Soft shell crabs are crabs that have shed or molted their hard carapace in the ongoing growth process. Underneath the old shell, a new outer layer is forming and this new layer is in a thin, filmy state. Crabs typically remain in this soft state for only one or two days. During the hardening process the crab cannot swim or crawl, making them highly vulnerable to predators such as striped bass, bluefish, sea trout, flounder, redfish, tarpon and drum.
How to Catch Soft Shell Crabs
Catching soft shell crabs can be quite difficult because the timing of their shell coming off and forming a new one is not easy. The better way to do it is to catch crabs with your favorite technique and then to hold them in saltwater tanks. Once they shed their shells, you have soft shell crabs to use as bait.
Using Soft Shell Crabs as Bait
These crabs are some of the best baits to use and so many different fish will eat them. Rig them with a single hook and your favorite bottom rig. Cast them carefully so you don’t cast them right off the hook.