Dungeness crab in eel grass.

Low tide verses high tide verses slack tide verses ebb flow verses …

You get the idea. It’s enough to turn somebody off of crab fishing. But is shouldn’t. If you want something fun to do then get out on the water and go crab fishing for a couple of hours and bring home some tasty treats.

If the tides are really low… go out to deeper water.

Crab fishing on a high tide? Come in closer to shore.

But what about slack tide?

I have been preaching about the “ideal” time, the absolute “best” time to catch crabs is on slack tide. At the height of slack tide. In fact I was so precise in my righteousness that I even went on to say, “at the slack tide right before a flood tide is the best time for crabbing”.

I was dead wrong! The good news is that slack tide doesn’t last very long, sometimes only a matter of a couple of minutes when there’s a big tidal exchange. So if you were actually taking my advise you wouldn’t have recognized I was wrong.

The bad news is… I was wrong.

I made this discovery by crabbing Sidney spit in the summer -with a fishing rod. I tied a chicken leg to the end of my line and dropped it to the bottom, within seconds I had a crab taking my chicken leg. It was so much fun! I kept bringing in crab after crab. Mostly, they were undersized but sometimes there was a keeper (legal size) or two.

I would drop my line in and wait three minutes TOPS and there would be a crab on the end. I was addicted. I couldn’t stop once I discovered this new method to catching crabs.

Then something happened. I dropped my line in…nothing. I reeled it in to check the bait, the bait was fine. I dropped it again…nothing. I kept trying. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

What happened? Slack tide…slack tide happened.

For the entire duration of slack tide I didn’t get one bite. As soon as the tides started up again… it was full-on action packed crab fishing again.

If you are going crabbing with a trap then slack tide really won’t make much of a difference. From my very own personal experience, I have the most success at the beginning of a flood tide (tide is coming in).

But in all honesty, if I feel like going out crabbing then I don’t live by the tides.  Head out to an area you know will have crabs, jam your bait box full of fresh crab bait and wait a couple of hours. You will have a lot of fun and quite possibly a scrumptious dinner for tonight.


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