We just want to get it out there, crabs are delicious and that’s a fact. Give us a side of drawn butter and we’re all set.
However, many of us are not too thrilled with going to the supermarket just to overpay for crab. If you don’t like the idea of overpaying for your seafood, then crab fishing might just be for you.
Fresh, self-caught seafood is not just delicious but they’re fairly easy to catch as well. That’s provided that you actually know what you are doing.
In today’s article, we’ll discuss some things that you need to know about fishing for crabs.
Types of Crabs and Where You Can Find Them
There are four common types of crabs, so it’s beneficial to know which types that you can catch within your area. There are several species of edible crabs that live in the West and East coastlines of the U.S.
Blue crabs are generally found on the Eastern coast of the Americas. They are named that way due to their sapphire-colored claws and legs. They are found as far as Nova Scotia all the way down the Gulf of Mexico.
They can grow up to 9-inch in the shell and usually thrive in estuaries and lagoons. The blue crabs’ population is on the decline so there are fishing regulations that are set for them.
Perhaps the most well-known location for blue crab fishing is the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. Fishing for blue crabs usually start from April and ends in December.
Another crab species that’s found on the East coast is the Stone Crab. They are generally smaller than the blue crab and averages 5 to 6 inches wide in the shell. They are identified with their large claws and brownish red color with gray spots.
Stone crabs are known for their ability to detach their limbs in order to escape predators, which they can grow back later. Therefore, it’s widely practiced to remove one claw from the stone crab and release it back to the water.
The season for stone crab fishing is from October to May.
The Dungeness Crab is a favorite among the recreational crabbing community. This can be attributed to the fact that they one of largest edible crab species in the Western coast.
They are distinguished by their reddish-brown color, with a hint of purple on their shell. They are considered to be a prized catch due to their tasty meat which is described as sweet and delicate. They normally thrive in sandy areas or mud.
The season for dungeness crab fishing between November and June, although it can vary from one place to another.
Red Rock Crab
Here’s another tasty resident of the West coast. The Red Rock Crab is widely considered to be an underrated catch due to the popularity of the dungeness. Nevertheless, red rocks are truly delicious and would make for a great supper.
The red rock is a popular catch in Southern California and can grow up to 7-inches wide at the shell. True to its name, these crabs are red in color with a yellow shell. They thrive in kelp beds, gravel, and rocky areas. Crabbing season for this crab type is mid-October up until the end of December. Again, their season can still vary from area to area.
General Equipment for Crabbing
Whether you’re going after a dungeness or doing Alaskan crab fishing, the equipment you’ll need are quite common regardless of the species you are seeking.
Here are some of the most common gear you’ll need:
1. Bait – for any crab fishing, pretty much any type of meat can be used as a lure. Perhaps the most common ones used are duck neck or chicken. Other people also use chunks of eel or baitfish.
2. Storage – it can be a 10-liter bucket or a cooler filled with ice water. It’s important to keep the crabs alive until they’re ready for cooking.
3. Crabbing gloves – crabs can be quite aggressive so they should be handled using the proper technique. For good measure, you can’t go wrong with a thick pair of crabbing gloves.
4. Crab fishing net – A net is not always a requirement but it’s a very useful tool for crabbing. A good place to start is to buy a dip net from your local fishing or crabbing stores.
Ready to get on your crab fishing boat?
Hopefully, we have given you a proper introduction to the world of crabbing. Before you head out, make sure that you have the proper licenses from the local authorities as crabbing involves a lot of restrictions.
Have you tried crab fishing before? Do you have any must-know crabbing tip? Please share your tips in the comment section.