Horseshoe Crab Bait Bags


Bait Bags are made from extruded plastic mesh, held closed at one end by metal hog-rings, and open at the other to form an envelope into which can be placed part of a horseshoe crab. The bag is held in place in the pot with a bungee chord or metal spike.

  • Bait Bag in use in a conch pot
    A bait bag in use in a conch pot
    Bait Bags are re-usable and last at least an entire season, sometimes years.
  • Bait Bags enable conch fishermen to use half or less of the normal crab requirement, reducing bait costs by at least 50%. They pay for themselves in one week.
  • Bait Bags work by keeping unwanted predators from consuming the crab bait, allowing the bait to work better, longer.
  • Bait Bags are mandatory in Virginia’s conch fishery.
  • Bait Bags can be used in wooden or wire conch pots with equally positive results
  • Bait Bags have been scientifically tested with conchers by Virginia Institute of Marine Science’s (VIMS) School of Marine Science of The College of William and Mary, and shown not to reduce the number of conch caught (see attached study).
  • Bait Bags help conserve a valuable fishing resource and a valuable source of food for shorebirds while saving you money!

In 2003, ABC began a free bait bag program in collaboration with Ecological Research and Development Group and Chesapeake Bay Packing LLC. More than 2,000 bait bags were distributed from North Carolina to Massachusetts.