Crabbing Tips: Where to Crab
Find Your Next Crabbing Location:
Different crabs live in different places. Snow crabs live along the continental shelf in various parts of northern oceans as far south as Maine. Dungeness crabs live in bays, creeks, and estuaries in Washington and along the west coast region of North America. Stone crab are found along the Gulf of Mexico, Florida, and the along the east coast of the United States up to North Carolina. Most commonly however, blue crabs are found in coastal lagoons and estuaries from Canada to the Chesapeake Bay to the Gulf of Mexico and as far down south as Brazil. Blue crabs live in salt or fresh waters. Chances are, as a recreational crabber, these are the types crabs you will be catching.
Blue Crab Locations
Dungeness Crab Locations
Stone Crab Locations
So how do you find specific locations to crab? If you live in any of the regions in which crab species live, you can check natural bodies of water visually from the shore/pier/dock to see if there are any crabs. Non-manmade bays and rivers are also good places to check. If you have a boat and would like to crab in the open water, chances are you cannot inspect for the crabs visually. So, just try a few spots and let down a few traps. Really, it’s trial and error to see where the good spots are. It’s all part of the crabbing experience. If you see many crab traps and buoys in that location, it’s a good indication of a healthy crab population.
Word of mouth is a good way to find places to crab. Ask around at local fisheries or water sportsman shops. They have bountiful knowledge that will set you off into your crabbing adventure.
Of course, you can check online for the hottest crabbing location. States have departments of fish and wildlife government websites that will usually specify the rules and regulations for crabbing (if, of course, crabs live in that state). You can browse around those websites to find some good locations for crabbing. Just to you give an idea of what crab habitats look like, see the images below.
Indian River (Florida)
Rehoboth Bay (Delaware)
Currituck Sound (North Carolina)
Now that you have an idea of where to crab and how to look for suitable crabbing locations, go forth, explore the natural world, and catch some crabs. Have a great time!