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Crab Cart

edible crab (graphic)

Crab Cart article by John Staten

Crab Cart has been a well kept secret from the Whitby area for quite some years now.

Crab cart is the insides of an edible crab, as simple as that.  You can get the crabs from most fishmongers / shell fish suppliers.  Or if you live within distance of the coast, you can get them off plenty of boats when they land their catch.  It shouldn't take you long to sort out a regular supply if needed. Just make sure the crabs bought are over the legal landing size.  Scoop out the insides of a few edible crabs, apart from the lungs and mix together in a bowl, make sure it is a large bowl, you don't want this stuff going everywhere, it DOES smell!  Try to get the crabs when they are full of 'coral' though, it's what you need for good quality cart.
I mix mine with a small amount of bread crumb to make it a bit more of a solid state.  I find doing this makes it hold together better and also easier to handle when preparing it for the hook, but more of that later.  I haven't found any difference in adding a bit of bread crumb, though you will come across guys who are 'purists'.

You can cook the claws for your own enjoyment, personally I prefer crab to lobster, not everyone's choice I know, but I do love crab claws as a snack!

You can freeze down the crab cart using on an old baking tray or something similar, obviously telling the good lady indoors what you are doing with it!!  Then once frozen it can be cut into sizeable bait portions.  Most guys seem to use either cling-film to wrap it or finger bandage.  My personal choice is finger bandage, it tends to hold the crab cart longer and doesn't, for me, wash out as quick as cling-film.
If using cling-film then you will need to prick the cling-film to allow the cart to escape before casting but using finger bandage it will seep through the bandage without having to pierce it.

One or two of the 'clever' lads use a sausage making machine and make 'cart sausages' but do remember if you do use this method NOT to get mixed up with the Cumberland sausage your wife bought for your Sunday breakfast!

Google 'crab cart' and you should come up with a few ways to make and use it now it's 'secret' is starting to get out there.  I do know one or two 'online' bait suppliers are now starting to sell it, but I would be wary of getting any frozen down and sent through the post as it does defrost very, very quickly.  Take heed.

One other way to 'wrap' your crab cart is by using Arma Mesh, some guys I know have tried the method the same as me but most of us have found that it washes out very quickly.  Though I do use Arma Mesh for quite a few other baits and find it fine.  Mussel and any left over lug or ragworm come to mind.
As I mentioned earlier, I mix mine with a bit of bread crumb and have not found any detrimental effect using with some added but don't go overboard either trying to make 10 baits into a 100!

You can use crab cart on it's own or as a 'cocktail'.  Depending, as a sea fishing bait it can out-fish most other baits on it's day but it is certainly NOT the be all and end all as some have you believe.
It does tend to wash out fairly quickly but if the fish are there then that shouldn't be a problem.  I like to use it as an attractor in combination with another bait, lug, squid etc.

I have a wide mouthed flask I take with me, a few frozen baits in there then take a few out as and when needed.
I like to use them on a pennel rig, pierce one on the top hook and then thread a lug, rag or squid on the bottom hook, lay the crab cart along side the top hook and whip on using a bit of elasticated cotton.  Being a bit on the tight side I get my elasticated cotton from a fabric shop, normally called (shearing elastic) in a fabric shop for a fraction of the cost most other tackle shops would charge.  Why is it, if you want something for a hobby then the price HAS to go up?

Crab cart will account for most species of fish but does excel when fishing for cod.  Try it and you might just find out what the 'whitby' lads have known for years but being 'canny' have kept to themselves...until now!

One last point, do make sure you keep this well away from the wife's food in the freezer if you don't have a freezer in the garage etc for your own use or a divorce could easily be on the cards because as I have already mentioned, this stuff really DOES smell when defrosted!

Happy fishing.

Author's Resource: Sea Fishing Articles by John Staten.
You will find other related pages about Sea Fishing in Whitby at https://www.whitbyseafishing.com   Copyright 2006 - 2020 www.whitbyseafishing.com  
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