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Old January 2nd, 2020, 02:19 PM #1
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Boat for Crabbing

Hi all,

Maybe not the best forum but figured I would still get some good replies. I am looking to get a boat to do some crabbing and freshwater fishing this summer. Not looking to spend more than a couple $k. Question is will a say 14ft John boat work for both purposes? If not what should I be looking for?

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Old January 2nd, 2020, 02:34 PM #2
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My recommendation is 14-16ft, give yourself room for a helper/2nd fisherman and gear. Also, I recommend staying away from the flat bottom jon boats. Depending on where your going, I recommend the v-hull to kill some chop, and not get blow around with a heavy wind in a smaller boat. The flat bottom technically gets you into some more shallow areas, but how shallow do you really need to go??
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Old January 2nd, 2020, 02:37 PM #3
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Originally Posted by SoMD_Gen4 View Post
My recommendation is 14-16ft, give yourself room for a helper/2nd fisherman and gear. Also, I recommend staying away from the flat bottom jon boats. Depending on where your going, I recommend the v-hull to kill some chop, and not get blow around with a heavy wind in a smaller boat. The flat bottom technically gets you into some more shallow areas, but how shallow do you really need to go??
Thanks for the reply, this is what I was looking for. I am from Alabama and everyone just has bass boats and I know that isn't what I need here. This will be the first time I have done any type of crabbing. If I am crabbing will I have to go out into the bay to do that or will i be able to do that successfully in brackish tributaries?
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Old January 2nd, 2020, 03:53 PM #4
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My recommendation is 14-16ft, give yourself room for a helper/2nd fisherman and gear. Also, I recommend staying away from the flat bottom jon boats. Depending on where your going, I recommend the v-hull to kill some chop, and not get blow around with a heavy wind in a smaller boat. The flat bottom technically gets you into some more shallow areas, but how shallow do you really need to go??
IMHO I'll second this, go for a V hull they ride better. If you are crabbing, use a tiller outboard and not a wheel and throttle. I'll make a guess here that you'll do the 30 open top traps and noodles. Missing a trap and having to reverse course and or back with a wheel and throttle is like eating a taco while driving a stick shift in rush hour traffic.

You can find easy deals especially around the bay for under 1K most likely with a small engine. at most you'll have to rewire the trailer to pass inspection.
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Old January 2nd, 2020, 02:40 PM #5
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Answer to this will vary greatly on what waters you will be cruising...my Dad and I had great success with a large (read very wide) 16ft. Lowe modified vee bow jon boat. However, that was in the Severn River and the back bays of Ocean City. Would definitely want something bigger for longer hauls and/or main bay runs.

Was also used to access goose blinds on Kent Island in winter time.

Crabbing is mostly done in 10- 20 foot depths along drop offs in rivers and creeks. However, you need to consider all the water you'll encounter from ramp to crabbing area....i.e. In the Severn there are not a lot of public ramps, so it can be a run. My parents community has a ramp, so we had access.

You'll also need to think about your methods...trot line, traps, hand lines off the sides, all have different needs.

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Old January 2nd, 2020, 02:53 PM #6
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Originally Posted by Mack C-85 View Post
Answer to this will vary greatly on what waters you will be cruising...my Dad and I had great success with a large (read very wide) 16ft. Lowe modified vee bow jon boat. However, that was in the Severn River and the back bays of Ocean City. Would definitely want something bigger for longer hauls and/or main bay runs.

Was also used to access goose blinds on Kent Island in winter time.

Crabbing is mostly done in 10- 20 foot depths along drop offs in rivers and creeks. However, you need to consider all the water you'll encounter from ramp to crabbing area....i.e. In the Severn there are not a lot of public ramps, so it can be a run. My parents community has a ramp, so we had access.

You'll also need to think about your methods...trot line, traps, hand lines off the sides, all have different needs.

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Thanks for the reply. I have no idea where I will be crabbing, I will be going into this pretty blind as far as knowledge or experience. Was hoping not to have to go out into the bay much and thought that might help keep the boat cheaper. I am located in Annapolis but wont mind driving further away to put in or crab if I need to.

Last edited by Rcbrownr7; January 2nd, 2020 at 02:57 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old January 2nd, 2020, 03:11 PM #7
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Quote:
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Thanks for the reply. I have no idea where I will be crabbing, I will be going into this pretty blind as far as knowledge or experience. Was hoping not to have to go out into the bay much and thought that might help keep the boat cheaper. I am located in Annapolis but wont mind driving further away to put in or crab if I need to.
There are a couple of ramps in the Annapolis area to access the Severn. Lots of good crabbing in the lower Severn. We were about mid river in Severna Park. One of our favorite spots was off Manresa, between the Rt.50 and Rt. 450 bridges. There are lots of creeks across the bridge in Queen Anne's County with great ramp access. You'll need a county permit, but they're not that expensive. You can definitely pull it off without going into the main bay.

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Old January 2nd, 2020, 03:18 PM #8
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There are a couple of ramps in the Annapolis area to access the Severn. Lots of good crabbing in the lower Severn. We were about mid river in Severna Park. One of our favorite spots was off Manresa, between the Rt.50 and Rt. 450 bridges. There are lots of creeks across the bridge in Queen Anne's County with great ramp access. You'll need a county permit, but they're not that expensive. You can definitely pull it off without going into the main bay.

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Ok thats good, My next question was going to be about access. So If I am staying local in the Severn and putting in Annapolis like you said will the 16ft john work or should I still be looking for a v shape hull?
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Old January 2nd, 2020, 03:33 PM #9
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Ok thats good, My next question was going to be about access. So If I am staying local in the Severn and putting in Annapolis like you said will the 16ft john work or should I still be looking for a v shape hull?
Jon Boats are all different.....some are narrow and tippy, some are very shallow draft, and most square nosed ones will beat the snot out of you in any chop!! That being said, I have found most vee-bottomed aluminum hulls are also very tippy.

The 16' Lowe that we had was just the opposite.....it was very wide, hence extremely stable, it had a very high draft (we had to put a shaft extension on our outboard), and the flat bottom formed up into a semi- vee (bow was still square, but bottom was flaired into a vee shape so it cut the waves smoother) in the front.

I believe this is the current version of the boat we had...

https://www.loweboats.com/jon-boats/...specifications


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Old January 2nd, 2020, 02:59 PM #10
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If by fresh water you should mean Maryland reservoirs, make sure you know and understand permitting and zebra mussel regulations. In essence, dual use can in the case of reserviors
become problematic, as you are not permitted to use boats used elsewhere in Maryland reserviors.
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