How to catch crabs in a metal crab pot.



Where to Catch Dungeness Crab


Catching crabs is relatively easy once you acquire the basics of crab fishing:

  1. A good one-way-door crab trap that lets the crabs enter but doesn’t let them leave.
  2. Enough crab bait to keep the crabs coming for a couple of hours IE 4 chicken legs or equivalent.
  3. A measuring stick and a bucket/cooler for your catch.


Ask and you shall receive

Knowing where these crustaceans are hiding is the hardest part about catching crabs.. The ocean is a large area and if you leave it up to trial and error then you might waste a lot of precious crab catching time. Ideally you want to go where you have prior knowledge that someone’s been catching crab with success. Most crab fisherman will tell you exactly where the crabbing is good in the area, so ask around.


If there is nobody to ask then look for these clues:

  • A muddy/sandy bottom.
  • Eel grass washed up on shore. (Crabs love hiding in eel grass)
  • Close to the mouth of a river or stream.
  • Other crab floats.


Get to know your tides

A cheap tidal book is handy, but you can find your local tides on the Internet or in the local paper. Crabs are more likely to be trapped when the tides are changing. This is the time that they are on the move as well. The most preferable conditions is when the tide is coming in. Crabs like to go to deeper, looking for cooler water at low tide, when the tides come in so do the crabs.


Set up your trap

Tie enough rope to the trap to accommodate for the rising tide. The best depth to catch crab is anywhere from 40 feet to 140 feet. That means you need an extra 15 feet if there is a big tide exchange. If you are crabbing off a boat make sure you use a buoy/floater that is unique and easy to spot from far distances and mark it with your name.. Make a measurement on your rope every 20 feet. The first 20 feet (starting from the trap) mark with one stripe of black tape. The next 20 feet mark with two stripes of black tape etc.

Once you have had success in your area you will know where the crabbing sweet spot is. crabbed in the same area you will know where the crabs are.


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