Oregon crabbing is a year round activity that can almost always yield a successful trip.
Crabbing trips require minimal gear, often available for rental in coastal towns, and while boat crabbing increases your likelihood for success, dockside crabbing is easy and very accessible. Before crabbing, be aware of crab regulations. Knowledge of where, when, and how to crab will increase your likelihood of success and information on crab biology, identification, and behavior will enhance your experience.
Time of year: Fall is typically the best time to crab. Beginning in September, crabs will tend to be more “filled out”, meaning there is a higher percentage of quality meat. This is detected by the condition of the shell. Hard shelled crabs will contain 20-30% meat by weight, compared to soft shelled crabs which can be as low as 12%. At times after heavy rainfall and resulting freshets, crab tend to be less abundant in the bays.
Time of day: “Slack water” (the times of peak high or low tide) are the best times to crab. At slack water, the highest number of crab are walking around foraging, since they are less affected by tidal currents.
Legal Season: Crabbing is open in estuaries (i.e. bays), beaches, tide pools, piers, and jetties year round.