Crabbing Tips

Going fishing soon? Tired of catching the same old fish and looking to try something different? Why not go crabbing? It’s a very fun activity and you can eat all the crabs you catch! There’s nothing like bringing home freshly caught crabs home for dinner! Crabbing, however isn’t the easiest thing and you could get hurt or injured if you don’t do it right. Today we will discuss tips and tricks for crabbing so your experience with this activity runs smoothly.

Where to go Crabbing

Crabs are usually located in saltwater areas. They are also located in tidal water. This includes marshes, bays, and oceans. They also prefer to be near underwater structures such as docks, bridges, and pilings.  If you are staying at my beach home, just go outside into the back yard of our huge ocean!

What to Bring

Below will be listed some items that I recommend bringing to your crabbing adventure. You are more welcomed to bring whatever suit s your needs, but I found these items below to be very resourceful during my experience:

  • Fold-up chair
  • Cooler
  • Thick Gloves for handling crabs
  • Net
  • Bait
  • Crab Trap


When it comes to bait, I would recommend using relatively cheap meats. Here are some of the most affordable and effective meat baits you can use.

  • Chicken- Chicken legs are preferred as they are a solid bait and can’t be easily torn apart by the crab.
  • Fish- Any type of fish works as long as they are between six inches to a foot long. Common fish used for crabbing are bunker and sea robins.

Types of Traps

There are many different types of traps you can use. We will discuss the most common ones and how to use them.

  • Ring Crab Traps- These traps are usually made from strings or wire mesh. It has a flat circular appearance when lying on the ground. When picked up, the bottom drops locking the crabs inside. The bait is usually placed in the center of the trap along with a weight to drop the trap down.
  • Commercial Crab Traps- You must be licensed in order to use this trap, unless you are operating it from a private dock. These traps are 2-3 feet wide. They are meant to be left in water for days. They can hold up to a few dozen crabs.

How to Hold Crabs

It is important to remember that crabs have claws and may try to pinch you. If this happens, do not panic. Pull the crab away from you until the claw breaks off the crab. Here are some basic steps when holding a crab:

  • Place your foot on the crab to prevent it from moving away.
  • Grab the last leg of the crab which is located at its back.
  • Remove your foot and lift the crab as it will now not be able to pinch you.

Cleaning a Crab

Here are some steps for crab cleaning:

  • Grab the crab by the back legs and claws.
  • Put a part of the shell against the hard surface and pull down as this motion removes the main shell.
  • Rip off the mouth area.
  • Remove the flap from the back of the crab.
  • Clean out the guts until you only see white material.

Enjoy your crab hunt!