Artificial crab baits

Artificial crab baits DEFAULT

Cast an Artificial Crab for Saltwater Success

Redfish, tarpon, and pompano all have one thing in common—they can't turn down a crab snack. While live crabs are often the appetizer of choice, trapping or catching them can be a real challenge. The good news is that there are some very good crab imitations that are a whole lot more durable and easier to handle. Here's a look at some good options.

The GULP! options and similar soft plastics—including the DOA Soft-Shell Crab—are particularly effective on reds that have been heavily pressured.  These fish may run from a standard jig or swimbait, but they never spook from scented bait sitting still.

One of the best is the Berkley GULP! Saltwater Peeler Crab, which not only looks like a crab but smells like a crab, apparently. I've watched redfish on the flats come from down current straight to these baits lying dead on the bottom. Even better, although often more messy, is the bulk tub that allows each bait to bathe in a tub of scent.  These things put out an amazing scent trail, and can be reactivated by dropping them back in the solution for 10 minutes or so.

Redfish Feature

The Offshore Angler Peeler Crab is great when reds are prowling needle grass flats. It includes a small protrusion on the right side that allows Texas rigging it with a 4/0 hook, which creates a completely weedless bait.  This lets it excel where other baits will get hung up or snagged.

All of these lures have a very natural drift when fished, unweighted, in tidal areas. The trick is to throw them into the rips where currents of different speeds interface.  To find these look for lines of sea weed or flotsam on the edges. They may also be indicated by abrupt changes in water color.

These lures can also be drifted on long lines behind the boat—a great way to hook up with tarpon on outgoing tides throughout the warmer months.

The Savage Gear PVC 3D Crab is an incredibly lifelike presentation, made from 3D scans of a live crab, and with air-filled claws that wave when the lure is moved.  It is a great sight-fishing bait when paired with the company's 3D Crab Standup Jighead.  As the name indicates, it sets the crab in a standup position that looks very natural as it scoots across bottom.

Pompano also love crabs, but mostly prefer the smaller mole crabs found along sandy beaches and generally called "sand fleas". One of the best imitations of these baits is the GULP! Sand Crab/Flea.  

It is a tiny soft plastic that’s just 1-inch long, but it’s loaded with scent that pulls these tasty speedsters in fast. It is typically fished beyond the outside bar on a beach, as well as around strong runouts when there's good wave action.

On Florida's west coast, pompano also prowl well inside the lower bays, and they can be caught on these crabs by easing the baits along the "shoulder" of the flats, where the grass ends and the water deepens over bare sand. The sloughs or cuts into the back bays can also be good, with falling tides best.

When shellfish is on the menu, don’t waste time or money trying to use the real thing. Reach for one of these artificial offerings and hold on.


Have you ever heard or used artificial crab lures? If not, here are some things that you should know about them and if they work well in catching fish. For the first time, using artificial crab lures may be quite confusing because its form is different from other traditional fishing lures. So, we do some tests to prove to you that crab lures are also beneficial.

Artificial crab lures do work in catching various fish species, even the big ones. However, you need to have a little more thought and visualization if you want to get the best from crab lures. It is essential to think like a fish and be like a crab when using these artificial lures. Vision yourself as the puppeteer and your fishing lure as the puppet. You need to have a more life-like presentation and entertaining show to attract and convince your audience.

Crab lures require proper handling and knowledge in using it so that you can fully maximize its features. So, in this guide, we will help you get to know more about artificial crab lures. Don’t worry if you don’t get it right at first for as long as you keep on trying and learning how to use artificial crab lures properly.

Do Fish Eat Crabs?

Most inshore fish species eat crabs. Why not? Crabs offer an abundant and plentiful food supply on beaches and flats. Plus, they are easy targets for fish because of their slow motion. You can find several species of crabs in and out of the water like fiddler crab, blue crab, rock crab, and stone crab.

How to Use Fish Artificial Crabs?

Little did you know, artificial crab lures can yield the ultimate fish. More often, they are useful in catching most inshore fish like redfish, black drum, sheepshead, and other fish species that feed on crabs. So, we will take a look at how to use artificial crab lures. Regardless of your fishing technique, artificial crab lures will produce bites. You can follow these different methods for fishing soft-bodied crabs.

  1. Jig the Artificial Crab Lures. Manufacturers invest their time and money to create an almost realistic thing in the water. One of the most common methods of artificial fishing crabs is jigging them inshore because they can mimic real-life crabs. It is because they also come with flailing claws and moveable legs around the hard shell body so that it can have the ultimate realistic look in the water. 
    1. How Jigging Artificial Crab Lures Helps? Their artificial legs will move in the water naturally, even without any movement from the current of the water. Then, you have to make quick short bursts of jerking the fishing rod up and down while reeling the crab into the water to jig the artificial crabs efficiently. Finally, let the crab sink back at the bottom after each motion of the fishing lure. This motion and speed will attract the fish to think that it’s a real crab.
  2. Drag the Artificial Crab Lures. The weighted stand-up jig head of most artificial crab lures is perfect for pulling the crab across the bottom. This motion will give the fishing lure an accurate presentation of a crab walking across the bottom. You may want to make slow retrievals because it is the dragging movement that will aggression in surrounding fish. As a result, it will lead to more fish bites. 
  3. Bottom Fishing with the Artificial Crab Lures. It is the last method wherein you’d want to do almost the same practice when fishing with live bait. Fishfinder rig is one of the most productive bottom fishing rigs, but the current may affect its performance. All you need is a swivel, egg sinker, and fishing hook when using fish finder rigs.
    1. How to Do Bottom Fishing? Start by putting the artificial crab lure on the hook. Slowly put it into the water, and let the water current to the mimicking job for you. Finally, the natural movement of the artificial crab lure will attract the fish.

Is Artificial Lures Better Than Live Baits?

When it comes to inshore fishing, artificial lures can be very useful. For offshore, it may vary depending on the fish species that you want to catch. Most live baits enthusiasts will tell you that live baits work incredibly well in all types of fishing and fish species, but it is not always the case. Believe it or not, artificial lures are not substitutes to live baits anymore. In this modern-day world of fishing, using artificial lures opens an immense opportunity of catching more fish.

  • Advantages of Using Artificial Lures. As proof that you should also include artificial lures in your tackle box, here are some of its most significant benefits over live baits.
  1. Artificial Lures Allow You to Catch More Fish in Less Time. Yes, you read that one right. Live baits can catch various fish species, but it may take some time. If you’re fishing in the right area, it may only take you an approximate of 10 to 20 minutes to catch a fish. 
  2. Artificial Lures Give You More Control Bait Representation. When using artificial lures, you can have a better representation of what they look under the water and its motion. Unlike when you have live Bait, it may move around in the area, but it may get wrapped around the fishing line, grass, and other structures.
  3. Artificial Lures Will Give You Better Control of Your Time. Live baits will give you the best fish if they use them in a specific period, which is in the morning during the twilight hour. It is also because the best time to look around for live baits. However, you shouldn’t be that angler who relies 100% on scouting for the best baits. Learn that artificial lures will give you the benefit of fishing any time of the day for as long as your target fish is swimming around to look for food.
  4. Artificial Lures Will Give Your More Freedom. Unlike live baits, you don’t have to worry about the lifespan of your artificial lure under the water. It has an unlimited life, and you can cast it for as long as you want. 

What are the Essential Saltwater Fishing Lures?

If you’re into saltwater fishing, here are some artificial fishing lures that you can use for your next trip. It is a list of the different types of fishing lures for various purposes and fish species. So, make sure to read this part of the article before buying your artificial lures for your saltwater fishing.

  1. Paddletail Soft Plastic. These are one of the most versatile artificial lures for saltwater fishing. They can draw strikes from almost all predator fish that feed on smaller baitfish. Paddletail Soft Plastic features a soft tail that generates impressive motions whenever you retrieve through the water. This action will allow the artificial fishing lure to get strikes even with a straight retrieve.
  2. Gold Spoon. This artificial lure is a must for most inshore saltwater anglers. If you’re into this activity, make sure that you have a Gold Spoon in your tackle box. The ‘spoon’ comes in various shapes, colors, and styles. Some of them come with weedless spoons, others have single hook spoons, while some have treble hooks spoons. Regardless of Gold Spoon’s variety, you can find it useful in catching saltwater fish.
  3. Berkley Gulp Shrimp. You can use this type of artificial fishing lure to any situations like fishing the grass flats and jigging in deeper water. Berkley Gulp Shrimp also come in different colors that you can match according to the hue of the water where you’ll catch fish.
  4. White Bucktail. It comes in all kinds of crazy colors and crazy flairs. You can catch snook, redfish, speckled trout, and even tarpon using White Bucktail.
  5. Topwater Lure or Popper. It is one of the most favorite artificial lures by saltwater anglers. You can never go wrong using it. Topwater Lure or Poppers also come in different sizes, shapes, and colors. 
  6. Soft Plastic Fluke or Jerkbait. This type of artificial fishing lure can attract any species almost anywhere. It’s indeed one of the most high-performing artificial lures for both freshwater and saltwater. Soft Plastic Fluke or Jerkbaits are incredible whether you fish close to its top, or put a weighted hook.
  7. Fluctuating Spoon. This artificial lure is common for saltwater fishing because it can simulate the movements of a prey fish. So, it can attract predatory fish. Fluctuating Spoon comes in various weights and sizes. You can achieve greater success in using these artificial fishing lures regardless of the fish species and water circumstances.

What are the Essential Freshwater Fishing Lures?

Now that you have the best choices of artificial lures for saltwater fishing, here are some efficient lures for freshwater use. Using these fishing lures will give you a high catch rate for as long as you use the right size and rigged for appropriate circumstances.

  1. Rattle Baits. These artificial fishing lures work well in catching bass fish throughout the year, and even in cold weather. One of the most accurate techniques in using it for catching bass is fishing just above the tops of weed beds. Match it with a slower retrieve to keep Rattle baits from vibrating, which may be bad for any species because they can feel it.
  2. Plastic Worms. One of the most popular artificial lures for freshwater. Plastic worms can perform well in various configurations and different circumstances. They come in different forms like wacky-style, drop-shot style, or nose-hooked. As always, you must pick according to the fish species that you want to catch. The best way to use Plastic Worms is to make it appear to be a dying baitfish. Then, make it look like a smaller minnow.
  3. Spinner Baits. These artificial lures will give you great versatility through its number of blades used, blade type, finish, and configuration. Not to mention that Spinner Baits also have different types of skirts that come in various colors. You can use safety-pin-style Spinner Baits with heads to weigh it an ounce or two. This method will allow you to slow-roll the lure along the bottom of the water, even in cold weather.
  4. Jigs. They will catch almost any fish species because they have the proper size, and can mimic a prey very well. You can trim it will all sorts of fish-attractive trailers and insert into a plastic worm and grub, which makes Jigs deadly. Jigs can represent a minnow, insect, or crawfish to predators depending on how you dress it in a skirt.
    1. Standard jigs bounce and crawl along the bottom of the water.
    2. Plastic-dressed jigs can cast and retrieve steadily without any twitches and even pauses. They can make a deadly presentation of bass, pike, and muskies. 
    3. Tiny jigs drift beneath the float take trout and panfish.
  5. Minnow Baits. These are very versatile and work for any species of fish that often eats other fish. Minnow Baits are hard-plastic lures that you can twitch along on top of the water. You can also jerk it to dive forward under the surface, or reel it steadily with occasional twitches so that it can trigger reaction strikes. You can also add weight to the bodies of Minnow Baits so that they can sink slowly or suspend them at a certain depth. This action will help you catch more fish because you can level the fishing lure at their level.


Is It Best to Crab at High or Low Tide?

Neither. Most crabbers would agree that the ideal time to catch crab is during the slack tide. It is the time around or after high or low tide. It is because crabbers can reach more profound levels of water from a pier or seashore than, resulting in a higher rate of catch. 

Can You Cook Crabs If They Are Dead?

You can cook a dead crab that has been dead for only an hour or two. You have to make sure that it doesn’t exceed that time because, just like lobsters, bacteria beneath their shells start to grow when they die. So, it’s still best to them alive.

What Is Artificial Bait?

Artificial Bait is a type of plastic lure bats designed for mimicking the prey of a specific fish so that it can attract the fish’s attention. These artificial baits use movement, vibration, flash, and color to draw any fish species. 

Final Words

Just like the other types of fishing lures, artificial crabs are also useful in fishing. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, artificial crab lures will help you catch more fish. It can be quite confusing to use them at first, but the secret is to understand how crabs move and the fish species that feed on them. Think of it as a puppet show wherein you are the puppeteer, and your artificial lure is your puppet. You’d always want to have a more life-like presentation and entertaining show to attract and convince your audience.

Crabs are rich in nutrients; that’s why several fish species love to eat them. Plus, they are easy prey because of their slow movements. Regardless of your fishing technique, there are ways to use artificial crab lures effectively. It can be by jigging, dragging, and bottom fishing. In the end, artificial crab lures are yielders of the ultimate fish.

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A Stinky Artificial Bait Could Protect Millions of Tiny Fish

When commercial fishers set off to trap blue crabs, they bring along buckets of small, frozen baitfish such as menhaden. They stuff the fish into the traps and lower them into the sea. The stinky, slowly rotting fish carcasses decay underwater, temping the prized crabs to crawl inside the traps.

But catching large quantities of the tiny fish for bait could have grave ecological ramifications. A wide range of predators such as humpback whales, seals and dolphins eat the small prey. “Menhaden are sometimes called the most important fish in the sea,” says Joseph Gordon, manager of northeast U.S. oceans for The Pew Charitable Trusts. They are a key link in the ocean food web.

Appetite for seafood has increased. So has the sale of omega-3 supplements. Both rely on small, oily fish such as menhaden. Not all of the small fish are doing badly, but in the past 20 years the number of menhaden has dropped to about half of what is was in the 20 years prior, according to data from the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. The commission recently established quotas on menhaden for the U.S. east coast, but Gordon says there is still a need to keep close watch on these and other baitfish species. Worldwide, as much as 40 billion pounds of baitfish are now captured to catch crustaceans such as lobster and crab, according to estimates by Anthony Dellinger, a research scientist at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and his colleagues.

To alleviate this ecological strain, Dellinger has helped design an artificial bait the size and shape of a hockey puck that he hopes will replace the need for menhaden and other baitfish used to lure crustaceans. Dellinger’s group makes the calcium-based creation, called OrganoBait, by pouring a mineral-rich mixture into molds, much like a baker pours batter into a cupcake pan. The puck is seeded with engineered scents specially synthesized to mimic the foul smells such as “cadaverine” that are normally emitted by rotting baitfish like menhaden and herring. “It’s not something I would order off of the menu,” Dellinger says. And it is not something that crabs or lobsters eat, either. Rather, it simply attracts them into the traps.

“It is an interesting idea,” says Konstantine Rountos, a marine ecologist at Saint Joseph's College in Patchogue, N.Y. If it works, artificial bait could be more sustainable than live bait, he says.

In 2014 Dellinger and his team began sending OrganoBait to a handful of fishers in Florida, North Carolina, California and the British West Indies to see how it performed. They set around 180 traps, split among blue crab, stone crab and spiny lobster. Half of the traps contained OrganoBait and the other half contained traditional bait, such as menhaden, mullet fish or even pigs’ feet, which some crabbers use. OrganoBait performed as well as the natural bait. For stone crab, it might have even worked better, although due to the small scale of the study the difference was not statistically significant. The findings appeared in the July 2016 issue of Global Ecology and Conservation.

“I believe this one has a chance,” says Mark Pfister, who heads sales and purchasing for the Miami-based Atlantic & Gulf Fishing Supply, one of the largest suppliers of commercial fishing gear in the U.S. One of Pfister’s customers participated in the OrganoBait testing and said it did just as well as regular bait.

Attempts to develop alternative baits go back to the 1970s, says Bob Bayer, who directs the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine. Bayer, who has even tried using chocolate to see what can attract lobster, says it has been very difficult for scientists to come up with alternative baits that work well. They make up only a small proportion of the overall bait supply, says Patrice McCarron, executive director of the Maine Lobstermen's Association.

The alternative baits on the market rely on natural materials such as ground fishmeal and some have contained preservatives such as formaldehyde. Pfister notes that OrganoBait is totally synthetic: “It’s like comparing apples and oranges.”

Miguel Vazquez Archdale, a fisheries scientist at Kagoshima University in Japan who has studied potential artificial baits, says that for such a product to work, it would have to be cheaper than natural bait. But one advantage of synthetic bait, he notes, is that it reduces the need for costly refrigeration of the baitfish before they are used. “Baits that could be stored at room temperature would save both energy and fridge space,” Vazquez Archdale says.

Dellinger and his colleagues have started a company, Kepley Biosystems, to eventually market OrganoBait, but say they have more testing to do on the product before selling it. If it can be perfected, there might be quite a market; the appetite for crabs and lobster continues to grow. The annual lobster harvest in Maine alone has risen from some 10,000 metric tons in the early 1990s to nearly 55,000 metric tons today, according Bayer. “If you look at the graph,” he says, “it just keeps going up, up and up.”

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