The blue crab is one of the most important crab species in the United States and there is an extensive fishery based around this tasty crustacean.
Where do blue crabs live
The blue crab is native to the western edge of the Atlantic ocean (including the gulf of Mexico) from about Nova Scotia in Canada through to Argentina. Overfishing has caused the population boundaries to decline somewhat, but they are still regularly encountered within these areas. Unfortunately the blue crab has been introduced into Japan and European waters possibly through the ballast water from ships.
Blue crabs are found in brackish water near the mouths of rivers and they spend most of their time in muddy shores and bottoms.
Fishing for blue crabs
In certain states of the US fishing for blue crabs is a popular pastime and like other crabs the best way to capture a feed is by using a crab pot of some form with a tasty bait inside. They can also be caught using dip nets (to scoop the crabs up) and on handline by gently lifting the crab to the surface. One of the most popular baits is chicken , but any fresh fish bait will also catch crabs. Many serious crabbers have their own favorite baits, which are a closely guarded secret.
It is easy to tell between a male and female crab. You simply turn the crab over and look at the apron (see pictures)
Always check your local crabbing regulations.
What do blue crabs eat?
Like most crabs blue crabs are omnivores (and not that picky I might add). They eat both plants and animals and prefer their animals as fresh as possible.
Like most crabs the blue crab makes superb eating and requires only a simple cooking method and the slightest of seasoning to make a delicious meal.
Interesting blue crab facts
- They can deliver an extremely painful pinch and are noted for being particularly aggressive (even out of the water) and difficult to handle safely.
- A mature fertilized female produces about 2 million larvae.
- Blue crabs malt at various stages during their life cycle.
- You can also tell the sex of a blue crab via the color of its claws.