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Thread: Where can I catch crabs in Hampton Roads area ( Blue crabs, not the other kind)

  1. #1
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    Nov 2003
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    Virginia Beach
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    Where can I catch crabs in Hampton Roads area ( Blue crabs, not the other kind)

    Just looking for some advice on a good place to catch crabs in the Hampton Roads. I would like to take my son crabbing. I hear Cheatam Annex up in Williamsburg (military supply base) has a pier that extends out into the York river which is usually productive for crabs. Has any of you military folk been up there this year and how did you do.
    Last edited by Joe Fed; 06-20-2004 at 03:44 PM.

  2. #2
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    Jan 2004
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    lynnhaven pier has been slaying the blue crabs.

  3. #3
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    Nov 2003
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    Thanks. If anyone else knows of a hot spot, please let me know.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2002
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    Lanexa,Va
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    Haven't tried for crabs but at indian fields creek on th parkway there were plenty of th bait stealers around. Often see people going to th sandbar on th creek an crabbing there. Don't know how big th crabs are but there are plenty around there.

  5. #5
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    i have to agree with fishndude go out to lynnhaven about 3 hours before sunset and u should do very well.


    dan lee

  6. #6
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    Lynnhaven Pier Crabbing

    Yea they are getting some. I took my kids out on Friday to try it. We caught about a dozen females with brown egg sacs, which are ILLEGAL to keep, and we released them; however, as usual I saw plenty of those females going into a few coolers. I went into the pierhouse and informed the management, and they replied that if the game warden showed up they would take care of it. At that point I pulled out my cell phone and called VMRC and reported what was going on. They said they would relay the information on. I don't know if they ever showed, as we had to meet my wife for dinner reservations. It's frustrating to see people disregard the regulations as if they don't apply to them. The pier management was very supportive as I made the call to VMRC.

  7. #7
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    i agree with u. a few people out there have no respect for the rules. and what makes it worse is that the game warden never gets around to come and look. i fish there a lot and the only time i ever hear that they come out on the pier is the middle of the day when no one is catching anything and no one is fishing. and i myself have called them and no one ever comes out no matter what u tell them is happening. i hope the warden comes out a little more offten and teach these people a lesson or two.

    dan lee

  8. #8
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    Oct 2003
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    Crabs Galore!

    Lynnhaven, definately Lynnhaven.

    I went with the kids today close to Duck Inn and simply got out of the strong surf and current and went closer to the inlet and just walked out into the water.

    All I had was a chicken back tied on a piece of string with an 8oz. sinker and a scap net.

    Crabbed for two and a half hours in one of the most pleasant afternoons I can remember and caught a great dinner!

    I caught 98% Jimmies for some reason and only one female with an orange sponge, which I released.

    It was FUN and delicious!

    Here is a photo of tonights dinner!



    Streamed them Maryland style. Garlic butter was great too, but not ready when I snapped the picture.

    Great day!

    Bob

  9. #9
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    Looks like a great dinner. Very nice. I prefer Jimmies.

  10. #10
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    IMO the dark brown sponge crab law is one of the least known regulations for recreational crabbers. Considering that you don't have to get a license and very few places have any information about minimum sizes, etc. I am surprised that people follow as many rules as they do.

    Additionally, there is a reasonable amount of evidence that once you remove a ANY sponge crab from the water that the eggs die. However, the law has created some defacto closed areas during the summer such as the waters off of Virginia Beach to the NC line.

    There is a move afoot to have that law taken off of the books in exchange for some other changes. It awaits a detailed study of the above phenomena, the definition of some added (commercially) closed areas and (maybe) a week or two of no (commercial) sponge crab harvest anywhere.

    Tom

  11. #11
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    Apr 2004
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    By the way.....what is the minimum length for a blue crab?

  12. #12
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    I would think that they VMRC would post flyers at the entrance to piers to help curb the taking of sponge crabs. And if you do see someone taking in sponge crabs, tell them that it's not legal. They might feel akward and get defensive about it, but how else are they going to know? You might be the first person telling them that it's illegal to take them. I think it's also handy to carry around a regs book if they question you. I know it's tough sometimes to tell someone that because you don't know how they're going to react.

    Great website http://www.blue-crab.org/ puts it into easy english.

  13. #13
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    Link to Regs

    Here is a link to the regs:

    http://www.mrc.state.va.us/recfish&crabrules.htm

    As to size - I stole the following off Blue-Crab's Forum, written by none other than our own Tom Powers...

    Quote - "There is a 5 inch minimum on male crabs and immature female crabs (triangle apron) but no minimum size on mature female crabs (round apron). 3 1/2 inch minimum on soft crabs."

    And, there you have it!

    Bob

  14. #14
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    Apr 2004
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    Thank you for the information and the links to the websites.

    Darryl

  15. #15
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    May 2002
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    Farmville, Va
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    you can keep the orange colored sponge crabs. just not the brown ones. there is a poster up inside the store at lynn. pier.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyleo11
    I would think that they VMRC would post flyers at the entrance to piers to help curb the taking of sponge crabs.
    Great website http://www.blue-crab.org/ puts it into easy english.
    I thinks that is a very good suggestion. A lot of times regulations change too rapidly. I come from an environment where ignorance is no excuse, but it does appear to me that the VMRC does not go out of their way to fully inform the public. A lot of us are internet saavy and can find these sorts of information, but not all fishermen have the same resources or reading ability for that matter. I would like to see important messages like that in front of entrances to fishing places as well as "Do Not Litter". That would be helpful.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyleo11
    And if you do see someone taking in sponge crabs, tell them that it's not legal.
    But IN VIRGINIA it is legal to catch ORANGE sponge crabs just not DARK BROWN sponge crabs here are pics from the VMRC web site that show the colorations. Oh and the word on the steet is that the dark sponge crabs taste "rank".

    http://www.mrc.state.va.us/sponge.htm

    And here are the minimum sizes, etc.

    * Minimum size limits: 5 inches for male hard crabs (jimmies) and immature female hard crabs, 3 inches for peeler crabs, and 3 1/2 inches for softshell crabs, measured from tip to tip of the longest spikes. No size limits exist for adult female hard crabs (sooks) [Code 28.2-708, Regulation 4 VAC 20-270-55]. {Tom comment - There is a 10 crab allowance per bu for small hard crabs.)

    * Dark sponge (brown through black coloration) crabs must be returned to the water alive and not altered or destroyed in any manner; however, a tolerance of 10 dark sponge crabs per bushel is allowed [4 VAC 20-370-20].

    BTW there is a bit of confusion concerning the Virginia Blue Crab Sancturary. It is illegal to crab recreationally in the deep water sancturary but it is legal to crab recreationally in the lower bay sancturary. The former is more or less 30 feet of water extending from Thimble shoals light to Cape Charles (more or less North) to the MD line (with lots of points in the middle) west to the other side of the 30 foot line then south (with lots of points in the middle) to Thimble shoals light.

    The lower bay sancturary goes from Harrison's pier (where it used to be) to HRBT to Thimble Shoals light to Cape Charles to Cape Henry along the shore to Harrison's pier. It is legal to catch crabs recreationally, but not commercially in the lower bay sancturary.

    Tom

  18. #18
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    there is a 10 crab allowance per bushel for small hard crabs?

    ok i just want to make sure i got this right on the small 10 crabs allowance. that would be blue crabs right?
    not sure how many types of crabs in these waters. and is that for everywhere u can crab?

  19. #19
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    Here are some snippits of regulations and code.

    So you can (maybe but I would not try it) have 10 undersized hard crabs, 10 undersized peeler crabs, AND 10 dark sponge crabs all in your possession at once if you have no more than one bushel of crabs total. You can not possess any soft crab less than 3 1/2 inches at any time.

    Tom

    4 VAC 20-370-20. CULLING REQUIREMENTS. D. It shall be unlawful for any person to possess for a period longer than is necessary for immediate determination of the presence of a dark egg mass, more than ten dark sponge crabs per United States standard bushel or thirty-five dark sponge crabs per barrel. During culling, those dark sponge crabs in excess of the allowance level shall be immediately returned to the water alive and shall not be altered or destroyed in any manner.

    28.2-708. Limitations on sizes of crabs to be taken; inspection of catch; exemption; penalty.

    A. It is unlawful for any person to catch, take or have in his possession more than ten hard crabs per United States standard bushel or thirty-five hard crabs per barrel, which measure less than five inches across the shell from tip to tip of the longest spikes, or to destroy them in any manner. Those undersized crabs in excess of the allowance level shall be immediately returned to the water alive. Adult female crabs, peeler crabs and soft crabs are exempt from these limitations.

    4VAC20-270-55. Minimum size limits.

    A. It shall be unlawful for any person to take, catch, harvest, possess, sell or offer for sale, or to destroy in any manner peeler crabs that measure less than three inches across the shell from tip to tip of the longest spikes with the following exceptions:

    1. It shall not be unlawful for any person to possess 10 or less peeler crabs, per United States standard bushel, that have been taken, caught, or harvested and that measure less than three inches across the shell from tip to tip of the longest spikes.

    2. It shall not be unlawful to sell or to offer for sale those peeler crabs less than three inches across the shell from tip to tip of the longest spikes as authorized in subdivision 1 of this subsection.

    B. It shall be unlawful for any person to take, catch, harvest, possess, sell or offer for sale, or to destroy in any manner, any soft crab that measures less than 3-1/2 inches across the shell from tip to tip of the longest spikes.

  20. #20
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    Tom

    Thank You








  21. #21
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    Aug 2003
    Location
    Newport News
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    73
    thanks for the info i got it now . just tryin to use some like 2 or 3 for bait .

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