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Crabbing on Oregon’s Adventure Coast

Family Crabbing at the Charleston Marina

No trip to Oregon’s Adventure Coast is complete without Dungeness crab, and the best crab are always the ones you bring up yourself from the waters of lower Coos Bay. Rent or buy a crab ring and try your luck; the payoff will be a fresh crab feast you’ll always remember. And you’ll keep coming back for more!

While Oregon’s best-known crab is the Dungeness, there are other species along the coast, including the native red rock crab and the invasive European green crab. Both of these species, like the Dungeness, are fun to catch and tasty to eat.

Here are a few key crabbing tips from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife . Be sure to read their instructional flyer “How to Crab” for important details.

  • Make sure you have your shellfish license (14 and older requires a shellfish license), crab measuring tool, pots or rings, cooler, gloves, bait holders and bait supply. Three-day licenses are available at local ODFW offices and at many sporting goods or hardware stores .
  • Slack water (the time around high or low tide) is the best time to crab. During slack water, crabs are generally walking around and foraging since they are not getting pushed around by tidal exchange.
  • Check all lines on crab pots or rings for kinks or knots to ensure they are durable and will allow gear to work correctly.
  • Fresh bait is best. Many different types of bait are used for crabbing, including turkey, chicken, mink, fish carcass, shad, herring, clams, etc . . .
  • Tie the end of your crab line to the dock or pier from where you are crabbing. Drop your crab pot or ring in the water gently – so you don’t draw attention from hungry seals and sea lions ­– and start crabbing.
  • Check with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife website for the most current shellfish regulations and harvest notices.

Best Locations for Crabbing on Oregon’s Adventure Coast

Lower Coos Bay Crabbing Map

Lower Coos Bay - Map

The lower bay (from ocean entrance to the airport) is “marine dominated,” meaning there is little freshwater influence, which makes for some of Oregon’s most productive shellfishing opportunities.

Download Map »

Charleston Crabbing Map

Charleston Area - Map

Dock crabbing is available throughout the commercial docks in Charleston. Additionally, the Charleston Visitor Center and the T-docks South of the bridge provide excellent dock crabbing.

Download Map »

Equipment Rental and Advice

Rental crab rings are available at many RV parks and other lodging facilities, and tackle and marine supply stores often rent and sell rings. Here’s a short list of some locations:

Davey Jones Locker
Cape Arago Highway & Boat Basin Road
Charleston, OR 97420
(541) 888-3941

Monkey Business Market
Charleston Marina
Charleston, OR 97420
(541) 778-3650

Explore Clamming & Fishing!

Clamming on the Oregon's Adventure Coast

Oregon’s Adventure Coast is not just known for great crabbing, but excellent clamming and fishing as well. It’s relatively easy and the reward is a tasty treat best served in chowder, steamed or fried. Learn more about Clamming on Oregon’s Adventure Coast >>

World-Class Fishing on the Oregon's Adventure Coast

World-Class Fishing
Fishing opportunities are in no short supply here. There are fish for every season and an endless choice of prime fishing spots to select from.Visit our Fishing page for information on charters and more! >>

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(541) 269-0215
50 Central Ave, Coos Bay, OR 97420

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