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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all
this might seem like a stupid question but i was down my local beach the other day and a kind bloke showed me his crabs that hed just collected from the rocks he said they wernt peelers and when i felt them they were all soft and you could push there shell in he said they were called jelly crabs just wondered if anyone had ever heard of them if so can you freeze them down for winter and how also how do you fish with them
cheers everyone
helpimafish
 

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No Matter How Nice A Bloke He Is If He Invites You To See His Crabs Its Best To Say No.were They Not Just Peelers That Had Just Peeled If So They Would Have Been Stuck To Another Crab At The Time? Have You Tried The Velvet Shore Crabs?i Have Had Mixed Results With These But Their Handy To Have Inthe Freezer If There Is Nowt Else.
 

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Sorry Pisc but I've found plenty crab in tis state and not always attached :eek: to another one. You are correct they are crabs which have just peeled but you can find them in places where you would find any crab (stop sniggering at the back) under rocks etc and they make good bait fished whole on a large hook epec for bass-use bait elastic to keep them on the hook :)
 

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I use these but don't put the hook through them. Just lightly bind them to a hook with a few wraps if elastic. That way they are more natural to the bass and able to walk so they add movement to the bait.
 

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I thought that Chris but surely if they are able to walk then they can also dig themselves into the sand? I agree that a lump of soft crab on a hook and bound on with elastic does not look very natural but I've still caught fish on it and at least it's not buried.
 

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A soft crab doesn' t have the strength in the exoskelleton to bury itself. They also need to be out of the sand as they have to take in water to expand the shell to make room internally for the forthcoming year's growth, being surrounded by sand would overcome the osmotic pressure it relies on to take in the water in the first place. A peeler expells water to shrink the new shell away from the old one in order to extract itself, which is why they are good bait, concentrated juices. The softy is a very watery bait as it has used the water to pump up the shell.

That is why lone softies are found under weed, only when they are female and carried by a male are they apparently buried. A soft crab placed in water will never try to bury itself it will look for cover, hence the tip on movement.

Whilst they are at the peeling stage and when they harden up to a chrispy then I agree, they will burrow for cover.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
cheers lads do you have to take their lungs out before you fish with them and how do you prepare them for freezing and how big do they have to be
cheers
 

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Don't know anything about freezing I'm not that organised. If going to fish the ChrisP way then obviously can't take lungs out as it would kill them. Personally I don't bother I just peel peelers and whack on a hook-if they're on the small size I use a couple or 3 and hold them on with elastic.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
thats great mate thanks for all your help and you chris p does anyone else know about freezing them down
ITS ALL GOOD
 

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I don't know if it will work but iI have just wrapped softies in cling film and frozen them, I'll find out if they work when the cod and coalfish turn up!!!!
I did notice that the lungs are almost white/clear unlike peelers wich are dark and turn black very quickly.
All my soft backs have been frozen whole so like i said i'll find out when i defrost them. But it is loking good, I'm gonna freeze down as much bait as possible next month and then hopefully i should have a good supply.
As regards softies fresh, i have neer tried them but every spring codling, bass, flounder and plaice i have ever caught have been stuffed with softies so they must be good!!! And yes the only way i have heard of them being fished is either live and whole moving about or frozen adn cut up for cod.
I hope that is any use but I'm still learning.
Chris
 

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I left the lungs and legs on. But they did fall off on the one i did defrost. I defrosted it as an experiment and it didn't turn black so the lungs hadn't had an effect. Like I said I simply wrapped them in clingfilm whole and alive.
 

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cheers tozer i will be doing a few trial and error experiments with them and if goes well will fill freezer up for cod ill let you know how i get on might fish with them in my local match this weekend if so ill let u know how i get on
 

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Keep them in an ice cream tub in the fridge, pierce the lid so it has air holes. Put up to a dozen craps in one box and cover them with sea weed then sprinkle/spray sea water onto the sea weed and put the lid on. I found the softies need to be a bit wetter than the peelers other wise they shrink and shrivel up then die. And if the peelers are left with any water standing around them they will begin to peel which is either good or bad depending on what you want from them.
 

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I always used to put a 4/0 hook through my soft crab before freezing it, then just attach the hook to the trace when I wanted to use it, this does away with the need for elasticated cotton, the ice melts to leave the crab intact on the sea bed, perfect presentation.
blueskip
 
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