Found on my doorstep
By Steve ‘Hippo’ Lau
How To Lasso A Crab
Three decades or so ago I was chucking chunks of anchovy off of Baker Beach in hopes of catching a striper or two. After a few minutes of soaking my offering in the surf, I started to get some action on my rod tip. There was a distinct “tap-tap-tap” of something showing interest in my bait. Carefully, I plucked the rod out of the sand spike–waited a few anxious breaths–then set the hook.
Reeling in my rig, I found the bottom hook of the two hook rig, stripped of its contents. How could something that bit so positively escape my lazer sharp hook and devastating hook set?
Rebaiting the bottom hook, I cast out again and decided that I wouldn’t set the hoook until whatever was harassing my bait swallowed it and put a definite bend in the rod.
With my rig back into the surf, I waited. A few minutes later, the tell tale signs of life came back to my rod tip. My mystery customer bit and bit and bit until its weight fully flexed the tip of my rod. I cranked down with the reel and kept reeling as the living weigh of whatever was on my line kept the rod bent.
As the wave receded, I finally got a good look at my quarry It was a big fat Dungeness crab! Surprisingly, it was not hooked, but in the midst of eating my bait, with the water swirling around him, my leader had tangled up around his many legs and claws when I dragged him in. I had, in effect, lassoed a crab!
Now, in the subsequent yers, I have not been able to duplicate this feat of having my leader lasso an unsuspecting Dungie, but someone has made it his practice to lasso crabs, and his name is Joe Eichensehr.
Joe is responsible for developing the first castable crab snare, and holds the patent on it to prove it. The crab snare is basically a ware cage measuring 4.5″ L x 2″W x 1.25″D with six loops dangling from it. Bait (Joe’s favorite is squid) is inserted into the cage, the cage is cast out, and a hungry crab comes running to eat its contents. When it is suspected that a crab is availing itself to your bait, a quick cranking of your