Enjoy Time Alone or with a Friend and Take up Crabbing During Blue Crab Season
When I was younger, my grandfather used to sit on the pier, smoke cigars, and drop traps into the bay.
Crabbing has always been part of my family, because my grandfather insisted on it. It’s a “lazy man’s” hobby, but was essential to his happiness. He had a crippling leg injury at a young age, and couldn’t be very active.
He used chicken legs as bait. I still do today, because it seems the crabs don’t really care as long as you feed them.
The “smellier the better” he always said, and “make sure you go at high tide,” crabbing supplies at his side.
Sometimes I couldn’t get my lazy ass up early enough. Sometimes we didn’t catch a thing. Crabbing in NJ has brought some of my all time favorite memories.
He’d be out there no matter what though, throwing rectangular boxes into the ocean. At first I never used baskets or the good ol’ rope method, as my grandpa always had the classic cages, complete with weights and tons of rust and seaweed.
He died before I got very old, but crabbing has always stuck with me. I even kept the cigar tradition alive.
The only thing you need to get started is one trap, some chicken legs…and maybe a cold beer or two. You’ll want to try and find a pier on the bay, so hop onto Google and see if you can find a local spot. If you are wondering when to go crabbing, click the link to find out more.
Ask local crabbers! If you can find the right person, they will tell you all of the best spots to go crabbing, and perhaps give you a few tips. I recommend visiting:
bluecrab.info – Wonderful information on crabs and a great forum with thousands of contributing members.
Maryland Department of Natural Resources – Info on crab and fishing licenses in MD.
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife – Information on crabbing in Oregon.
Virginia Marine Resources Commission – Resource page for crabbing in Virginia.
New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife – A great resource for crabbing in NJ.
Tips & Guides
If you like to go fishing, this is the perfect time to toss out a line. While your traps are deployed into the bay, you can be reeling in flounder, mudskippers, or even the occasional sand shark!
Teaching the kids can be one of the most enjoyable activities out on the bay. Watching their faces flash with excitement as they pull up a crab trap is a truly memorable experience. And if you happen to spot a coconut crab – make sure you get a great picture!
After the catch, be sure to steam up your blue crabs and eat them with spaghetti. There are few things better than making absolute mess while pulling apart crab claws and legs after a great day crabbing.
Whether you are in the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, the Jersey shore, or nabbing Dungeness crab off the coast of Washington, make sure you are fully stocked on crabbing supplies.
I built this page in honor of my grandfather – hopefully you find something here that puts a smile on your face, or gets the job done.
Be sure to check out Crabby Riz’s Guide to Crabbing for Crabs!