Land crabs can be caught and eatin the same day but we usually catch ours during the evening in the cooler temperatures after a rain shower. They really seem to come out of their holes after a rain shower. Once caught it may be a good idea to purge the crab for a few days using fresh water and allowing them to eat fruit ,rice , veggies etc to clean out, they are much sweeter .
We make a sport out of it after dinner , great way to work off those extra calories.We drive the back roads on our island after dark in search of the wiley crab. Believe me they can move.
Catching your Crab
We have used a couple of different methods. My son just uses a broom , they are fairly aggressive so once you place the broom on one you have found ,they will try to bite. We just pick it up while it is biting and drop it in the cooler.
You could also place your foot or hand across the back at the widest section keeping in mind that those pinchers are doing their best to grab you . When they get ahold especially with the smaller pincher it can be quite painful , this way needs quite a bit of practice and better light. We have also used kitchen mitts , the padding allows easier access to pick up a crab, giving you some protection. Be prepared for the screams and giggles , but this is all part of the sport . Please check for spawning females and cast those back to be caught at another time. Please check the under belly which will have either a dark patch or fury with spawn. This will allow the sport to continue for future generations.
Pot Full of Crab
Once purged ,dismember the crab removing claws and legs.The claws have been known to bite after being removed ,so be careful. Scrub the crab and legs to remove dirt, season with salt, peppers to taste , even celery and onion , you could even add white wine and garlic. This would be similar to Mussels and the liquid after could be consumed with fresh French bread or rolls of your choice. I usually steam ours , using a pressure cooker but as long as they are in a pot with at least two inches of water or wine that will do the trick , steaming for about 15 to 25 minutes .
So next time your sitting around in the evening with nothing to do , definitely try this . It is a hoot. Guaranteed to get some laughs and exercise.