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Louisiana Blue Crabs - A Closer Look

Blue crabs are an important part of the Louisiana economy and a staple along the coast. While commercial fishermen provide a bountiful yield of blue crab for local restaurants and markets, recreational fishermen also enjoy catching crabs for their own use for the dining pleasure of their family and friends. Nothing's quite as delicious as freshly caught crab, straight from the Gulf!

Before heading to the waters, familiarize yourself with the best tips for catching and eating crab, just like the locals do.

Fishing for Blue Crabs
There is no doubt about it catching blue crab is a sport – hands down. Basically any type of meat scraps will work for bait, with chicken and turkey scraps being most popular. If you aim for the organ and neck scraps, you can purchase these parts cheaply from a butcher. Of course, you can also use shrimp for bait, which can be caught off the coast.

Blue crabs are most plentiful during the hot, summer months, mostly because they’re easier to catch. Find them hiding in the marshy bayous along the coast, with their most active times being in the early morning and evening. You can set out crab traps when the tides are moving in, since the crabs will be moving into the waters to feed. They'll eagerly go after meat scraps in the waiting traps.

Trapping Blue Crabs
Fishermen use several methods for catching blue crabs but the most effective are large wire traps, also known as pots. The traps have an opening for the crabs to crawl in to get the meat scraps, which are positioned in its center. They will get the scraps, but won’t be able to leave, as the opening of the trap is designed to keep them in once they enter. Employing crab traps is a great way to catch multiple crabs at a time, as a single trap can catch 6-12 crabs on a good day. If you're looking to do  recreational crab catching, and won't be utilizing a boat,  a hand-carried net can be used in shallow water. You can also try dropping a line off a dock near salt water.

Eating Blue Crabs
For locals and visitors alike, a good "Louisiana-style" boil is the most popular way to enjoy blue crab.  If you don't have the equipment or the desire to cook them yourself, the Louisiana Gulf Coast offers an endless array of eateries- from casual seafood joints, frequented by locals and tourists alike, to fine dining establishments. No matter how you catch and eat the blue crab, you're sure to enjoy this delicious Louisiana staple.  It's a wonderful way to enjoy the natural resources along the coast, while supporting the local economy.

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