Crabbing in Port Aransas, Texas
When you crave a fresh succulent crab leg, skip the lines and catch your own! Island Tackle is the go-to spot for all you crabbing supplies—crab buckets, traps, rings, nets, line, gloves, tongs. You name it, they’ve got it! Here’s a little how-to if you are planning on catching your own.
Crabbing in Port Aransas can go one of two ways:
Head to the bulkhead in the ship channel or anywhere along Port St., where you can join the other fishermen and cast your own line! Tie your line to either a crab trap or a heavy duty two-ring crab net. Before lowering it to the bottom, tie some oily bait fish…or even a raw chicken neck will work! Put your gloves on, because once a crab has made his way into your trap, you’ll have to pull up in haste before he makes a quick escape! After you’ve brought the crab to the surface, use your pair of tongs to take hold of the body and drop ‘em in the bucket!
Not sure if you can take on the challenge alone? Captain Dave with Surrender at Sunrise is a seasoned professional who can guide you through the whole experience. Since you will be joining him on a boat excursion, a dip net would be your best instrument here. Captain Dave’s specialty lies in seeking out the bottom dwellers like flounder (and crabs!). For this method of crab fishing, you will not need to use bait; skill and patience are all you need. When you near a crab or two, sweep them up from the bottom and simply drop them in your crab bucket.
The Nitty Gritty
The most common crustacean species found in Port A are Blue Crab and Stone Crab. According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, there is not a limit on how many Blue Crabs you can catch, but there is a 5-inch minimum body width required to keep the crab. If you catch a Stone Crab, only the right claw can be kept, and only if it measures at least 2 1/2 inches in length. The body must be returned to the water.
Be cautious of losing and/or abandoning your crab trap, because if it lost to the ocean floor, the trap can kill more fish and crab than intended. Remember, if you are 17 years or older, in the state of Texas, you are required to have a saltwater fishing license when fishing the Gulf Coast.