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Fiddler Crab


Much more menacing looking than he is.  In the warmer months, fiddler crabs spend time above ground foraging.  They live in the grassy area next to the water.  On Amelia Island, the best place to find them is along the Intracoastal Waterway.  Look for holes about the size of a dime; this is their home.  They will be near a hole and won’t like you at all.  They will quickly move back into their hole as you approach.  Speed is the name of the game.  Place your hand over the crab, pinning it to the ground before it runs back to a hole.  Then, quickly drop it in your bucket.  To completely prevent pinches, gloves can be worn.  Walk through your hunting area once catch as many crabs as you can.   Let the area rest for a minute, then walk through again. This gives the crabs some time to forget you are looking for them.   Walk into the sun so your shadow doesn’t spook them before you are close enough to catch them.

In the colder months, the holes are there, but there are no crabs above ground.  A shovel should be used to dig the crabs out.  They are less than a foot deep.  Dig to the side of their hole and dump the sand onto the ground.  If a crab is in the mix, he will scurry away. Use the technique described above to capture the crab and place it in a bucket.

Keeping crabs alive is pretty easy.  Put some holes in the bottom of your bucket.  The crabs go in the bucket with the holes.    Put the bucket with the holes and crabs in another bucket with some rocks in the bottom.  In the summer, put some ice in with the rocks to keep the crabs cool.  Ensure the top bucket doesn’t sit directly on the ice to keep the crabs happy.    After a day, rinse the crabs by pouring water over them and letting it run out the holes in the bottom of the bucket.


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