Crab fishing from a pier or dock.

Crabbing from a pier is the easiest most time efficient way to catch crabs. It is also very popular.

Unless you have your own private pier then you will be dealing with a lot of competition. Read on and we’ll show you some fail proof insider tips to give you an edge over your competition and some crab meat for your dinner table.

You will need three things to get you started (Besides a local fishing licence):

  1. A suitable crab trap for pier crabbing.
  2. The best possible bait to lure these crustaceans quickly into your trap and away from other people’s traps.
  3. A long piece of rope, tied securely to the trap.


Crab Traps

Lucky for you the best crab trap for pier crabbing is also the cheapest trap available on the market. It’s called the triangle crab trap or pyramid crab trap (depending on who you are talking to). This is the only occasion in which we would recommend this trap. That’s because crabs can come and go to your trap as they please.

With this trap you will be actively crab fishing. Which means you will be pulling up your trap about every 15-20 minutes.

The reason why we love this trap so much for pier fishing is because the trap lays flat on the ocean floor with the bait in the center. There is no confusion for a crab to find the entrance into this trap. The traps that have the one way doors are harder for crabs to climb inside. There’s a good chance they will catch a whiff of some bait they like better (especially if there is a lot of crabbers) and head over to that trap instead.

This leads us to our second most important part about crabbing from shore:


Crab Bait

We have a whole page about what is the best kind of bait to use that you can read here. But for crabbing on a highly competitive pier I wouldn’t crab with anything less than chicken (with skin) and fresh –FRESH fish heads or parts of the fish. The more bait you use the better. The fresher your meat is the better.

I know what you’re thinking…crabs are scavengers they naturally eat dead and rotten ______ fill in the blank. Davis didn’t believe me either… until we had a crab off competition. Turns out 5 out of 6 crabs prefer fresh crab bait, opposed to stinking, expiring meat.

This bait is going to be securely fastened to the center bottom of your trap with wire, or string. You can use a bait box as well if you have one, as long as the bait box is not so big that it takes up the majority of the trap. You need to leave some space for the crabs to be trapped in when you pull the trap up.



Lastly, secure your rope to the top of your trap and then tie the other end to the pier.

Throw your trap in, preferably further than the other traps around you, and wait your 15 – 20 minutes before you pull it up.

When you’re throwing your trap, make sure it hits the water on the bottom side down. If it doesn’t pull it back in a try it again. Check to see that your bait is still secure between your throws.

Happy crabbing… Crab Star!

Crabbing From a Pier
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: 2
  • Pier or dock



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