Crab Traps

My crab trap is basically just a larger version of the crawfish traps I made previously .

This time I got some larger gauge wire mesh out of a dumpster at a construction site, so it's better suited for bigger fish.

Things you need: wire cutters, wire, half-inch gauge wire mesh, paper, scissors.

Check out the photos for rough instructions on how to fashion it together. I'm using heavy duty stereo speaker wires as twist-ties to secure the edges and pieces of my trap together. Copper wire works well because it bends easily but stays tight. There are certainly other ways of doing it, but if you're making these things out of scrap materials you gotta go with what you got.

The trap in these photos only has one end with a cone shaped entrance. Due to not having enough mesh I had to fit the other end with a simple circular cut to cap it. That probably means it'll catch fewer crabs, but in Louisiana there's plenty of the little bastards crawling around.

Best way to catch crabs is to throw your trap out in the evening in a shallow waterway (lake, bayou, canal, calm ocean shore, rocky areas or around piers are really good. Let your trap sit overnight. Chicken is an excellent bait. Shrimp too. Fish heads work well. Really almost any meat will attract crabs. Pull it up in the morning and throw your catch in a bucket with some water in it.

I like to boil my crabs in hot pepper and lemons and eat them straight out of the shell with my hands. If you're fancy you can make crab cakes, gumbo, or whatever.

What's going on in this photo is that I've cut a half-circle out of paper (in order to make sure when I fold it that it fits well in the cylindrical body of the trap. If you want a mathematical formula, you should basically double the diameter of the trap's body and that's the diameter of the half-circle you'll want to cut out of the wire mesh.

Here I'm folding the straight bottom of the half circle in on itself. You fasten it together there to make the cone shape. Then you cut out a hole in the tip of the cone big enough for crabs to crawl through.

Here it is fit into the body of the trap. Ideally you'd put one of these in both ends, but I've only got one end fit like this on this here trap.

Close up of the twisted stereo speaker wires that hold the trap's parts together. I know it looks crappy, but it works well and is very durable.

Finished. Now all I need to do is cut a hole in the side to make a little hatch where I can put bait into it or take crabs out of it.



I compulsively grow plants, epecially vegetables, fruit and nut trees, and anything exotic I can find discarded in the dumpsters of hardware stores, nurseries, and bourgy grocery stores (Trader Joe's has a penchant for throwing out beautiful orchids that have many years of life left in them).

Right now I'm growing mostly figs and avocadoes. The figs are cuttings that I've rooted over the winter in my sunny southeast facing kitchen window. The avocados are sprouted from pits that were thrown away by a nearby restaurant that uses them to make salads.

This is an avocado and pineapple. The pineapple is still just rooting.

I've also got a humungous cherry tomato plant growing on my little balcony. The tomato bush came my way be a magical butterfly. She flew in from the west and planted it in rich compost. It's been doing very well ever since.

I find it amazing how much life can grow in such a small place with such little care. I only spend about 1 hour total a week caring for these plants. As soon as I find a sunny protected place where I can plant them in the ground I'll begin another set of cuttings and seeds. The problem here is land, ownership, and mainstream priorities. There are few houses in Uptown New Orleans where you'll find a serious vegetable garden or orchard. Edible plants in general are far between.

There are papayas and bananas commonly planted about. The bananas don't fruit as well because of the climate here (too cold in the winter), but mostly because people aren't serious about tending to them. Figs are not common enough. There are some major trees hidden upriver of Canal Street, in Irish Channel, Touro, Bouligny, Audubon, Leonides neighborhoods. There could easily be hundreds more. Most of the lush gardens of the Uptown are filled with nonedible flowers, vines, tropical plants, and this is all shaded over by massive live oaks. I can imagine a very different New Orleans, one filled with fruit trees and gardens, little to no asphalt covering the earth. People who own property in our society need to get their heads straight. We need fewer concrete slabs, fewer rose gardens, and more edible landscapes. Don't get me wrong, I love a good rose garden, but can't we have a guava garden instead?