What types of crabs can you catch when you go crabbing? There are three typical types of crabs that I’ve seen when I’ve gone crabbing off of California: Dungeness crabs, red rock crabs and brown rock crabs.
I’ve read that you can find stone crabs off of Florida, king and snow crabs off of Alaska, and Maryland Blue Crab off of Virginia…but I can’t verify this as I’ve never crabbed anywhere except in northern California.
Note, you’ll want to review crabbing guidelines at your state’s applicable regulatory agency regarding all updated rules, seasons, bag limits, etc. If you plan to cook and eat crab you catch, you should first conduct your own research regarding crab consumption guidelines and advisories.
On the west coast, where I live, I typically catch Dungeness crab, red or brown rock crab. Dungeness crab is a species of crab that inhabits eelgrass beds and water bottoms on the west coast of North America. They are considered the most coveted type of crab by crabbers. Their meat tends to be sweeter than rock crab. Below is a picture of one I caught in Bodega Bay, CA.
Red Rock Crabs
I typically see red rock crab more often than Dungeness crab when I’m crabbing in the Bodega Bay area and they are typically more feisty (they like to fight)! The red rock crab lives in and around rocky places. Below is a picture of a red rock crab I caught in Bodega Bay, CA.
Brown Rock Crabs
I’ve been crabbing in the Bodega Bay area since I was a kid and I only recently caught brown rock crabs when I went crabbing in the San Francisco bay. Their claws are larger and more rounded than red rock crab claws and they are more mellow than red rock crabs. And, brown rock crabs shells are much easier to crack and their meat is sweeter than red rock crabs, but not as sweet as Dungeness crab meat. Below are some pictures of brown rock crabs I caught Fort Baker Moore Road Pier in Sausalito, CA.
Spider Crabs (Bonus)
Occasionally I’ll catch spider crabs in Bodega Bay, but they’ve always been small so I’ve always thrown them back in the ocean. Below is a picture of one I caught in Bodega Bay.
What types of crabs can you catch when you go crabbing? I hope now you’re prepared and know what to expect when you go crabbing. Happy crabbing!