Best Crabbing Spots in Washington State

There’s something special about crabbing. Maybe it’s the simplicity of the process, or the beauty of the crabs themselves. Whatever the reason, crabbing is a popular pastime in Washington State.

If you’re looking for the best crabbing spots in the Washington state, we’ve put together a list of our five favorites. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced crabber, these spots will provide you with hours of entertainment. So grab your bucket and net, and let’s get started!  

The Five Best Crabbing Spots in Washington State

Washington State is home to some of the best crabbing in the country. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just getting started, there’s a perfect spot for you. Here are five of the best crabbing spots in Washington State:


1. Puget Sound-

Puget Sound is one of the most popular crabbing spots in the state, and for good reason. The crabs here are large and plentiful, and there’s no shortage of access points.

The seasons and areas open to crabbing vary depending on the time of year and the species of crab.

In general, the crab season runs from July 14 through Sept. 30, Thursdays through Mondays only. Tuesdays and Wednesdays will be closed. Season dates Updated as of 9/2/2022.

The best crabbing areas in Puget Sound include Elliott Bay, Bainbridge Island, and Vashon Island. Each of these spots offers excellent opportunities to catch Dungeness crabs, Red Rock crabs, and Tanner crabs.

To ensure a successful crabbing trip, be sure to check the seasonal regulations and obtain a valid fishing license. With a little preparation, you can enjoy a delicious seafood feast without leaving the comfort of Puget Sound.

2. Willapa Bay –

Willapa Bay is another great spot for crabbing, especially if you’re looking for more tranquil surroundings. The bay is calm and secluded, making it perfect for a relaxing day on the water.

Crab season in Willapa Bay typically runs from mid-September to mid-November. During this time, crabbers can take up to 6 Dungeness minimum 6” crabs per day.

However, it’s important to know where to go crabbing, as not all areas of the state are open for crabbing at all times. For example, Willapa Bay is only open for crabbing from November 15 to September 15.

And finally, those looking to crab in Willapa Bay should head to Tokeland Marina or Nahcotta Inn Boat Basin. With a little bit of knowledge and a lot of patience, anyone can enjoy a day of crabbing in Washington State.

3. Grays Harbor –

Grays Harbor is another excellent spot for crabbing, offering great catches and beautiful views.

The crab season in Grays Harbor generally runs from 1 December. through 15 September and there are four main crabbing areas: Westport, Ocean Shores, Copalis Beach, and Moclips. Each of these areas has its own set of regulations so it’s important to check the rules before you go crabbing.

In general, you will need a crab pot, bait, and a fishing license. The best bait for crabbing is usually chicken or fish but you can also use dead clams or shrimp. Once you have your bait and pot, you will need to find a good spot to drop your line.

Crab pots can be placed in shallow water near docks, piers, or other structures. You can also try drop-ping your pots in deep water off the end of a pier or dock. After you’ve found a good spot, lower your pot into the water and wait for the crabs to start biting!

4. Southwest Washington Coast –

The southwest coast of Washington is home to some of the best crabbing in the state. The coastline here is rocky and rugged, providing plenty of opportunity to snag a big crab.

The season for Dungeness crab runs from 1 December. through 15 September, and the season for red rock crab runs from October 1 through June 30. The following areas are open to crabbing:

  • Galilee Passage: This area is located east of a line drawn from Destruction Island to spit. It is open to Dungeness crab fishing from October 16 through December 31.
  • Cape Alava: This area is located west of a line drawn from Cape Flattery to Tatoosh Island. It is open to Dungeness crab fishing from October 16 through December 31.
  • Tatoosh Island: This area is located west of a line drawn from Tatoosh Island to Bonilla Point. It is open to Dungeness crab fishing from October 16 through December 31.
  • Neah Bay: This area is located west of a line drawn fromBonilla Point to Cape Alava. It is open to Dungeness crab fishing throughout the year. Red rock crab fishing is also allowed in this area from October 1 through June 30.

5. San Juan Islands –

If you’re looking for some of the best crabbing spots in Washington State, you’ll want to head to the San Juan Islands. The San Juans are home to several species of crab, including Dungeness, red rock, and tanner crabs.

Crab season typically runs from July 15 – September. 30, Thursdays to Mondays, although the exact dates vary depending on the species.

When planning your trip, be sure to check the regulations for the area you’ll be crabbing in, as there are limits on the number of crabs you can keep and certain areas may be closed to fishing altogether.

San Juan Islands

Best Crabbing Spots in San Juan Islands

  • Deer Harbor: Deer Harbor is one of the busiest charter boat hubs on Orcas Island, and it’s also a great place to go crabbing from the shore. You can find a number of good spots along the public dock, or you can walk out on the nearby breakwater for even better results. Be sure to bring plenty of bait and gear, as there can be a lot of competition for crabs in this popular spot.
  • Rosario Resort: Rosario Resort is located on Orcas Island and offers visitors a chance to go crabbing right from their own private dock. This is a great option if you’re staying on the island and don’t want to deal

With a little preparation and a bit of luck, you can enjoy a delicious seafood feast made straight from the bountiful waters of the San Juan Islands.

Read Also: Best Electric Crab Pot Puller | Which One Save For Crabbing

Tips For Catching More Crabs

Crabbing is a popular summertime activity, but it can be difficult to know where to start. Here are a few tips to help you increase your chances of bringing home a big haul of crabs.

Tips For Catching More Crabs
  • First, make sure you are using the right bait. Crabs are attracted to both live and dead bait, but they prefer smells that mimic those of other crabs.
  • Second, use traps or nets instead of line fishing. This will allow you to catch more than one crab at a time.
  • Third, check your traps regularly. Crabs are able to escape from most traps, so the longer you leave them in, the greater the chance they will get away.
  • Finally, pay attention to the weather. Crabs are more active in warm weather, so if it is a cool day, you may want to wait for another day to go out crabbing.

Following these tips will help you have a successful day of crabbing and bring home a delicious dinner.

Read also: How To Catch Fiddler Crabs Like A Pro – Tips And Techniques


In conclusion, the best crabbing spots in Washington State are most likely to be found in Puget Sound and Grays Harbor.

However, crabbing is also possible in other coastal areas, such as Hood Canal and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

While the best time of year for crabbing is typically from late spring to early fall, crabbing can be successful at any time of year if the conditions are right.

When choosing a crabbing spot, it is important to consider factors such as tides, currents, water depth, and proximity to shore. By following these guidelines, you can maximize your chances of having a successful crabbing adventure.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-time crabber, these spots are sure to provide you with some great catches. So grab your gear and head out for some fun in the sun!


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