Let's go crabbing! Catching crabs in Malaysia is a thrilling and tasty hobby


Mangrove swamps, the natural habitat of mud crabs, are worth exploring to catch these crabs.

Crabbing, an age-old practice of catching crabs, is a popular pastime in many coastal regions worldwide.

In Malaysia, with its sprawling coastline teeming with marine biodiversity, crabbing is not merely a hobby. For many, it’s a deeply-rooted tradition.

Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a curious novice, mastering the basics of crabbing can lead to a rewarding experience.

The primary tool for crabbing is crab pots.

They are available from the local fishing tackle shops for between RM15 and RM25 each.

A crab pot is used to catch the crabs. It can be bought from the local tackle shop for between RM15 and RM25 each, depending on its size and shape.A crab pot is used to catch the crabs. It can be bought from the local tackle shop for between RM15 and RM25 each, depending on its size and shape.Available in two designs – round and square – both are equally effective.

Made from wire rings and nylon rope, they feature a bait holder inside with two entry points to lure the crab.

To ensure your crab pots remain in place and are easily retrievable, it’s crucial to either use long ropes anchored to the shore or floats.

Floaters, in particular, are handy markers indicating the pot’s location, facilitating its easy retrieval later.

Rotten fish tops the list for bait, though chicken intestines or meat can also serve the purpose. The smell of decaying meat is particularly effective in attracting crabs to the pots.

Ideal locations for setting these traps include areas where crabs, particularly mud crabs, seek refuge.

Crabs, especially mud crabs, prefer areas with rocks and structures that offer shelter. As prime spots, look for cracks in pillars or retaining walls along the pier or shoreline.

Also, mangrove swamps, the natural abode of mud crabs, are worth exploring.

For the best results, set your traps during the rising tide, preferably during the early morning or as the evening descends.

The best times to catch crabs are during the rising tide, early mornings, and evenings.

This is when crabs are most active and likely to venture into the traps.

A common technique involves stepping on the crab from behind to momentarily immobilise it, followed by using raffia strings to secure its pincers and legs.A common technique involves stepping on the crab from behind to momentarily immobilise it, followed by using raffia strings to secure its pincers and legs.

Handling the crab, especially when tying it, requires some skill.

A common technique involves stepping on the crab from behind to momentarily immobilise it, followed by using raffia strings to secure its pincers and legs.

Be cautious; a crab’s pinch can be painful!

If tying seems daunting, simply placing the crab in a bucket is a safer alternative.

Tying the crab takes a bit of skill or the pinch can be painful.Tying the crab takes a bit of skill or the pinch can be painful.

Many cultures consider female crabs, especially those with roe, a delicacy. Distinguishing them is straightforward: females possess a broader, more rounded abdominal flap than males’ tapered, pointed flap.

Female crabs with eggs (roe) are especially sought after for their rich taste. However, keeping females with roe in some regions is illegal or discouraged to promote sustainable crabbing practices.

Always practise sustainable crabbing. If a crab is too small or it’s a female with roe, it’s best to release it. This ensures a healthy crab population for future generations.

The allure of mud crabs, especially in Chinese culinary establishments, is undeniable.

Their price can fluctuate between RM40 and RM100 per kilogramme, reflecting their esteemed status.

Crabbing is a delightful hobby that offers a thrilling experience and a tasty reward.

Armed with the right tools, informed techniques, and respect for the environment, the joys of crabbing await all.

So, gear up and happy crabbing!

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StarExtra , Reel Tales , crabbing

   

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