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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going on holiday to Pembrokeshire and would like to do something really fun on the beach with my toddler that'll get him into all things fishy. He's a bit young for a rod and there's only so much rockpooling to do.
I've been thinking of setting a shrimp creel/trap on a good rocky/kelpy bit of beach and we can see what we catch overnight.
I understand you need to get tags/licences for the pots. No problem doing that. I also have every intention of catch and release.
What I was hoping someone could help with is identifying some good beaches/areas to do this where we'd have reasonable access to the suitable bit of shoreline to do this. Some kind of a rocky outcrop where the sea goes deep quite quickly to avoid the pot being out of water at low tide.
Greatly appreciate any help on this.
 

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Where are you staying in Pembrokeshire?

Dale has a great pontoon for crabbing with a dropnet. . Go 2 hours before high tide and use Mackerel heads as bait. There is a shop there that sells the dropnets (with a spring in bottom to hold bait) for about £3.50 I think, don't get the washing bag type as they are no good. Take a big bucket as you will catch about 100 hardback crabs in 1 1/2 hours. If the spider crabs are about you can get them too using same method.

Don't know any real places to set traps but, the area between Stackpole back to Freshwater East is usually loaded with Lobster pots. You may be able to walk out on the right hand side of the rocks at freshwater east and set a trap there but I wouldn't take a toddler.
Pick up a free copy of coast to coast magazine while you are down there and the inside back page has tide times and is full of local info.

Hope this helps
 

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A great way to catch crabs. For toddlers or the table is get a mackerel stab it a few times and wrap it in a load of line ie like a big birds nest. Attach a weight to the bottom and cast it as far as you can on Rocky ground. The crabs go into the bait and there claws get trapped. You may get a lobster too. Try fishing off some thing like a pier as it will give you a better chance of not snagging up. And use a rotten bottom Set up for the weight or tape a bit of line around a pebble for weight and launch your trap with that but give it half hour before lifting. You may be surprised
 

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Foldable prawn pot with a entry holes about 125mm so the lobbies can get in !
No licence or tag for non commercial .
Limit of 2 lobbies , 5 edible crab and 1 kilo*of prawn per day.

* you'll be lucky !;)
Any oily fish for bait and weigh the pot down well with native rock so a conger does not make off with it !
 

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A great way to catch crabs. For toddlers or the table is get a mackerel stab it a few times and wrap it in a load of line ie like a big birds nest. Attach a weight to the bottom and cast it as far as you can on Rocky ground. The crabs go into the bait and there claws get trapped. You may get a lobster too. Try fishing off some thing like a pier as it will give you a better chance of not snagging up. And use a rotten bottom Set up for the weight or tape a bit of line around a pebble for weight and launch your trap with that but give it half hour before lifting. You may be surprised
That's pretty much how I catch spiders but with old braid. You need a decent rod and reel to get them back though
 

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How heavy should it be weighted mate?
Put a sturdy cord each end and a 4-5 lb lump of granite tied up close to each end of the trap.

Overkill maybe but a conger in the low teens will not have to move a trap far to be out of your reach.
You need to be able to lift the whole lot gently with the grapnel without tearing the mesh.
Finding features like old concrete slabs with hidey holes helps a lot !
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the replies. We’ll be near Tenby but plan to get out and about in the car a bit. Sandy beaches for sand castles and rocky kelpy ones being sourced for rock pooling and fishing.
Some very helpful tips and thanks for the bit about licences sniggle. Been looking everywhere for info on it on the welsh gov website. Could only find licences for north and west Wales so was getting worried it was out of bounds!
On bait always remember using very smelly old mackerel on a potting boat in Argyll as a child that would make you gag! For crabs, in East Anglia everyone uses bacon!! Guess that is due to the oil/fat content. Prefer the idea of fish for fish though.

Can give him a try on my old rod. Some Pier fishing would be good, though the concentration span might not be there yet...
 

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fish Saundersfoot harbour on an evening tide if you get the chance. easy fishing and safe for toddler, mackerel strip on a flapper rig will catch plenty of doggies - told my boy they were baby sharks when he was little
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thought I'd post back having now been on holiday and put out a couple of pots.
First place I tried was Manorbier beach - lovely beach for the family. It has a large rocky outcrop spreading west but also rocks to the east as well as a sandy bay all in a nice neat package. Plenty of rockpools but also easy access to safe rock marks at high tide.
A quick clamber on the eastern side and I got 2 pots down in nice seaweedy crags a low tide. These quickly caught a lot of small crabs in a few hours and overnight a dog fish and loads of spider crabs. Unfortunately a lot of hippies seem to troop the area and clearly didn't like my pots and one had been stolen. It was not lost as I had anchored it round a massive boulder with 10m of climbing rope! I had been getting interesting looks from some people with nose piercings and large flappy trousers. Ironic given the point of this was to create an interest and understanding in sea life with my toddler.
I caught loads of spider crabs at Manorbier. 100% of the spiders we caught did not have front claws. The entrance hole in my amazon net (same as recommended above by Bassintheplaice) seemed too small to allow good sized spider crabs to get in and they were difficult to extract.
The rocks on the western side of Manorbier are popular with fishermen and not the hippies (fortunately). Unfortunately, using the same bait and approach, I had zero luck down here. Around this area there are plenty of places though to do this.
I was doing this from the rocks and the key is to place these at low tide - or in future, I plan to get out and about in a kayak and place them with a small bouy a bit future.
I also managed to access some good spots on the western side of Broadhaven south at low tide. A large rock their that attracted a lot of spider crabs. Same issue though - small (no larger than 4.5 inches across the main shell) and no claws.

All fish and crustacea were safely returned. Think I'll be on the lookout now for a DIY video on making a bigger/better pot and getting the wee lad into a fishing rod so we can try some of the other suggestions next year.

For anyone whose not been, best place in the world for a holiday with small children. So much to do on rainy days (not that we had any) as well as great sandy beaches and crucially for this forum.....great fishing spots!

I've tried finding out why the spider crabs didn't have claws (is it seasonal?) but not found anything. If anyone has any bright ideas, would love to hear.

Cheers
Guy
 

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Thought I'd post back having now been on holiday and put out a couple of pots.
First place I tried was Manorbier beach - lovely beach for the family. It has a large rocky outcrop spreading west but also rocks to the east as well as a sandy bay all in a nice neat package. Plenty of rockpools but also easy access to safe rock marks at high tide.
A quick clamber on the eastern side and I got 2 pots down in nice seaweedy crags a low tide. These quickly caught a lot of small crabs in a few hours and overnight a dog fish and loads of spider crabs. Unfortunately a lot of hippies seem to troop the area and clearly didn't like my pots and one had been stolen. It was not lost as I had anchored it round a massive boulder with 10m of climbing rope! I had been getting interesting looks from some people with nose piercings and large flappy trousers. Ironic given the point of this was to create an interest and understanding in sea life with my toddler.
I caught loads of spider crabs at Manorbier. 100% of the spiders we caught did not have front claws. The entrance hole in my amazon net (same as recommended above by Bassintheplaice) seemed too small to allow good sized spider crabs to get in and they were difficult to extract.
The rocks on the western side of Manorbier are popular with fishermen and not the hippies (fortunately). Unfortunately, using the same bait and approach, I had zero luck down here. Around this area there are plenty of places though to do this.
I was doing this from the rocks and the key is to place these at low tide - or in future, I plan to get out and about in a kayak and place them with a small bouy a bit future.
I also managed to access some good spots on the western side of Broadhaven south at low tide. A large rock their that attracted a lot of spider crabs. Same issue though - small (no larger than 4.5 inches across the main shell) and no claws.

All fish and crustacea were safely returned. Think I'll be on the lookout now for a DIY video on making a bigger/better pot and getting the wee lad into a fishing rod so we can try some of the other suggestions next year.

For anyone whose not been, best place in the world for a holiday with small children. So much to do on rainy days (not that we had any) as well as great sandy beaches and crucially for this forum.....great fishing spots!

I've tried finding out why the spider crabs didn't have claws (is it seasonal?) but not found anything. If anyone has any bright ideas, would love to hear.

Cheers
Guy
We dont have spider crabs up here, but commercial fishermen [and recreational] will take a claw off a brown crab and return the live crab, some will take both but i understand its against the law, its cruel anyway, leaving the crab defenceless. I often get crabs in the couple of creels i put out, without claws, probably creel bait is a easy source of food when you dont have claws, edit to say the claws will grow back but its a long process
 

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We dont have spider crabs up here, but commercial fishermen [and recreational] will take a claw off a brown crab and return the live crab, some will take both but i understand its against the law, its cruel anyway, leaving the crab defenceless. I often get crabs in the couple of creels i put out, without claws, probably creel bait is a easy source of food when you dont have claws, edit to say the claws will grow back but its a long process
Might not be just fishermen that take the claws off , i dare say conger will do it with a crab they could not manage whole !
There is a crab fishery in America where they only take one big front claw and return the rest to re-grow and breed !
Makes much more sense than the UK taking the whole crab , sending it to Scotland to process the claw meat then sending the body back down to the south to be used as whelk pot bait !
As you say taking both feeding claws at sea is cruel as well as illegal.
 

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Don’t waste your time using mackerel as it is much more than expensive than a pack of bacon. Call into pound land in Tenby and get a pack of bacon for as you guessed it a £1 then away you go. The crabs absolutely love it and it is very tough and durable and works amazing. Always use it with my kids and catch endless crabs, prawns and fish.
And bonus is what you don’t use makes a cracking bacon sarnie after and your hands don’t stink like mackerel
 

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This sounds unbelievable but when i had my boat in Burry Port harbour the best way to catch prawns was a tin of cat food with a hole punched in it in my pot over the back of the boat
 

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You can sometimes buy an old lobster pot at car boot sales. May need a bit of work. But they are heavy bud. Ie to carry to a mark. Why not try a wicker lobster creel like I have seen in Scotland. Much lighter and weight it down with local stones at the venue.
 
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