Gone Outdoors

How to Go Crabbing

by Keith Dooley

Crabbing often brings to mind images of large fishing operations that include a boat, crab pots, whole fish baits and a crew. Although commercial crabbing does involve such large-scale effort, recreational crabbing is done on a much more low-tech level, and requires only basic gear to be done successfully. A brackish backwater or estuary is a prime location for recreational crabbing that puts fresh crab on the dinner table.

Tie a size 6 bait holder hook to the end of a monofilament fishing line. Use a Uni knot to attach the hook. Moisten the knot before pulling down tight against the hook.

Place a crimp on weight on the line 8 to 10 inches above the hook. Use a pair of pliers to crimp on the weight that is a quarter-ounce or heavier based on water current and depth.

Place a worm, cut shrimp or piece of hot dog on the bait holder hook.

Put on a glove to protect the hand holding the line to prevent a potential cut when pulling up a crab.

Lower the line and bait into the water until the bait reaches the bottom. Allow the bait to sit without moving to attract a crab.

Wait for a tug on the line to indicate a crab has taken the bait. Raise the line very slowly as the crab will only be holding on with its claw.

Lower a dip net into the water when the crab is visible. Gently place the net in the water to the side of the line and scoop the crab with net to bring it to the surface.

Items you will need
  • Monofilament fishing line
  • Glove
  • Quarter-ounce lead weight
  • Size 6 hook
  • Bait
  • Dip net

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images