Kayak Crabbing

Kayak Crabbing Tips | Catch More Crabs from Your Kayak

Kayaking is also a rewarding activity that can be enjoyed by anglers of all skill levels. Not only does it provide a fun way to spend time on the water, but it can also produce a delicious harvest. However, catching crabs from a kayak requires a different approach than traditional angling methods.

Here are some important tips on how to move your kayak sideways so you can catch more crabs and make the most of your time on the water.

Choosing the Right Gear for Kayak Crabbing 

Choosing the Right Gear for Kayak Crabbing 

Choosing the right equipment for kayaking is essential to ensuring a successful and enjoyable experience. Here are some factors to consider when choosing equipment:

  • Side Trap: A crab trap is essential for kayaking. It can be a collapsible trap that is easy to store and transport. Be sure to check the side size and regulations in your area to make sure you are using a trap that is within the legal size limit.
  • Crinkle Gloves: Crinkle gloves help protect your hands from cuts and pinches when handling crabs. They also provide a better grip on the sides of the trap and crabs.
  • Fishing Line and Buoy: You will need fishing lines and buoys to mark the location of your crab catch. Choose a buoy that can be seen from a distance, and make sure the line is strong enough to support the weight of the trap and crabs.
  • Paddle: A strong and reliable paddle is essential for maneuvering a kayak in the water.
  • Personal Flotation Device (PFD): Always wear a PFD while paddling, as it can save your life in case of an accident.

Understanding the Best Time and Place to Crab from Your Kayak

Understanding the Best Time and Place to Crab from Your Kayak

The best time and place to retrieve crab from a kayak depends on the tide, the weather, and the type of crab you are after. Generally, the best time for crabbing is during low tide, when the crabs are more exposed and easier to catch. Look for sandy or muddy areas where crabs are more likely to congregate.

Bait and Lure Options for Kayak Crabbing

For bait and lures, consider using chicken necks, fish heads, or other types of shellfish. You can also use artificial bait, such as soft plastic bait or jigs, to attract crabs. Experiment with different baits and lures to see what works best for your target crab species. 

Techniques to catch more crabs from a kayak

Techniques to catch more crabs from a kayak
  • Drop the trap in places where there are many crabs, such as near docks or pilings. 
  • Use slow and steady paddling to avoid spooking the crabs.  
  • Keep your trap filled with fresh bait and check it regularly. 
  •  Use a net or crab gloves to handle the crabs carefully so they don’t get crushed.

Safety Precautions to Keep in Mind While Kayak Crabbing

Safety Precautions to Keep in Mind While Kayak Crabbing
  • Wear a life jacket: Always wear a properly fitting flotation device (PFD) or life jacket when paddling, especially when paddling. It is important to make sure the PFD fits you well and is properly secured. 
  • Carry safety equipment: You should carry safety equipment such as a whistle, marker mirror, flashlight, and first aid kit. These items can be very useful in an emergency. 
  • Check the weather. Check the weather forecast before you head out. Avoid going sideways in strong winds or rough water, as this can be dangerous for the kayak.  
  • Use the right gear. Use a kayak that can fit sideways. Kayaks with a wider bottom are usually more stable and suitable for moving sideways. Also make sure your equipment is in good working order, including your paddle, anchor, and side gear.  
  • Be aware of your surroundings: Always be aware of your surroundings and be aware of other boats or kayaks in the area. Avoid heavy traffic and always follow the rules and regulations relating to waterways

Cleaning and Storing Your Crabbing Gear After a Successful Trip

Congratulations on a successful crabbing trip! After a day on the water, it’s important to properly clean and store your gear so it lasts for future trips. Here are some steps you can take. 

  • Rinse the side gear thoroughly with fresh water to remove any salt, sand, or debris that may have accumulated during the trip. This is especially important for items such as crab traps and nets. 
  • If necessary, use a mild soap or detergent to clean the device. Remember to wash it thoroughly afterward.  
  • Allow your equipment to dry completely before storing it. Hang nets and traps in a well-ventilated area to dry and distribute gloves, boots, and other items. Avoid storing wet gear as this can lead to mold and mildew. 
  • Check your gear for damage or wear. Repair or replace broken or damaged parts before your next trip.  Store your devices in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. Store traps and nets in a covered area to prevent them from collecting dust and debris.  
  • Consider storing equipment on its side in a large plastic container or container with a lid. This helps keep everything organized and prevents things from getting lost or damaged. 

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your gear stays in good condition and is ready for your next successful trip.


What is the best condition for crabbing?

The best side jump depends on the type of crab you are targeting, but in general, it is ideal to do a side jump during the tide when the water is deeper and the crabs are more active. Crayfish also feed more in the early morning or late afternoon. 

What is the best time to go crabbing?

 It is important to remember that the best baits and additional conditions can vary by location and time of year. To ensure a successful side trip, it’s always a good idea to do your research and ask the locals for advice before you go.

What is the best bait for paddle crab?

 The best bait for paddle crabs is usually small pieces of fish such as anchovies, anchovies, or squid. Soft shell crab or chicken necks are also good as bait. 

What is the best bait for blue swimmer crabs?

The best bait for blue swimmer crabs is often a chicken neck or a fish head. Other effective baits are fish waste, squid, or shrimp heads. 


Kayak Crabbing, or “Crabbing” for short, is not for everyone. But for those who love the thrill of catching a live crab in the kayak and then playing around with the crab in the water, it’s a dream come true.

And for those who are serious about it, here’s a little advice to help you do your best in the sport. I’ll teach you everything you need to know to catch the best crabs, from the best crabbing locations to the best kayaks.

Kayak Crabbing in New Jersey
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