. If you use fresh fish bait then the critters will really come running to your snare.  Wait until your snare gets a bite, well a pull then, you'll either see it in your pole or feel it in your line depending upon your style of fishing. Then gently make sure line doesn't have any slack in it and once that is done then really haul it back to set the snares. After the snares are set, keep hauling in the line to keep the snare tight and be careful not to give any slack to the line what so ever. Keep the line coming in hard all the way until you get what you have snared on shore where they can't get away. Dump the crab in your bucket and cast immediately out to the same place you were before because odds are there are a lot more crab where the crab snare was and a lot more crab on their way to where the crab snare was, still following the scent trail. 

It just doesn't get much simpler then that and you come home a hero to boot!

Questions I've received:

Q: Hi, What size is the bait basket? Thanks

A: Hi, 
That would be a great thing to know and I can't believe I haven't included the measurement in dozens of listings I've had for this product. The bait box is 2" by 3" by 1" high. It will hold approx. 4 oz. of bait. What I do is fill the bait box then freeze several snares at the same time in gallon freezer bags. The bait cage loaded with bait is just the right amount for a good long cast. Other snares were either to light or to heavy for casting and that is one of the reasons I came up with this size of bait cage. Other reasons were how the snare laid on the bottom and the crab's ability to get on top of the snare and of course how well they fit in the freezer, grin. Hey, I appreciate the question!


Up to 2 crab snares can be sent by first class mail which has a standard set s&h postage. All orders greater then 2 crab snares can only be sent by parcel post because of weight restrictions. For crab snare orders greater than 2 crab snares you will need to email me with your shipping address for a quote on the total delivered cost. 

Shipping: 1 Crab Snare - $2.42, 2 Crab Snares - $3.07 - USPS First Class Mail

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