Once you have a crab trap baited and a fishing location chosen, the next step is to rig the buoy. Length of rope and type of buoy are just a couple of things that need to be taken into consideration when rigging a crab buoy. Losing your buoy means losing your catch and your equipment, which is both expensive and frustrating. A properly rigged buoy, however, can be accomplished in a few simple steps.
Cut rope to the proper length, which is two to three times the depth of the water that you are fishing in. This will prevent the current from pulling your float under water. Use a rope that sinks, and therefore does not get caught in the propellers of passing boats. A common type of crabbing rope is called lead line and can be found at maritime supply stores.
Secure the rope to the crab pot. Create a loop in the end of the line by doubling it over and tying a double overhand knot (for knots, see Resources). Bring the loop around the top edge of the pot where the side support attaches twice. Thread the other end of the rope through the loop and tighten.
Attach the crab buoys to the other end of the line. Use two floats of distinct colours so your pot is easily identified. Rig the floats with the pointed ends facing down. Tie the first buoy in place 7 to 8 feet from the end of the rope by tying a large stopper knot on both sides of the buoy. Tie the second buoy to the end of the line, so there is a 4- to 5-foot gap between buoys. Secure this buoy with a lobster buoy hitch.
Check your state's crab fishing regulations. Some states require that you use red and white buoys with your name and address on them.