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  #1  
Old 07-10-2011, 5:23 PM
Pat Riot Pat Riot is offline
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Default Crab Fishing in the SF Bay Area

Hello,
I used to go crabbing a lot back on the east coast. Back there we would just tie a piece of chicken to a string and throw it out off shore in a river somewhere. Out here it seems the preferred method is using hoop nets off the pier. I have heard that Municipal Pier, and Fort Point are some of the better places inside the bay. I've done some googling, and figured out about 90% of the logistics, but I still have a few questions.

1. Since Dungeness Season just ended, is it worth trying to catch red or brown rock crab? Or should I just wait until November when Dungeness opens up again?

2. When is the best time of day, and time of year to go?

3. What kind of depth are we working with off these piers? Im trying to determine how much rope I should bring?

4. I have heard mention on my Internet searches of health concerns associated with eating crab caught in the bay. Is this a serious concern? If so why, and what exactly should I avoid?

5. If you have gone crabbing in the last year or so how would you rate these locations:

a. Pacifica Pier
b. Municipal Pier, SF
c. Fort Point (not sure the pier name), SF
d. Santa Cruz Pier
c. Moss Landing

Thanks for the help.
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  #2  
Old 07-10-2011, 8:54 PM
Fireguy Fireguy is offline
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FYI Fort Point is under the Golden Gate Bridge, thats all I know about crabbing
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Old 07-10-2011, 9:14 PM
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speeddreamz speeddreamz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat Riot View Post
Hello,
I used to go crabbing a lot back on the east coast. Back there we would just tie a piece of chicken to a string and throw it out off shore in a river somewhere. Out here it seems the preferred method is using hoop nets off the pier. I have heard that Municipal Pier, and Fort Point are some of the better places inside the bay. I've done some googling, and figured out about 90% of the logistics, but I still have a few questions.

1. Since Dungeness Season just ended, is it worth trying to catch red or brown rock crab? Or should I just wait until November when Dungeness opens up again?

2. When is the best time of day, and time of year to go?

3. What kind of depth are we working with off these piers? Im trying to determine how much rope I should bring?

4. I have heard mention on my Internet searches of health concerns associated with eating crab caught in the bay. Is this a serious concern? If so why, and what exactly should I avoid?

5. If you have gone crabbing in the last year or so how would you rate these locations:

a. Pacifica Pier
b. Municipal Pier, SF
c. Fort Point (not sure the pier name), SF
d. Santa Cruz Pier
c. Moss Landing

Thanks for the help.
I've been at muni pier, fort point (right under the bridge and the pier in crissy fields), the one at aquatic park.

Mcneers beach in san rafael across the bridge.

They aren't that deep, but I don't know the depth. The raw chicken inside a wire box works best because its hard for the crabs to pull it off. Zip Ties or other things to strap down the chicken also work well.

Legality of the catch... not sure about. Certain types you cannot catch and if they're too small.
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Old 07-10-2011, 9:27 PM
510hunter 510hunter is offline
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Im not too Knowledgeable about crabbing, but me and my brother do go every once in a while. We crab off of a pier in SF at aquatic park. There are always other crabbers and fishermen out there and there is quite a bit of room. We crab closer to the start of the pier, just because that's what were used to and its not too deep, but always better to have more robe than not enough imop. Usually two of the round crab nets each, and we put raw chicken in the middles and tie them tight using zip ties. Sometimes there is a problem with sea lions stealing the bait so we bring a lot of chicken just in case. Im not sure the specifics but i believe the dungenous crab are illegal to catch from there, or anywhere around from a pier, but the red rock crap are ok and not sure about other species. We go at all times of the year when they're in season you can look at DFG for information on that and other stuff. But i know we have success in September and the surrounding months, usually crabbing around the times of 1:00-5:00 didn't get too much when we went earlier in the morning. If you have any more questions feel free to ask here or pm me.
Also i believe they have to be a minimum of 4 inches wide from one tip of the shell to the other.

Last edited by 510hunter; 07-10-2011 at 9:29 PM.. Reason: more info
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Old 07-11-2011, 12:07 AM
Thefeeder Thefeeder is offline
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Default ><

Hoop nets work best...all the others seem not open close or do weird things in the current.

150 ft of rope is plenty for all the piers

Stinky fish is the best for bait....others all do work.

All the places you listed are good.

****Reminder*** IT is illegal to take Dungeness Crab inside the Golden Gate all year round.

Also find out if you need a license to fish on a particular pier.....some do and some don't


The pier has to be a " Public Fishing Pier" to be license free

Good luck and good eating

Last edited by Thefeeder; 07-11-2011 at 12:10 AM..
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  #6  
Old 07-11-2011, 8:09 AM
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tony270 tony270 is offline
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Try Fort Baker Pier, I'd say Fort Point is best from that list. Thefeeder is right, no harvesting of dungeness crab inside the Golden Gate. IMO the crabbers that get results are the ones who know how to pull the nets up without the crabs bailing.

Good Luck.
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Old 07-11-2011, 8:22 AM
Pat Riot Pat Riot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony270 View Post
Try Fort Baker Pier, I'd say Fort Point is best from that list. Thefeeder is right, no harvesting of dungeness crab inside the Golden Gate. IMO the crabbers that get results are the ones who know how to pull the nets up without the crabs bailing.

Good Luck.
What is the correct method for pulling up the net without the crabs bailing? Slow or fast?

Is it worth trying this time of year for red or brown crab?
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Old 07-11-2011, 8:44 AM
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Most crab in the bay right now are babies from the spawn season unless you can get out into deep water.

Winter is the best time for crabbing.

Salmon heads are the best bait but chicken and other meat/ fish work as well.
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Old 07-11-2011, 8:52 AM
NytWolf NytWolf is offline
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Yep, the colder, the better. High tide, in the middle of the night, is best.

We use blue gills... stomp on them to make the smell disperse in the water.

Tie down your bait in a cage, in the net. Or else, have fun with the sea lions and otters. Zip ties work, but only to a certain point. We use metal wires to tie the cage together.
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Old 07-11-2011, 8:57 AM
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Quote:
What is the correct method for pulling up the net without the crabs bailing? Slow or fast?
I could never figure that one out. All I know is that when I’ve gone crabbing with other like 21SF they pull up the crabs, but when I pull up my net I can see the crabs bailing out as the net becomes visible. I know this is true because when I would ask a pro like 21SF to pull my net up the crabs will still be in it. I would say that the ticket is SMOOTH, not fast or slow.


Quote:
Is it worth trying this time of year for red or brown crab?
No.

Last edited by tony270; 07-11-2011 at 9:02 AM..
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  #11  
Old 07-11-2011, 11:24 AM
510hunter 510hunter is offline
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Default my way

I always pull it up fast so they don't have time to get out, but it might also depend on how deep the netting is on your net. never seen any crabs bail out near the surface, but that's not to say they don't do it before they get there. So best would probably be to find a good rhythm that works for you.
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Old 07-11-2011, 11:39 AM
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AAShooter AAShooter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony270 View Post
I could never figure that one out. All I know is that when I’ve gone crabbing with other like 21SF they pull up the crabs, but when I pull up my net I can see the crabs bailing out as the net becomes visible. I know this is true because when I would ask a pro like 21SF to pull my net up the crabs will still be in it. I would say that the ticket is SMOOTH, not fast or slow..
I agree. I think steady upward motion is the key. Probably the faster the better but smooth is the key.

I crabbed off the Ft. Baker pier for years. Spent many nights out there looking at the night lights of SF. Of course that was back when I could drive my car onto the pier.

Last edited by AAShooter; 07-11-2011 at 12:40 PM..
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Old 07-11-2011, 1:17 PM
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Iskra Iskra is offline
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I've only been pier-crabbing at HMB and Pacifica, because I prefer the Dungeness by far. Pacifica is better crabbing but you do need more rope (and stronger arms). HMB is more crowded, less crab, but more social, more protected from fog & wind, and a much shorter drop.

Renting a boat or going with a buddy is really user-friendly too, as long as you use common sense. And you can drop your pots with buoys and fish for a couple hours while the crabs find the bait. I prefer frozen turkey necks because they're really cheap and the crabs have to sit with the bait and pick at it instead of tearing off big pieces and running away with them.
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