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Discussion Starter #1
<font color='#000000'>Evening all,

I am lucky enough to have access to a good site that has peeler crabs most of the spring and summer.

I say peelers but are there differing types of peelers, I mean different states of peel. Is there a foolproof way of identifying a peeler.

For example I am fairly confident when I find a pair mating the lower crab will be either soft or hardening up, so I collect these. When they are alone and like jelly I assume they have very recently peeled so I collect these. They are so soft they cannot be peeled so I whip them onto the hook in ones or two&#39;s dependent on size, they are never bigger than a match box.

I have occasionally found a crab that is splitting accross the back of the shell, kept this in the fridge overnight but it had only got half way out of the shell and then snuffed it. This has happened three times now, am I doing anything wrong.

The main dilemma is what is a true peeler, how do I identify one. I have never found one like they show in the magazines, as big as the palm of your hand. The ones they show are peeled by the angler, even the legs, the lugs removed, is this really necessary, and then tied on the hook.

I am sure I am missing some crabs just before they peel and some of them are 4 inches accross the shell but hard as anything. Has aggression anything to do with it. I have noticed that the soft and jelly crabs are pretty docile and the hard backs will nip you if you give em a chance.

As to presentation and success I have used them as a single bait and in cocktails and only caught twice with crab, one 4oz flounder off Chesel beach on crab and rag and one 2lb bass in Chichester harbour on a jelly crab hooked straight through lightly whipped on so it still looked like a crab, and in the last year I have used over 100 crabs. Are they all they are cracked up to be?

And I am fishing every week sometimes twice, mostly early mornings and late evenings into dark, never fished over night yet, but I will soon.

Your thoughts will be much appreciated.</font>
 

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<font color='#000000'>Crab is certainly a good bait but like most baits it works best when it is what the fish are ####-bent on eating. That&#39;s why it&#39;s the bait of choice for spring bass that arrive for the first big mass-peel of the season. Flounders feed hard on them at this time of year too.

They&#39;ll still take it in late summer but are preoccupied with catching & eating live fish like sandeels by then, hence a lot of us switch to that.

It&#39;s a good all-round bait in rocky reef country, but in the shallows & estuaries use it earlier in the season, say April-June.

On the subject of types of crab, has anyone tried those blast-frozen Thai swimming crabs that Ammo are doing? I have twice but success - not&#33; Even the dogfish were disinterested&#33;

Cheers - John</font>
 

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<font color='#000080'>I have had this problem of peeler crab being a usless bait on several occassion. The only real success I&#39;ve had with it is for Smoothounds(and then it REALLY works). Even when all the fish caught have crab in their stomachs(which is most of the time)peeler still doesn&#39;t out fish worm and sometimes squid. I&#39;ve fished peeler all night in the solent ant not had a single bite. I&#39;ve used it on different rigs, and hooks from size 2 to 4/0 but the only fish caught I&#39;ve caught are smoothounds and one tiny flounder, my mate had a nice Black Bream on crab/rag cocktail this year but thats about it.</font>
 

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<font color='#000000'>Thanks for the reply

I went out last night for three hours. Collected peeler crab on the way to some sandbank gullies at low tide. Also had rag worm. Fished three hook flapper with two hooks on rag and one hook on peeler.

Had plenty of bites hooked large fish but lost it three feet from the shore, you know how that feels, what did I do wrong, probably nothing, just a big shake of its head and it was gone. I like to think it was only hooked lightly in it&#39;s lip.

Anyway caught six bass at about a pound and kept one at 2.5 lbs going to eat it in a minute.

But I am waffling, the point is all the fish took the rag and ignored the crab, so what is being said about crab being a spring bait is probably true.

Incidently, the bass I kept was stuffed with squid, including all the ink, and several sandeels but it still took the rag.

Iv&#39;e still got loads to learn, but I might try squid on Friday, as well as rag.</font>
 
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