Fishing with Fiddler Crab as Bait

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As members of the family Ocypodidae, fiddler crabs are most closely related to the ghost crabs of the genus Ocypode.  This entire group is composed of small crabs – the largest being slightly over two inches across.  Fiddler crabs are found along sea beaches and brackish inter-tidal mud flats, lagoons and swamps.  Like all crabs, fiddler crabs shed their shells as they grow and if they have lost legs or claws during their present growth cycle a new one will be present when they molt.  If the large fiddle claw is lost, males will develop one on the opposite side after their next molt.  Newly molted crabs are very vulnerable because of their soft shells.  They are reclusive and hide until the new shell hardens.  As bait, fiddler crabs are loved by inshore species such as sheepshead, pompano and permit.

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