Crab is kryptonite on spring reds

A chunk of fresh blue crab, shell removed, is an unbeatable bait for redfish year-round, but especially in the spring.

But anglers don’t have to use the real thing

During spring, crabs are to redfish as kryptonite was to the comic-book Superman. As soon as redfish detect a crabby aroma, they perk up and begin looking for a hard-shelled delicacy. But, anglers don’t have to actually use a real chunk of crab to tickle these senses either. Anglers can fortify their artificial lures with a little liquid magic and bring fish to the lure in record time.

Because reds are splitting out of huge winter schools, anglers need to cover a lot of water to find them. That means using artificial lures. Some lures already come with fish-attracting scents, including the Gulp peeler crab or D.O.A. shrimp-flavored lures. Some anglers prefer the real thing. They can make their own crab marinade by crushing up blue crabs in a 5-gallon bucket or an old blender, with vegetable oil added to the mix. Soft baits can be soaked in the mixture, and the mixture can be re-applied throughout the day if the lure survives that long.

As far as a ready-to-use product, Pro-Cure Bait Scents ( make a blue crab scent in a super gel that can be applied directly to both soft and hard lures. The gel is sticky, and a little bit goes a long way.

Of course, fresh blue crab is unmatched for getting reds on the hook year-round, but especially in the spring. Anglers should trim the legs, remove the outer shell and cut the remaining body of the crab into several pieces. Hooks — either a jighead or a Carolina rig hook — can be inserted just inside the body near the legs’ former homes. These baits will hold up well for several casts.

About Jeff Burleson 1311 Articles
Jeff Burleson is a native of Lumberton, N.C., who lives in Myrtle Beach, S.C. He graduated from N.C. State University with a degree in fisheries and wildlife sciences and is a certified biologist and professional forester for Southern Palmetto Environmental Consulting.

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