Catching Crabs with a Drop-Net for Surfcasting Bait

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    Allan Burgess

    Crabs are the best bait for rig sharks. Preferrable fresh ones but frozen will still work ok.

    The easiest way of catching crabs is with a drop net. You can easily make one from a pair of old bicycle wheels though you probably need a bit of weight added around the bottom wheel rim. Stretch a net across the bottom ring and up to the second ring. The net concertinas down when it hits the sea floor but the sides pop up when you lift it to trap the unsuspecting crabs. Attach a length of nylon rope and you are in business. You just need to tie some old fish frames or heads in the centre of the net and lower it down next to a pile on a wharf, pier or jetty.

    The New Brighton pier in Christchurch was a favourite spot for catching crabs by this method but I think they may have banned drop-nets because the rope lines used to pull them up were cutting groves into the wooden handrails. They have been using various sinker devices with attached hooks lowered down with a fishing rod at the New Brighton Pier instead.

    The drop net method works well provided you have a suitable pier or jetty nearby. I have often caught yellow-eyed mullet in the net as well by lifting it quickly to the surface.

    In the photographs, you can see I’ve caught a couple of live mullet and an odd looking Decorator crab, and a starfish. Sea snails are also a common catch.

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