The Inspiration Behind SnapBait.
SnapBait is the creation of a former Kent Island Waterman. From the 70’s through the ’80’s I dove for oysters in the winter and crabbed in the summer. My oyster captain was the legendary Capt. George Roy. He is still to this day one of the hardest working, most honorable men I ever met. As the oyster population vanished with the onset of MSX I had to find a land job. And now semi-retired I am itching to get back on the water to go trotlining for crabs again. As they say “Once water gets into your blood it never goes away” and trotlining was always my favorite work.
As I was gearing up I learned that the game had changed. Trotliners were now using bait bags filled with Razor Clams that dramatically increased their catch. So I went to talk with Commercial crabbers and find out what I could. In talking to them I found out they spent several man/hours every day re-baiting the bags and absolutely hated it. I left thinking that there has to be a better way. Over the next 8 months I designed and built prototypes of every conceivable design. Fiberglass, Carbon Fiber, Plastic, Hard Rubber and FRP designs were all tried to various degrees of success but none were exactly right. The EUREKA moment came when I tried Stainless Steel. They worked perfectly and SnapBait was born. They can be attached to existing bags in less than a minute. They can be taken off and put on new bags. With just a squeeze the bag pops open, old bait falls out and new baits goes in. Bag snaps closed when it is released. Re-bait as fast as you can pick up clams. 1,200′ in 12 minutes (see video). Watermen will never have to spend hours re-baiting again.
Realizing that Stainless Steel would be cost prohibitive to the occasional Recreational crabber I developed a more affordable Spring Steel and Nickel Plated version. These will not hold up as well as Stainless Steel does for everyday use but for occasional use will work just fine. Life expectancy can be greatly extended by simply dipping clip end into a pan of mineral oil during un-baiting of line. Only takes seconds to do and well worth it.
Now a Commercial crabber can spend those hours crabbing instead of re-baiting. An extra bushel a day will amount to over a hundred on the season and easily pay for the SnapBait clips many times over. Another benefit is that when crabs are really running they eat up all the bait and end the day early. Just when you don’t want it to happen of course. You can now re-bait in minutes and stay on the crabs.
Have a great 2018 crabbing season!