Crabbing is an enjoyable pastime full of fun and adventure and perfect for a relaxing day. And when you are in a beautiful place like Louisiana, which is the top supplier of live crabs in the Southern states, you can consider it a crabbing haven. The warm summer months and the rich wetlands make Louisiana an attraction spot for crabbing.
The advantages of this activity are that you get to polish your crabbing techniques and get fresh, organic, and delicious crab meat. You don’t have to be a pro crabber to go crabbing, just some basic stuff, and good company. But there are several guidelines and essential info that you should be aware of before crabbing in the state of Louisiana.
Let us look into some information regarding crabbing in Louisiana.
Recommended Crabbing Equipment
Crab Measuring Gauge
Blue crabs are available all year round, but you will have to remove your crab traps during closures. This restriction helps to clean up derelict crab traps. You cannot do any activity for serviceable crab traps in public water after one hour of sunset until one hour of sunrise.
The availability of crabs depends on the season when you are crabbing. The perfect months are from April to September when the season is warm; as the temperature starts dropping, the catch of blue crabs also goes down.
The live hard-shell crabs are available all year round, but they are abundant in the warmer months when feeding activity increases. Softshell crabs are hard to find when temperatures go below 50°c.
The perfect season to go crabbing in the state is during the summer months from May to September. The peak months are June, July, and August. You can harvest crabs all year round, but their availability may not be the same, like summer months.
Size & Catch Limitations
- There is no limitation to the minimum extent of crabs caught, such as stone crab claws, blue crabs, and stone crabs. So, you can fish any size of crabs that you get your hands on.
- But if you are trying to get blue crabs, then there is a fixed limit to how much you can fish. Each person can take only 12 dozen crabs per day.
- There is also a restriction on harvesting adult female crabs who are in their berry stage where they may carry eggs or the young ones in their abdomen. If you find such crabs, then immediately return them to the water source.
- There is also no restriction on possession or size limit of stone crabs or stone crab claws. After you remove the stone crab claws, please return them to the water immediately.
- The limitations and regulations may be different for particular WMA, State, or Federal refuges. Always check with the local LDWF office to know about the latest rules and regulations regarding crabbing.
Best Crabbing Locations
These are some of the best locations in Louisiana where you can go crabbing with family and friends. Each one of these spots is amidst nature and will give you the best crabbing experience.
- Sabine National Wildlife Refuge, Hackberry.
- Lake Pontchartrain.
- Grand Isle State Park.
- Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge at Grand Chenier.
- Creole Nature Trail at Lake Charles.
- Wetland Watchers Park.
- Cypremore Point State Park.
- Rutherford Beach.
- Bonecarre Spillway in LaPlace.
Crabbers that flock the waters of Louisiana especially look for the Atlantic Blue Crab, the Ornate Blue crab, or the Lesser Blue crabs. This state has the most massive production of hard blue crabs in the entire country.
Permits and Licenses:
If you are crabbing in Louisiana using crab nets or lines for recreational purposes, you don’t need any license.
But if you are crabbing in the LDWF WMAS and refuges, you need to have a Basic Fishing License. You can also make use of your Wild Louisiana Stamp.
You should have a Basic Fishing License and Recreational Crab Trap License so that you can legally use your crab traps.
Best Crabbing Method
For harvesting blue crabs and stone crabs, you can use trawl, dip net, handline, crab snares, crab trap, or drop net. Commercial crabbers can use Skimmer nets and Butterfly nets during the open season. For inside water crabbing, trawls are available during the open season to catch shrimps, but the mesh sides should be of standard size.
WDLF areas and other refuges may have their own set of gear restrictions.
Crabbers can use any area of their area preference, such as piers or beaches. Sometimes they also move out in boats to harvest away from the shore.
A crab trap is a box made of wires in the shape of a cube that is not more than 30 inches on the sides with covers for peeler crabs and a bait box. The traps should have at least three escape rings measuring 2-3.8 inches for the upper chambers. You can attach the crab trap to a trotline, whose one side should be on a non-floating line and a visible float.
Each trap must have the owner’s fisherman license number to show ownership to the authorities. Every trap on the trotline needs to be under the jurisdiction of LDWF.
If the stone crab traps have not been in use for some time, the owners should remove them and dispose of them accordingly. Only the owners or their agents have the right to remove or destroy serviceable traps or floating.
You cannot place traps in the entrance of streams or navigable channels so that vessels can pass easily.
The Tchefuncte River does not allow any crab traps. There can be additional restrictions on crab traps usage, which you can clarify with the LDWF office to abide by the rules.
If you have still not given a shot at crabbing, then this may be a perfect opportunity for you. All you need will be some crabbing equipment and the right spot for the crab harvesting. It is an ideal activity for a day with family or friends.