Fishing for inshore predators can be tricky, as their sources of forage definitely vary by season and availability. But, one source of food all saltwater predators love to feast on is small crabs. Crabs are known to cruise the bottom of inshore flats and saltwater beaches, where predators can stop by for an easy snack. This is where soft bodied crabs can really shine and produce.
How To Fish Soft Bodied Crabs
The first thing to note while fishing crabs is to stay ready. You never know when it will get bit, as the legs fluttering on the fall are just as appetizing as a realistic drag across the water’s floor. Keep the rod in your hand, and cover as much water as possible to find the fish.
Jigging Soft Bodied Crabs
There are 3 distinct ways you can fish a soft bodied crab. The first of which is to jig it. Cast out from the bank or drop below the boat. Built into this type of soft plastic body is tons of action, with flailing arms surrounding a hard shell body. This action is perfect for jigging, where you can raise and lower the tip of your rod to produce action over and over again. The sputtering action of the legs imitates a swimming, fleeing crab, triggering aggression from saltwater predators everywhere.
Dragging Soft Bodied Crabs
The second way to fish crabs is to drag them across the bottom. Cast them out and wait for them to hit bottom, then slowly retrieve. If smaller predators are hitting your bait and you’re wanting to seek out a trophy at the bottom, try adding some weight to the line to get through the strike zone faster. Once the slack is out of the line, drag it along the bottom and mix up your twitches and pauses until you start getting bites.
Dead Stick A Soft Bodied Crab
The final, and easiest way to fish a crab is to just cast it out and set your rod down, almost like you are “dead sticking“. No, seriously. These things are so realistic and produce so much action on their own you can just toss them in and wait for a bend in the rod. Part of their realistic look is their ability to imitate real crabs even at rest. So just cast, set the rod aside, and wait for a bite!
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