How to go Crabbing with Ring Nets? (Pictures & Tips)

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Crabbing with a ring net doesn't have to be hard, we'll show you how!

If you’re looking to find fresh crab meat for a summer seafood boil, then look no further!

In this article, we will provide a beginner’s guide on how to go crabbing with ring nets. We’ll cover what is required, how to prepare the nets for an outing, and tips for using them when going crabbing.

By following these steps you can make sure that your next trip out yields plenty of tasty crabs!

What to know about crab rings

Crab rings are great for fishing off a boat or a dock, they generally act as a simple net that pick up crab as you raise them up.

They are great for catching Dungeness crab, but due to their size may be less ideal for blue crabs and other smaller species. 

The rings themselves typically are made out of metal rings and nylon netting with a rope and float attached. Depending on where you purchase your crab rings you may have to buy these parts separately, alternatively, you can find them as pre-built traps.

Once you’ve gotten you’re traps prepared you will need to select the correct bait and attach it appropriately to your net, this is where you may want to consider the addition of a bait box. This is optional.

To get a complete list of all the items required for a crab ring net, read below.

Supplies you will require to go crabbing with ring nets:

  • A ring net(s)
  • A nylon rope
  • Bait (chicken necks, etc)
  • A Bushel or ventilated bucket
  • Cork floats
  • Gloves

How to use Ring Nets to Catch Crab: 4-Steps

Crab ring nets are surprisingly easy to set up, they typically just require the addition of a rope. The rope should be tied to one of two places on either side and then weight can also optionally be added for more stability in windy conditions or if you’re fishing from shoreline rocks that might shift with waves crashing against them!

If there are any gaps around where your ring nets will go into the water it’s important not only to seal those up but make sure they have some kind of material over the top so crabs don’t get caught underneath when trying to crawl out after being trapped inside by bait placed outside their escape route(s).

This is especially true near rocky shores as well because these areas tend to attract lots of crab activity due to both natural habitat features like cracks between boulders which provide shelter during high tide periods.

This video provides additional context:

With your ropes, floats (optional), and weights (optional) attached to your ring net you’re ready to get it baited and heading for the water!

1. Bait your crab ring

Baiting your crab ring just requires the addition of you’re preferred bait. Generally, you want to include oily meats, and or fish such as chicken necks (without the skin), prawn meat, clam meat, squid and other similar meats.

If you’re unsure what baits are good in your area try to speak to some of the locals around you, They should help point you in the right direction.

Once you’ve selected your bait you will want to attach it to the bottom of your net. To prevent crabs and other predators from making off with your bait before you’re able to catch any crab you may want to consider the addition of a bait box. 

Bait Box

A bait box is a simple rectangular metal cage in which you can place your bait. It helps keep your bait all in one place while allowing its scent to be freely emitted to attract your crabs.

The main benefits of a bait box are that they allow you to hold more bait at once potentially attracting more crabs and allowing you to re-bait less often. Additionally, they can also add some weight to the net which adds some stability and can prevent the crab ring from drifting.

This video breaks down how to use crab bait boxes in more detail:

2. Rig up your crab ring nets

Now that you have your ring nets baited and ready to it’s time to get out on the water and rig up your nets.

The next two sections include both a video and a visual component to help you better understand how to catch crabs with your ring nets.

3. Cast your crab rings

With your crab rings fully prepared you’re ready to hit the waters and cast your nets. This can either be done from docks with depths of approximately 4 to 20 feet of water or off a boat that’s been secured.

You will want to be able to easily pull your nets out of the water so you should have something secure to tie your nets rope on to.

With your nets in the water, you’ll want to check in on them every 5 to 10 minutes for any crabs!
Any longer than this and you risk having crabs and other fish making off with your bait. It’s really that easy.

4. Rope in your catch!

As mentioned above you will typically only have to wait for 5 to 10 minutes before you’ll begin seeing some action in your nets. If you aren’t seeing any crabs in the area you’ve cast your crab ring after this time you may want to consider moving to another area.

We hope this article was informative and you have a good time crabbing. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to drop a comment below and our team will do their best to get back to you.

Picture of Ryan W

Ryan W

Ryan is the owner of Fisherman First and manages the team of expert writers on the site. He's fished his entire life and has been to locations across North America to catch a range of fish and crustacean from crabs and prawns to minnow and trout.