Crabbing: How to do it Right and When to do it Right

Crabbing has been and is still one of the best activities for leisure time and bonding. It is being done all across the globe! All sorts of crabs are being waited upon when the right season comes. It is not only a fun and creative way of recreational activity but it is also a unique adventure to get yourselves a full stomach.

However, over the years the crabs have somewhat became more adaptive to the annual purge that occurs in their community. In a sense, that they have became smarter and developed strategies on how to not get themselves killed and showered with butter. It is like they have now anticipated what is going to take place during the crabbing season and managed to find ways how to outsmart humans.

The crabs have increased the difficulty of the game. Unfortunately, we might just have the tips and hacks on how to let them lose their own game.


Before we begin to analyze our game plane, let us first find out what we are dealing with. Let us broaden our knowledge and understand the nature of crabs and what is crabbing.

Globally, crabbing has now been considered to be a commercial business. As well as, a recreational activity for family and friends. In simple equation, crabbing is a method of catching these crustaceans and consuming them afterwards.

As simple as it may seem and sound, there are certain precautionary values that are needed to be mindful of. You can not go crabbing anytime and anywhere you want. There are certain rules and regulations that can put you behind bars if you do not abide by them.

Rules and Regulations About Crabbing

Wherever you may be, one of the first things that you must always check is the legality of what you are about to do. Is it legal to go crabbing at your area? Check the laws in your locality and find out if it is safe to go and catch some crabs. This is a vital initial step to take, since each city, state or country has their own laws about certain matters. Particularly, on the matter about catching crustaceans in your area.

What is the Scope of the Law About Crab Catching?

The law consists of the type of gender you are only allowed to catch. Some places allow both gender of crabs. While, others may only permit either the male crab or female crab.

Another of which is the number of crabs you are allowed to catch and keep. Laws in different places usually indicates a specific number that is only given for the catchers to follow. Do not be reckless, because some places are very strict when enforcing these rules. You might think that no authority is available to check and count how many crabs you caught. Well, think again and be careful because you might be counting the hours you will spend for community service.

Next, the size of the crab has also its limitations. There is a particular weight limit for each crab that allows you to keep them or not. This, again, depends to where you are located.

Lastly, the number and design of the traps that you are going to use is also a factor that can lead you to be penalized.

Follow These Rules!

It is very important to always abide by your locality’s rules. Irregardless of how irrational you may think it is still it does not excuse you to follow them. No matter how silly they may sound, if you want to be legal and away from any unnecessary consequences, then it is always best to follow the rules and regulations. Besides, the rules and regulations will not be a hindrance for you to catch a sufficient amount of crabs. If you are technical and skilled when it comes to grabbing, you can guarantee yourself a bucket full of meaty crabs.


In order to catch some crabs, you need to think like a crab. However, which crab? There are a lot of variations of crabs. They embody different characteristics and qualities. However, some of kinds of crabs are deadly and are actually poisonous. In short, not safe to put on a plate. So, what are the types of crabs that are safe for consumption? Let us get to know them.

1. Red Frog Crab

The Red Frog Crab is also known as the Spanner Crab. It can weigh as heavy as up to 900 grams and can grow as long as 15 cm.

2. Bairdi Crab

The Bairdi Crab is commonly known as the Tanner Crab. This type of crab has greater longevity compared to other kinds of crabs. Amazingly, it can live of up to a decade. In its life span, it can weigh as heavy as 1.8 kg.

3. European Spider Crab

The European Spider Crap is popularly called as the Spiny Spider Crab or Poisonous Spider Crab. This particular specie of the crab is the best-seller in commercial businesses. They are also recognized for their ability to migrate long distant places. The Spiny Spider Crab can travel of up to 160 km in distance in the short span of only eight months. It has weird-looking features and is commonly found crawling in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.

4. Japanese Spider Crab

The Japanese Spider Crab needs no more nicknames. Since, it can be easily recognized and remembered through one unique characteristic. That is its captivating, unique, long legs. Its legs can extend up to 3.8 meters and length. Not only that, it can even weigh as much as 19 kilograms. Like the Bairdi Crab, it can live longer than any type of crabs. Even longer than the Bairdi Crab, for it can live up to a century.

5. Atlantic Rock Crab

The Atlantic Rock Crab is also called as the Cancer Irroratus. It belongs to be one of the most colorful crustaceans that inhabits the eastern coast of North America. Another fish, that is commercially bought.

The list can go on and on if I may add more. However, that would take us days to cover. So, I will leave that as your assignment to do. For now, I will now bring you to the primary focus of this article. Which is, the tips and ways on how to effectively go crabbing.


First thing is first, if we want to catch some crabs we need the right gear. Of course, because we would not want to be bitten by those claws of the crabs. So, here are some important to tips to remember when it comes to preparing your crab traps.

Preparing Your Crab Traps

If there is one thing that you should never miss out when you go hunt for some crabs, that would be your Crab Traps. Furthermore, in order to have a successful crabbing adventure you need a crab trap that is effective and can guarantee multiple catches.

One of the best and well-used crab trap is the Topless Crab Trap. If you need a crab trap that works well and can keep up with your demands, this is the equipment to use. There are multiple reasons to back up why topless crab traps work best.

  • It is convenient to carry and store on the boat. It is light weight and relatively easy to transfer from one place to another. You will not have a hard time transporting the topless crab trap on and off the boat. Not to mention, that it is fairly easy to clean.
  • Does not give you a hard time taking out the crabs from the trap. While, the conventional box trap can guarantee multiple catches as well but at the end of the catch it is hard to take out the crabs from the box trap.
  • Executes a secure closing technique to keep the crabs inside the trap. It automatically closes tight when you pull the line up the surface. Most importantly, as you pull the topless crab trap up, the momentum you exerted keeps the crab sticking at the base of the crab trap.

Now, that we have our crab trap settled. Let us now figure out the best bait to use to lure in those hungry and meaty crabs.

Effective Crab Bait

If we come to think of it, deciding what bait to use is not really a debatable topic. Since, most crabs are scavengers and would eat about mostly anything especially when hungry. There is a long list of baits to use to catch some crabs. Each one has their own experience of catching crabs and can share a learning experience when it comes to baits. It can be fish, eels, a bull’s lips and many more. But, there are two baits that have been proven and tested to attract the most crabs at anytime and anywhere. These are:

Razor Clams and Chicken Necks.

One important thing to remember when it comes to your crab baits, is that they should always be presented freshly. Although, crabs hunt their meals using more of their sense of smell rather than their sense of sight. So, it is recommended to always ensure a fresher bait at all cost. They are not only crabs, they are hungry crabs. Just like people, the better it smells, the better it will taste for our stomach.

Tips on How to Ensure a Perfect Bait
  • As much as possible, do not prepare or buy a bait that has been frozen for an long amount of time.
  • For the chicken necks, it is best to personally purchase your bait at a chicken farm. Rather than, going to the market. As for the razor clams, fresh seafood market is fine.
  • Do not buy your baits days or weeks ago before your crabbing adventure. If you want your baits to stay fresh until it reaches the waters, it is best to buy your baits a day before. If possible, before you head out to your destination you can pass by the farm or market to get your baits.
  • Change your bait in the trap as soon as you notice discoloration and other differences from its original appearance.

We are almost there, now that you have you crab trap and crab bait ready, all that is left is to learn the techniques to catch your crabs.

Techniques on Catching Crabs Right

The first thing that you need to do is to identify the kind of crab that you are to catch. Next, it would be an advantage if you do some basic research about the crab. Most importantly, the season that it is dominantly out in the waters. You do not want to waste time setting up your traps and buying your baits and catch nothing.

Second, know where you should be out for crabbing adventure. In line with this, if you are not yet aware of the best places to go crabbing, ask the locals around your place. Do not just impulsively choose a random destination and expect to spot crabs there. To save you time and effort, determine the perfect place to catch crabs.

Third, prepare your crab traps and crab baits the night before the big day. You can either place the baits inside the traps the night before you go about or have someone accompany you and have them place the baits on the traps as you go to your destination. Also, when you drop your crab traps in the water, always keep an acceptable amount of space (around 4-5 ft will do) between traps. Afterwards, sit back and wait for a good few minutes before picking up the traps.


Lastly, every one has their own style and magic when it comes to their crabbing strategy. However, this techniques has been used popularly and has been proven to be effective. It is called the “Pick, dump, drop”. After waiting for a good few minutes the next thing you will need to do is to do this routine in domino effect.

  • Starting with the first trap you dropped, pick it up and see if there are crabs inside. If there are not, drop the trap back in the water and move to the second trap and so on. However, if it contains smaller crabs not ideal for keeping, drop it back down still. But, if it contains what you are looking for, dump the crabs and drop it back.

It seems that you are all set to go about your crabbing adventure.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *