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got a few crabs left from yesterday wondering if you freeze them with their shells still on or take them off first.????

thanks in advance
Take off all the shell, remove the lungs and ribcage bit, wrap in cling film hoy em in the freezer simple as that lol
 
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Hi,
Mate i would definitly do the following when the crabs are reading popping before freezing:
1)remove all of the legs( all outer shell,)
2)remove all lungs( very essential or it turns the crab rotten and they go black0
3)Remove gill plates (not very essential but i do it just incase freezer burn occurs)
4) Not essential but i would also remove boney flesh inbetween crabs body if you get what i mean softish shelly kind of thing.
5)finally wrap in clingfilm, i also after this wrapthem in foil so less air gets to them in the freezer and so they freeze quicker.
6) every crab i put in my freezer never gets used until the cod come in/ i don't now if this is essential to you but since last year i have learnt my lesson not to use crab early to catch pound and a half codling when in the prime winter season you could catch a new P.B and could catch big double figure spawners
:) Hope i have guided you in the right way of successfully freezing Prime cod Baits:)
 

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Im not doubting anyones advise on the best method of preparing crab,i used to go to great lengths peeling and wrapping my crab ,did so for years.However i now smply put my crabs whole shell on ,gills in , in a grip edge plastic bags squeeze all the air out then pop them in the freezer ,and i can honestly say that they come out perfectly looking good and tasting good to the fish ,i catch plenty on them ,i have never ever had a crab come out all black or rotten or smelling funny,is this a myth or do people really have this problem when leaving gills in.The only time ive seen blackness in a crab was after it had died ,perhaps if you put dead crabs in your freezer then they do come out bad.Next time you freeze some crabs please just try one or two in an air tight plastic bag the only important point is that its a nice lively fresh crab that has got a nice split line on its shell ,then next time you use the crabs just compare the two frozen crabs and see if there is any difference between them because i honestly couldn,t tell and the codling i caught couldn,t either.I do think that tackle shops do freeze dead crab and most would take the lungs out so crabs with shell on and lungs in have got this bad name
 

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I ve just frozen some peeler.I generally use frozen peeler to bulk out my fresh crab baits when Im bass fishing.Firstly i peel the crab (removing the fingers).Then rinse the crab under cold water.the crab is then laid onto some kitchen roll.I then pat the crabs dry with kitchen roll to make sure theyre dry (very important) these are then individually wrapped in tin foil.I then put these in freezer bags (in tens) write the date on the freezer bag and away you go.
 

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midas take loonytoonz advice. As an (ex) professional digger I've frozen more than a few crabs and always used the same method - it works a treat. Leaving the gills in will turn the crabs black over time because apparently they hold a bacteria which can thrive in sub-zero conditions. Tt also means that when you thaw them for use, even if they look fine when they come out the freezer, they will soon go off when the bacteria reproduces. It isn't a myth, and if the bacteria gets in your freezer it can write off a lot of bait in a very short time, spreading to other bait or food in the freezer. Incidentially its not too healthy for humans either.

It takes so little time to take the gills out and peel the crab in preparation for freezing it hardly seems worth the risk of ruining good bait.
 

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"Leaving the gills in will turn the crabs black over time because apparently they hold a bacteria which can thrive in sub-zero conditions."Blakdog im not argueing with your experience im just telling you of my own experiences and none of my crabs come out black ,im not making this up just my own observations ,perhaps like you say over a long time things may be different ,i freeze crab in summer and it gets used in late autumn and winter .The only black ones ive heard of have been bought from tackle dealers who i guess froze already dead crab ,i guess if £20 worth died during the night it would be very tempting for a dealer to pop them in the freezer
 

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"Leaving the gills in will turn the crabs black over time because apparently they hold a bacteria which can thrive in sub-zero conditions."Blakdog im not argueing with your experience im just telling you of my own experiences and none of my crabs come out black ,im not making this up just my own observations ,perhaps like you say over a long time things may be different ,i freeze crab in summer and it gets used in late autumn and winter .The only black ones ive heard of have been bought from tackle dealers who i guess froze already dead crab ,i guess if £20 worth died during the night it would be very tempting for a dealer to pop them in the freezer
I know a dealer who gets away with blast freezing them in the shell and they look fine, but if you let them thaw and spend a day on the beach they are starting to blacken by the end of the day. Maybe you've been lucky or have a very good freezer and if it works for you fine, but the fact of the matter is that if you have problems, its the gills it will come from.

When my wife did her food safety course a couple of years ago they banged on about freezing eating crab and covered exactly the same ground. As I say if it works for you fine but having had it happen to me in the past (a very costly episode) I won't risk it again, particularly as it takes so little effort to prevent and you have to clean the whole freezer out to be sure of being rid of the bacteria.

Anyway if you do have problems in the future, you know how to fix it.
 

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Midas,
I've had the same experience as you. I too used to mess around preparing the crab and now just freeze them live that way there is absolutely no deterioration before they are frozen. I just mentioned this subject on another web site with the words try it if you don't believe me. Incidentally freezing is a humane way of killing crab.

I keep them frozen as long as possible on the beach. I dip them is sea water to thaw the outside so I can peel them but they usually go on the hook still part frozen. I also don't believe its necessary to remove every little bit of shell.
 

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i prefer the old peel, de-lung,wash in tap water , and wrap in foil method
and it serves me well.
i have had black crab before when i froze some in the shell once and its to expensive to risk doing it again so i take me time over it.

Although!
if i get a few dead ones, i will nock the sides in and cut the lungs out (whithout peelin) and freeze um but keep them well seperate from the good stuff, did this last year and hammered the smoothys at chapel point on stinky manky crab
 

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Phil if you are who i think you are then you obviously have years of experience at angling i was just passing my experiences on to save people the trouble ,like you say let people try both methods ,however i can understand with the cost/time/scarcity involved people don,t want to start experimenting with valuable bait ,and Macky i have also done ok at times on stinky fresh crab for smoothound ,i wouldn,t put it down just to the bad crab but the scent it gives off is unbelievable ,i couldn,t get it off my fingers for a couple of days!!!
 

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I've lost count of the number of fish and number of species I've had on stinky baits. The only problem with smelly crab is it stings like hell if it gets in a cut!
I wrote a piece on smelly baits in A.T. back in 2-10-2001.
 

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Phil i can vaguely remember an article you did years and years ago on some of the very first bait clips using a panel pin hammered into a breakaway and an elastic band on the snood ,a milestone in angling history!
 

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Midas,

You have a very good memory; it was published in Angling Times back in february 1974. It was in fact the first form of bait clip. Other anglers were experimenting with PVA at the time. It was another 5 years before the wire clip on the line was publicised. I've never did get any recognision for being the first. I could send you a copy of the article if you are interested.
 

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Just a quicky, taking the lungs out - do you have to remove every tiny bit, very fiddly and I am sure the odd bit get missed - does that matter or should I be ruthless and cut out every tiny bit before it goes in for freezing ?
 

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Just a quicky, taking the lungs out - do you have to remove every tiny bit, very fiddly and I am sure the odd bit get missed - does that matter or should I be ruthless and cut out every tiny bit before it goes in for freezing ?
just pull the lungs down over & cut them out m8t:)
if they r ready 2 peel then all i do is put my thumb nail behind the rib cage, grabbing the lungs at the same time & rip them off. it all just comes away 2gether
:) :)
 
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