Fishing A Crab Pattern? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Fishing A Crab Pattern?

James Jon
07-01-2002, 09:02 AM
My local fly shop recently showed me how to tie a crab pattern. They indicated that at some point here shortly (up here on the North Shore) that the fish in the tidal rivers and flats would switch from primarily eel and fish patterns to crab patterns.

Well I tied my first few crabs, but I was wondering if anyone had a good method for fishing these things? Is it the same as fishing the eel and fish patterns?

Thanks in advance for your help.


07-01-2002, 12:06 PM

I'm not an expert with crab patterns but have fished them down south for bones and permit. Depending on the location and type of crabs around various presentations may work well. Try to imagine the scenario for the particular location. Is the current strong? Are small crabs likely to be swept up and intercepted at some point down current? Is the bottom soft sand/mud? When sight fishing or targetting cruising fish, most crabs will try to bury themselves in the sand when they sense a predator coming - sometimes a cast well in front of the fish allowed to sink and sit static will get picked up - or maybe give a little "twitch" to puff up the sand/mud may get the interest of the fish.

I'm not sure if we get genuine swiiming crabs up here? The ones I've seen in the carribean can really motor and a strip retrieve would be appropriate.

If immature crabs are floating on the surface (see the recent report from Penguin..) small patterns fished sub-surface may work. Otherwise trundling the pattern across the bottom, searching out the deeper holes and troughs might be the answer.

Just a few thoughts although there is lots more local expertise than mine on this board!

Good luck and let us know what you found works:)

07-02-2002, 12:51 PM
I wrote some notes as a primer for a local flyshop in 1994. I've changed my mind about some of this stuff, but I caught plenty of fish when I followed this religiously:

I was pretty full of it at the time, but fish were pushing eachother out of the way to eat my flies. That's my excuse for the bravado, anyway. sR

07-02-2002, 02:27 PM
I forgot, last season's experiment:

James Jon
07-02-2002, 10:11 PM

Is that one of those Creepy Crawlers toys that you make yourself!

How in the world did you make that? More importantly, how did it work?

07-03-2002, 08:21 AM
It's made with Rub-R-Mold, which is a mold building material available at art supply stores. I fished those extensively the last two seasons with a lot of success. They are not especially durable and other crab patterns I've come up with are equally effective and easier to make. I now save those for August. They look cool, though.

07-03-2002, 11:58 AM
SRobbins... great article and great advice...I was out on Monomoy this morning with an ourgoing and saw hundreds of fish...used the Merkin and the Borski fleeing crab.... One fish and lucky to get it...presentation is everything as you emphasis.. Thanks for the article.

07-03-2002, 12:58 PM

Did you try fishing eel patterns at all or stick with the crab? Just curious as I'll be out there tomorrow and want to have my flybox loaded accordingly.



07-03-2002, 06:22 PM
Big crabs..I do use very sparce small eel clousers...but I wanted to just fish crabs today and stick with it... I will be there tomorrow or I will be off shore in a boat... so I may see you.