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🦀 Oregon Crabbing: Regulations, Season & Locations

Oregon is fortunate to have plenty of juicy and luscious crab, so it is so common for people to take crabbing trips there. Crabbing season lasts pretty much all year throughout Oregon which makes it an ideal location to catch Dungeness crabs.

However, for a successful crabbing trip, there are so many things you need to consider before you head out. It is essential to know how, where, and when to ensure a successful trip.

Recommended Crabbing Equipment

Crab Trap

Promar Heavy Duty Crab Pot w/ Complete Rigging

  • Made of vinyl coated steel.
  • Three separate crab entrances.
  • Comes with 100 foot lead line PVC float.
  • Excellent for Dungeness, Rock & Stone Crabs.
  • Escape Ring Size: 4.25 inches each.

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Crab Snare

AirFly Custom Made Crab Snare

  • Cage Dimensions: 4″ x 2″ x 1″
  • Snare Loops: 6
  • 16 gauge vinyl coated steel cage.
  • Two extra crab snare loops.
  • Weighs about 6 ounces.

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Dip Net

Ed Cumings Aluminum Crab Net

  • Handle Length: 56-92 inches.
  • Net Depth: 16″
  • Bow Size: 13.5″ x 14″
  • Aluminum bows & polyethylene netting.
  • Very lightweight.

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Crabbing Gloves

SHOWA Atlas Crabbing Glove

  • Size: S, M, L, XL, XXL
  • Colors: Blue
  • Comes in pack of 12 pairs.
  • 12″ long waterproof cuff.
  • Excellent grip for wet and greasy conditions.

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Crab Measuring Gauge

Crab Measuring Gauge

  • Great for Dungeness, Red Rock & Blue Crab
  • Quick pre-marked indicators for 5, 6 and 6 1/4 inches.

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First and foremost, you should make sure that you have the necessary equipment ready for crabbing. But do not worry; crabbing is a very simple activity that requires minimal gear and expertise. One of the simplest ways to catch a crab is by using a dip net or using a fishing line with a crab snare. But to catch a bunch of crab at once, you can use a crab trap.

Crab traps are wire cages that are attached to a long rope. You can also use different types of traps, such as the crab rings, pyramid traps, etc.

Moreover, if you don’t have crabbing gears of your own, you can easily rent it from the coastal towns.


The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has certain crabbing regulations:

  • To harvest crabs or other shellfish, Oregon requires you to have a shellfish license.
  • According to Oregon crabbing rules, a single person can have about three crab rings, pots, or lines.
  • For those crabbers using boats, they must make sure to mark all of their buoys. The markings should be with your first and last name, and phone number or permanent address or boat identification number and such sort. The marking is essential so that you can easily make out which pots are yours.
  • Oregon’s state also has a daily crab limit to 12 male crabs of about 5 and 3/4 inches minimum, measuring right across the back. And for other crab species, such as the red rock crabs, you can harvest 24 of any sex and any size.


The prime season for crabbing in Oregon State is the latter part of the year, i.e., late summer through the early winter. You will notice that crabs are usually filled up with good quality meat by the beginning of September.
Crabbing is also very popular during the summertime solely because the Oregon coast has good weather, making it ideal for any summertime activities.

Furthermore, if we talk about catching crabs’ best tides, it is best during slack tide periods. Because crabs tend to bury themselves during tidal exchanges but walk around at slack water as they are less affected.


You are most likely to find crabs in every river mouth of Oregon. But some spots will provide you with better crabbing opportunities, regardless of when you go.

Let’s have a look at some of the Oregon coast’s best crabbing locations:


You’ll have several options if you go crabbing in the Yaquina Bay Area. You will find both the red rock crabs and Dungeness in Newport at Abbey Street Pier and the Bay Street Pier.

Also, a public Pier crabbing near the Rogue Brewery will provide you with an abundance of Dungeness crab, especially during the summer and fall. You can find red rock crab in this location throughout the year.

Tillamook Bay

Garibaldi, a tiny town in Tillamook Bay, makes another best spot for crabbing. Most crabbers will start from the End Coast Guard dock of the pier as it is an ideal place to drop your pots for crab. Once you leave your pots in the water, you can wander around the Garibaldi town’s historical structures or hike to Tillamook’s head to kill time.

Coos Bay

Coos Bay is Oregon’s largest bay that offers promising opportunities year-round, but it is best during fall and winter for most abundance.

In lower Coos Bay, the west of the navigational channel makes excellent crabbing spots for boaters. And for dock crabbing, you can access any piers in Empire and Charleston.

Siuslaw River

In the summer to early winters, you will find Dungeness crab in abundance here. The Siuslaw River flows past Florence city, and the public dock along its waterfront offers an ideal spot for dock crabbing.

And boaters can enjoy the best crabbing opportunity at the west of the Highway 101 Bridge.

Coquille River

You will find some of Oregon’s best dock crabbing on the Coquille River, which is north of the Bandon city because the water is saltier there, which the crabs like. Here you will have easy access to both Red Rock crab and Dungeness crab.

The Coquille River lighthouse, which is in the Bullards Beach State Park, is a beautiful local attraction you can enjoy to pass your time.

How To Catch Crabs In Oregon

Crabbing is an effortless pursuit. Once you have your gear ready, you will need to bait it before dropping it in the water. You can use pretty much any meat as bait, like chicken, turkey, fish carcass, clams, etc.

Now, to secure your crab bait, you can use any method you wish. However, to avoid sea lions, seals, and other fishes from eating your bait, you should use a bait cage so that they can’t get to it easily.

Boat And Dock Crabbing

In Oregon, boat and dock crabbing is how crabbers usually catch crabs. While crabbing in the dock is easy and more accessible, you are more likely to catch more crabs from a boat as there is less competition. Also, boat crabbing allows crabbers to spread their gear across a wider area.

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you are crabbing from a boat:

  • Make sure that your gear is outside of navigational channels. As you set your gear, space them out far enough from each other. This way, you don’t end up competing with yourselves.
  • Allow your pots 30 to 40 minutes in the water, or about 10 to 20 minutes if you use rings for crabbing.
  • Whereas, if you are crabbing from the dock-
  • You must tie the line to the dock or pier before throwing it in the water.
  • Once secured, you can throw your pot or ring in the water.
  • For a crab pot, allow it about 30 to 40 minutes. But 10-20 minutes should be enough for crab rings.
  • Once they are ready, you can retrieve it by pulling it up as quickly as possible to avoid losing crabs on its way up.

Crabbing in Oregon State is an exciting and delicious activity you can get used to. With all the vital information about crabbing mentioned above, or as available in the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, you can plan the trip accordingly.
This article has listed all the things you will need to check on for crabbing in Oregon to ensure a successful trip.

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