Crabbing – Your Complete Guide

Your complete guide to crabbing and the best places to go.

Crabbing is a classic english seaside activity that has delighted children and adults alike for generations. Attempting to catch crabs from piers, beaches, harbors and other coastal areas using a line with bait dangled into the water. When a crab takes the bait, you quickly pull up the line in hopes of landing your prized crustacean catch before releasing it back into the sea.

Everyone can enjoy crabbing! All you really need is a line, bait, a net or bucket, and a body of salt water teeming with crabs. It can turn an ordinary day at the beach or harbor into an interactive adventure of discovering marine life. Many coastal towns have crabbing supplies readily available and run crabbing competitions and festivals celebrating this beloved tradition. With its universal appeal across ages and its simple requirements, crabbing allows everyone to experience the excitement of crab fishing and connecting with the marine ecosystem right from shore.

Local shops sell buckets, baits and lines so if you haven’t brought your own supplies they’re easy enough to buy on the day.

Crabbing Equipment Needed

To go crabbing, you’ll need the following equipment:

  • A crab line or net with a weight on the end to sink it.
  • Bait like bacon, sardines, liver or chicken.
  • A bucket to hold the caught crabs, filled halfway with seawater.
  • A net to scoop up the crabs once on the line. – Crabbing gloves (optional) to protect your hands from pinches.

How to Catch Crabs

Find a good spot, like a pier or a rocky area near the water. Look for places where you can see crabs crawling around! When you’re ready, lower your string with the bait into the water. The crabs will smell the food and come to investigate. When a crab grabs the bait, you’ll feel a tug on your string! Slowly and carefully, start pulling up your string. The crab will hang on tight to the bait. When the crab is close to the surface, use your net to scoop it up and put it in your bucket. Be gentle with the crabs and don’t let them pinch you! If you catch a crab that’s too small or not the kind you want to keep, you can put it back in the water.

  • 1. Fill your bucket halfway with seawater
  • 2. Attach bait to the end of your line or net
  • 3. Lower the line gently into the water until it reaches the bottom
  • 4. Wait patiently for a crab to grab the bait, checking every 5-10 minutes
  • 5. When you feel a tug, slowly and steadily reel the line up
  • 6. Use your net to scoop the crab into your bucket as you bring it to the surface

So with the right equipment, a good location, and some patience, you’ll be catching crabs like a pro in no time! Crabbing is a fun activity for all ages to enjoy the UK coastline.

It’s a great beach for ‘crabbing’ – Best Locations

You can go crabbing all around the coast, where there are rocky areas, rock pools or piers and jetties. It goes without saying that parental supervision is required! Some of the best spots for crabbing in include:

  • – Cromer Pier in Norfolk
  • – Blakeney Quay in Norfolk
  • – Saundersfoot Harbour in Pembrokeshire
  • – Whitby Harbour in Yorkshire
  • – Whitstable Harbour in Kent
  • – Appledore Beach in Devon

World Crabbing Championships

Mark your calendar for the annual World Championship Crabbing competitions in Cromer and Appledore in August 2024. Bring your own crabbing gear, register on the day, and try to catch the most or largest crabs to be crowned the champion!

Having caught them you keep them alive in a bucket, get them weighed and the winner is the person with the heaviest beast. Then they all get put back in the water to live again until next year.

Cromer, Norfolk

The World Pier Crabbing Championships will be held in Cromer in Norfolk on the 25th August 2024 from 10:00am to 12:00pm at Cromer Pier.

To participate:

– Registration opens at 9:30am on the day of the event.

– Bring your own crab line or net to catch crabs from the pier.

– There are separate categories for most crabs caught on a line and most caught in a net/bucket.

– The overall winner receives the Richard Davies Plate for the largest crab caught.

Appledore, Devon

The World Championship Crabbing Contest takes place during the Appledore and Instow Regatta week in August 2024, held on the beach at Appledore in Devon.

To participate:

– Register at 5:00pm on Friday, August 2nd, 2024.

– The contest starts at 5:30pm on the beach.

– Aim to catch as many crabs as possible during the allotted time using crab lines or nets.

Happy Crabbing

Crabbing is a great way to spend a day at the beach. You can see all kinds of cool crabs, like big ones, small ones, and even ones with different colors! It’s like a treasure hunt, but instead of treasure, you find crabs!

So grab your bucket and net, find a good spot, and get ready to catch some crabs! It’s a fun adventure for the whole family.

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