Many people are thinking: What’s the best type of bait I should use for crabbing? Especially if you are going crabbing for the first time, you’ll find it hard to decide what kind of bait to use. There are various answers to this question, but we will break it down so that it’s nice and understandable.
Crabs have a terrific sense of smell, which enables them to find their food easily.
They use their sense of smell to find food that they’ll be digging or snatching with their claws as the food passes them.
Given that crabs employ their sense of smell to find food, it would stand to reason that using piquant bait would be an excellent way to attract crabs.
A lot of people are asking if there is a difference between the bait for crabbing on a boat or the one they would be using for offshore hunts.
It actually does not matter at all.
The best bait you put in crab traps is still the best, whether you throw them off the shore or a boat.
As mentioned earlier, their sense of smell is incredible. You can end up with a cage full of crabs if you use the right bait the correct way.
For the most part, the crucial thing to understand is that blue crabs and Dungeness crabs will, in essence, eat anything. This means that you could hypothetically use almost any food type, whether it is fresh or rotten, to use as bait. Since most people do not like to waste fresh food or groceries for bait, there are other options.
The following is a list of widespread types of bait. You may ask yourself– what do blue crabs eat? The best options are chicken legs, chicken necks, squid, and bunker.
Chicken necks are not pleasing to the eye and are rarely used for cooking unless you are a skilled cook. Some people use it to make soup, and someone might save it for their pet. In crabbing, chicken necks are a terrific form of bait because they are broadly available.
You’ll find them in most grocery stores (especially those near the bay) and they are very cheap. At some places, the store might even have a section just for bait itself, where they will have chicken necks or oddments of some kind from the butcher shop.
Just like chicken necks, chicken legs are broadly available in most grocery stores or butcher shops you can find. Sometimes you can find super cheap chicken meat that is half-priced or even lower because the expiration date is getting close.
This is the ideal time to grab them and use them for bait. (Crabs don’t ask about the expiration date). Depending on how long you are out there crabbing, you can even reuse them in certain cases if you don’t mind getting a little dirty handling the wet meat which has hovered over the bottom of the sea!
Simply re-bag them and store them in a freezer (have a separate freezer for used meat) until the next time you head out crabbing.
Crabs also adore razor clams, and they can find them in nature. They are essential in most crabs’ diets.
Many people that have crabbing experience think that the chicken parts get more attention because the crabs can’t resist them. The chicken parts, as you know, are not found in the wild, so they seem more enticing to the crabs.
Even crabs that have finished off a big meal can be lured by chicken parts.
Using razor clams as bait, of course, is a great option, but if you are crabbing in an area that is rich in clams, the crabs will show less interest.
Probably the most usual type of crab bait is bunker. You’ll see numerous people come to the dock with some fish heads, tails, and other stinky body parts that appear to be chopped to pieces. Each trap only needs a tiny portion, so you won’t be needing to put the entire fish into the trap. Ideally, some guts should be hanging out with some blood in the water. If you’re nauseous, this hobby might not be for you!
Almost every bait shop should have bunker, so if you happen to spot one before going to your local grocery store, it might be the cheapest and easiest way.
I know most people don’t like Mink carcass but be sure it also does wonders as crab bait. In some places like Oregon, mink carcass is broadly used as bait. A significant advantage of using mink carcasses as bait is, they are very oily and smelly.
You might wonder, how is being smelly an advantage? Well, we humans might not like the odor, but crabs just love it. And since our goal is to get as many crabs as possible, we have to sacrifice a little.
As mentioned before, mink carcass is oily; the oil leftovers travel through the water and lure large crabs from various places. But when you plan on touching this carcass, make sure you wear gloves; otherwise, your entire hand will get stinky.
Some people use cat food as bait. This may not be your go-to choice, but it has proven to be effective. The residue oozes in the water and attracts crabs from the nearby area.
As for fish, the crabs will eat any type of fish there is:
We’ve come to the end of our article, and by now, you should have learned what type of bait your crab buddies will like the most. Using any of the bait mentioned above types will bring tremendous results. If you are able, try all of them and see what works best in your area.
Good luck, sailor!