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Whilst fishing the menai straits this weekend at a low water mark and with an hour to spare before heading of to the next mark, I decided to have a look for some peelers in amongst the rocks and kelp etc. Although I found lots of sizeable crabs, only a handfull were at peeler stage. Am I right in the way that I check apart from the pulling of the last segment of the leg off, that the rear end of the crab is soft to a little pressure or that the shell has just begun to seperate from the body?

Is is best to leave the ones that are not peeling (as i did) or can one take them home, if the later is ok to do what would be the best way to store them and bring them into peeler stage. Without setting up a home based marine environment in the shed....................

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanx
 

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It is possible to keep 'potential' peelers for your next visit. I've kept them away from the sea for over a week. If you live near the sea you can keep them much longer by dunking them (in a hessian sack) in the sea periodically and giving them time to 'bubble'. Temperature is critical! Under normal circumstances the higher the temperature the shorter the time they need to 'peel' but high temp. will also shorten their 'shelf' life (shell life??!!) as it speeds up the metabolism, including respiration (they are cold-blooded) For this reason i've only ever kept definite peelers rather than 'potential' ones. So my advice would be to keep them alive in as low a temp as you can manage - i put them in a seaweed filled bait box with one freeer block above them. You must make sure that they stay damp even if you have to damp them down with fresh water. I've found that they do not need this most times if the box is in a cold place. As I said I've only tried this for about a week (8 days longest) Doubtless there will be others who have done this for longer = WATCH THIS SPACE!

I'm surprised you only found a few as numbers were growing in the Straits a couple of weeks ago. Perhaps you were'nt looking in the right place!!!! I'm not too certain about all your testing by the way as I don't understand the 'soft to a little bit of pressure' that you mention. I inevitably only take the crab being carried underneath the large male as this is certain to be a peeler and it saves time 'testing'. I appreciate that if numbers are down that you would have to resort to checking every crab that looks 'dull'
 

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I have kept crab alive for up to two weeks in my bait fridge but these were peelers and not ones that havent quite been ready (when you pull a end segment you get white sinue and some darker colouration), you do lose the occasional one or two but they kept ok, just keep them at a low temp covered with sea weed with a drink of sea water every other day, you do get some popping but i peel them and freeze them down (saying that dont seem to get much sucsess on frozen crab).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanx for the advice guys, but as I am landlocked in west yorkshire (halifax) two hours from the nearest bit of sea water and i can only usually manage 2 trips out month. I think it would be in the peelers interest if i leave them in there natural environment and make the extra effort to collect them whilst I am out there.

Swelleyman I was fishing nelsons column 3 hrs down. Any pointers on where i should be looking for the peelers???????

thanx again guys
 

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Now for £10 you should look .... !! No, only kidding!

I assume that by Nelson's Column you mean the Nelson's memorial statue on the beach below the old church. Next time wait for low tide and prospect about 100yds further towards the Brittania bridge. Look under Serrated or Saw wrack/seaweed as close to the sea as possible. The ledges a little higher are also prettty good where the Knotted Wrack festoon the rocks - look in the small 'ravines'. Got crab there at Christmas. Also it's a great, if VERY ROUGH place for Cod/Bass in season and of course the ubiquitous Doggy and Pouting (great Bass bait!) If you see any locals don't tell them who told you!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Now for my £10 quid back........ no only joking your secret is safe with me.

Nelsons column... am i mad, who would sit in the middle of trafalger square with a 13ft sea rod (rolf). I shall give it go next time i am over

Thanx for all you help
 

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rubberfrog said:
Whilst fishing the menai straits this weekend at a low water mark and with an hour to spare before heading of to the next mark, I decided to have a look for some peelers in amongst the rocks and kelp etc. Although I found lots of sizeable crabs, only a handfull were at peeler stage. Am I right in the way that I check apart from the pulling of the last segment of the leg off, that the rear end of the crab is soft to a little pressure or that the shell has just begun to seperate from the body?

Is is best to leave the ones that are not peeling (as i did) or can one take them home, if the later is ok to do what would be the best way to store them and bring them into peeler stage. Without setting up a home based marine environment in the shed....................

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanx

TRY WWW.THELINCOLNSHIREPEELER.CO.UK
 

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Thanks a lot raymond, a fascinating website. What sort of results have you had with them? If only i'd known then i'd try them myself! However I'm off to Suffolk for a week's fishing TOMORROW!!
 

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Good fishing Swelleyman, hope you have a good time. Thanks for the help on braid. truss in post.

Fred
 

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Re how to keep peelers I've always had good results keeping them between sheets of newspaper soaked in seawater spray them every couple of days with a plant mister this way they dont take on to much water and have a little more control over the speed they peel, keep them in a fridge the closer to peeling the nearer to the top they should.With using a spray you wont need to take much water home with you :) :)
 
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