Go Crabbing at the British Seaside

Taking the children crabbing when you visit the coast is a really fun day out. It’s a truly British Seaside activity that keeps the children interested and occupied, and is surprisingly addictive for the adults.

Places to go

Crabs like to hide and they tend to live in places where there is plenty of cover from rocks, seaweed or other structures. Favourite hideouts include around piers and harbour walls, and on beaches with larger rocks and stones. We begin our ‘Best Crabbing Hotspots’ with Beaumaris Pier on Anglesey, North Wales. Send us your favourite crabbing hotspots and we’ll come up with our definitive list for avid crabbers.

Top 10 Tips for Crabbing

Finding Crabs in Anglesey
  1. All you really need is a piece of string, bait and a weight heavy enough to keep the bait of the bottom. If your bait is heavy, you don’t need a separate weight. You can even go crabbing with just a piece of string if there are mussels on the beach to use as bait.

  2. A stick and piece of string - Perfect crabbing gear!

    Crabs like bait such as bacon, chicken, fish and the like. You don’t need the good bits – use the bits that you throw away in a big soggy mess. Crabs are not that fussy when it comes to raw meat. However, we will let you into a little secret … frozen sand eels from the local sea fishing bait shop are like caviar to crabs. So much so that they don’t want to let go – great for landing your crabs but not so great when you want it back. A little extravagant for crabs, so we only use if we have any left over from a fishing trip.

  3. Let your line drop right to the bottom where the crabs live. Wrap a little line loosely around your finger and wait until you feel the crabs pulling.

    Carefully pulling that crab up

    Wait a little while until the crab has a firm hold and then bring the line up steadily and smoothly. Not so fast that the crab senses you pulling, and not so slow that he’s eaten up the bait and dropped off.

  4. You will land more crabs if you also have a children’s fishing net (one of those on the end of a pole) so that you can place it under the crab just before lifting it from the water. Use one if the crabs are in short supply, but otherwise half the fun is seeing whether you can bring up your line before the crab drops off.

  5. Finding a good place to hunt crabs is time consuming but definitely worthwhile

    Fishing off a high pier on a windy day is very frustrating as the crabs drop off before they get anywhere near you. Find a good place nearer to the sea if it’s a windy day.

  6. Enormous crabs, back in the day

    The pincers can give a nasty nip and they don’t like to let go. Therefore, hold the crab by the shell on each side just behind the pincers with your finger and thumb. Their pincers can’t reach around enough and you don’t hurt the more delicate parts of the crab.

  7. If you plan to keep the crabs whilst you carry on crabbing, prepare beforehand by filling your bucket with sea water, a few stones and some seaweed so that they have a place to hide.

  8. Letting those crabs go at the end of the day

    Once you’ve finished crabbing release the crabs near the waters’ edge. Children love to see them scurrying sideways back into the water. Don’t forget to take a few snap-shots and send them to us.

  9. Never use a commercial crab pot. Yes you will catch lots of crabs but yes it is cheating (and not that much fun either).

  10. Those little bags that come with washing powder tablets are brilliant for filling with bait and just dropping in the sea.

Comments (16)

  • G

    G

    11 August 2016 at 14:39 | #

    Spent morning crabbing below Yarmouth pier having great fun...caught loads...first time we done this and loved the family fun we had. Off to Bembridge tomorrow to try it there.

    reply

    • Tracy

      Tracy

      04 August 2017 at 16:25 | #

      Hi ya, was it in the pools on the beach you were crabbing or with lines at Yarmouth, really want to take our youngest but we've only ever done it in Yorkshire and Dorset so would be great if there is somewhere more local, thank you.

      reply

  • Louise

    Louise

    12 August 2016 at 15:28 | #

    We have just been on holiday to Bridport and the harbour there (west bay) is fab for crabbing. We became addicted and spent around 3 hours 4 days on the trot doing it. We used squid as bait in a fisher net and got loads. It's very competitive with adults and children.!!

    reply

  • Paul

    Paul

    19 August 2016 at 13:06 | #

    Hi The other week I took my granddaughter to West Mersea Essex The Pontoon bridge ( hammerhead ) was full of children with their parents fishing for crabs and couldn't get my little one a space so lucky me has a boat moored there so took my granddaughter on my boat just off the island and even she was catching crabs with bacon she loved it total crabs for an hour was 30 not including the many that fell off on the way up ........

    reply

  • Nic Jones

    Nic Jones

    24 August 2016 at 09:06 | #

    Spent 2 days crabbing in the harbour of Dartmouth, we caught loads and our girls loved it!

    reply

  • CRABGIRL

    CRABGIRL

    24 August 2016 at 18:59 | #

    World crabbing championship taking place on Cromer Pier, Sunday 28th Aug 2016!!! Crab girl will be there....Crab girl will win!!!

    reply

  • jill

    jill

    27 August 2016 at 19:34 | #

    Weston Super Mare. The crabbing site is actually on the is a man made bridge that makes up the 'Marine Lake'. (access via Burnbeck Road and Knightsone Road) The bridge itself was very slippery, but when the tide comes in so do the crabs. we met a local lad while we were there, he was so nice and friendly, he gave us lots of handy hints and tips, so, thank you Jordan.

    reply

  • Debbie

    Debbie

    19 September 2016 at 13:08 | #

    Went to wells next to sea Norfolk as a kid, and took my husband and kids when they were little, visited a few weeks ago and had ago was fun my husband and I had a lovely day sat there for hours lol great fun now planing on taking my grandchildren

    reply

  • Peter

    Peter

    17 October 2016 at 19:54 | #

    Went crabbing in cullercoates north Tyneside 100+. Crabs in right spot

    reply

    • Jonny

      Jonny

      25 May 2017 at 14:05 | #

      Hi Peter, wanting to take my two boys Crabbing down Cullercoats and was wondering where you're best spot was? dropping the line off which Pier and for the inlet water or other side of the Pier? thanks mate

      reply

  • colin

    colin

    02 March 2017 at 14:07 | #

    Llandudno North Shore jetty used to be the place. Made it a family tradition a few years ago with my two eldest kids being the 4th generation to crab there. Gutted to see the jetty has now been demolished :-(

    reply

  • Paul

    Paul

    15 April 2017 at 08:55 | #

    Spent a few hours crabbing with the grandchildren at Whitstable Kent ideal location plenty to do and see. You can buy nets, bucket and bait there too

    reply

  • Jenelin Adora

    Jenelin Adora

    02 June 2017 at 14:37 | #

    Have been to Milford on Sea and been crabbing there with my children for many years. It is so fun and fre of my friends has seen some of our pictures and gotten interested.

    reply

  • Paul N

    Paul N

    03 June 2017 at 15:20 | #

    Do you need a license to go crabbing off a pier.

    reply

  • Charlotte

    Charlotte

    13 August 2017 at 19:04 | #

    Best places to crab fish in the north west?

    reply

  • Jon

    Jon

    26 August 2017 at 18:43 | #

    We've just returned from a camping trip to Shell Island in Wales. We went crabbing either side of the causeway & caught loads! Kids were entertained for hours

    reply

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