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Top Tips for crabbing off the quayside

Ah crabbing, a classic seaside past-time. Some of the LMF team’s fondest childhood memories include crabbing on the Cornish coastline until the sun sets and it’s time to go home.

Perhaps you’ve never tried crabbing? Well, now is your chance. We hereby challenge you to give it a go and see how many crabs you can catch next time you’re in Cornwall, we’d love to hear how you got on.

To help you out here are our top tips for crabbing off the quayside.

Step One -The equipment

First, you’ll need a sturdy stick and some string. Wrap about half of the string around the stick and tie it so it won’t come loose. The rest of the string will need to be long enough for you to reach the water comfortably.

On the other end of the string, you’ll need some kind of weight so that the line will sink, we recommend using a stone or pebble.

Lastly, you’ll need a bucket and some bait. Crabs love bacon, chicken or ham and are sure to come out of hiding from underneath the rocks to find it.

If making your own kit sounds like too much of a challenge you can get everything you need for just a couple of quid from many of the shops in Looe.

Step Two – Finding the perfect spot

Crabbing is a serious sport, and you’ll need to find the perfect spot to be able to catch the most crabs. Our top tip is to go where there is plenty of cover for them like rocks and seaweed as they like to hide beneath them. They also like piers and harbour sides.

You’ll also need to fill a bucket with sea water to put your crabs in after you’ve caught them. Put some stones and a little seaweed in too so the crabs feel at home and don’t get too stressed. Once you’re sat comfortably, put some bait on the end of your line next to the weight, not too much at first as some crabs are greedy and will eat it all.

Step Three – Crabbing

Slowly lower the line down into the water and let it sink to the bottom. If the water is shallow enough you might be able to see the bottom which means, you’ll definitely know if there’s a crab there. If not, wrap a little of the line around your finger loosely so you can feel if one pulls on the line.

Once the crab is on the end of your line, slowly lift it out of the water and up towards the bucket. Make sure not to rush it as the crab may get scared and let go of his tasty treat.

Carefully lift him into the bucket of sea water and take the crabbing line away. This is when you can take some photographs of him in your bucket to show your friends later.

If you don’t release him straight away make sure the bucket is kept out of direct sunlight to keep the crab cool and ensure the bucket always has sea water in.

Step Four – Time to go home

Now your bucket is full of little crabs, it’s time for them to be returned to their homes. Carefully carry your bucket to the water’s edge and tip slowly into the sea. Make sure you get some great photos of them running away!

Whether you’re a veteran crabbing expert or an absolute beginner, we hope you thoroughly enjoy your time crabbing on the gorgeous Cornish coastline, let’s see who can get the most.

Good luck!