How to Catch Crabs? | Learn the Effective Way of Crabbing

For some people crabbing is a hobby, they find fun in crabbing and a good time pass. On the other hand, for some, it is needed. Some people solely depends on crabbing, they sell crabs and do the living. Doesn’t matter which is the case, one thing that both needs to know is how to catch crabs! 

There are different ways of catching crabs, some people just walk hugging the shore and they find few crabs. And some used big Crab traps to catch a large number of crabs. 

However, in this very guide, I am going to show you how you can get your hands on a decent amount of crabs by giving less effort. 

Here you go! 

Get the Needed Equipment

For effective crabbing, you definitely need some tools, before crabbing gather these tools and then get started! 

Crab trap: It is a square or round wire made trap, most of the time traps are made of chicken wires. There is a door called the throat, through there crab enters inside the trap.

And inside the trap there is a secure place where baits are supposed to be placed, crabs won’t be able to touch the bait. Once they enter the trap for the bait, they are sealed completely, there will be no way out unless you take them out. 

There are traps of different sizes and weight, which size and the weight you need that depends on how many crabs you intend to catch and where you are catching the crabs. If you want to catch a large pool of crabs at once, then you definitely have to go for larger traps. (Take a look at the best blue crab traps)

And the area you will be crabbing, if that is tidy or have wave power, then you will have to go for heavy traps, otherwise, waves will keep the trap moving and crabs won’t enter. 

Culling Stick: This is basically a stick with which you take the crabs out of the trap. If you want you can remove the crab with anything you want, but culling sticks are very helpful.

Container: Obviously you need to store the crabs you are taking out from the trap. One thing you need to keep in mind is if the crab is dead long before the cooking, you can’t eat that. When crab dies, the body releases a poison that ruins the entire meat. So you need to keep the crabs alive till you cook them. 

As a container, you can use cooler, leave the ice bag at the bottom, and full crabs on top of that. 

Gloves: Crabs can bite you bad, though the bite isn’t serious but it is painful. So make sure you wear proper gloves through which crabs can’t bite. 

Pick the Right Bait

There are different kinds of crab baits, hobbyist crabbers use some kind, commercial crabber uses other kinds. However, knowing which bait is suitable for you, the little experiment is required.

You have to try different baits and see which is working best for you. One bait that works well for most people is the chicken neck.

You can try the following baits!

Frozen Fish: This is a great bait, a lot of crabbers use this. The reason why you should only use frozen fish is that it decomposes way too faster than the fresh fish. The faster it composes, the faster crab will come searching for it. 

Uncooked Meat: Crabs love uncooked meat, you can try it. Some commercial crabbers use Ell, this is one of the best, according to the commercial crabbers. However, they are expensive. But there is Bull Lip bait, they are inexpensive and crab loves it too. There is another called Menhaden, it is a forage fish, it also works well. 

Take a look at the best crab baits of the market

Choose the right crabbing area

You can just go to any random area and set the trap. You need to search for an area where there is more crab. Saltwater is where crabs are found mostly, so do not look for the freshwater area.

Look for tidal or wavy water areas such as the ocean, marshes, inlets, bay, etc. Another thing you need to keep in mind is, there are different types of crab and not kind are found everywhere.

Different kinds of crabs are found in different areas, so make sure you do good research and find a suitable area for your kind of crab. 

Leave the trap underwater for the night

Once you have chosen the right area, set the trap and leave it underwater for the night. Make sure you put the trap under low tide level so the trap wouldn’t move with the wave, that will make entering trap easier for the crabs. You can also anchor the trap so that it will remain around a specific point. 

The reason why you need to leave the trap underwater for the night is, crabs are nocturnal and at night they go out searching for food. So there is a high chance that you will get plenty of crabs. One most important thing, you will need to attach a long rope with the trap and tie it with something, so that you can pull the trap up the next day. 

Haul the Trap Up

The next day, it is time for checking the trap. Exciting, right? Pull the trap up, be gentle, and try to keep the trap even when pulling up! If you have used the right bait and chose the right area, you should get some crab. If you did, open the gate and remove the crabs from the trap. 


This is how you catch crabs! Two things that play the major role is the location and the right bait. If these two are ideal, then you can be sure that you will get plenty of crabs. 

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