crab bowl

The Crabbers

For over three decades, Frenchy's has been providing the best seafood in Tampa Bay. We are proud of our association with a group of small businesses (Fishing Captains) who appreciate the common bond and commitment to serve our customers needs one at a time.

These dedicated professionals are relentless in the time-consuming effort required to manage the harvesting of Florida Stone Crab Claws. Unlike other fishermen, our fleet only pursues the stone crab during the harvesting season -- the remainder of the year we prepare for the new season ahead.

During the off-season (May 15 through October 14), the fishermen recover and mend broken traps, replace lines and buoys, and replace lost traps due to weather and prey such as large crabs, turtles, or boaters. The task of preparing the traps for the new season is physically demanding and requires the full attention to every detail. These details are important to ensure the maximum life of each and every trap, as the trap is the harvesting tool of the crabber.

The trap construction consists of wooden slats treated with special waterproofing to avoid rotting. The trap lid is made from plywood with a round hole cut in the center. The lid opening is then fitted with a piece of PVC pipe cut to size to allow crab entry. A second piece of PVC material is cut to size and positioned inside the trap for a bait cup. Enough concrete to cover the bottom slats only is poured into the trap to keep the trap in place once positioned at the bottom of the gulf. Line is then cut to length, attached to each of the four corners, weighted and tied to a buoy which floats on the surface of the water. All crab trap designs, materials, construction guidelines, size, shape and finishes are closely monitored by state and federal agencies.

The finished trap and each piece of material used in building a crab trap -- the wood slats, the lid, the lines, the nails, the bait cup, the weights, the buoy, trap identification numbers, the loading and unloading -- is handled over 150 times before the trap ever hits the water. According to one of our crabbers, "I know each of my traps by name before the season starts."

Frenchy's Stone Crab Company is committed to these fishermen and to creating a team environment that consistently improves the harvesting and processing of our catch. We feel this effort delivers the finest product to you, our customer.