The Essential Crabbing Equipment List

Whether it is your first time crabbing or not, this list will provide you with some helpful items that will definitely come in handy for your crabbing adventure.


A knife will almost always come in handy. You may need to cut some extra rope, cut a zip tie, cut out a bait pouch from burlap, who knows! I guarantee you will end up needing a knife at some point while crabbing.


Rope can be used to extend a crab line, which you may very well need to do when crabbing at a new location. You may not know exactly how high the pier is, and may need a longer line for your trap. Rope can also be use for many miscellaneous applications, and is pretty handy to have around.

Zip Ties

Zip ties are a quick and easy way to secure things together. They can be useful in securing bait cages to your trap, among other uses.


Extra burlap and netting can be used to make a bait pouch with the use of zip ties or rope. You can cut out a square of burlap, add bait to the center, and tie the burlap into a pouch. I have had seals steal my bait cages many times, and you don’t want to be stuck out there with no way to attach bait to your trap. Being able to make your own bait pouches can save your crabbing day.


Pulling up traps all day can give you some nasty rope burn. Handling crabs can also lead to getting pinched or poked by incredibly sharp legs. Having a pair of heavy duty gloves can protect your hands from any danger. Bring a pair and thank me later.

Hand Sanitizer

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m not a huge fan of touching bait fish that has been sitting in the sun for hours and then not washing my hands. At many piers, clean bathrooms do not exist, and your hands may be disgusting by the end of the day. Hand sanitizer can help you keep somewhat clean and allow you to safely eat a snack.

Food and Water

Many times, I’ve forgotten to bring snacks and drinks when crabbing. It’s not a fun experience. Make sure you are not dehydrated and hungry, especially if you are crabbing all day.

Rocks/Weights (~1 lb)

Rocks can make or break your crabbing experience. In some locations, the surf is very rough, and the waves will bounce your crab trap around, which makes it very hard for crabs to crawl in. Throwing a rock or two into your crab trap can help anchor it to the bottom, allowing crabs to easily find your bait. I typically look around the pier for rocks, but sometimes you might have to wander for a while before you find any.


You need to store crabs somehow, and the easiest way is to use a bucket. You can easily fill a bucket with water by tying it to the end of your rope and lowering it into the water. The crabs will stay alive in the water until you are ready to cook them.

Crab Gauge

You need to be able to accurately measure the size of your crabs. You can only keep crabs larger than 4 inches from tip to tip on their shell. A crab gauge allows you to accurately measure a crab’s size.

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