Panggal rattan crab traps on Siargao island, Philippines

“Panggal” Rattan Crab Traps

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These panggal crab traps were woven from rattan right here in San Isidro on Siargao island. Let’s see if we can catch some alimango!

Our neighbor Vernand is the expert crab trap maker around these parts. We ordered four traps from him and they were delivered to us this afternoon:

Pangal rattan crab traps on Siargao island, Philippines
You can see the opening in the top for the bait fish (and hopefully the crab).

You can also see the flat bottom of the panggal traps in this photo. After rocks are attached with strips of rattan, the traps will rest overnight on the bottom of the river.

Chopped fish are used as bait to attract the mud crabs: tambud, muymuy, and  bangsi (flying fish) are the preferred bait. Sometimes yellow fin tuna is also used but only used when it’s in seasonal abundance since it’s a costlier market fish.

Sardine cans for the bait for panggal fish traps
Crab fishermen chop the bait fish and put it in small empty sardine cans. These baited cans are then closed and attached to the inside of the trap with more thin strips of rattan.

 

Pangal rattan crab traps on Siargao island, Philippines
Rattan is known here as “uway”. This sustainable product was collected from a nearby mountaintop.

The target catch is the alimango mud crab. These crabs are favored for their sweet and fragrant white meat.

 

Pangal rattan crab traps on Siargao island, Philippines

This afternoon we put our four new baited and weighted panggal crab traps amongst the nipa trees lining the tidal river in our backyard.  They’re ‘soaking’ now and we’ll check on them just after sunrise. If we’re lucky there will be fresh crabs for breakfast tomorrow morning. We’ll be sure and update our readers on our catch, so please check back soon!

Update #1: Empty!

Just after feeding the pigs, chickens, and ducks we hustled to the riverside this morning to check on our baited crab pots after their overnight soak and…nothing. Hmm.

Panggal rattan crab traps on Siargao island, Philippines
Here you can see the rock weights, the empty can of bait, and…not a single crab.

 

muscovy ducks
Our Muscovy ducks seemed quite unimpressed with the whole operation.

But we remain optimistic and will try some raw chicken necks for bait today and see how that works out. Not giving up this easily!


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