Fish Species Spotlight:Dungeness Crab and Rock CrabDungeness CrabDungeness Crab is the most common crab found in supermarkets on the west coat. To some they resemble the taste and texture of a Lobster. They are widely sought after by both land and boat anglers on their quest to fill their crab nets, pots, and traps. Dungeness CrabDungeness Crab Habitat: Dungeness Crabs are most commonly found at depths from twenty to three hundred feet deep, and in rare instances as deep as seven hundred feet deep. They are most commonly found on sandy and mud bottoms. They like to live in eelgrass beds in bays. Estuaries, which are the area where the ocean meets the mouth of a river, are an important part of their life cycle and they inhabit all of these areas between Morro Bay and Puget Sound, Washington. They also like sandy shore beaches, and will go up into the bay. Dungeness are a type of scavenger that will eat almost anything, but their food of choice is clams, other crustaceans and small fish.Dungeness Crab Habitat: •20 to 300 Feet Deep•Sandy and Mud Bottoms•Live in Eelgrass Beds in Bays•Inhabit Areas Where the Ocean Meets the Mouth of a River•Sandy Shore Beaches•Bays and Jetty’sCatch and Cook Delicious Dungeness Crab on the RocksFishing for Dungeness CrabsDungeness crabs are typically taken with hoop nets, crab traps, and a method that is getting more popular is the use of crab snares. Methods for Dungeness Crab Fishing•Hoop Nets•Crab Traps•Crab SnaresCrab Snare TrapsCrab Pots and TrapsBest Dungeness Crab BaitDungeness Crabs are scavengers, so they will eat just about anything. If you hit the fish markets along the coast, and some bait shops, you may get lucky and they will sell you a large salmon carcass fairly cheap. Another thing you can do is throughout the months, keep the raw parts of chicken that you cut off during your normal meal preparation and freeze it to be used later for crab fishing. You can buy chicken parts like necks, in the bargain bin at the grocery store when it’s on the verge of expiring at a really good price. When you clean your fish throughout the year you can also save the heads, tails, and even the carcass to use as really great crab bait as well. Be sure to check the most updated version of the fishing regulations for your area to make sure you can use the type of bait you are wanting to use. Best Dungeness Crab Bait•Chicken necks, legs, and other chicken parts•Fish heads, fish carcass, fish tails, and other fish parts•Squid•Artificial crab attractant scentsRock CrabRock crabs are another great crab found along the west coast. The crab pinchers are very large, providing a great amount of crab meat. The meat is very sweet in flavor. They are widely sought after by shore crab fisherman to fill their crab nets, pots, and traps. Snare traps can also be used for catching rock crabs along the rocky areas of the coast. Rock CrabRock Crab Habitat: Rock Crabs live in rock, gravel or kelp beds in bays, estuaries and rocky areas of the ocean from the shallow shoreline up to about twenty feet deep, with some occurrences of Rock Crab being found up to three hundred feet deep or more. Red rock crabs will shelter in the rocks or bury themselves in the sand to hide from other predators such as river otters, sea otters, large fish, and other crabs. Rock Crab Habitat: •1 to 20 Feet Deep and Deeper•Rocky Bottoms•Gravel Bottoms of Sandy Shore Beaches Near Rocks•Kelp Beds•Inhabit Areas Where the Ocean Meets the Mouth of a River•Bays and Jetty’sCrab Snare Fishing HUGE Rock Crabs Half Moon Bay JettyFishing for Rock CrabsRock crabs are typically taken with hoop nets, crab traps, and a method that is getting more popular is the use of crab snares. Methods for Rock Crab Fishing•Hoop Nets•Crab Traps•Crab SnaresBest Rock Crab BaitRock Crabs are scavengers, and they will eat pretty much anything. One of the best baits for catching rock crabs would be a large salmon carcass which you can pick up from a bait shop, or a coastal fish market. You can also use chicken parts that you collect throughout the year, or buy in the bargain bin of your local grocery store. Another good rock crab bait is fish party you can buy or save throughout the year when you clean your fish like the fish heads, tails, and even the fish carcass. Make sure to check the most updated version of the fishing regulations for your area to make sure you can use the type of bait you are wanting to use. Best Rock Crab Bait•Chicken necks, legs, and other chicken parts•Fish heads, fish carcass, fish tails, and other fish parts•Squid•Artificial crab attractant scentsThe best place to target is the rocky bottoms, and the areas between rocks popping out from the water, along the rock edges, because they are hiding on the bottom in these areas. You can also target them from a boat looking for similar areas with rocks protruding from the bottom if you are in deeper water, or up along rocks coming up out of the water in more shallow areas. It’s important to take good care of the crab meat as quickly as possible, and not let your crabs sit in the sun, on the bank, or in a bucket of water too long on warm days. I bring a five gallon bucket with me, and fill it partially with sea water, and put them in the bucket. I don’t let them stay there too long before I throw them in boiling water when they are still alive, they die immediately when you do this, and I cook them, and if I am not going to eat them right away I will throw them in the ice chest. Dungeness crabs and rock crabs, during certain times of the year, will have a poisonous part of their head, so be sure to follow the regulations on when it’s safe to catch, keep, and eat them. You should also clean the heads well if you eat the meat in the heads. The crab pinchers and legs are the easiest part to clean and eat. Both Dungeness Crab and Rock Crab meat is very delicious. They are both great plain, or dipped in butter. Yum! My Son Alex Catches His First Rock CrabHere’s a picture of one of my five little fishing buddy’s from a trip to Bodega Bay. We were rock fishing, and also fishing for Rock Crab on this day. My son Alex caught his very first crab on this trip using a crab snare trap that you cast out on your fishing pole. These are the memories that make the heart grow strong. Nice Job Alex! My Son Alex and his first Rock Crab Caught at Bodega Bay, CASee more fishing tackle in ourFishing Gear and Tackle store.