crab on a spade caught crabbing in Whitby

Crabbing in Whitby

Have you ever been crabbing in Whitby? It’s a time-honoured favourite for families who visit our lovely part of the coast each year. We’ve got lots of fantastic spots around town that you can cast off from to find crabs. Check out the best spots and some tips for finding the biggest crabs in Whitby.

Where to go crabbing in Whitby

The best place to go crabbing in Whitby is next to the swing bridge in town. It’s the perfect spot to cast down your line and challenge your friends and family to see who can catch the biggest crab!

It’s not uncommon to see people crabbing all along the harbour walls either. But, for the best crabs and to leave plenty of space for others, please try and keep to the designated cast off area next to the swing bridge.

Crabbing tips

You can buy everything you need for crabbing from the shops along the harbour. All you need is a bucket, crabbing line with a weighted end and some bait. Fill your bucket with some sea water and bits of seaweed if you can – crabs don’t like lots of direct sunlight, so to care or them properly, you need to give them some shelter.

crab on the beach

Once you’ve prepared your bucket, you can then wrap your bait around the end of your line. Crabs like lots of different foods, but we’ve found that bacon bits, chicken necks and any oily fish does really well to attract crabs. Or, if you’re not feeling squeamish, crabs absolutely love fish heads!

Drop your baited line into the water and wait for the food to work its magic. Your kids will be tempted to pull the line out every minute to see if they’ve caught anything. If you can, get them to wait a little longer – up to five minutes if possible – to draw out the biggest crabs.

When it feels like you’ve got a catch, pull your line up slowly. If you move the line too quickly or in a jerky movement, the crab is likely to let go!

When it comes to releasing your crabs back into the harbour, gently by lowering your bucket into the water and letting your catches drift out. Harbour crabs are relatively small and inedible. Do make sure you put them back where you found them!

Get in touch

If you’ve been crabbing in Whitby, we’d love to see your pictures! Send them to us on Facebook or Twitter.

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