How To Catch Blue Crabs

Blue crab traps come in many shapes, sizes and designs but all of them have the same purpose and that is to catch as many blue crabs as possible. One thing that you do find with these traps over normal crab traps is that they almost all have as cage or wire wall to surround the crabs and stop them escaping.

Blue Crab Pots

Pots are a great and inexpensive choice for catching blue crabs. They’re light, easy to carry and very easy to use – simply cast the pot with the bait tray loaded up, wait 20 minutes and pull it up as fast as you can. You just need to make sure that the blue crabs can’t escape through the holes in the netting, which is why we recommend:

Protoco Economy Crab Ring

  • Steel frame.
  • Comes with a small screen bait box.
  • 28″ opening.
  • Holds 55 pounds.
  • Perfect for blue crabs.
  • Price:

This crab pot is an excellent choice to catch blue crabs. It’s wide opening, thick netting and is extremely deep allowing for great catches. The ring is made of stainless steel and, like the netting, is coated with polyethylene to prevent any corrosion.

If you’re a beginner, this is definitely the best option. Just be sure to pull up the trap as fast as you can to prevent any escapes.

  • Net is very thick and coated to prevent corrosion.
  • Very deep to prevent blue crabs from escaping.
  • Very inexpensive.
  • Comes with a baitbox.

  • Doesn’t come with a drop rope.
  • Bait cage can be tricky to open.

Step-By-Step Instructions

  1. Prepare your Crab Pot – Check your state fishing laws to avoid penalties and problems with authority prior to your crabbing expedition. Often, certain regions may not allow certain pots (depending on the size of its holes) for turtle protection and conservation of undersized crabs.
  2. Prepare the Bait – If you’re unsure which bait to use you can check out our page on the best bait for crabs.
  3. Prepare your Rope and a Buoy – See our page on crab floats for more information.
  4. Bait the Crab PotStuff whichever bait you’ve chosen into the bait box.
  5. Sink the Pot Crab in the Water – You may submerge it on the shore, off the deck, or while you’re on a boat.
  6. Check – Wait for 30 minutes after submerging your pot and check if there are crabs around. If there’s none, transfer to another area and do the process again. As a tip, crabs are usually found in areas with moving water, e.g. inlet and lagoons.

Blue Crab Traps

One of the most popular traps for catching blue crabs are the rectangle box traps that has a door on the side which opens up when the trap hits the bottom. You can find variations of this trap with multiple doors, I believe there is a three and four door version available. With some of the newer versions of the traps some don’t have a top which adds the advantage of being able to stack them one on top of the other.

Maryland Blue Crab Pot Trap

  • 13″x13″x24″
  • Vinyl coated to prevent corrosion.
  • Lightweight.
  • Price:

If you’re shopping for a box trap to catch blue crabs, this is probably your best bet. Keep in mind that unlike some other traps, this one won’t break down so transporting it is a bit bulkier. That being said it’s still quite light, and due to it’s vinyl coating it largely prevents any possible corrosion.

That being said, some people have reported difficulties using this over a pot. Some of the smaller crabs might slide through the holes in the cage or even exit through the entrance even while being pulled up.

  • Inexpensive.
  • Corrosion resistant.
  • Great for blue crabs.

  • Cannot be broken down.
  • Only one door.

Homemade Blue Crab Traps

You may have read online about homemade blue crab traps which seem a good idea on the surface but when you look into it in more detail you with find that they’re just not as good as a professional store bought crab traps and these we built with only one aim and that’s to catch as many crabs as they can.

So to sum up there are a few different types of blue crab traps but the all revolve around the same basic idea and that’s the closed in cage to keep the crabs in while you can freely leave them till you return.

Using A Drop Line

After initially testing the waters, and you find that there are plenty of crabs, you can drop a line to catch one at a time.

  1. Tie a 6-7 Foot Line to a Fishing Stick – Hook a bunker fish to the fishing hook, making sure it has a strong hold.
  2. Drop the Line into the Water – Once you feel a tug, pull the line slowly and check if there’s a crab hooked to your bait. Most crabs will be pinching the bunker bait, so a slow pull can prevent the crab from letting go.

Once you’ve successfully captured a bunch of blue claw crabs, always store them in a cooler to keep them fresh before you cook them. Also, it may be best if you cook them on the same day they were caught.

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