Fishing for crabs is one of the simplest methods of fishing. I grew up catching crabs on our family camping trips down to Bodega Bay, CA several times throughout each year. We would have a large group of family reserve a bunch of camp sites and we would fish and crab during the day, and come together in a large dinner in the evenings. On at least one of the nights we would come together for a big group fish fry and crab boil. Fresh crab is like none other. Rock Crab, which is my personal favorite when it comes to crab you can catch from the west coats, has a very sweet crab meet. Dipped in butter, or plain, it is amazing. It has huge claws full of delicious meat. Check out our crab fishing page for more information for catching crabs, click here. Crabbing can be dangerous if you get out on the rocks to fish for crabs. I am very careful at picking our crab fishing spots to keep my family safe for a great day of fun. As is always the case when at the ocean, never turn your back to the water, and always keep your eyes on the little ones.
Teaching Kids About Crab Fishing Rules and Regulations
Each of our fifty states in the USA have a government agency that manages and oversees the crab fishing for their state. In most states, you have to have a fishing license at the age of 16 for fishing or crabbing. Please take a look at your state’s website to learn what the licensing requirements, as well as the size and type requirements for being able to fish for, or keep certain crabs. You can go to your state’s website to find this information, or you can also pick up a regulation book at your local store that sells fishing gear and tackle.
Learning the Rules and Regulations for Crab Fishing
•Fish and Wildlife Agencies by State •Local Rules for Privately Managed Fishing Locations •License Requirements •Crab Size Requirements •Crab Limit Requirements (how many you can keep) •Specific Closure Areas •Crab Fishing Methods That May Have Restrictions •Health Warnings for Certain Times of the Year That get Posted in Public Areas
Crab Gear for Kids - Nets, Traps, Pots, and Snares
Types of Crab Fishing Nets and Traps for Kids
•Crab Hoop Net•Crab Traps•Crab Pots•Crab Snares
Kids Crab Hoop Net
The first type of crab gear is a hoop net. For the best type of hoop net, get the kind that doesn’t collapse all the way. It has two rings, but they are connected together with steel so that they don’t fully collapse. The fully collapsing ring style cause us to lose a lot of good keeper crabs.
Kids Crab Traps
Crab traps are also a great way to catch crabs. The sides are all connected and don’t collapse. There are entry points for the crabs to get in, but not to get out. They are a little heavier and harder to work with for kids, but they are a great trap if you want to lose less crabs on the pull in.
Kids Crab Pots
The most popular way to catch crabs from a boat or kayak is a crab pot. Crab pots are a little more expensive than crab traps and crab hoop nets, but they are the strongest and most stable methods to catch crabs. They don’t collapse, they don’t open up and lose crabs, and they don’t flip over and lose crabs. This is a good bet if you are looking for a solid crab catcher.
Kids Crab Snares
My kids started with a crab trap, and had a lot of fun with them. I purchased some crab snares, and left the crab trap at home. I found that I could go to a fishing spot, and they could switch from crabbing to fishing with ease just by putting a crab snare on their pole. The picture below is my son Alex catching his first crab on a crab snare. He is hooked. As soon as he caught this, all of the kids put a crab snare on their fishing pole, and stopped fishing and started catching crabs.
My Son Alex Catching Crab in Bodega Bay, CA
Crab Gear and Tackle for Kids - Crab Tongs
One of the best inventions for crab fishing with kids, and adults alike, is crab tongs. When my oldest daughter first started crabbing with me, she was a little intimidated by a crab net full of crabs. It seems that no matter how many times people say that crabs can’t pinch you if you grab the bottom and top of their shell from the back, it seems that my daughter and I always found the crabs that were double jointed or something, and they can always pinch you. When I got our first pair of crab tongs, she was so excited and it is her favorite crabbing accessory to this day. Crabs have strong claws that can cut your finger really badly, the risk is eliminated with these crab tongs below.
Crab Gear and Tackle for Kids - Crab Gauge
There are specific size limits and catch limits for crabs, which can be found in the fishing regulations mentioned earlier. An important tool to have with you is a crab gauge, so you can quickly tell what is a keeper and what is not. This is a must!
Crab Gear and Tackle for Kids - Crab Bait Cage
A crab bait cage is not needed for the crab snares because the crab snare is pretty much a bait cage with snares on it. But for crab pots, traps, nets, a bait cage is a necessity to put your crab bait in. If you try to tie in your bait, it doesn’t stay together and connected to the crab net very well. But a crab bait cage will keep your bait together and connected to your crab net.
Teaching Kids how to Catch Crabs - Where to Go
Crabbing is simple and fun, and the kids will really enjoy it. What I like to do is take a look on google maps and turn on the satellite view. Scroll over to a coastal area and take a look at what’s available. Look for small beaches that are safe for kids to be at and walk down to, that have big rocks in the water that you can cast out to or throw your crab net in front of. Some walking paths down to the water is paved and taken care of, which is safer to bring your family down. Google Maps will help you narrow down a few spots to try, and additional research on google for the names of the pull outs or beaches that you want to fish from will help you pick which ones are the best. You can also look for a good jetty that blocks off and protects a bay, just be careful because some of them are less safe. Some piers and docks, when allowed to, provide for some great fishing and crab fishing as well. Pack a good picnic lunch, and travel to your spot and bait up your crab trap or crab snares with some crab bait. Throw out your crab trap or snare towards some rocks and kelp beds where the crabs live. Leave it out there for fifteen to thirty minutes and reel it in to see what you may have caught. When you pull in some crabs, measure them to make sure they are legal to keep, and throw them in a bucket with some sea water to keep them alive. You don’t want to leave them in the bucket too long, especially in warmer weather. You want to get them boiled and thrown into an ice chest in a ziploc bag or eat them after cooking them. Fresh crab is delicious.
Cooking Your Kids Crab Catch
I also recommend a good, extra large crab boiling pot to cook your catch. It’s also nice to have a good crab utensil set to break open the shells while you are eating them. I bought myself a nice Turkey Fryer, which I use as my crab pot, as well as for cooking turkeys. It’s size enables me to cook a lot of crabs at once. It’s propane heat source is high heat, and boils the water fairly quickly, and cooks my crabs perfectly. About The Author Mike Mendenhall is the the founder of Mendenhall Outdoors. This website is an extension of the Mendenhall family’s lifestyle and passion for the great outdoors. Everything that they learn, and experience, along the way that they find may be valuable to our website visitors is on the site for you to enjoy. We highlight products and services that you might find interesting. We frequently receive free products from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. If you click a link on this page, then go on to make a purchase, we might receive a commission – at no extra cost to you, and does not impact the purchase price of any products that you may purchase. The Best Crab Fishing Experience For Kids Awaits!