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2020 Stone Crab Season

Old 10-06-2020, 09:26 AM
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Default 2020 Stone Crab Season

Dropped my traps today. Feels like 90* full humidity but looking forward to pulling them on the 15th. Going into the season fully expecting all my traps to be stolen at some point, so expectations are low. Too rough in the gulf with these storms right now to set them offshore but hope it calms down soon.

Good luck to all.

Last edited by kpaulhus; 10-06-2020 at 09:57 AM.

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11-03-2020, 05:17 AM
Mikestyger1
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First time Stone crabbing this year. Had to leave traps in 2 weeks due to weather and unforeseen circumstances, but pulled on this last Sunday. I was surprised to find ALL my traps exactly where I left them. I was also worried about poachers so I sunk a pair of 3in stainless steel screws into each trap. Took a little longer to have my drill with me and open up, but apparently it worked. We set up 6 on the ocean side and 3 on the bayside in Tavernier and got a total of 10 claws, one of which was massive! My 8 year old could not have been happier as she was looking forward to this for months. It was a fun time and sunk the traps again in hopes for just as good or better results. Pythons, iguanas, barracudas, and an assortment of fish carcasses did the trick. Don't worry...the "look of fear" in the one pic, was my wife trying to incite my daughter for a better picture!












And because I'm a super proud Dad had to throw in the extra pic of my girl moving up from her 3ft net to a 5ft net.
Old 10-06-2020, 09:30 AM
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I hear ya, very hesitant to set mine as well. But that meat is delish! Think I will set mine before next cold front.
Old 10-06-2020, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by kpaulhus View Post
Dropped my traps today. Feels like 90* full humidity but looking forward to pulling them on the 15th. Going into the season fully expecting all my traps to be stolen at some point, so expectations are low. Too rough in the gulf with these storms right now to set them offshore but how it calms down soon.

Good luck to all.
Ha ha yeah. I've "lost" more traps than I can count. I just get them at the docks now. Saves heartbeats and blood pressure spikes that way.

Enjoy and hopefully your traps make it unmolested and don't "vanish" by the end of the season.
Old 10-06-2020, 10:12 AM
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Whats your favorite stone crab bait? I use sardines and mullet, but was wondering what everyone else uses.
Old 10-06-2020, 10:25 AM
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After two years of red tide and other crap we’re getting back at it this season. I like pigs feet the best. It’ll last a couple weeks. Fish guts are good too they just get stripped clean faster it seems like.
Old 10-06-2020, 12:14 PM
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Very worried about my traps being poached or stolen also. GOing to try to use the 3in stainless screw to deter poachers, but maybe that increases the chance of getting stolen? Not able to set out until Oct 17th so hopefully there'll still be some left in the keys.
Old 10-06-2020, 12:26 PM
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pig's feet is what i use to get it going, then whatever trash fish we have.
Old 10-06-2020, 01:56 PM
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Make sure you have a new gauge, the legal claw size increased 1/8". Legal size is now 2 7/8" not 2 3/4".
Old 10-06-2020, 02:09 PM
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Never could keep my traps from being stolen.
Old 10-06-2020, 02:17 PM
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Put on a long line. No float. That’s what we do with our traps
Old 10-07-2020, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Buttapollock1010 View Post
Put on a long line. No float. That’s what we do with our traps
FWC requires a buoy marked with an R.
  • The buoy must be no smaller than 6 inches and must be marked with a legible “R” that is at least 2 inches tall.
  • Buoys are not required if trap is fished from a dock.
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Old 10-07-2020, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Buttapollock1010 View Post
Put on a long line. No float. That’s what we do with our traps
A long line with no float? How does that work. I know you are supposed to have a float but I'm just curious how that works?
Old 10-07-2020, 08:01 AM
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Got mine in on time for once!
I like pelagic fish for bait the most.
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Old 10-07-2020, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by DarcizzleOffshore View Post
Got mine in on time for once!
I like pelagic fish for bait the most.
You and Puddin going to check them before 30 days!?!? Good luck looking forward to you videos.
Old 10-07-2020, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by lurker25 View Post
A long line with no float? How does that work. I know you are supposed to have a float but I'm just curious how that works?
I don't see why you wouldn't be able to fish recreational traps in a 5-trap trawl line. It would be a pain in the ass to pull but possible. The first trap would have a buoy then a leaded bottom line leading to trap 2, 3, 4, and 5 with the end traps each having a buoy. There's a commercial guy that fishes where I fish and he runs lines of 20 traps, with only buoys on the end traps. Cuts down on the robbing and the cut offs from all the careless boaters.

I finally gave up on fishing a high traffic area this season. It has been very productive over the years, I've fished traps there since 2001. Just too many cut offs and thieves, so even though it's good crabbing it's not worth the trap loss. A missing trap produces zero crab.
Old 10-07-2020, 09:26 AM
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to protect against theft, you might want to consider using a galvanic timed release. you set it up such that the float is tied to the trap and then releases in x number of days.

Galvanic Timed Releases | Neptune Marine Products

Old 10-07-2020, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by alacrity View Post
to protect against theft, you might want to consider using a galvanic timed release. you set it up such that the float is tied to the trap and then releases in x number of days.

Galvanic Timed Releases | Neptune Marine Products
This^^^^^

My buddy is using them with great results. Perfect for the recreational guy. He has lost no traps and production is way up due to not being robbed.
Old 10-07-2020, 10:51 AM
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Mine are going in the water Sunday. Looks like a cold front is forecasted for later next week. Could make for a good week 1. We’ll see....
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Old 10-07-2020, 06:12 PM
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Has anyone tried sinking them and going back with dive gear to retrieve? If I try it that may be my plan. Does the law say the float has to be at the surface or can it be 1' from the trap under water?
Old 10-13-2020, 10:02 AM
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What's the soonest you guys would pull early in the season?

I didn't drop until Saturday. I'm debating when to pull. I was going to do it Saturday, but I may pull early since it's early in the season. This early traps are usually loaded and a limit is reached before all traps are pulled anyways.

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