Crabbing in NJ | Best Times to Go and The Absolute Best Spots to Catch These Tasty Critters!

Grab your traps and get ready to have some delicious catches of the day. Crab traps come in a variety of shapes and types including boxed, pyramid, ring, commercial, and weighted hand lines. They are all made differently and commercial crab traps even require a license to use. However, all work, and that's what matters! The best bait to use is dead fish, chicken, and even hot dogs. On our Atlantic coast, you're most likely to catch a blue crab. Put our tips to the test next time you go on a crabbing trip in NJ

Largest riding area in Wildwood Crest!

Lakeview Docks has multiple times been voted the Best Watersport Rental! It has plenty of riding space, easy access to the riding area, and spectators can enjoy watching as well!

Lakeview Docks

  609-522-0471 | Cape May County

Wildwood Crest, New Jersey

Crabbing in NJ

Lakeview Docks is a premiere watersports facility featuring the Sea-Doo 4-Stroke watercraft. You can rent the waverunners for a full or half hour and enjoy riding out on the water! Spectators can enjoy watching from the bay front pier... Read More

Visit Website View Details

Beaver Dam Boat Rentals

  1-856-447-3633 | Cumberland County

Newport, New Jersey

Crabbing in NJ

Rent a Boat & Go Crabbing! Located on Oranokin Creek, Beaver Dam Boat Rentals offers all types of fun-filled amenities, including crabbing, boat rentals, duck hunting, kayak tours, and much more. This crabbing spot in NJ will give you a boat to rent, along with oars, paddles, an anchor, life jackets, and a crab net. Safety is first a Be... Read More

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Oceanic Marina

  732-842-1194 | Monmouth County

Rumson, New Jersey

Crabbing in NJ

Rent Crabbing & Fishing Boats in NJ! Located on the beautiful Navesink River, Oceanic Marina offers fiberglass skiff rentals with motorized engines, making your NJ crabbing experience the best it can be. Also offering ocean kayak rentals and paddleboard rentals, Oceanic Marina has it all. With the new marina store, you can find all your... Read More

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Bill's Boat Rentals is a one-stop-shop for everything you need for a fun day crabbing in Seaside. 

Bill's Boat Rentals

  732-830-1112 | Ocean County

Seaside Heights, New Jersey

Crabbing in NJ

Bills' Boat Rentals will let you rent a boat for up to 9 hours so you can spend more time out on the water setting and checking your traps. With that much time, you can worry about bringing in the bushels of crabs and not the clock... Read More

Visit Website View Details

Family owned and operated with over 30 years of marina experience.

Red Bank Marina

  732-741-3320 | Monmouth County

Red Bank, New Jersey

Crabbing in NJ

With a wide range of recreational activities, the Red Bank Marina's most popular sport is crabbing and fishing. This marina provides the tools needed for a perfect day on the water in view of beautiful downtown Red Bank... Read More

Visit Website View Details

New Jersey's #1 Crabbing Facility

Dividing Creek Boat Rentals

  856-785-2828 | Cumberland County

Dividing Creek, New Jersey

Crabbing in NJ

Dividing Creek Boat Rentals is nestled right in Cumberland County and is considered to be one of the best places to go crabbing in all of New Jersey. Offering a number of boats to rent and marked crab "hot spots", Dividing Creek gives you everything you need for a great day on the wate... Read More

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Jet Ski, Pontoon boat, and crabbing skiff rentals.

The Dock Outfitters

  732-830-8171 | Ocean County

Seaside Heights, New Jersey

Crabbing in NJ

The Dock Outfitters is located right in the famous Seaside Heights on Barnegat Bay and offers a number of different rental options like Pontoon Boats, Jet Skis, and Wave Runners. With a huge selection of bait and tackle, they have tons of options to maximize your yield while out on the water... Read More

Visit Website View Details

Creating memories with friends and family let Grassy Sound Marina be the highlight of your summer!

Grassy Sound Marina

  609-846-1400 | Cape May County

Wildwood, New Jersey

Crabbing in NJ

Grassy Sound Marina is one of the best locations for crabbing and fishing in Southern New Jersey. Equipped with a 285' fishing and crabbing pier you don't even need to leave dry land to reel in the bushels of blue claws. If you have your water legs you can rent one of the 16' skiffs they have or grab a bite to eat in their Bait and Tackle shop... Read More

Visit Website View Details

Largest riding area in Wildwood Crest!

Lakeview Docks has multiple times been voted the Best Watersport Rental! It has plenty of riding space, easy access to the riding area, and spectators can enjoy watching as well!

Lakeview Docks

 609-522-0471 | Cape May County

Crabbing in NJ

Wildwood Crest, New Jersey

Lakeview Docks is a premiere watersports facility featuring the Sea-Doo 4-Stroke watercraft. You can rent the waverunners for a full or half hour and enjoy riding out on the water! Spectators can enjoy watching from the bay front pier... Read More

Visit Website View Details

Beaver Dam Boat Rentals

 1-856-447-3633 | Cumberland County

Crabbing in NJ

Newport, New Jersey

Rent a Boat & Go Crabbing! Located on Oranokin Creek, Beaver Dam Boat Rentals offers all types of fun-filled amenities, including crabbing, boat rentals, duck hunting, kayak tours, and much more. This crabbing spot in NJ will give you a boat to rent, along with oars, paddles, an anchor, life jackets, and a crab net. Safety is first a Be... Read More

Visit Website View Details

Oceanic Marina

 732-842-1194 | Monmouth County

Crabbing in NJ

Rumson, New Jersey

Rent Crabbing & Fishing Boats in NJ! Located on the beautiful Navesink River, Oceanic Marina offers fiberglass skiff rentals with motorized engines, making your NJ crabbing experience the best it can be. Also offering ocean kayak rentals and paddleboard rentals, Oceanic Marina has it all. With the new marina store, you can find all your... Read More

Visit Website View Details

Bill's Boat Rentals is a one-stop-shop for everything you need for a fun day crabbing in Seaside. 

Bill's Boat Rentals

 732-830-1112 | Ocean County

Crabbing in NJ

Seaside Heights, New Jersey

Bills' Boat Rentals will let you rent a boat for up to 9 hours so you can spend more time out on the water setting and checking your traps. With that much time, you can worry about bringing in the bushels of crabs and not the clock... Read More

Visit Website View Details

Family owned and operated with over 30 years of marina experience.

Red Bank Marina

 732-741-3320 | Monmouth County

Crabbing in NJ

Red Bank, New Jersey

With a wide range of recreational activities, the Red Bank Marina's most popular sport is crabbing and fishing. This marina provides the tools needed for a perfect day on the water in view of beautiful downtown Red Bank... Read More

Visit Website View Details

New Jersey's #1 Crabbing Facility

Dividing Creek Boat Rentals

 856-785-2828 | Cumberland County

Crabbing in NJ

Dividing Creek, New Jersey

Dividing Creek Boat Rentals is nestled right in Cumberland County and is considered to be one of the best places to go crabbing in all of New Jersey. Offering a number of boats to rent and marked crab "hot spots", Dividing Creek gives you everything you need for a great day on the wate... Read More

Visit Website View Details

Jet Ski, Pontoon boat, and crabbing skiff rentals.

The Dock Outfitters

 732-830-8171 | Ocean County

Crabbing in NJ

Seaside Heights, New Jersey

The Dock Outfitters is located right in the famous Seaside Heights on Barnegat Bay and offers a number of different rental options like Pontoon Boats, Jet Skis, and Wave Runners. With a huge selection of bait and tackle, they have tons of options to maximize your yield while out on the water... Read More

Visit Website View Details

Creating memories with friends and family let Grassy Sound Marina be the highlight of your summer!

Grassy Sound Marina

 609-846-1400 | Cape May County

Crabbing in NJ

Wildwood, New Jersey

Grassy Sound Marina is one of the best locations for crabbing and fishing in Southern New Jersey. Equipped with a 285' fishing and crabbing pier you don't even need to leave dry land to reel in the bushels of blue claws. If you have your water legs you can rent one of the 16' skiffs they have or grab a bite to eat in their Bait and Tackle shop... Read More

Visit Website View Details

 

All About Crabbing in New Jersey | The Complete Definitive Guide of When and Where to Go Crabbing

 

Best crabbing season is mid-March through late November


The best times of the year for crabbing are early spring through late fall.


Crabbing is a leisure activity and a favorite pastime for people in New Jersey to catch their own crab dinner.


New Jersey, like other major hotspots in America, has one of the best and most active crab seasons.


We have access to many varieties of crabs such as peeler crabs, hard crabs, soft-shelled crabs, and most famously, the blue claw crabs.

This complete guide will give you a full insight into this fun leisure activity and how you can get access to the best crabs.

Crabbing Supplies You Will Need


When thinking of supplies to get for a crabbing session, there is a basic list of which items you must have.


The minimum would be cooler with ice, bait, traps, and a net!


With these items, you can be sure to have the most successful crabbing experience.

Getting the Right Gloves


One of the common fallacies is that crabs can pinch off the fingers or toes of a human being with the force generated by their claws.


While their pinches and bites from crabs can hurt, this isn’t true. However, you should still be prepared with the right pair of gloves.


A pair of welding gloves or thick rubber gloves will do great at protecting your fingers from crab pinches.

Using a Burlap Sack


This is one of the things that will be needed in order to keep your crabs alive long enough to cook them at home.


As you may know, a live crab is a good crab. However, if it dies too long before you cook it, it will no longer be safe to eat.


One of the best methods for ensuring an edible crab is to use a combination of an ice chest, burlap sack, and ice packs.


The burlap sack helps you keep the crabs alive for about 24 hours by allowing the free flow of oxygen to them and also keeping them cool with the addition of ice packs.

Bringing Along an Ice Chest


Ice chests or coolers are a pretty important aspect of crabbing. They afford the crab a safe and conducive environment.


The ice chest will help the crabs to remain edible and safe for consumption. Ice chests also pose as temporary housing for the crabs while you transport them.

It is worth noting that crabs should not be stored in a manner that allows for them to be stressed.


For this reason, the number of ice chests you bring should be enough to ensure that each of the crabs you find will have enough space to avoid stressing them out.


It is recommended that on average, you keep about 5 crabs in one Ice chest.

Make Sure You Have Enough Crab Traps and the Right Types of Crab Traps


Topless crab trap

 

Topless crab traps also make it easier for you to check how many crabs have been caught without running a great risk of getting pinched.


You can just turn the trap upside down, give it a shake, and the crabs come into the holding pot that you are using to measure them.


Ring net crab trap


Another form of crab trap is the ring net crab trap.


This trap helps to ensure that whatever is in your trap stays in your trap when you pull it out of the water.


It appears like a flat surface on the ocean bed but it has bait right in the middle.


This way, when it is pulled out, the mesh bottom creates a net cage that the crabs cannot escape from.

Square crab trap pots


The most common and widely accepted type of crab traps is the square crab trap pots.


They are regarded as the most effective for crabbing.


This is because they work so well at luring in the crabs and trapping them without leaving any form of an escape route.

 

Using the Right Bait


Baits are of the utmost importance supplies that you will need for crabbing. You must ensure that you use the right kind of bait to be effective in your crabbing session.


Crabs use their sense of smell to find food on the ocean bed and not their sight. Due to this fact, you must ensure that the bait is able to appeal to their sense of smell.

Since crabs are also very competitive and vicious, you must make sure that the bait is not easily torn apart.


Most crabbers use squid, fist parts, and chicken when crabbing in NJ.


You could also use cat food believe it or not!

 

Having a Measuring Device with You at All Times


With the irregular shape of the crab and the wake of the boat, it is difficult to get a good read on the measurement of a crab with your standard ruler.


This is why it is always important to have measuring devices around to ensure accurate and easy measurements.

Getting the right measurement helps to ensure you are not breaking any local laws surrounding crab fishing.

You Will Need Springs and Snoods


Springs will help you to secure your bait to your trap. You can do this by finding a tightly coiled medium piece of string with loops or hooks on both ends.


You can then place your bait under that string, after securing both ends of the strings to the corners of your trap.

Snoods help you to effectively secure your bait to the trap.


You can easily do this by taking a strong and thin piece of rope, creating a loop around the bait that you're using, and tightening it firmly to the bottom of your trap.

 

Be Sure You Have Your Crabbing License


This is one of the most important things to put in place for your crabbing sessions.


Not having your crabbing license can result in having to pay hundreds of dollars in fines.


You could get in more legal trouble than this, as well. Instead of going without your crabbing license, you should take the extra time and money to make sure that you have it.


Getting the license is going to be far cheaper than any fines that you will have to pay for not having it.

You can find out the information on licensing permits for crabbing in your area by simply checking online.

Other Supplies You Might Need for Crabbing in New Jersey


One of the extra supplies you might need for your crabbing experience is an extra line. This helps to prevent the problems that may arise due to the wear and tear of equipment that you may have been using for a while.


In addition, if you leave your line underwater for a long period of time, it could wear down, as well.


You might also need to bring ropes of different thicknesses, depending on the aspect of the trap that you need to repair.

Other crabbing supplies that may be included in your crabbing trip are milk crates and bait bags, which both help to preserve the lifespan of your bait.

 

Best Times to Go Crabbing in New Jersey

 

The morning hours are preferred if you want to have the best chance to catch these delicious crustaceans.

In the Delaware Bay and tributaries, blue crab season spans from the 6th of April to the 4th of December.


Crabbing is prohibited in the Newark Bay complex, but it is allowed in all other New Jersey waterways between the 15th of March and the 30th of November.

 

Best Places to Go Crabbing in New Jersey


If you are looking to go crabbing in New Jersey and are expecting to have some of the best experiences, then here's a list of places that you would absolutely enjoy.

 

Best Places to Go Crabbing in Monmouth County

 

  • Keansburg Fishing Pier in Raritan Bay - You can easily find crab surrounding the pier and get good results if your scoop of the net can get near the pilings.

  • Navesink River in Rumson - They provide boat rentals near the oceanic ridge.


You can rent a boat for crabbing at the Red Bank Marina.

 

Best Places to Go Crabbing in Ocean County

 

  • Bass River Bridge area, New Gretna - This is an especially good area for kids.

  • Berkeley Island County Park - This is also a good area for crabbing. They have a playground for children and have a lifeguard-patrolled beach around the park.

  • Rt. 539 & Green Street, Tuckerton - This area is good for crabbing and appropriate for young children.

  • Seaside Heights, Barnegat Bay - This is located on the Cranberry inlet. This bayside possesses two docks that make for a very nice crabbing experience. They also have car boat rentals and a food concession stand.

  • Good Luck Point, Bayville - This point is just south of the seaside bridge and is also good for crabbing.

Best Places to Go Crabbing in Atlantic County


One of the best spots on around the Jersey shore for a great crabbing experience is the waters surrounding Somers Point NJ. These areas include Great Egg Harbor Bay, Great Egg Harbor River, Patcong Creek, Steelman Bay, Peck Bay, and Scull Bay.

One of the largest crabbing tournaments in the area is also found on Somers Point. This event has grown over the years to accommodate more than 40 boats, as well as 100 crabbers per year.

 

You can also go crabbing at Route 9, Absecon near the Holy Spirit High School.

Best Places to Go Crabbing in Cape May County


You can go crabbing at Cape May National Wildlife Refuge. This can be found along the creeks on Ocean drive between Cape May and Wildwood crest.

The Grassy Sound Marina Wildwood is also a great spot for crabbing. They usually charge users a small admission fee. However, they do provide users with various needs such as landing nets, a picnic area, and a toilet facility. Finding blue claw crabs are common in this area.

Best Places to Go Crabbing in Cumberland County


A very nice area to crab in boats is Dividing Creek, Route 553 at the bridge. You can easily rent boats at one of the several boat rentals around the area.

This area is suitable for families. They offer a picnic area, as well as bathrooms and clean up stations.

Each of the boat rentals comes with a boat, oars, a crab net, an anchor, and life jackets for every member of the crew involved in the crabbing session. They offer the best customer service and help to ensure that you get an amazing crabbing experience.

Crabbing Regulations for Recreational Purposes in New Jersey


Some of the crabbing regulations for recreational purposes in New Jersey that you should be aware of include the following:

 

  • If you don’t have a license, you may take crabs with hand lines, manually handled collapsible traps, or scoop nets.

  • A license is required for crabbing using crab pots or trotlines.

  • One bushel is the maximum limit of crab harvest in a day.

  • Any female crab that may have her spawn or eggs attached must be immediately released back into the water.

  • The permitted sizes of crabs allowed are as follows: Shredder or peeler crabs should be 3 inches. Hard crabs can be 4.5 inches and soft crabs can be 3.5 inches. All these measurements must be duly noted and done from end to end.


Be sure to follow all of these regulations to avoid any fines or legal repercussions.

Crabbing License Fees


Some of the license fees that you might need to know about include the following:

  • Resident Senior (62 and older) - $2.00
  • Non-Resident Recreational Shellfish License $20.00
  • Resident Recreational Shellfish License - $10.00
  • Lifetime Recreational Shellfish License - $2.00
  • Recreational Shellfish License (Resident/Non-Resident) $2.00
  • Juvenile (under 14 years of age) - $2.00
  • Non-commercial Crab Pot License - $2.00


Now that you know more about crabbing in New Jersey, you can have the best crabbing experience of your lifetime.

 

Frequently asked questions

 

What is the best bait for crabbing?
Food items like squid, salmon, shad, razor clams, fish heads, and chicken are good bait when crabbing in NJ.

What is the best time of day to go crabbing in New Jersey?
If you are looking to go crabbing in NJ, the early morning hours between 4:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. are considered the best times. Crabs are most active during this time frame.

What is the best time of the season to go crabbing in NJ?
Crabbing season typically runs from mid-March and lasts through late November in NJ. This is when the crabs are most plentiful and when they are bigger and meatier. But you can catch crabs year-round in NJ.

What supplies do I need to go crabbing in NJ?
The essentials include gloves, ice chests, bait, crab traps, burlap sacks, snoods and springs, a pre-cut measuring device, and most importantly, a crabbing license. With these items, you can be sure to have the most successful crabbing experience. 

How do I ensure that crabs are fresh and edible when I get them home?
Wrap live crabs in burlap sacks and pack on ice. Burlap allows a free flow of oxygen and will ensure that your crabs stay live until you cook them.

What are the best crab traps to use in NJ?
It is often recommended in New Jersey to use the topless crab trap. These traps are very effective and because they can be stacked on top of one another. This ability to be stacked makes transportation and storage of these traps much easier and more convenient. Topless crab traps also make it easier for you to check how many crabs have been caught without running a great risk of getting pinched.


What are the best places to go crabbing in NJ?
The Keansburg Fishing Pier in Raritan Bay is a great spot. The Navesink River in Rumson. The Bass River Bridge area, in New Gretna, and the Cape May National Wildlife Refuge are all great spots for crabbing in NJ.
 

Hunting For Land-Lovers

If seafood isn't your game, try hunting in NJ. We've provided all the information you may need from licensing to zones to classes you may want to take. Head into the woods with all your equipment and all the information you need to know so you're at the right places at the right times.

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