Crabbing on the Oregon Coast

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For years, the Oregon Coast has been a destination for people wanting to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. One of the most popular activities on this stretch of coast is crabbing.

There are many different types of crabs that can be found in these waters, including Dungeness Crab, Red Rock Crab, Tanner Crab, Horse Crabs and more! 

The best way to find an area with lots of local crabs is to ask around your hotel or locals who live nearby. 

This article will provide you with a list of some great spots to try your luck on the Oregon Coast.

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5 Best Places to Catch Crab on the Oregon Coast

In every Oregon waterway, you will be able to find crab, with the Tillamook and Yaquina Bay areas providing the best opportunities for crabbing year-round.

Each bay and coastal inlet will have its pros and cons so read below to learn more and discover which one will suit your needs best.

1. Tillamook Bay

One of the larger bays in Oregon, Tillamook Bay is a great area to hit the water and drop your line or traps. With five rivers feeding the waters, you can catch fish, clam and a range of different crabs including red rock crab and dungeness crab.

If you’re looking to catch crabs in this area the best months to land dungeness crab are October, November, and December. Boat crabbing will generally provide the best results and ensure you bring home your legal limit but crabbing from shore can prove to be just as good.

Garibaldi Marina, Kell’s Brighton Marina, and Wheeler Marina, are all great areas to grab supplies and even crab directly from docks.

2. Yaquina Bay

If Tillamook Bay isn’t to your liking you can also check out Yaquina Bay, this is a great spot to catch shellfish and provides crabbers with a number of locations to catch crab from shore.

Some good places to crab from shore here include Bay Street Pier, Abbey Street Pier, and the South Beach Marina. You’ll find predominantly dungeness crab in this area, especially during the summer months, and red rock crabs here and there.

The only thing to be aware of when crabbing here is the channels, they should be avoided when possible.

If you’re looking to launch a boat then South Beach Marina is the spot with both rentals and a boat launch. With many shops and restaurants nearby this is a great location to take the friends or family.

3. Coos Bay

One of Oregon’s most productive regions for shellfish production, Coos Bay is a great spot if you’re looking for a large place to explore. With a number of piers and beaches to crab from including Charleston / Charleston Harbour and Bastendorff beach, even the most novice of crabber should have luck here.

If you are on the hunt for other areas around Coos bay there are many spots you can discover along the Cape Arago Highway.

Like most bays and rivers in Oregon, the best time of year to catch crab here is from late September to December.

4. Siuslaw River

Near the city of Florence, Oregon, the Siuslaw River is a great place if you want to take out your boat. With numerous launch points including the Port of Siuslaw, the river provides a great ground for crabbing with traps or nets.

With dungeness crab being available in numbers your bound to come home with your daily limit but if you’re looking to increase you odds even more September to November are especially good times to catch crab in this area.

This river is also a great location for fishing.

5. Coquille River

If you are looking for a quieter day out crabbing then the Coquille River can be a great location to check out. Well, it may not have as many crabs as the other spots in this list the river can be particularly good if you’re on the hunt for dungeness crab.

Located near Bandon, Oregon you can launch your boat from the Port of Bandon. Crabbing can be done year-round, but like most of Oregon, the crabbing is always better from fall to the start of December.

Related Article: Virginia Crabbing: Regulations, Season, Locations

Rules and Regulations

If you are looking to head out and catch any kind of crab in Oregon you will require a shellfish license. This will give you the ability to harvest crabs from any bays or coastal waters, and can be bought from most bait & tackle shops, marinas or your local Fish & Game office.

After you have received your license you are good to go crabbing for a full year. Just make sure you stay within your catch limit.

The current daily limit for dungeness crab is 12 males (no females) with a minimum width of 5 ¾ inches, or 24 red rock crab (any size or sex).

If you plan on crabbing from the beach, a pier or jetty no license is required.

Related Questions

Where is the best crabbing on the Oregon Coast?

Being on the coast Oregon has numerous inlets and bays in which you can catch fresh high-quality crab. Some of the best locations to catch crab in Oregon include the Columbia River Estuary, Tillamook Bay, Winchester Bay, Siuslaw Bay, Yaquina Bay, Nehalem Bay, Netarts Bay, Alsea Bay, Coos Bay and Coquille Bay.

All of the locations above will include a range of different crabs to catch. To learn more about the top 5 crabbing locations on the Oregon coast we’ve selected our favourite spots and added some additional detail on each of them below. 

Get your traps, lines and nets ready as these are some great crabbing locations you won’t want to miss out on.

When is crabbing season in Oregon?

In Oregon recreational crabbing is open year-round if you are harvesting the crabs from beaches, docks, piers, or jetties. Recreational crabbing is open on the ocean from Dec 1st – Oct 15. If you are utilizing floating surface buoys then you will need to ensure your full name and phone number are included on an accessible marker or tag prior to placing it in the water. 

What is the best time to go crabbing in Oregon?

The best time of year to go crabbing in Oregon is the months of October, November, and December. The best time of day to catch crab in oregon is when the slack water is present, this is the period when the waters are more calm between high tide and low tide.


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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.