Catching crabs is easy at Bonnet Carré Spillway peninsula

Husband, wife team catch 4 dozen in an hour

By Bruce McDonald

June 27 at 9:59 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Outdoor reporter Bruce McDonald holds up a drop net with three crabs.
Outdoor reporter Bruce McDonald holds up a drop net with three crabs.
Recreational crab fishing has had its ups and downs this summer, but with the waters of Lake Pontchartrain beginning to warm to temperatures in the mid-80s, more and more crabs are being pulled out of the waterway.

My wife Gretchen and I have been frequenting the Bonnet Carré Spillway in our quest for crabs for the last three months, with little success. Last week though, we were stunned when we caught four dozen blue crabs using hand lines at the Bonnet Carré Spillway peninsula.

We reached the peninsula by driving through Norco on Airline Highway, turning right on top of the levee and driving three miles towards Lake Pontchartrain until you get to the Wetland Watchers Park area. There is a good paved parking lot and you don’t have to pay to fish on the lake.

On the way, we bought chicken necks to use as bait. To help catch extra crabs, I brought a crab dip net and three dropnets.

When we arrived, we quickly baited five hand lines and set them out in the water. Before I could finish baiting a sixth line, Gretchen yelled out that we had already enticed a couple of crabs.

It was easy to tell that we had crabs on the line. The line was straight out, and when I started pulling the chicken neck up it felt like I had a heavy rock on the other end pulling back. I brought the hand line close and Gretchen scooped up the two big crabs all in one motion.

Looking down the bulkhead I could tell that the other lines were also tight. We repeated the hand line procedure as a team and caught four more good crabs within minutes.

Though we scooped up a lot of little crabs that we released, we still managed to catch four dozen large crabs in an hour.Not only did we have fun catching crabs, but we saved a lot of money.

“Two weekends ago we tried buying crabs on Grand Isle and they were selling for $15 to $17 a dozen. I can’t wait to get home because this is my favorite seafood to boil and eat,” Gretchen said.

The next two months will be the best time catch crabs on the peninsula. While fishing or crabbing, a visitor must possess a state basic and saltwater Louisiana fishing license because Lake Pontchartrain is considered a saltwater area.

Louisiana fishing licenses expire on June 30, so make sure you get a new one by July 1.Easy method for boiling crabs

If you ask 10 people how to boil crabs, you will get 10 different answers. However, this method has never failed me.• Fill the boiling pot half full of water and add four ounces of cayenne, a box of salt, cut potatoes and sausage• Bring to boil and cover for nine minutes• Shut the fire off and cool the outside of the pot with water• Add frozen corn to the middle of the boil to aid in cool down and let the pot sit for 30 minutes• Remove crabs and turn them on their top or upside down. This will allow the seasoned water to remain in the crabs• Chow down




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