4+ Reasons Why Crabbing in Louisiana is a Must-Do Adventure

Crabbing in Louisiana offers a unique experience with family, a chance to catch and cook your meal, and requires a license year-round.

Scenic view of the Bayous in Louisiana, USA

So, you’re headed to Louisiana for vacation and are looking for ideas about things to do during your stay. Well, why not take a crabbing trip?

This southern state is known for its vast wetlands and abundant waterways, making it the perfect place to catch some of the freshest and most delicious blue crabs. But that’s not the only reason why crabbing in Louisiana should be on your bucket list. 

In this article, we’ll explore four compelling reasons why this activity is a must-do for anyone who loves seafood, nature, and a good challenge. From the breathtaking scenery to the cultural significance of crabbing in Louisiana, there’s something for everyone when you embark on this exciting adventure.

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Experience the Real Louisiana 

While everyone immediately thinks of Bourbon Street in New Orleans or New Orleans in general, when they think of Louisiana, the state has so much more to offer, especially concerning wildlife and outdoor adventure. 

Fortunately, when it comes to crabbing in Louisiana, you can get the full Louisiana wildlife experience. You’ll find crabbing spots from bridges and piers to wildlife sanctuaries like the Creole Nature Trail

At the Creole Nature Trail just south of Lake Charles, you’ll find over 26 miles of shoreline and trails through three national wildlife refuges, where you can spot various birds, fish, shells, and an abundance of other native wildlife.

Enjoy a Unique Experience with the Family

Instead of going to the typical Louisiana hotspots for an unforgettable experience, like New Orleans, you can experience something entirely new with a crabbing trip. On a crabbing trip, you can experience lesser-known parts of Louisiana for a truly unique experience. 

How many people can say they’ve been crabbing in a national wildlife refuge in Louisiana? Probably not too many ordinary families. Plus, crabbing is the perfect opportunity to get the family out, and active and poses many opportunities to teach and learn about nature.

Have a Day in the Sun

From the coastline to national wildlife refuges, it doesn’t matter where you end up crabbing in Louisiana to enjoy a day in the sun with your family and friends. 

Crabbing lets you have a peaceful day in the sun and in nature to relax and rejoice when you catch a few of those buggers scurrying about. You can even make an entire day out of it to explore wildlife and soak up as much sun as possible. 

Catch a Creole Dinner

young happy and proud attractive fisherman showing fish and crabs basket net captures smiling at sea dock sunset in man fishing as weekend hobby concept and holidays leisure concept

While crabbing is a fun excursion in and of itself, what comes after is even more desirable. There’s nothing quite like catching and preparing your own dinner and that’s exactly what you can do with the spoils of your crabbing adventure

Better than simply preparing and eating your crabs, you can spice it up in honor of Louisiana’s creole cuisine. Give your crabs that authentic creole flavor and serve them up low country boil style with seasonings, corn, and potatoes. 

Plus, preparing a dinner that you and your family caught yourselves in is a rewarding and memorable experience. Not to mention, food always tastes better after a hard day’s work for some reason.

Do you need a license to go crabbing in Louisiana?

According to Louisiana State law, recreational crabbers must have either a “Hook and Line Fishing License or a Basic Fishing License if above the freshwater/saltwater line,” if they want to crab in the state.

his license is required for anyone over the age of 16 who is using any legal crab trap or other devices to take crabs recreationally. The license can be purchased online through the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries or from licensed vendors throughout the state. 

What is the best time to go crabbing in Louisiana?

When heading to Louisiana for crabbing, you’ll do your best to plan your trip any time between May and September. Planning your trip any other time may result in poor weather or a lack of crabs, which defeats the purpose of the trip, doesn’t it?

Where can I crab in Louisiana?

There’s an abundance of crabbing spots in Louisiana, including boat landings, public piers, shorelines, and bridges. However, one of the best ways to find a spot for crabbing is along the Creole Nature Trail, where people have been crabbing for decades.

Is crabbing season open in Louisiana?

While the prime crabbing season in Louisiana is between May and September, the state is open for crabbing all year round. So, if you can’t make it down during the height of the season, you don’t need to worry. However, you should keep an eye out for any state-mandated closures. 

More FAQs about Crabbing in Louisiana

Where is the best place to catch crabs in Louisiana?

The best place to catch crabs in Louisiana is Lake Pontchartrain, which is renowned for its abundance of blue crabs. These crabs are highly sought after for their delectably sweet and tender meat.

How long is crabbing season in Louisiana?

The crabbing season in Louisiana is open year-round, although there may be temporary restrictions on the use of crab traps during certain periods. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has the authority to prohibit the use of crab traps in state waters for up to 16 consecutive days between February 1 and March 31, as well as for up to 14 consecutive days during the spring, which includes the opening day of the inshore shrimp season. These restrictions are implemented to remove abandoned crab traps from the water.

Where do blue crabs live in Louisiana?

Blue crabs in Louisiana inhabit estuarine and coastal waters, specifically upper estuaries with marsh, oyster reefs, and soft mud bottoms. Additionally, studies have shown that blue crabs are highly cannibalistic, with some research suggesting that they make up as much as 13% of the diet of other blue crabs.

How long is crab season in Louisiana?

The crab season in Louisiana lasts throughout the year, with the most abundant and meaty live, hard shell crabs being available during the warmer months. As the feeding activity increases with warmer waters, the crabs are less available during the colder months, with March being the scarcest time.

Do you need a license to crab in Louisiana?

A license is required to crab in Louisiana if you are harvesting crabs recreationally using crab nets or crab lines. Specifically, you must possess either a Hook and Line Fishing License or a Basic Fishing License if you are operating above the freshwater/saltwater line.

What are the new crab laws in Louisiana?

The new crab laws in Louisiana have been announced by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Starting from June 1, 2022, individuals with a Residential Saltwater Fishing License will be allowed to have up to 10 crab traps. Moreover, engaging in “string and net” crabbing will require obtaining a fishing license.

Can you catch stone crabs in Louisiana?

In Louisiana, it is allowed to set legal stone crab claws on shore from a vessel, while whole stone crabs cannot be landed, except for a tolerance of one stone crab per crate of blue crabs, as stated by Louisiana law.

What is the best bait for crabbing in Louisiana?

The best bait for crabbing in Louisiana is chicken or turkey scraps, especially organs or necks, which are often available at a low cost from your local butcher. Additionally, blue crabs are also attracted to shrimp, which can be easily caught in Louisiana and used as inexpensive bait.

What is the best time of day to go crabbing?

The best time to go crabbing is during slack water, which is the time around high or low tide. Crabs are typically active and searching for food during this period, as they are not being affected by the movement of the tides.

What are the best hours for crabbing?

The best hours for crabbing are typically 1-2 hours before high tide until 1-2 hours after high tide. During this time, the water will have sufficient movement, increasing your chances of catching crabs. However, it is important to be cautious of water currents as they can potentially displace or trap your crab traps in the mud.

What is the best thing to attract crabs?

The best way to attract crabs is by using smelly bait. Crabs have a strong sense of smell and are known for their greediness. Local butchers and fishmongers in the area offer a variety of options such as raw liver, bacon, sardines, squid, and fish heads. It is even better if the fish heads are a couple of days old.

What attracts crabs to traps?

Crabs are attracted to traps by bait, with fish and chicken being the most commonly used options. Fish, particularly oily ones, tend to lure more crabs, while chicken has the advantage of lasting longer. Any type or cut of chicken can be utilized, but necks are preferred due to their affordability and ease of securing.

What do you need to catch crabs in Louisiana?

To catch crabs in Louisiana, you will need a Hook and Line License, which permits the use of crab nets or crab lines in state waters. Additionally, a Basic Fishing License is required to use crab nets, crab lines, or crab traps within freshwater areas of the state. Lastly, a Saltwater Fishing License is necessary for catching crabs in saltwater areas.

Where is the best place to set blue crab traps?

The best place to set blue crab traps can vary due to weather and tide conditions, as they can influence the crabs’ congregating depths unexpectedly. It is advisable to search for cuts and creek mouths where crabs tend to gather and position your traps outside of these areas. Additionally, underwater humps and bars can also be highly productive locations for setting traps.

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