Europe's green crab has invaded the U.S. and is now decimating native species in large areas of the U.S. East and West coasts. Introduced on the East Coast in the 1800s, the voracious green crab has eaten its way and spread along virtually the entire Eastern coast. First found on the West Coast in San Francisco Bay in 1989, most likely through ship ballast water, the crab spread northward over 1000 miles in less than a decade. Now the crab has been found in Morro Bay, the first time it has been seen south of Morro Bay. The green crab has an incredible appetite, eating up to 40 other crabs and crustaceans a day. Unfortunately, it itself is too thin and not meaty enough to be considered a viable source of food for people.
05-10-2000, 06:54 AM
Yup, this is our green crab. It has followed a similar mode of range extension here on the east coast. Unfortunately, I don't think stripers care for green crabs too much. I've tried flies to imitate the green crabs with no luck, tied on a ladycrab imitation and hooked up right away. If I remember correctly, there were very few green crabs found in striper guts by the MassFisheries study.
05-10-2000, 09:30 AM
I always thought that green crabs were not indigenous to our region and that striped bass much prefered calicos over greens. Greens are useless for striped bass, except when the fish are starving. As far as I knew Tautog were the only ones who really liked green crabs.
I've never used real crab for bait for stripers but use crab flies a lot. The first time I tied one was after a crab blitz on the long West Dennis jetty at high tide. There were a line of fishermen casting into the channel when all hell broke loose behind us on that usually dull flat. Crabs of every size and color were being pushed onto the rocks and to the surface in flight from a huge wave of stripers! Never saw anything like it before or again. In any case, the fish were willing to take other flies although they had definite preferences for what they were on to - and a few keepers were caught. This was during the 36" days. The stomachs of the fish were packed with small crabs when those who retained fish cleaned them.
These were primarily calico as I recall but there were also spider and others (stone?). The Merrimac bass eat those dark (almost black) crabs with the orange fringes.
I have great success on Monomoy with a felt crab pattern that is green - although not the insect green of the true green crab. It's more of a tan / green and I do speckle it with a marker so they might be thinking calico.