What are the most popular dishes from the sea? Crab definitely a seafood that will be topping the list. They are not only popular but also very delicious. Having said that, let me also tell you that catching them can be a daunting task. Crabs are sturdy, tough, and can potentially bite. So, the best way to catch them is by using Crab Traps.
What are the Crab Traps or Crab Pots?
These are unique contraptions designed for catching crabs. The type of trap depends on the location and the kind of crab you aim to capture. But whether it is the blue or the red crab, if you desire to catch them, you need the best contraption. Crabs are known to eat their bait and safely squeeze their way out. Therefore, you need to ensure that the trap is well set, and it is suited for the type you aim to catch.
We have compiled a list of the top seven best crab traps or pots in 2020. But before diving deep into their features, you must know the different types of traps. At the same time, the buying guide, in the end, will help you in making a perfect choice.
What are the different types of Crab Traps?
Crab traps come in all forms, sizes, shapes, and affordability. Starting from the basic $20 nets to the $100 plus stainless-steel cages.
Ring Crab Traps
This is the simplest form of crab traps. It is made of two rings (the upper circle is wider than the lower) connected by a mesh. The upper ring is latched to a rope for you to pull it out. Ring Traps are light, easy to use, and very affordable. It would be an ideal choice for beginners.
When you cast this trip, then the entire trap lays flat. As the crabs go in for the bait, you need to pull it out with a jerk. If you pull it gradually, then crabs can jump out of the mesh. There is no enclosure to stop them. For the same reason, you should not keep it deployed for more than 15 – 20 minutes. Otherwise, you will land with an empty trap.
People loving kayak crabbing goes for these as well as those who wish to survey the area a bit before casting a larger bait.
Cage Crab Traps
These traps are commonly known at pots. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they work similarly. Cage traps have one entry and no exit. The crabs will enter the trap and feed on the bait, but there is no exit for them.
You can keep the cage inside for hours since there is no chance of an escape. As the bait finishes inside, the chances of crabs being attracted reduce. Once you feel it is time, just drag it out of the water. The way of the angle of the drag does not make any difference.
You need to keep in mind two things. First, these are most suitable for the Dungeness type of crab. The Blue crabs are small in size and might escape through the gaps in the cage. Second, at times crabs gather strength and ram the door to ensure their escape. So, it is advised that you do not keep it inside water for a prolonged period.
Pyramid Crab Traps
As the name suggests, these traps look like pyramids, but only when they are dragged out. Once they are laid inside the waters, they resemble a star, and that’s why they are popularly known as star cage crab traps. It works similar to a ring trap, only that it is more suited for strong currents and tough crabs.
But you have to keep in mind that you do not deploy it for a long time, as there is no wall to stop the crabs from escaping. These are light, can be easily folded, and stored.
Top 7 Best Crab Traps
1. Danielson Pacific Crab Trap
Product Overview and Features
This crab trap is a trendy choice amongst all fishermen. It is simple, foldable, and lightweight. But that does not undermine its strength. The trap is composed of vinyl coated steel wires, which gives it strength and durability.
The cage has four entry points on four sides for the crabs to enter, but no exit for them. It is the perfect choice for the Dungeness and the Red Rocks.
The Danielson is also known as the ethical crab trap. It is because in case you lose the trap, or you cannot retrieve the trap, there are two emergency circular exits on the top for the crabs to make their way out. Entirely for the ethical fishermen, who lets the crab free in case, he cannot take them home.
But if you can secure your catch, then the strength and sturdiness of the steel wires are unmatched. Once your prey enters the cage, there is no way out. You are going to take home all of them. If you are in the Pacific Northwest, then you will see that this is really popular amongst recreational crab hunters.
- Two circular rings on top for the crabs to escape
- In case you lose the cage, it can disable itself
- Vinyl Coated wires are strong and durable
- Foldable and easy to transport
- To take out the crabs, you have to collapse the entire trap
- After multiple usages, the hinges become loose
Though it does not have an opening in the top to take out the crabs, it is prevalent amongst fishermen, and no doubt it features in our list. The trap is easy to use, store, and all set to give you a great crab catching adventure.
2. Kufa Vinyl Coated Crab Trap
Product Overview and Features
If you are a recreational trapper belonging to the Pacific coast, then you can try this crab trap. The new Kufa Vinyl Coated Crab Trap is strong, portable, easy to store, and can be paired with a lot of accessories.
The trap has four doors for entry and no exit mechanism. So, you can keep in inside water without fearing that the crabs might escape. It is highly suited for kayak fishermen who worry about space. This trap is absolutely foldable and easy to carry. You can easily assemble and dissemble it and need not worry about space.
The bait inside the trap is locked by a rubber knob. This gives you a better chance at the catch and also eliminates the major breakdown of the trap when you take out the crabs. Overall, you save on maintenance.
Lastly, this trap can be easily clubbed with the majority of the sporting gears. This ensures that you are prepared to catch a wide range of crabs of different shapes and sizes. If you fear the rugged and tough waters, then carry this buddy along. It is made for heavy-duty and will never disappoint you.
- Well-suited for Kayak fishermen
- Comes with Vinyl coated strong wires
- Equipped with a separate bait sack
- 4 entry paths and a single latch to keep it secured
- Can pair with multiple accessories
- Might rust easily
- Not suited for Blue crabs
- Availability is geographically limited
Yes, this trap is not available all across the world. But surely you can customize it to use it in the other parts. The trap is heavy, sturdy, and well suited for the tough waters. If you are heading for the coast, then take this contraption along. It will delight you with its heavy-duty performance.
3. Rob Smith Maryland Blue Crab Pot Trap
Product Overview and Features
Are you searching for crab traps to catch the blue crabs? Then explore no further because this is probably the best Blue Crab Trap. Explicitly designed for Atlantic blue crabs, this trap is durable and long-lasting.
The trap comes with a PVC coated exterior. This reduces the chances of corrosion and makes it resistant to the water. In this context, we can easily conclude that these traps last long and almost have no maintenance expenses.
This trap is composed of heavy-duty metals, which renders strength and durability. Once you cast it into the water, you can rest assured that no bait is escaping your trap. You need not worry about the way or the angle you are using to pick up the contraption. The metal usually takes a long time to deteriorate, and thus, you can enjoy the performance for an extended period.
The Rob Smith Blue Crab Trap comes with the best commercial quality tag. These are prepared and made by the professionals and designed for commercial purposes as well. So, if your intentions are to catch those giant crabs or bring home a bounty of crabs, then nothing better than this long-lasting, heavy-duty crab trap.
- It gives you stable performance (extended operating cycles)
- Commercial quality crab trap
- Comes with almost no repair or maintenance costs
- Best contraption for the Blue Crabs
- Well-suited for commercial applications
- Not well suited for the other varieties of crabs
- The trap can only perform limited tasks
- Trap does not allow quick baiting
As we see, this contraption is the best crab trap for blue crabs. But this specialty is also its limitation. If you are looking for a versatile trap for different kinds of crab, then this is not the best choice. If Blue Crabs are on your rudder, then close your eyes, and opt for the Rob smith Crab Trap.
4. Promar TR-530 Heavy Duty Crab Pot
Product Overview and Features
If you are new to this sport and plan to catch the large Stone, Dungeness, and Rock Crab, then check this nifty contraption. The Promar TR 530 gives you all that you might need to make your catch successful. It comes with a pot harness and a crabbing kit.
The trap is ideal for tidal conditions, and it lasts for a long time. You need not worry about replacement or repairs. Having a weight of 15 pounds, this gives you some work rolling it out onto the waters. But yes, you need not put in extra weight to keep it from drifting away.
The three tunnels with inclined slopes enable an easy entry for the crabs. There is an escape mechanism for small, young crabs. Two small circular escape holes have been designed for the same. Additionally, there is a cot rod for releasing the trap in case the trap is lost in the waters. Together it becomes an ideal choice for ethical fishermen.
The frame is built for heavy-duty performance. It is coated with vinyl coats, and the steel wires give it strength. Crabs cannot easily break in or break out and damage your trap.
- Very sturdy and long-lasting
- Performs better than the square traps
- Easily adjustable as per the rules of the land
- Corrosion-resistant and durable
- Plastic harness clips
- The holes are big enough for small fishes to enter and finish the bait
- It is not foldable or collapsible
We find that the major drawback is that this cage is not collapsible. But this drawback is not significant as compared to the performance it delivers. Once you cast it into the waters, you can be sure of the large catches. It is highly recommended for the Dungeness and the Red Rocks.
5. Lee Fisher’s Joy Fish Crab Trap
Product Overview and Features
Are you concerned about the environment as well? If you want to make a great catch and maintain to maintain the ecosystem, then take a look at this one. This contraption is entirely sustainable and environmentally friendly.
The heavy-duty metal rods are made from black Vinyl painted galvanized metal. This makes the trap strong, sturdy, and capable of withstanding any kind of water environment. The way it protects the ecosystem is that it does not disturb the balance in the system. There are circular escape holes that allow the smaller ones to escape. Only the more giant crabs get trapped, and thus over-exploitation is stopped in a particular habitat.
A jute twin also comes along with the trap. This will erode away slowly in case the trap gets lost, or you cannot retrieve it for any reason as such. This will ensure that the trapped crabs can escape, and there are no unwanted deaths. Yet, another way that the contraption takes care of the marine ecosystem.
- Excellent bait cup combined with latch and a lid
- Completely caring for the ecosystem
- Small in size and can be easily stored
- Can be equipped with several gears and accessories
- In line with most of the states’ regulations
- Absolutely not suited for commercial purposes
- Carrying capacity is limited
- Challenging to retrieve the catch
Two things that make this trap stand out from the rest – the concern for the environment and the ease with which it can comply with the different states’ regulations. The final verdict is entirely in favor of this contraption. You can indeed spend on the galvanized wires if you desire long-lasting, durable, and heavy-duty performance. If you are looking for a small yet robust crab trap, then this would become an excellent choice.
6. Hurricane Two Ring Wire Crab Net
Product Overview and Features
If you are interested in catching a few crabs without engaging in the professional contraptions, then this is one for you. The simple ring wire will last longer, help you catch a decent number of crabs without understanding the complexities of the contraptions.
Aluminum rings make the trap light and protect it from deterioration. This net measures 18inches in diameter and 9inches in depth. To make it long-lasting, remember to rinse the mesh in freshwater after every use.
The net is strong enough to protect the crabs from escaping and will surely give you a long-lasting performance. You can consider replacing the original ones with polyester to ensure longevity.
In the case of this trap, you cannot keep it inside water for a long duration. It is wholly meant for recreational purposes. Deploy it for 15 – 20 minutes and then pull it out with a jerk. Otherwise, you may end up pulling out an empty mesh. Being light and foldable, you can enjoy the comfort of carrying it anywhere along with you.
- Long-lasting and durable performance
- The aluminum is corrosion resistant
- Easy to use, simple to fold, and convenient to carry along
- It is very affordable and brings it useful utility
- An excellent choice for the small crabs
- You might need to add weights to keep it steady in one place
- The original net is very flimsy
- Needs ample modifications
Every time you cannot spend a lot on crab traps. There are times when there is a budget constraint, and in such a situation, this would be a perfect choice. We agree that the contraptions need modifications to make it better and last longer. Still, they are simple and come at low prices. Grab this trap, and you will indeed have a lot of fun catching crabs.
7. Foxy-Mate 120-T Topless Crab Trap
Product Overview and Features
Interested in only the more giant crabs? Then this will surely amaze you. The Foxy mate trap is designed mainly for the more giant-sized crabs.
The first fantastic feature is the robustness and the strength of the trap. It came from the rugged line and galvanized metals used for making the wires. It ensures that you can use the trap for an extended period without bothering about maintenance.
The topless feature ensures that it becomes easy for you to make a catch. Since it is only for the giant crabs, you need not have a top enclosure. You take less time to prepare the trap and deploy it. Lastly, if you check the sides, you will find them tapered. This makes it easy and convenient to store it.
- Ready to use and deploy
- Easily stored and conveniently transported along.
- Best suited for giant-sized crabs
- Heavy-duty wires to give the maximum impact
- Cannot pair this with other gears and accessories
- Not suited for the smaller ones
The final verdict would be that if you are stepping into this world, then it is better to focus on the bigger crabs first. In line with that, this trap would be a fantastic choice. Ready to use, easy to store, and perfectly sturdy and durable, this contraption is going to surpass your expectations.
Buying Guide for the Best Crab Trap
Purchasing the best crab trap is a daunting task. There are so many options to choose from. You can be easily confused. Besides, different traps come with varied features and specifications. You would surely not want to spend a fortune on the wrong trap. In this situation, a buying guide would help you make a perfect choice.
Things to consider before purchasing crab traps:
The choice of your trap depends on what type and size of crab you wish to catch. Since the traps come in different shapes and sizes, it is essential that you decide on the crab species and then let the other decisions fall in line with this.
If your plans are to go for crab catching once or twice a year, then you should not spend on the expensive materials. But in case you plan to go out regularly, then you need to have the best quality mesh and net. Go for the vinyl coated or galvanized wires. They give the best strength, performance, and durability. Additionally, high-quality materials ensure that you do not spend much on repair and maintenance.
You must also decide on the location where you want to catch. The trap must settle well at the bottom and stay there for attracting the crabs. You might need to put additional weights for the light contraptions. Also, ensure that the trap has some mechanism to dismantle itself if you lose track of it.
Size of the Net Holes
The size of the net holes is very crucial and often overlooked. The enclosure should be big enough for the desired crab species to come inside but not big enough for them to escape as well. Thus, go for the ones which have a valid number of entry tunnels without any exit route. This again emphasizes the importance of the crab size in selecting the best crab trap.
Different states have different rules. The last thing you would want is to get into the legal issues. It is always better to learn the law of the land, the fishing guidelines, licensing, and daily limits. In most places having the rot cord is a mandate. Even buoys are attached to the traps to signal the incoming boats. Since the regulations vary from one place to another, it is advised that you know the rules and modify your trap accordingly before deploying.
How to use these crab traps?
Before you finally make a choice for the best crab traps, you need to know how to set-up and use these contraptions. It is a simple four-step process –
- Fix the bait inside the trap – Place the bait inside and secure it well so that it does not get washed away. Generally, baits include meat, oily fishes, and bread crumbs. This is the first and foremost step for using the traps.
- Deploy the trap inside the water – Now you have to shut the exits and lower the traps into the water. Make sure that the trap reaches the bottom of the surface and stay intact for the crabs to get attracted to the bait.
- Retrieve the trap out – Depending on the type of trap, you need to retrieve it out. For ring ones, take them out within 15 – 20 minutes, while for the cage ones, you can keep them for hours.
- Wash and store – After you have retrieved your catch, it is a best practice that you wash the trap in fresh water to prevent corrosion and rust.
Catching the crabs offer real fun and excitement. Be it for recreational purposes or commercial applications, you will always need the best crab traps. Without the best ones, you will always end up disappointing yourself. No one would love to see their trap empty with the bait finished. Thus, you must research well about the traps, find out your requirement, and then make a decision. We advise you to start with the simple ring nets if you are new to this game. Once you hone your skills, then surely you can put your hands onto the commercial ones. We are sure that you will find the most suited crab trap from the list above. Enjoy and keep the adventure going!