Outdoor Report with Bruce McDonald

Spillway crabs lured into nets with tasty chicken legs

Special to the Herald-Guide

March 26, 2009 at 9:35 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

It was a warm Sunday morning, and the wife wanted to make a crab trip.

Last week, Michael Westbrook and his Dad had caught an ice chest of crabs with three chicken necks off the man made peninsula in the Bonnet Carre Spillway.

So we loaded up five crab dropnets, a small ice chest for drinks, a long handle dip net, a 60-quart ice chest for the crabs, a roll of string, a sharp knife, and a chair.

At 11:30 a.m., we headed out the driveway and stopped to get a 10-bag of chicken leg quarters for bait.

We crossed the Luling Bridge and took the Norco exit onto Highway 61 north.

We traveled 6.5 miles and made a right turn on top of the levee road, Lake Pontchartrain is approximately 4 miles.

When you reach the lake, park at the yellow barricade next to the St. Charles Parish Recreation sign.  Walk out to the end of the peninsula.  Start dropping the nets at the end of the rocks.

We spread the drop nets to cover the end of the peninsula.  In between the drop nets, Gretchen and I put drop line.  Tie a piece of chicken at the end of a line and throw it out.  Ten or 12 feet of line is all you need.

As soon as we had everything in the water, we began pulling up the drop nets and hand lines.

 It took about 15 minutes to get set-up.  To Gretchen's amazement, the hand lines were straight out, this meant crabs were pulling on the bait.  She pulled up the first drop net and had eight crabs.

The next hand line, she dipped up four crabs. Gretchen looked at me and said,"One dozen already!"

This went on for an hour on a warm windy, sunny Sunday morning.  We caught 2-5 gallon buckets of medium to small crabs on four chicken leg quarters.

In the spirit of catching, we helped others around us.  We caught crabs and gave them to a family from Amite. We also showed people where to put their nets and drop lines.  By 2 p.m., we were home.     

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