How to Crab Fish From the Shore

by Jeremiah Blanchard
Crabs are a common sight on dinner tables along U.S. coastlines.

Crabs are a common sight on dinner tables along U.S. coastlines.

Commercial crab fishermen travel miles out at sea to catch large quantities of crab. These vessels use a variety of traps and pots to catch the most amount of crabs possible. Crab fishing is also done along shorelines. Some fishermen prefer to set several crab traps along shorelines, then come check the traps later. You can also crab fish the old fashioned way from the shore with a few common materials. This technique is often called drop-lining or chicken-necking.

Go out to your favorite shoreline fishing spot or an area where you normally see crabs from shore. Walking the shoreline and looking in the water will help to locate crabs.

Find a thick, sturdy stick at least 8- to 12-inches long. Tie a 5- to 6-foot piece of string securely to the stick.

Tie the bait to the string securely. Give the bait a slight tug to ensure that it won't easily come off.

Drop your bait and string into the water. If you see a crab, maneuver the bait over toward the crab.

Wait until the crab tugs on the bait. Slowly pull the string out of the water and scoop up the crab in the net.

Items you will need

  • 8- to 12-inch stick
  • Spool of string
  • Bait (chicken gizzards, salted eel)
  • Scoop net


  • Setting several shoreline traps will increase your chances for catching multiple crabs. Check your traps frequently if you choose this method.


  • Never fish without a valid fishing license.
  • Never eat dead crabs.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/ Images