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πŸ¦€ Top 5 Bait Cages for Crabbing

If you want to attract crabs to your trap you’ll definitely need a bait cage. Simply clipping or tying a piece of bait to the cage isn’t particularly effective as it allows the crabs or other sea life to steal the bait right from the pot. A cage on the other hand ensures your bait will last much longer while still enticing the crabs to congregate around your trap.



Our Top Overall Pick




ImageNameFeaturesPrice
Beau-Mac's Bait Cage
  • Dimensions: 8" x 6" x 4"
  • Extra small mesh to prevent the bait from leaving the cage.
  • Corrosion resistant vinyl coating.
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Promar Wire Bait Cage
  • Dimensions: 6" x 6" x 3"
  • Steel construction.
  • Vinyl coating.
  • Door is opened/closed with rubber band and wire clamp.
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Danielson Bait Cage
  • Dimensions: 8" x 6" x 5"
  • Made of steel wire.
  • Coated in vinyl to prevent corrosion.
  • Rubber band for opening/closing cage.
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KUFA Vinyl Coated Wire Bait Cage
  • Dimensions: 7" x 6" x 4"
  • Wire is coated in vinyl to stop corrosion.
  • Significantly less expensive than the other options.
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Protoco Bait Box
  • Dimensions: 5" x 5" x 2"
  • Much smaller than other boxes on the market.
  • Orange polyethylene coating prevents corrosion.
  • Metal closing attachment.
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Top 5 Best Bait Cages for Crabbing

1. Beau-Mac’s Bait Cage – Best for Small Mesh Holes

Features:
  • Dimensions: 8″ x 6″ x 4″
  • Extra small mesh to prevent the bait from leaving the cage.
  • Corrosion resistant vinyl coating.

Unlike the other options on this list, the Beau-Mac cage boasts extra small mesh holes to prevent crabs from stealing your bait. The cage itself is quite large but the extra small mesh ensure that even smaller baits won’t be able to escape through the holes. The cage itself is vinyl coated to prevent corrosion and the door is held closed by a clampable elastic string.

The extra small holes also mean you can keep reusing the same baits over and over again with minimal loss. It also means you can use much smaller baits without worrying about them leaking through the mesh. Just be sure to bring some zip ties with you to keep the door closed as the elastic string isn’t the most reliable way to prevent some bait poachers from gaining access.

Pros
  • The mesh holes are much smaller than the other bait cages on the market.
  • Significantly larger than the average bait cage.
  • Smaller baits won’t leak through the holes.

Cons
  • Door closing mechanism is a bit weak, zip ties are recommended for keeping it closed.

Buy at Amazon.com

2. Promar Wire Bait Cage – Best for Blue Crabs

Features:
  • Dimensions: 6″ x 6″ x 3″
  • Steel construction.
  • Vinyl coating.
  • Door is opened/closed with rubber band and wire clamp.

Promar is a trusted manufacturer of many crabbing products and this bait cage even comes with some of the traps they sell. Measuring at 6 inches by 6 inches and 3 inches high, this vinyl coated steel cage has an easy to open side door that is double reinforced with both a rubber band and a wire clamp.

The size itself is perfect for most recreational pots but keep in mind you might run into troubles with sea lions. They can get pretty aggressive with the cage and while it won’t bend or break, they can sometimes get the door open and steal your bait. While the double reinforced closing mechanism helps prevent this it isn’t quite foolproof and persistent seals may get through it.

While this cage works great for recreational traps it may be a bit small for the larger commercial pots. For the average crabber it’s the perfect size and you can be sure it won’t easily bend or break under most circumstances.

Pros
  • Won’t bend or break.
  • Vinyl coating prevents the steel from corroding.
  • The opening is double reinforced with both a rubber band and a wire clamp.
  • Inexpensive.

Cons
  • May be a bit too small for larger traps.
  • Seals can sometimes get the cage open and steal the bait.

Buy at Amazon.com

3. Danielson Bait Cage – Best for Large Crab Pots

Features:
  • Dimensions: 8″ x 6″ x 5″
  • Made of steel wire.
  • Coated in vinyl to prevent corrosion.
  • Rubber band for opening/closing cage.

This cage is quite a bit larger than most of the other options on the market. If you’re looking for the largest bait cage on the market then this is the choice for you. At 8″ by 6″ by 5″, the Danielson works best in either large recreational or commercial crab pots or for larger bait varieties. The opening is held together by a simple rubber band though so you may want to add an additional wire wrap to prevent seals from getting in.

Like most bait cages on the market, this one is built from steel and coated in vinyl to prevent corrosion. The mesh grid wire offers about 7/8″ clearance so the crabs should be able to get to the bait without stealing it from the cage.

It’s still strongly recommended that you bring zip ties just in case as the rubber bands that hold the door closed aren’t super reliable. Zip ties are a great disposable way of making sure crabs and seals don’t manage to get the cage open to steal the bait.

Pros
  • Perfect for larger baits and crab traps.
  • Corrosion resistant vinyl coating.

Cons
  • May require zip ties to reliably keep the cage closed as the rubber bands aren’t reliable.
  • The cage occasionally comes apart but can be repaired with zip ties.

Buy at Amazon.com

4. KUFA Vinyl Coated Wire Bait Cage – Best for Budget Shoppers

Features:
  • Dimensions: 7″ x 6″ x 4″
  • Wire is coated in vinyl to stop corrosion.
  • Significantly less expensive than the other options.

Bait cages themselves aren’t particularly expensive but if you’re looking to save money then this is the choice for you. KUFA makes a variety of high quality crabbing equipment including traps and pots and their bait cage is no different. Made of the standard vinyl coated steel, this box has a metal hook connected to an elastic piece of rubber to hold the bait cage closed while in use.

Despite only having a single mechanism to hold the door closed, it’s actually quite effective. The elastic string is quite short and the hook large which makes it both stronger and tighter than other options.

The real selling point of this cage is it’s priced – you really won’t find a higher quality alternative at this price point anywhere else.

Pros
  • Cheapest option on the market.
  • Strong elastic hook to open/close the cage.
  • Corrosion resistant via a vinyl coating.

Cons
  • The mesh holes are a bit large and can cause some bait leakage.

Buy at Amazon.com

5. Protoco Bait Box – Best for Smaller Baits

Features:
  • Dimensions: 5″ x 5″ x 2″
  • Much smaller than other boxes on the market.
  • Orange polyethylene coating prevents corrosion.
  • Metal closing attachment.

While the Protoco bait cage is much smaller than the alternatives it makes up for it by having an excellent opening and closing attachment. Rather than going with the standard elastic band, this cage has a metal attachment that prevents even persistent sea lions from snagging your bait.

Coated in a bright orange polyethylene that prevents corrosion, this box is great if you plan on using smaller baits as the mesh holes and the cage itself is much smaller than others.

It is a bit expensive though and unfortunately the construction quality isn’t the highest. Still, if you’re specifically in the market for a smaller cage that has a high quality closing mechanism then this is the choice for you.

Pros
  • High quality metal closing mechanism.
  • Bright orange polyethylene coating for corrosion prevention.
  • Smaller mesh holes prevents bait from leaking out.

Cons
  • Not the highest quality construction.
  • Significantly more expensive than the other options on the list.

Buy at Amazon.com

Conclusion

Of the 5 bait cages on this list, we would suggest the Beau-Mac’s Bait Cage as it’s the best all-around bait cage for the money.

That isn’t to say it’s the best for specific purposes, though. For instance we recommend the Protoco Bait Box for smaller baits and the Danielson Bait Cage for large crab pots, just to name a few.

Buyer’s Guide

There is a great deal of variety among bait cages and it’s worth comparing the requisite features before making a purchase. That’s why we wrote this buyer’s guide so you can determine which elements are most important before you buy a bait cage.

Attaching the Bait Cage to a Crab Pot

While some of the cages may come with attachments that allow you to clip the box directly onto the pot, others may require you to zip tie them. It’s always a good idea to bring some zip ties when crabbing as if the worst happens and the cage breaks or comes apart you can easily fix it with a couple spare zip ties. And when you’re done you can just snip the tie and easily remove the cage!

Preventing Corrosion

Almost all bait cages are coated in either vinyl or polyethylene to prevent corrosion. It’s definitely a requirement as untreated steel tends to corrode very quickly under the harsh sea conditions. Check the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure that they’re resistant to corrosion in one way or another.

Dimensions

The dimensions of the cage itself are very important depending on which bait you choose and where you plan on using it. Larger baits like raw fish may require a larger cage whereas you can make due with a much smaller box if you opt to use cut up pieces of chicken. You should also consider where you plan on using the cage as the larger pots work much better with larger boxes and vice versa.

Mesh Hole Sizes

The larger the mesh holes the more likely it is that your baits will leak out preventing loss. On the other hand, if the holes are too small it may prevent the crabs from getting to the bait and they’ll move on to forage for something else. For larger Dungeness crabs you’ll want bigger mesh holes whereas blue crabs can make due with much smaller holes.

Closing Mechanism

There’s a lot of variety among bait cages concerning their opening/closing mechanism. The standard is an elastic or rubber band that hooks into the side of the cage to prevent access. The problem with these is that very persistent ocean life like seals can sometimes manage to get them open and steal the bait inside. This is where zip ties can help – if you’re really concerned about them stealing your bait you can just zip tie it closed and you’ll be sure it’ll last.

Warranty

Be sure to check whether or not the manufacturer offers a warranty on the item you intend to purchase. While Amazon should cover broken or defective items upon delivery, it’s up to the manufacturer as to whether they will provide a replacement after it’s been used. Compare different bait cage sellers to see if any of them will offer replacements in the event it breaks from normal use.

Return Policy

Even if everything works properly, you may discover you’ve ordered the wrong bait cage for your needs which may require a return. Be sure to check with the vendor before purchasing to see if they will allow a return and if so, under what circumstances.

Shipping

Shipping is easily one of the most annoying costs associated with making online purchases. Be sure to compare the shipping costs to your location prior to making a purchase so you don’t end up spending more than you bargained for.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which bait cage is the cheapest?

If you’re shopping for the lowest priced bait cage you can find then we recommend the KUFA Vinyl Coated Wire Bait Cage. Of all the bait cages we’ve reviewed, none of the others can beat it’s price.

Which baits should you use in a bait cage?

There are lots of viable options: raw fish, chicken parts or even dog food can work in a pinch. The general rule is that the smellier it is the more effective it is at attracting crabs. You can also use a variety of crab attractants to increase the quantity of crabs that wander into your trap. For more information, see our bait page.

How do you attach the bait cage to a crab pot?

Some boxes come with little attachments that allow you to hook directly onto the wire or netting. If they don’t include attachments you can use a couple zip ties to fasten the cage directly onto the trap.

How do you fix a broken bait cage?

Zip ties are a really easy way to easily fix a broken bait cage. Whether it’s a broken opening attachment or even an entire side falling off, it can be easily fixed with a couple well-placed zip ties.

Further Reading