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How To Catch Crab By Hand, Rock Crab, Red Crab, Bay Crab

Every sportsman should know how to catch rock crab if you visit the ocean. There are several ways to catch rock crab that do not involve a trap. Catching rock crab is a pretty entertaining activity and you get some of the sweetest crab meat that you can find. The main ways that I get rock crab is by picking them up when I see them when I am diving for abalone or spear fishing, finding them in the rocks and tide pools at low tide, and catching rock crab by hand when I am clam digging which I explain fully in this article.
Rock crab live in the rocks, which is where the abalone live and where the spear fishing is the best.  When I spearfish, I take abalone guts out for chum and I break open sea urchins for more chum if they are in the area and the rock crab come out of the wood work looking for this food they smell!  When I see them, I slowly grab them by the back two legs with on hand between my thumb and forefinger gently, but firmly enough to hold them without snapping their legs off.  For some reason, they put their claws out in front of them and freeze in that position until you reach the surface to put them in your dive bag.  But, when they hit the air, they un-freeze and come after you with their claws with gusto!

How to catch rock crab in tide pools is something that you should learn just so you can take friends, and especially kids, to do when the tide is real low.  A good “minus” tide is best.  Just make sure you find a huge flat area with a lot of rocks and sand spots between them that is protected from the surf so there is zero danger of a wave washing anyone into the ocean and that you won’t be trapped on if the tide comes in and your exit becomes blocked by water.  You just walk around and look at the base of the rocks where they meet the sand as the rock crab hunker down, half buried, in this area for protection when they find themselves trapped in a tide pool when the tide goes out.  You might have to lift the sea weed up to see this area much of the time.  You will see the back of the shells of the rock crab and they look a lot like a rock so you have to keep your eye peeled for them.  Then you pull them up with your finger on the edge of the shell to see which end is the one without the pinchers and grab them by the other and toss them in your bucket.  It is a kick and you might find everything from sea urchins, abalone, to octopus in these tide pools to make dinner out of!  This is one of my favorite ways to get rock crab, which I think some folks call “bay crab”.  Even if it is a different crab, they look alike and I am relatively certain that by learning how to catch rock crab, you will be learning how to catch bay crab as well.  I like this method as it is fun watching kids, and even grown-ups, scour the ocean and get their own sea food to eat.  A lot of times, we fill our buckets up with mussels for a good chowder feed when we are out catching rock crab, which is a great “two-fer”!  Also, sometimes we take a fishing pole with us and cast out while we are catching crab as these rocks can be a great place to shore fish the ocean.

So, now you know how to catch rock crab and have fun at the ocean at low tide in the tide pools so you are ready to go!  We have a killer fishing community here on Fishnfools.com and we would love to have you join as a member, which is free.  We have great pictures and forums for you to ask questions and share your fishing knowledge with us.    So, come aboard my fishing friend!