Crabbing with children is a fun way to spend the afternoon and makes for a great family activity.
The length of the Twine will depend on how deep the water is and distance from the dock. Be sure to plan for extra “line” so that the child has room to hold the end but not so much that the twine becomes a trip hazard. In our photo, the twine is approximately 7 feet long. The twine can be anything that you have around the house – Green garden twine, etc. In this photo, we used old venetian blind string.
For the Clothespin, we prefer to use a wooden clothespin as we can easily tie the twine and weight to it. The clothespin is a key component as it will be used to hold the bait.
The Weight can be anything. In this photo we used a fishing sinker but we have tied on bolt nuts before. The amount of weight depends on the amount of current as you want the clothespin to sit on the ocean floor and not drift above it in the current. You can certainly use multiple items to give your clothespin the weight needed.
As for Bait, it has been our experience that crabs are attracted by smell. A freshly opened clam works best and is an instant attraction. The same is true for mussels. However, in our case, without clams or mussels, we have instead used leftover chicken wing bones and hotdogs. The chicken bone does not need to be big, but it should have a little leftover meat on it. Similarly, you do not need a whole hotdog but rather just a small slice. Remember, these items are just being held by the clothespin so think accordingly. NEVER EVER USE SPOILED or ROTTEN FOOD and be sure to leave the dock as clean when done.
Last is the Sand Bucket to hold your favorite crabs. It is amazing that some children will prefer the larger crabs while others will prefer the smaller as they are “cute”. Some children will count how many they have in their bucket while others will simply enjoy watching the crabs. We typically will bring more than one sand bucket on our crabbing adventure.