Florida blue crabs are a delicious catch right here in Central Florida. However, knowing where to find them and how to harvest them is crucial to putting them on the dinner table. A "Crabbing for Beginners Program" at Faver-Dykes State Park on Saturday, January 12, 2013 will provide all the information one needs to go crabbin' in Florida.
Blue crab seasons are regulated by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. There are closings of specific areas to blue crab traps around the state depending upon whether it is an odd or even year. Other forms of collecting crabs are allowed during those closings. Additional restrictions include:
- Harvest of females holding eggs or sponge crabs is prohibited
- No minimum or maximum size limits
- Bag limit of 10 gallons of whole blue crabs per person per day
Recreational fishing license is required to harvest blue crabs with traps, baskets, crab nets, dip nets or landing nets unless the crabber qualifies for an exemption. The rules and regulations of blue crab collecting will be discussed during the program.
Gear allowed for harvesting blue crabs in Florida's waterways include:
- A maximum of 5 blue crab traps per person
- A dip or landing net
- Drop net
- A fold up trap with a volume of no more than one cubic foot
- Hook and line push scrape
The class participants will learn all about the necessary equipment, techniques and skills needed to catch crabs. A Florida park ranger will guide the group along the banks of Pellicer Creek, a Florida outstanding waterway while providing instructions on crabbing in the creek. No need to bring crabbing equipment because it will be provided and each participant will have an opportunity to use the equipment. However, if participants have equipment already and would like to bring it they are encouraged to do so.
Participants should bring drinking water, sunscreen, bug repellant and comfortable clothes for crabbing. Don't forget the camera to capture those moments capturing the blue crabs. The groups will meet at the picnic area fishing dock at 11:00 a.m. and the class will last for one hour on Saturday, January 12, 2013.
For more information about Faver-Dykes State Park and the "Crabbing for Beginners Program" visit the State Park website.