Crab hatch [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Crab hatch

09-27-2004, 02:05 PM
I witnessed my first crab hatch while fishing B-bay Yesterday. I may have been the victim of this event before but never actually saw them like I did yesterday. From what I saw they were spider crabs and looked like an oval or a wishbone in the water. The ones that looked like wishbones had their arms opened but most looked like faint opaque/white oval outline with a clear center. These little critters are no more than a 3/16" with claws spread.
The blues in the area fed lazzily on the surface if at all. Couldn't buy a hit and the usual surface activity for this time of year was Nil.
Later in the day I put in at Plymouth and though I didn't see any of these little demons it was the same story, no action, with large schools of bait untouched.

Could be the fish are observing a day of rest to throw me off but with water temps ~63 and a running tide I guess the crabs are the only thing I've noticed that would throw things off.

Anyone experienced a crab hatch? I'm certainly not looking for any 3/16" crab patterns but would like to know if it's had an adverse effect on the fishing.

09-27-2004, 02:59 PM
We experienced something like this on the Bayside in early July. Giant schools of bass, many large ones. You could see them finning around in all directions on what were basically tiny red dots the size of a pinhead. They would occasionally follow the fly to the boat and spook. Tried everything until we were completely frustrated and took off. Luckily found fish nearby that were on sand eels and much more receptive.

09-27-2004, 03:25 PM

I think Mike Mayo might chime in here but I have experienced them in LI Sound with him and with Nick on his family's boat. Both times we were targeting Albies and they were very tough when they were on them. I believe Mike has had success fishing Crease flies as an attractor in that situation and I have heard from others you can replicate the crabs to some degree with small flies and floating lines dead drifted. Dave's option of moving on certainly sounds like a good way to keep you from pulling all your hair out though.


09-27-2004, 04:11 PM
Sean, I was with Mike on his boat about two years ago durning a Crab hatch and I did hook an Albie . We used sinking lines to get under the hatch.
FishHawk :D

09-27-2004, 04:30 PM
For what it's worth......I have never tried it during a hatch but I have been successful with the fly lately.

"Crab hatches, dense schools of small bait and normally unaffected migratory fish are all situations where a flashy Mushy seems to have a better success rate than other approaches".

from DW Skok fly tying info package

09-28-2004, 06:32 AM
Also seen similar situations on the bayside in July. Big bass swimming through and ignoring massive plumes of sand eels grubbing small (<1 cm) clams, crabs and slurping what I imagined to be tiny shrimp. Very frustrating. What Basser says makes some sense since the only thing that seems to work is to trigger a reactionary strike. Once you got one fish to bite it would set off others in the pod.

09-28-2004, 09:08 AM
Thanks for the responses. I'm hoping to give it another shot this weekend, hopefully the little buggers will be off the menu by then.