Dungeness Crab

Crabbing is one of the most iconic things to do in Oregon when you visit the coast but in recent years, crabbing has been tough because low meat yields and other issues that have delayed crab season sometimes as late as January.

Thankfully, this year is going to be different because Oregon’s Dungeness crab season opens on December 1st.

This is good news for Oregon, especially for coastal communities because cities like Season, Brookings and Newport rely on crabbing.

It’s an important coastal industry because brings commercial fishermen, tourists and many people obviously like to have Dungeness Crab when they visit local restaurants along the coast.

Image credit – Travel Oregon

Tips For Enjoying Oregon’s Dungeness Crab Season

In general, boat crabbing tends to have a higher yield, but dockside crabbing is easier and more accessible. You can harvest crabs directly from the docks at the marinas. Secure the necessary supplies for Nestucca Bay in nearby Pacific City. Other good options in Tillamook County include Garibaldi Marina, Wheeler Marina, and Netarts Bay Marina.

Plan wisely. The best time of day for crab is during “slack water”—peak high or low tide. Head out with your crab pots and bait, plus well-marked buoys so you can easily tell which pots are yours after the lines are cast.

Secure the bait to the gear (fresh or slightly rotten meat can work well; crabs have a great sense of smell, and pungent foods will pique their interest). Tie the end of your line to the dock and toss your crab pot in the water to get started. Leave things be for at least half an hour. With a little luck, there will be some crabs waiting for you when you haul up your line!

More On Tillamook Coast

Some of the best crabbing bays in Oregon include:

Columbia River Estuary (Hammond)

Nehalem Bay (Wheeler)

Tillamook Bay (Garibaldi)

Netarts Bay (Netarts)

Yaquina Bay (Newport)

Alsea Bay (Waldport)

Siuslaw Bay (Florence)

Coos Bay (Charleston) Coquille Bay (Bandon)

Do You Need A License To Go Crabbing In Oregon?

Even though you may be ready to head out and enjoy Oregon’s Dungeness Crab Season one important thing to do is get licensed because you’re going to need a shellfish license to harvest crabs.

These licenses $10 and can be purchased online from Oregon’s department of fish and wildlife.