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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve looked on the nc wildlife resource website and haven’t found (easily) any information concerning the use of live crabs as bait. I’ve seen YouTube videos galore about how to use crabs as bait for red drum. Especially big uns

The crabs make themselves readily available every time I stop my kayak on a grassy sand bar to stretch my legs. They are always underfoot. The bigger ones I assume are the blue crabs. I’ve also come across the one clawed little ones that always seem to be in a huge group.

Anyone have any information? How’s best to rig them? Thanks for any insight.


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Google using blue crabs as bait.
Here in NC blue crabs need to be 5" in width between the points of the carapace to possess. Keep the carapace as evidence the crab you're using is legal. Don't have more than 50 in your cooler. All info available on the NCDMF website under creel and size limits.I much prefer a sea mullet head, spot or mullet head over crabs for larger drum.
The other small crabs you mentioned are fiddler crabs most popularly used as bait for sheepshead although readily eaten by other species as well. No creel or size limit.
Tight lines.
 

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Blue crabs can be used as bait as long as they are over the minimum length. Which is over 5 inches from tip to tip on their shell. The fiddler crabs have no limits on them as far as I know. They are often used as bait for sheepshead. Probably also good for puppy drum. Remove the big claw and it makes it easier for fish to eat them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all the responses. I’m going to try the fiddler crabs. I don’t think I’ve ever run across a 5 inch blue crab yet. Not at least in the grass or on the waters edge. One more bucket to add to the kayak!


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Bait Barge on Carolina Beach Road at CB sells fiddlers and live finger mullet. Only place around here that sells live finger mullets.
For those around Morehead area who don't catch their own bait, crabs and live fingers are also available at Chasin' Tails just over the bridge heading toward Atlantic Beach.

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Probably a dead thread at this point but I always thought there should be an exception for smaller "peeler" typer crabs for bait here in NC as other states allow it. Small blue crabs in the 3-4" range make amazing bait for gamefish like cobia and tarpon. I also personally think that blue crab is the A1 best bait for bull redfish and big black drum as well. Half of a keeper size blue crab on a circle hook is a recipe for success for bull reds and will keep the sharks and bluefish off your line unlike mullet or spot heads.
 

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I have had very good success with blue crab. I usually pick up a few from Crab View Seafood (big blue building) just north of snows cut. I remove the legs and the top shell, quarter them and run a circle hook thru one of the leg openings.
The crabs have to be fresh. Once dead, they fowl quickly.
They are great for red drum. I have most success in inlets and large creeks. In the surf, they work but don't last long if there are trash fish or crabs around. That's been my experience.
I was introduced to using them down in Florida several years ago.
 
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