How To Build a Crab Trap: Crab Fishing

Get Tips for Making Crab Traps

Crab nets

Crab meat is delicious, but expensive if you buy it from the grocery store. Did you know that you can catch crabs in the sea on your own? You can purchase a premade trap, or make your own. Before making your own, check your local regulations; some areas have certain requirements for design. Here’s how to make a crab trap:

Materials: Gather the appropriate trapping supplies.

Roll of wire fencing with 1” by 1” grid
Snap rings, or wire to attach the parts of the trap to each other
Wire cutters or saw capable of cutting through the wire fencing
Float or floating flag

  1. Cut the materials. The most common crab trap resembles a cage. You’ll need to cut two sides, a top, a bottom, a front, and a back. Then cut a section out of the front to make a doorway. It should be large enough for a crab to fit freely through.
  2. Assemble the crab traps. These work because the crab is able to enter the trap, but is unable to leave. Assemble the trap using the snap rings. Attach the door to the opening on the front. Finally, attach a long length of thick rope securely to the top of the trap. This rope should be able to hold the weight of the trap, since it will be used to haul the trap out of the sea. The top of the rope should just reach the surface of the water. On this end of the rope, attach a float or a floating flag.
  3. Bait the trap. Those who go crabbing use anything from fish heads to cat food to bait their trap.
  4. Take the trap to sea. The baited trap should be placed on the sea floor, with the float at the surface of the water so you can find it later. This float is also necessary for you to be able to retrieve it from the ocean. Make sure to make a mental note of the approximate location. Before going out to set your crab trap, make sure to obtain any licenses that are required.
  5. Retrieve the crabs. The next day, go back to the same spot. Look for your float or flag, and pull up the trap. Remove any crabs that are inside. Be aware that some locations have a size limit or daily limit for the crabs you catch.
  6. Wash the trap. When you get back to land, wash the trap. Otherwise, the salt water may corrode the wire.

Now you know how to build a crab trap. Freshly caught crab is delicious--especially after a long day of crab fishing. This design is cheap to make and can be built in a few minutes or hours. You can even build three or four in an afternoon to increase your chances of catching your dinner.


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