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Crab Bait! The best bait for catching crabs

Crab Bait! The best bait for catching crabs

Best crabbing tips you’ll find

Many people are thinking: What’s the best type of bait I should use for crabbing? Especially if you are going crabbing for the first time, it is hard to decide what kind of bait to use.

There are various answers to this question, but we will break it down so that it’s nice and understandable.

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How do crabs detect their food?

Crabs have a terrific sense of smell, which enables them to find their food easily.

They use their sense of smell to find food that they’ll be digging or snatching with their claws as the food passes them.

Given that crabs employ their sense of smell to find food, it would stand to reason that using piquant bait would be an excellent way to attract crabs.


Offshore or Boat?

Many people are asking if there is a difference between the bait for crabbing on a boat or the one they would use for offshore hunts.

It actually does not matter at all.

The best bait you put in crab traps is still the best, whether you throw them off the shore or a boat.

Fascinate Their Sense of Smell

As mentioned earlier, their sense of smell is incredible. You can end up with a cage full of crabs if you use the right bait the correct way.

Mostly, the crucial thing to understand is that blue crabs and Dungeness crabs will, in essence, eat anything. This means that you could hypothetically use almost any food type, whether it is fresh or rotten, to use as bait. Since most people dislike to waste fresh food or groceries for bait, there are other options.

The following is a list of widespread types of bait. You may ask yourself– what do blue crabs eat? The best options are chicken legs, chicken necks, squid, and bunker.

crabs 1

1) Chicken Necks

Chicken necks are not pleasing to the eye and are rarely used for cooking unless you are a skilled cook. Some people use it to make soup, and someone might save it for their pet. In crabbing, chicken necks are a terrific form of bait because they are broadly available.

You’ll find them in most grocery stores (especially those near the bay) and they are very cheap. At some places, the store might even have a section just for bait itself, where they will have chicken necks or oddments of some kind from the butcher shop.

2) Chicken Legs

Just like chicken necks, chicken legs are broadly available in most grocery stores or butcher shops you can find. Sometimes you can find super cheap chicken meat that is half-priced or even lower because the expiration date is getting close.

This is the ideal time to grab them and use them for bait. (Crabs don’t ask about the expiration date). Depending on how long you are out there crabbing, you can even reuse them in certain cases if you don’t mind getting a little dirty handling the wet meat which has hovered over the bottom of the sea!

Simply re-bag them and store them in a freezer (have a separate freezer for used meat) until the next time you head out crabbing.

crabs 4

3) Razor clams

Crabs also adore razor clams, and they can find them in nature. They are essential in most crabs’ diets.

Many people that have crabbing experience think that the chicken parts get more attention because the crabs can’t resist them. The chicken parts, as you know, are not found in the wild, so they seem more enticing to the crabs.

Even crabs that have finished off a big meal can be lured by chicken parts.

Using razor clams as bait, of course, is a great option, but if you are crabbing in an area that is rich in clams, the crabs will show less interest.

4) Bunker

Probably the most usual type of crab bait is bunker. You’ll see numerous people come to the dock with some fish heads, tails, and other stinky body parts that appear to be chopped to pieces.

Each trap only needs a tiny portion, so you won’t be needing to put the entire fish into the trap. Ideally, some guts should be hanging out with some blood in the water. If you’re nauseous, this hobby might not be for you!

Almost every bait shop should have bunker, so if you happen to spot one before going to your local grocery store, it might be the cheapest and easiest way.

crabs 3

5) Mink Carcass

I know most people don’t like Mink carcass but be sure it also does wonders as crab bait. In some places like Oregon, mink carcass is broadly used as bait. A significant advantage of using mink carcasses as bait is, they are very oily and smelly.

You might wonder, how is being smelly an advantage? Well, we humans might not like the odor, but crabs just love it. And since our goal is to get as many crabs as possible, we have to sacrifice a little.

As mentioned before, mink carcass is oily; the oil leftovers travel through the water and lure large crabs from various places. But when you plan on touching this carcass, make sure you wear gloves; otherwise, your entire hand will get stinky.

6) Cat food

Some people use cat food as bait. This may not be your go-to choice, but it has proven to be effective. The residue oozes in the water and attracts crabs from the nearby area.

As for fish, the crabs will eat any type of fish there is:

  • Bluefish
  • Tuna
  • Eel
  • Shark
  • Sea Bass
  • Flounder
  • Wahoo
  • Sardines
  • Lady Fish
  • Mullet

Final words

We’ve come to the end of our article, and by now, you should have learned what type of bait your crab buddies will like the most.

Using any of the bait mentioned above types will bring tremendous results. If you are able, try all of them and see what works best in your area.

Good luck, sailor!

Other Questions

What's the best time to go crabbing?

The best time to go crabbing is actually pretty easy to answer – as long as you don’t mind when you go out and when you come back.

That’s because you always want to go crabbing at night, when the crabs are most active. Traps are more likely to catch crabs if they’re left in the water overnight, since crabs tend to move around more during the night.


What time do crabs come out at night?

If you’re trying to catch crabs, you’ll need to know what time of day they come out at night. Crabs are nocturnal, which means they are active in the early hours of the night.

To ensure you don’t miss out on capturing your dinner, keep an eye on the sky for the tell-tale bright light of the moon, which will indicate the time you need to start looking for crabs to come out of their dens and start scavenging for food.


Is crabbing better at night?

 Crabbing is a popular activity on beaches around the world. Starting in the evening, people set up traps to catch crabs, which can then be eaten or turned into crab bait. Crabs are most active at night, so it makes sense that crabbing is popular at night. But is it better?

That depends on who you ask. Some people say there is more light at night. They say it is easier to see the crabs, and get a better view of their claws, which are often used to fight. However, it's not just about light; some people say that at night there are fewer people on the beach, which means you have less competition.

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