Catching a Mudcrab is very rewarding, both for the fun value and also for the taste-buds.
If you haven’t tasted a Mudcrab before, you are missing out on a most wonderful experience.
In this article I will be taking you through what to use, how to lay the pot and what bait to
use. This article is based on catching Mudcrabs, however, you can catch Blue swimmers
the same way.
Crab pot type
Firstly I prefer the round type Crab pot rather than the rectangle pot. This is due to how
the crab detects the bait and also how it climbs in the pot. Most crabs “finds” the bait by
the waft of the bait odour which travels with the current. Crabs will follow this scent
upstream until they find your pot. This is where; I believe the round pot has it over the
rectangle pot. Crabs will walk around the pot until they find the opening and will climb into
the pot. With rectangle pots, even if the crabs finds the pot, the crab will often stop at the
sides of a rectangle pot and if the opening is not straight onto the current, will not be
caught. If you have a rectangle pot, don’t despair as long as you face the openings parallel
to the current (The openings have to face the current), you will not have a problem.
The abovementioned pot is what I call a set pot. This can be “Set” overnight, however, you can check this every hour or so. The other type of pot is what I call a Dilly or a witch’s hat. This type of device is usually a wire frame with netting on the bottom. Use the same sort of bait however, I usually check these every ten minutes. This is due to the crab being attracted to the bait and then leave.
Mullet bait is by far the best bait for Mudcrabs. I like to use the frame (The skeleton
without the fillets). It seems to exude the natural juices of the fish and is easier to put into
the pot. I have heard that chicken frames are also good. You could also use any fish frames
that you have and if you are travelling you can buy tinned Cat food and just puncture the
can and put it in the bait pouch.
Setting the Pot
As mentioned above , setting a pot can be crucial in catching a crab, more so for a set pot
than a Dilly. Remembering for a set pot to make sure that the openings are facing the
current. When you throw the pot out, make sure it stays upright so it can sink straight to
the bottom and not flip onto it’s side.
Retrieving the pot
This may sound simple but make sure you watch were the float line is, in regards to the
current and always approach the float against the current. This ensures that the float is
gathered first and then you can slowly retrieve that line to the pot as the boat moves
forward. With set pots, this isn’t crucial; but with dillies, it is a paramount. If you do not
pull the dilly up straight, you run the risks of tipping out your crabs.
There you have it, pretty simple, but highly worth while. Please check with your local rules
for sizes and other regulations before you set out.
Written by Rod Cumming 2009