Crab Q&AThis is a featured page

hi guys my name is devin i am do a game for school and we have to pick a job that we want to be when we grow up and i want to be one of you and i have to see how much money you make in a mouth? thanks you guys

Question: I have watched many times the hook being thrown to catch the buoy but they don't show when and what hook is attached to the bridle to actually bring the pot on board. When is this hook attached and by whom?Birmingham Ken
Answer: There are two buoys with line tied to it. the crew member working on the rail tries to aim in between those two buoys. once the buoys are pulled in, the crew member then puts the line (after the buoys) in the block, which pulls the pot up. the line in between the buoys is connected to the line that is connected to the bridal, which is connected to the pot.

Question: What is the difference between miles per hour for winds and knotts?
Answer: Knot = 1.151 MPH
Question: How many times per season do the boats unload their catches? The show kinda makes it look like the only do it after the season closes. Is this correct or are there multiple trips to the processors? Austin Dave
Answer: well it really depends on the boats quota. it the boat has a large quota, it would want to get their as fast as they can with full tanks of crab to end their season early. I am pretty sure the processors will not accept crab after the season is finished. captain and crew have to be careful not to go over or under there set quota.

Question: How do I become a commercial crab fisherman?
Answer: You know someone on a crabber, being in the right place at the right time.walking the docks asking for work.getting experience fishing in other fisheries and then the opportunity knocks.not sitting on your butt waiting for it to happen.

Question: My father was a 3rd generation oyster-man and every summer when they couldn't catch oysters they would mop up as many starfish as possible. (Starfish kill oysters) Every time the mops came up he would have lobsters and crab along with hundreds of starfish. I was wondering if the Captains could use this type of mop to "test" a spot?
Answer: You can only prospect with pots which are the only legal gear for crab.

Question: How long is king crab season?
Answer:It is usually 48-60 days long, unless it closes sooner due to many crab boats fishing.

Question: How does a person get on the crab boats do they go and
fill out applications or how do they do that?
Answer: - Add answer. Please note your source(s) - most people start in a fish processing plant, and work there way up, or sometimes, people get lucky and are hired off the dock. (sources= the show)

Question: - What are the differences when fishing for different types of crab? Is it location, season, pots, bait or some other factors?
Answer: - There was a video clip explaining the difference on It might still be there. If memory serves, you have to rig the crab pots differently because of the different sizes of the crabs. Also, the seasons are different. For more info, I would check the official website.

Each crab species has it's own preferences on where it lives, how it travels etc. Some like it rocky, some prefer mud. Some like the boundary in between. They also tend to like a particular depth as well which fluctuates with temperatures and food availability. The fishing gear reflects this and the physical size of the crab (king vs snow being the biggest difference) and also the age of crab they are trying to exclude. Fish and Game set the seasons for when the crab will be harmed the least by fishing activity and usually try to set it for after they are done with their yearly molt. Wich makes them very pretty but not very solid in their new suits. - cloudsinmotion

Question:Has there ever been a woman deckhand fishing during the crab season?
Answer: Yes, I have heard captains telling stories about women working as deckhands.
Yes, and I've met some of them. I know of one that is on these forums- cloudsinmotion

Question:What do you fish when crab seasons are over?
Answer: Halibut, salmon and cod is what I fish when I'm not crabbing.

Question: - Is there any "formal" training necessary to become the Captain of a boat? Obviously they learn how to fish by doing it and perhaps having a mentor, but is there any outside training required in say navigation, weather, sea currents, etc?
Answer: I was allowed to run a couple crabbers for cod potting.Basically, my training was working on the boat and learning how to operate all the systems. Generators,pumps,chillers, etc. as well as the electronics. Basically, I learned from YEARS of experience.
Answer: Captain Phil was just talking about this in his Chat on Tuesday. He said that it is alot more strict now. You have to take and pass Classes to get a Captain's License, and then if you get all that, you have to be Voted into the Insurance pool by the other captains in your league/ pool of boats.

Answer: Depends on the tonnage of the boat. If below a certain weight then nolicense is needed. If above, you need to get your masters license. - Cloudsinmotion

Question: I've heard a lot of the captains on the show and Mike Rowe talking about "green slime". Why are the crabs attracted to it and what is it?
Answer:Hiram Johnson from the Maverick was talking on one of the shows about the green mud. He said that the Opilio Crab live in the green mud. My speculation (it is only a speculation) is that since Opilio Crap migrate in large bio masses and as they migrate they stir up the mud kicking up all sorts of food for them to eat, it would make ideal conditions for them to live with a plentiful food source rather than a rocky area.

Answer: Opilio do not have spines so they need the mud to burry themselves in when threatened. -cloudsinmotion

Question: I was wondering what they do with the rest of the crab body after they tear the legs off? Is that what we get in the can or do they just discard it?
Answer The body contains meat and is kept attached to the legs in halves. the shells are sometimes ground up and dumped at sea or used as fertilizer.

Question:I was wondering how do the deckhands give an accurate crab count and sex,species,and size when they just grab handfuls of crab and shove it into the tanks?
Answer: - We don't just grab handfuls and stuff em down. It may look that way but they are sorted. The females are a lot smaller than the males so sexing them is actually quite easy. When we are opie fishing, we often get pots full of "clean corn" which is where the pot is almost 100% keepers. Then we will grab handfuls but we are counting them and keeping an eye out for bairdi and females. Species wise the bairdi and the opilio are the only crab that are similar, however the bairdi has a wider ,smoother shell and red eyes, the opilio has green or brown eyes. also the bairdis' mouth looks like an M while the opilio's mouth is straight.

Answer: And then you have hybrids ;-) The boats are allowed up to 3% of the wrong size/species/ sex of crab. You may notice the crews measuring the king crab pretty carefully. That's because the legal size and what the cannery will take are the same. But with Opies, the legal size is much smaller than what the cannery will take. So they can be more sloppy with measuring. -cloudsinmotion

Question: - I am a first season viewer of the Deadliest Catch. When the pots are baited in tossed over board I noticed it is crucial that they are tied tight. How do the crab get in and when they get in to the pots to feast what keeps them in there?
Answer: - The pot has a triangular shaped netting that they crawl in through. Once they get in, they can't get out, unless the ropes aren't tied tight enough.

Question: I hear everyday about mercury and lead levels found in bottom feeders in our oceans. Question: How do you determine if our crab is safe to eat? International waters are creepy...Are ours safe?
Answer: One thing that we have going for our Alaskan waters is theabsenceof big cities and industrial waste. If you are concerned about pollution in our waters, I would be more concerned about plastic as it is the number one source of pollution in the oceans and is becoming a huge problem in the North Pacific gyre in particular but in many other places in the world. Most of this plastic starts out on land and gets washed out to sea. It doesn't go away either. It just breaks down into smaller and smaller peices. All sorts of wildlife eat it thinking it's food. And the additives they use in the making of it leaches into the waters and then accumulate on bigger peices of plastic so when a sea bird or filter feeder eats it, it's a double dose. The plastic causes physical blockage of the digestive system and the additives wreck havoc on the endocrine and reproductive systems. Reduce, reuse, recycle. -cloudsinmotion

Question:How do they set the limits on the crab season before it starts and how do they decide the quota for each fishing vessel?
Answer: - Now that they have boat quota's it's a lot easier. Fish and Game does trawl surveys before the season to spot check what they think they already know. Based on that and how long it took the boats to catch their quotas the year before, they can get pretty close to the right answer. -cloudsinmotion

Question: How do the fish & game know that each boat has stop fishing when they close the season early ?
Answer- We have v.m.s.(vessel monitoring system)which is a gps equipped little black box that constantly gives our position in real time to the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Question: - How do crab travel? On a few shows Bio masses have been mentioned and they showed a graphic once for about 3 seconds. Are they in big clumps like hills moving along the bottom? Also how big is a biomass is it the size of a football field just sort of rolling along the bottom. I really wish they would do more on the show on the crab themselves.
Answer: - I've crabbed for sixteen years and have wondered the same thing. I've seen pictures of the biomass looking like a rolling wave as it moved across the bottom. But size wise? They must be huge bio masses. We've had pots spread out for miles in every direction, all coming up stuffed.this last season, 2008. We pulled up almost 600'000 pounds out of one area with very little moving of the gear and they were still coming up stuffed!! How's that for a bio mass?

Answer: I've spoken with a few researchers that have video of the crab on the bottom. The king crab "school up" into a pile when they are resting. This gives the ones in the middle a measure of protection from other predators. When they travel, they spread out in a wide carpet picking up bits of detritus as they move along. I've seen the pictures of the balls too. I'm thinking its like one big testosterone wrestling match. I don't know if they intentionally move that way. -cloudsinmotion

Question: - How do the Captain's name their boats? Is there some superstition connected to the name of your boat?
Answer: - I know that the Cornelia Marie was named after the girl that owns the boat, Cornelia Marie Devlin. She owned it with her husband and then her husband sold his share to Captain Phil. This was on their website.

Question: -What is a MOP and don't tell me its what you use to mop a kitchen floor. Seriously, what is one?
Answer: - I think your question is in reference to an earlier question in which someone mentioned using a mop for oysters. I believe he is describing an oyster dredge. which is like a large flat bar with a chain mesh bag towed behind it that is dragged along the bottom to catch oysters,scallops,and clams

Question: - Do you feed the crab once they are in the holding tanks?
Answer: - No they don't get fed, but they can survive for quite awhile just filtering the sea water that is constantly be pumped through the tanks.

Answer: The crab are in distress. They wouldn't eat even if you gave them food. Plus the food in the tanks would rot and be a huge mess. -cloudsinmotion

Question: What are the differences between the different types of crab being fished in the Bering Sea, and which type yields more money?
Answer: King crab is more expensive because they are bigger/ have more meat

Answer: There are three species of King crab that are commercially fished: Red, Blue, and Brown. There are now two species of snow crab that are being fished. Opilio and Bairdi. and Dungees. There have been some experiemental fisheries with Tanneri - another snow crab and Cousi- King. Both of these were too deep and therefore too fragile when you brought them up to be viable for profit. They also fish for Korean Horse hair crab- a cute little thing they ship live to Asia. Pound for pound, I would guess it would be the most expensive. -cloudsinmotion

Question:What months are you out at sea?
Answer: October to April for crab. then there is usually halibut or tendering in the summer.

Question:Does anybody know if there has ever been any female full time deckhands on any of the ships? I am not talking about a cook. I am talking about a girl who has been just one of the guys out on deck. If not, would a captain ever hire a girl? Be nice when you answer this, girls are the same as boys.
Answer: Yes, there have been. I've met a few of them and was offered jobs on a few myself. This was back in the mid nineties. -cloudsinmotion

Question:Is it possible to put a filtration device in the crab tanks to cut back on dead loss?
Answer: There is a filteration system that keeps stuff from getting intot he tanks but mostly they just really keep the clean sea water flowing strongly through them.

Question: Can someone give me some tips on the Deadliest Catch CLASSIC computer game? I seem to never be able to go over a profit if 1,000,000 or so dollars.

Question:I was told that the inside of the crab legs are liquid until they are cooked. That doesn't seem to make would they move if it were true. Can anyone answer this please?
Answer: no, its a meat,it doesn't look like it does when it's cooked, a little mushier, but it's not a liquid.

Answer: They have muscles just like you do. They just have their skeleton on the outside. - Cloudsinmotion

Question:I was just wondering what different species of crab you catch when you go fishing? Can anyone answer this please?

Answer:red, blue,brown, and golden king crab. opilios, bairdi,korean horse shoe hair crab and dungeness are all commercially fished in Alaska.

Question: I don't understand why heat could not be used to remove ice from the deck or prevent it from forming. It sure seems like a massive portable heater would be easier than all that hammering.
Answer: it might keep ice from forming directly in front of the heater. I've seen were there is a heater blasting heat onto the wheelhouse windows, but it is so cold that ice still forms on the other side of the heated window.

Answer I think you've forgotten one important thing- anything that is outside on a deck has to be able to withstand being dowsed by sea water repeatedly. There are many boats, particularly catcher processors that have a hot water hose that they use to chop through the bigger blocks of ice.

Question: Why was the Northwestern's harvest of 850,000 pounds worth more ($1.4 million) than the Cornelia Marie's 1.2 million (worth $1.3 million) in the final crab count?
Answer: I think it is because the Cornelia Marie had mechanical problems, so deckhand and captain did not get as much money.( if you are asking about the amount of money they each got)
Question: How deep do you usually drop the pots? How deep are the fishing grounds you usually use?

Answer: it depends on what species you are going for but if memory serves me right, anywhere from 50 fathoms to 120. Keep in mind a fathom is 6 feet. -cloudsinmotion

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