Crabbing In Southern California – Where To Go And How It’s Done

Eager to go crabbing in Southern California? Wait just yet!

There is no doubt that crabbing is a fun and worthwhile activity. But do you know exactly where to head off to get more crabs?

If you are looking to have a hefty catch and make the most out of this activity, you need to know where to go. Here is everything you need to know about the how-to and where to go crabbing in Southern California!

Crabbing In Southern California – The Basics

Recreational anglers who wish to do some serious crabbing in California first need to know the when, what and where to this activity.

First of all, crabbing in this part of California usually starts in early November until late July. Ideally, you would want to head out in the early morning or right before sunset. Those are the best times to go crabbing since your targets are most active.

As for the size limit, there is a standard daily bag limit that does not exceed 10 crabs. The smallest size of crab should be 5 3/4 and not smaller than that.

To go crabbing, you can do so from either a vessel or the shoreline. But if you are doing recreational crabbing, then you need to make sure that it is not using a vessel for commercial purposes.

Some tools you will need include crab loop traps or hoop nets. Some divers, on the other hand, simply grab their target by hand.

Now, once you have decided to participate in the crab season in California, you will have to comply with state regulations. For instance, anglers that are under 16 years of age must need to secure their fishing license in California for crabbing.

But if you would like to bypass this requirement, you can simply head over to some fishing piers, where you can go crabbing without any license.

When you have caught your crab, you should bring it to the surface for measurement purposes. If the crab is undersized, you must immediately release it into the water. You cannot retain crabs under the minimum size or keep it in some kind of a holding device.

Where To Go Crabbing In Southern California

where to go crabbing in southern california

Are you excited to start crabbing in Southern California? We won’t blame you for being eager to get started. After all, it’s definitely a fun activity to do!

With the sunny weather and abundant number of crabs in this part of California, it is indeed a great spot to catch those yellow, red, dungeness, as well as spider crabs. Anywhere in the jetties, bays, and piers are the perfect spots to find your next target.

For the finest crabbing opportunities, these are our go-to in Southern California:

1. Balboa and Newport Piers

Both are situated in the southern portion of Huntington beach. These are great areas for catching that elusive spider crab or the more common red rock crab.

You can use crab rings, which sit flatly on the sandy bottom of the ocean. Staying for a couple of days on the Santa Catalina Island is also highly recommended, as you can combine your crabbing adventure with some serious offshore fishing.

2. Ventura Pier

Now, this pier is in Pierpont Bay, right between Santa Barbara and Santa Monica. It used to be called Ventura Wharf, and it extends into the bay.

Anglers can easily go out for some crabbing along the pier, and using crab rings or crab snares are a must in this area. Aside from the red rock crab, you can also catch various fish species and seafood to make your adventure more worthwhile.

Another cool thing about Ventura Pier is that it is not too crowded unlike other popular Southern California crabbing spots.

So, we highly recommend novices to start out at Ventura Pier because it’s not as competitive and crowded as the other more common locations.

3. Oceanside Pier

This amazing place to go crabbing in Southern California is only 38 miles north of San Diego. There is the Oceanside Harbor, as well as Camp Pendleton Harbor located north of the pier.

The Oceanside Pier is a great place to go because it spans out 1954 feet, so there’s more than enough room for anglers. You can crabbing on both sides and find yourself some blue crabs and dungeness red rock using your crab rings or crab pots.

And here’s a bonus – at the end of your crabbing adventure, you can head over to Ruby’s Diner for your favorite comfort food and have a great time with your family and friends!

4. Santa Monica Bay

This list of best crabbing locations in Southern California will never be complete without Santa Monica Bay.

It is nestled on the shore of Southern California, where you can find your spider crabs, and red and yellow crabs. For folks who have never gone crabbing before, you would be amazed at how big the crabs are, especially the ones that closely resemble the size of Alaskan King crabs.

We recommend that you direct your boat to the Redondo Beach Marina and hit the crabbing spots that are about 30 to 60 feet deep. Grab your hoop nets and target these crabs, as well as a bait box, which also works well.

If you want to up your game, you can add in some frozen fish bait. This works wonders when it comes to luring crabs!

5. Monterey Bay

And lastly – but definitely not the least – we have Monterey Bay. Located right around Santa Cruz, this is on the northern end of SoCal, where you can easily launch your boat and go to crabbing grounds on the northern point of the bay.

There are so many spots to go crabbing, and the best way is to do it by boat. Just be sure to get your heaviest and strongest crab traps, let it submerge into the deep waters, and then you can haul it once you got your catch.

Bottom Line

There you have it – just some of the finest spots to do some crabbing in Southern California.

Now that you know the great locations, and you have just learned more about the right tools and techniques to use in each location, you are all set!

So, head out there, be sure to have all that you need, and make the most out of the crabbing season in this part of the state!

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