Crabbing is an interesting hobby, and if you’re really into the thing, a wonderful business prospect. Crabbing is not very difficult or too technical to start with. It’s simple; you place the bait, set the trap, wham! There you have your “clawsome” delight ready for the gourmet. In the USA alone, there are over hundreds of different types of crab species available for the catch.
Out of a large number of species available, there are a few that are the chef’s favorite and make it to the kitchens of famous restaurants. Of the few species that are available out there, we will be discussing a few from the top of the list, the ways to catch them and all the other facts you need to know to catch a “claw-full” of crabs.
Of the tastiest of the crabs and easiest to catch are the Blue crabs and Stone Crabs. Both these crabs are abundantly available on the Eastern Coast of USA, waiting for you catch them.
Here is a summary of the different types of crabs and the States where you can find them:
- Blue Crab—Florida, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia (East Coast)
- Stone Crab–North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida
- Blue King Crab–Alaska (some found in Washington)
- Box Crab–Washington (and British Columbia)
- Dungeness Crab–Washington, Oregon, California
- Golden King Crab–Alaska (some found in Washington)
- Jonah Crab–Maine, Rhode Island, Massachusetts
- Red King Crab–Alaska (some found in Washington)
- Red Rock Crab–Washington, Oregon, Northern California
- Rock Crab–Maine (and northern East Coast up to Canada)
- Snow Crab–Alaska, Maine
Types of Crabs in the USA
Here is a list of few of the crabs that are found in the waters around the USA. These crabs can easily be converted into delicacies like crab soups, crab cakes, crab pies and crab everything, in short, whatever the chef’s turn them into, they taste delicious.
- Blue Crabs
Blue crabs are one of the most liked delicacies on The Eastern coasts of USA. These are beautiful creatures, with blue-green colored skeletal that is why they are named Calinectes sapidus in Latin, meaning “Beautiful Swimmer”. The size varies up from 3 – 5 inches. These crabs are available for the catch from May to December. Blue Crabs are eaten after removing their peripheral parts like claws, legs, gills etc.
- Stone Crabs
Stone crabs also known as “Morro crab” are another favorite dish along with the southeastern coast of Florida. These crabs are available for the catch from October to May. Interestingly, these crabs have meaty claws, so once you get your hands on one, just snap off one claw (choose the meaty one) and throw back the remaining crab. These Crabs regenerate their broken claw within a year and a half.
- King Crab
The king crab is a large species of the crab found along the Alaskan coast. These crabs can reach large sizes of up to 10 feet across. Though the edible part is only limited to the legs and the claws. Their meat is snowy white, and only male crabs are caught for the eating purpose.
- Rock Crab
The rock crab or snow crab is found on the eastern coast of USA. Their usual habitat is among the sea bottom rocks. The rock crab resembles a spider and is also known as a spider crab. These crabs are available for the catch during the late winter season; that is from January through April.
- Dungeness Crab
The Dungeness crab is available in the market year round but can be caught from October to March. These crabs are found along the western coast of USA from Alaska to Mexico. These large crabs weigh around 1 to 2 kilos and are famous for their delicious taste. As per law only male crabs larger than 6.25 inch can be caught.
- Horseshoe Crabs
Horseshoe crabs derive their name due to their sheer resemblance to a horseshoe. These crabs are found along the Nova Scotia region near the Eastern coast of USA. Though edible, the meat available per crab is low as compared to the shell.
Types of crab traps
In order to increase your catch for the day and have less missed attempts, you need high-quality traps and pots. Before explaining the different types of crab traps, lets’ have a look at the basic parts of a crab trap:
Crab traps come in all kinds of shapes and materials, now we will help you in selecting the trap required to catch your crabs.
- Box Crab Traps
Box crab traps are the most common and effective crab traps that are used extensively by professionals and leisure hunters alike. Most of the box traps are easily foldable and can be tucked away for easy transportation. There are three to four entrance points for the crabs.
There is a separate portion for holding the bait; this makes it difficult for the crab to rip off the bait giving time to you to catch the maximum number of crabs at one time.
The box traps are also designed in a way to let through the crabs smaller than the holes in the net and only trap the big ones.
Box traps are made up of various materials like wood, plastic etc. Each type has its own pros and cons. These traps are very effective in catching crabs:
- The wooden box traps are made of rugged, industrial grade wood and serve as strong crab traps that are durable and ensure that crabs do not escape. You can get high-quality wooden box trap HERE!
- The plastic stone crab traps are made up of high-quality industrial plastic. These traps come in different pieces that can be joined together easily to complete the trap. Plastic crab traps are resistant against corrosion and can withstand the water interaction without breaking or deteriorating over time. Plastic traps are light and easy to transport due to their modular construction. In search of high-quality Plastic stone crab traps? Click HERE for more information.
- Wire trap for stone crabs
Stone crab wire traps are heavy duty traps that are designed to catch stone crabs. The wires are heavy duty and easily withstand any forces of crab claws or being stuck amid the sea-bottom rocks. Please visit HERE in order to get the best wire traps for your crabbing day.
- Maryland Blue Crab Trap
Maryland Blur crab trap is specifically designed to catch blue crabs , but can also be used to various other crabs. Just click HERE to get your Maryland Blue Crab trap at the most convenient rates.
- Blue Crab trap Vinyl
Blue crab vinyl trap is also a variant of the box traps used to catch blue crabs. One major difference with the other traps is, the trap is compact and made of reliable net that doesn’t give way to the harsh sea-bottom environment. This trap is specially designed for fully grown blue crabs. Your blue catch is guaranteed using this Blue Crab vinyl trap. All you have to do is just visit HERE!
- Ring Crab Traps
The ring crab traps are made up of nets with two rings on either side of the trap. It lays flat on the sea floor and when lifted up the side nets forms the walls enclosing the crabs within. Although this is a good trap, there is always a possibility of crabs walking away after enjoying the bait. The side walls can also collapse on the sea floor letting the crabs free. Plus, you will have to constantly check the trap for any prospective catches.
- Pyramid crab traps
The pyramid or star traps are cheap and are the least used traps as there are many negatives associated with it. These traps are difficult to transport and prove very ineffective if not checked regularly. Although the pyramid trap is cheap, be mentally prepared to see an empty trap once you lift it out. Yep, that’s right the crabs had a party on your bait and are now snoring off somewhere beneath a rock.
The usual baits that can be used for crabs are fish. But there are other options available too like using human food or artificial baits to lure the crabs. In order to make the most of your bait here are a few important points to remember:
- Use Fresh bait: As crabs majorly locate their food using the sense of smell, your bait should be fresh so that it smells nice and strong for the crabs.
- Indigenous bait: Crabs are scavengers that roam about the bottom of the sea to look for the leftover carcass of fish, squids, and Try to keep your bait as natural as possible, resembling the crab’s natural feed, but a few crabs do like to have a swing on chicken meat too, like the stone crab.
- Use Tough bait: In order to keep the crab engaged in the trap for a longer period, it is necessary to choose a bait that is tough enough to withstand the crab’s onslaught and keep them busy for a longer period of time.
Here are a few good bait options that you can use to lure crabs:
Clams are a meal of choice for many species of crabs. Using clam as bait is a wonderful choice as clams have a strong stench that can attract the crabs from a long distance. Plus, the clams are hard and make the crabs work hard for their meal. This way you get more time to possibly increase your catch.
Pieces of fish or whole fish serve as good bait. You can choose from any of the fish available, but salmon or shad work as the best baits. Just don’t forget to cut the fish up before lowering the trap to increase the “aroma” of the fish meat.
- Human food (chicken/turkey pieces)
Chicken meat, especially neck pieces make cheap and effective bait. You can get them readily from any store. Crabs are scavengers and chicken pieces serve as a carcass that resembles the smell of a crab’s natural diet. Chicken meat serves as good bait for species like the stone crab.
- Cat food
Well, cat food is not good bait, but in case you haven’t got anything to put up in that crab trap of yours you can use your furry friend’s meal to lure crabs. It won’t be as effective as the other baits, but in times of desperation, desperate measures need to be taken.
It is very important that while you are setting up traps for the crabs, you get caught yourself. Different states have different regulations for catching crabs. You need to be well aware of these regulations before you lower your trap. The regulations can have limitations so check for:
- The minimum allowable size of the crab to be caught.
- Types of traps that could be used. (in some states using automatic closing crab traps is illegal)
- Types of baits that could be used
- Areas where you can crab (do check before starting
- Any licenses required prior crabbing.
You are recommended to thoroughly go through the regulations prior to starting your crabbing activity in order to avoid any unforeseen results.
Where to get your Crab traps?
Planning your next crabbing activity soon? If yes then don’t forget to check out www.justforfishing.com and www.leefisherfishing.com. We provide quality crab traps that will surely enhance your catch. And not only this, we are your one stop shop for all sorts of fishing gear, in case you need to repair your traps or strengthen a damaged part we have all the solutions for you. So now sit back, relax and click the links (www.justforfishing.com, www.leefisherfishing.com) and you are all ready to start your crabbing day.