Will your crab trap work for Blue Crabs?
The Flex Fold Crab Trap is too large for Blue Crabs. I am in the process of developing a trap for these smaller crabs. Keep and eye on this website for developments.
How do I stop my gates from sticking in an open position?
New traps sometimes have the gates pinching in too much at the top. Release this pressure by gripping the cross spreader bar and forcing the center of it up slightly. This will ease the hinged part outward and resolve the problem. Make sure the gates swing easily before you soak the trap.
How can I fix my failing carabineers?
The 2006 traps were equiped with a bridle that attached to the trap with carabineers. There is a thin ss paddle that has been degrading on some carabineers and preventing the gate from closing. Though the bridle does not need to come off to fold up the trap the following fix allows such and therefore is popular. On emailing us your address we will send you 3 plastic sleeves that slide on the gates of the carabineers as shown below. Simply sliding the plastic pieces up the shaft allows the removal of the carabineers from the trap. 2007 traps have the bridle crimped permanently to the gates.
How do I make it easier to get the crabs out?
The first batch of traps produced did not have a draw string on the top. This can be an issue if there are lots of crabs in the trap. The easy solution is to make the top so it opens up. Buy 68" of 1/8" braided line, 1 large Acetyl Plastic Cord Lock with non-rusting spring($.95) and a plastic hook ($.75) at a hardware store. Remove the ss ring from the center of the net (padded vice and hacksaw suggested) and thread the line through net as shown below. Add cord lock and hook and you have it. When the line is cinched, take the tail and loop it out around the top hoop and back to the center.
How can I prevent the gates from opening in a current or if the seabed is not flat?
The gates on the trap are much heavier than most and should stay down. However, if for some reason you feel that more tension is required it can be done by placing an elastic band on the gates hinges as illustrated in the picture below. Elastics are less than a cent and should be replaced every time if you feel they are required.
My trap is leaning to one side. How do I straighten it?
· The trap is manufactured so that it is aligned when it is first assembled. However,over time the bungees may creep along the wire rope causing the trap to appear 'wonky'.
To straighten it you must first assemble the trap. Make sure that the netting mesh is not caught up at the top or bottom of a frame. The crimped stainless steel ferrels on the wire ropes should be centered in the middle of a frame. If not, slide the wire rope through the netting until they are. Readjust the bungees to snug against the hangers. On a strip of thin cardboard measure out 23 5/8". This is the distance between the frames (hanger to hanger).Use this template to reposition the frames on the top and bottom hoops if necessary. The three side panels of netting should have the same taughtness.
On later model traps there are 3 yellow markings on each of the wire ropes. Align the right side of each frame to these marks and the trap should stand up straight.
How do I stop my trap from being "lifted" when I leave it overnight.
· There are either crabs in the area or there aren't. The Flex Fold Trap fishes very quickly as the three gates offer easy access once the crab has reached the perimeter. If there are any crabs down there, and if you have put in lots of fresh salmon heads, you'll have them inside in a couple of hours... max. This means you don't have to leave it out overnight (to be stolen).
Should I weight the trap?
· The majority of traps that are supposed stolen have actually succumbed to the current. Make sure you add enough lead sand weights to prevent this. Your local bait & tackle shop can advise you on the required amount for the area. Two 3lb lead cannon balls clipped to the lower hoop inside the trap on opposing sides will suffice if you can not locate sand anchors. Add an addtional 3lb weight for extreme currents.
· Don't bother with rocks as they are near weightless underwater.
What is the best bait?
· Good question! I have been told everything from road kill deer (a favourite in north-coast California because the seal-lions don't like it but the crabs do) to turkey backs, cat food, salmon heads to none at all. Crabs are scavengers and will eat just about anything. They do, however, prefer things that don't eat them and things that are fresh. Also, the more bait the better.
· Willapa makes a nice envelope bait container that lies flat in the bag with the stowed trap. When you place it in the trap make sure it is in the center. It will confuse the crab if its close to the perimeter.
Where do I check the crabbing regulations?
Here are a few websites for West Coast fisheries:
British Columbia -http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/rec/tidal-maree/index-eng.htm
Washington - http://wdfw.wa.gov/
Oregon - http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/fishing/
CalifCalifornia - http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mrd/fishing_map.html
Alaska - http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/Static/Statewide/regulations/southeast/SEshellfish.pdf
How do I care for my Flex Fold Trap?
· Wash trap down with fresh water when possible. This will help to minimize the odour.
It will also prevent mud from packing in the cable strands causing corrosion as stainless steel needs oxygen to remain corrosion free.
· Store it in the carrying bag, it will be happier in its home.