Q&A

SHORE FISH­ING

Sea Angler (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Eight pages of ex­pert an­swers.

Q: With the win­ter cod sea­son upon us, I’ve heard that crab cart is a good bait to use. How do you make it?

JOSHUA STANBRIDGE, BOURNEMOUTH, DORSET

PF says: Crab cart is the in­ner co­ral that is found in­side a fe­male edi­ble crab from Septem­ber on­wards. It can be mixed with other baits to make it even more pun­gent, and is usu­ally mounted on the hook with elas­ti­cated cot­ton. Dif­fer­ent re­gions have dif­fer­ent reg­u­la­tions on size lim­its, so check be­fore you col­lect your own. You can buy them from fish­mon­gers.

Q: When I’m cast­ing with my mul­ti­plier reel, my thumb of­ten slips off the spool, re­sult­ing in my cast go­ing astray. How can I pre­vent this from hap­pen­ing?

ANDY LEWIS, BY EMAIL

Q: How do you tell the dif­fer­ence be­tween male and fe­male edi­ble crabs, to use for crab cart?

DAVE RICHARD­SON, SUN­DER­LAND, TYNE & WEAR PF says: One so­lu­tion that some an­glers use is what is known as a ‘thumby’, where you wrap a cou­ple of turns of elec­tri­cal tape around your thumb, or even use the thumb cut from a rub­ber glove.

I pre­fer to fix a piece of bi­cy­cle in­ner tube un­der my reel seat on my rod. Be­fore cast­ing, fold it over the spool and use it to grip with your thumb.

PF says: It’s re­ally quite sim­ple. Turn the edi­ble crab on to its back and take a look at the ab­domen. A fe­male crab will have a par­tic­u­larly wide ab­domen stretch­ing across most of its un­der­side. A male crab has a much nar­rower one.

Q: I’m con­cerned that I’m dam­ag­ing fish when at­tempt­ing to re­move a hook. What should I do, and will us­ing a cir­cle hook pre­vent deep hook­ing?

BRADLEY CRACKNELL, PORT­LAND, DORSET

PF says: It’s in­evitable while fish­ing that we will end up catch­ing a fish that has swal­lowed the hook. If you in­tend re­turn­ing the fish, sim­ply cut the snood as close to the hook as pos­si­ble.

Other than stain­less steel hooks, most pat­terns will per­ish quickly. Cir­cle hooks could be worth try­ing.

When you have re­moved the wings, flesh and co­ral, place on kitchen pa­per to re­move the ex­cess mois­ture.

When the ex­cess mois­ture is soaked up, you are ready to pre­pare the cart bait into pack­ages made us­ing cling­film.

Re­move the legs and claws. Pull away the cara­pace of the crab to re­veal the juicy flesh and co­ral in­side. Start to pick out the flesh.

Con­tinue to re­move all the flesh and co­ral from in­side the cara­pace. Use a small spoon or blunt knife to get un­der the edges.

Re­mem­ber to only use edi­ble hen crabs that are of le­gal size. The min­i­mum in the North East is 140mm, but it varies from 130-140mm.

Turn the edi­ble crab up­side down so the eyes face the floor and, us­ing the palm of your hand, hit the crown to despatch it quickly.

Take the wing, flesh and co­ral and wrap tightly in cling­film. This is im­por­tant to re­move the air and pre­vent freezer burn.

Tie a tight knot in each end of the cling­film and place cart baits in the freezer. Only re­move the bait you need for each ses­sion.

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