Tips on Castable Crab Trap Fishing from Bad Ash


Welcome aboard to our first episode of Break Out With Bad Ash, I wanted to share a fishing opportunity that is available to most people. With only a rod, reel, crab trap, bucket, and shellfish license, you can reel in a haul of crabs! Open much of the year in Oregon and Washington (check your regulations before you go), casting for crab offers a high chance of success. While I have been crabbing my entire life, I have only done so with a fishing rod in the last year. A friend took me to an Oregon jetty and we fished low tide for an hour or two, reeling in a pile of crabs! The most fun to me? Feeling the vibrations on my rod as the crab creeps on the trap, pinching off pieces of bait! I learned quickly that each type of crab snare offers an advantage in different locations, but the Crab Hawk is my favorite!

Crabbing from the jetty has been a blast for me, an experienced angler with tons of crabbing experience, and will be great for so many others! First-time anglers will feel encouraged by how approachable this is, no hard-to-learn techniques or grinding away for your first catch. Families will love this as everyone can participate in it whether they are the crab retriever, the crab-crawling-away-wranglers, or the crab cook at home--each person can have a part of this action! Aside from the crabbing fun, the jetty’s offer views of other wildlife like tiny shore crabs, starfish and anemones, eagles and osprey, and occasionally groups of spearfishers who enthusiastically show their catches of rockfish and lingcod.  


Finally, here are some bonus tips, and a word of warning. Tips: when you are selecting your crabbing location, go on days where the surf is not too wild. Waves less than 3-4ft are ideal, and fishing either at high tide or low tide is optimal. There is a ‘slack’ period at each high or low tide that is most pleasant to fish. However, you can fish between the tides! It can be tricky, but attaching a weight to your crab trap to keep it from traveling around is helpful. You are more likely to lose gear doing this, so pick your spots wisely! A word of warning; if you are bringing small children or dogs, be aware of the dangers of jetty fishing. Smaller kids and dogs can fall between rocks! Always keep your eye on the tide and waves, keep your distance from the water as rogue waves can sweep a person away in an instant. Rocks are slippery, so take your time walking on them and be careful!

It’s time to break out and give it try, send me photos on Instagram at @badashoutdoors, and don’t get pinched!