5+ Reasons Why Crabbing in Gulf Shores is the Perfect Summer Adventure

Discover the Thrill of Crabbing in Gulf Shores: Affordable Fun, Abundant Catches, and Seafood at Its Peak Season Pricing!

crabbing gulf shores 5+ Reasons Why Crabbing in Gulf Shores is the Perfect Summer Adventure

Looking for a summer adventure you’ll never forget? Then you might want to consider heading out to Gulf Shores, Alabama for a crabbing adventure. You might think, how is crabbing the perfect summer adventure? Well, crabbing lets you try something new, enjoy a day at the beach, entertain the kids, explore a new area, and catch dinner. 

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Catch Dinner

What better way to finish off a day at the beach than with a nice, home-cooked seafood dinner? Crabbing is the ultimate way to not only enjoy the beach but harvest food for dinner. Catch as many blue crabs as you can and bring home your haul for dinner to serve up and feast. 

As the crabs cook, you can reminisce with your family and friends about how you captured your crabs and swap stories. Plus, you get a delicious crab dinner that might not come by often. Not to mention, getting to eat a dinner you hunted and caught is sure to make for a one-of-a-kind bonding experience – juts be sure to know Alabama’s rules & regulations.

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Enjoy a Day at the Beach

Of course, the only way to go crabbing is to take a trip to the beach, and who doesn’t love a good beach day? When you’re not setting up traps, searching the shoreline for crabs, or diving in the water to catch a few of the buggers by hand, you can set up your towels, chairs, and umbrellas to enjoy a day of fun under the sun. 

Explore Gulf Shores

The golden morning light of sunrise shines on coastal Gulf Shores, Alabama with ocean waves gently breaking on the sandy beach and sea.

Maybe the most exciting part of crabbing in Gulf Shores, especially if you’ve never ventured to the area, is exploring all the Gulf Shores has to offer aside from crabbing. 

The pristine white beaches attract guests the most to the area, but Gulf Shores has many attractions, including the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, Fort Morgan, golf, sunset watching, bike riding, the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, and many other outdoor adventures. 

Try Something New

Not everyone can say they’ve been crabbing and feasted on their spoils, unless of course they’ve been crabbing. Crabbing in Gulf Shores is a unique and fun experience that can push you to try something you may not have thought to do before. In addition, it’s an active activity that will get you outside and moving.  

Entertain the Kids

What better way to entertain your kids than with an active outing? Under your supervision, you can fill your kids with bewilderment as they watch excitedly at the abundance of crabs you pluck from the ocean. And, with endless beach activities, from swimming and body surfing to sunning and building sandcastles, your kids will find no problem in entertaining themselves. 

For even more crabbing fun with the kids, you can take them on a fun crabbing-esque adventure at night called ghost crabbing. With a flashlight, you and your kids can run around the shoreline at night in search of tiny sand crabs. While you can’t eat these crabs, it’s still a fun activity to catch and release as many crabs as possible.

FAQs

In case you want some basic crabbing info or have a few more questions before planning your expedition to Gulf Shores, here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on the subject of crabbing in Gulf Shores.

Can you go crabbing in Gulf Shores?

Yes. Gulf Shores allows for recreational crabbing and is a popular spot for ghost crabbing, where you scan the shoreline at night with a flashlight for small shore crabs. 

What month is it best to catch crabs in?

You will have the most luck finding blue crabs in Gulf Shores between April and June and then again between September and October. You might find the water warmer in the spring and summer months.

Do you need a license to crab in Alabama?

According to the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, “Individuals can use up to, but not more than five (5) crab traps for taking crabs for personal, non-commercial purposes but must purchase a resident or non-resident annual or 7-day trip Saltwater Fishing License.” 

Are there crabs in Gulf Shores?

Yes. You’ll find plenty of sand crabs scurrying along the beach when you visit Gulf Shores, Alabama. However, if you’re looking for a bigger crabbing challenge, you’ll also find plenty of blue crabs in the area. 

Final Thoughts

So, what do you think? Are you ready for a new summer adventure that’s sure to be a hit with your family and friends? Crabbing in Gulf Shores not only lets you explore the area and try something new but makes for a great dinner and beach day experience. 

More FAQs

Where is the best place to go crabbing in Gulf Shores?

The best place to go crabbing in Gulf Shores is Gulf State Park Pier. At this location, you can enjoy recreational crabbing or fishing while taking advantage of the pier’s facilities and amenities, such as bait and tackle, souvenirs, and concessions. It’s important to note that there are alternative methods to catch blue crabs besides using baskets.

Do you need a license to crab in Alabama?

You do need a license to crab in Alabama. To take crabs for personal, non-commercial purposes, individuals can use a maximum of five (5) crab traps. However, they must purchase either a resident or non-resident annual or 7-day trip Saltwater Fishing License.

Is there a limit on blue crab in Alabama?

There is a limit on blue crab in Alabama, which is primarily managed through a minimum size requirement of 5 inches, measured across the widest part of the back. However, this size limit does not apply to premolt crabs that are taken for the purpose of shedding into soft-shell crabs, or to crabs that are sold for use as bait.

How do you find crabs on the shore?

To find crabs on the shore, you can look for the little “v” markings in the sand, watch for their antennae sticking out of the sand, and search for rough patches of wet sand after the water recedes. It is advisable to use small sand crabs and avoid using big sand crabs. Additionally, soft-shelled sand crabs are more likely to be taken by big fish.

Can you find crabs on the beach at night?

You can find crabs on the beach at night by heading there as soon as it gets dark. By shining your flashlight, you can observe them scurrying across the sand. When a ghost crab is illuminated by the flashlight, it typically pauses briefly before quickly moving away. This presents a wonderful opportunity to capture a photograph or, if the children are interested, to attempt catching one.

What kind of crabs are on the beach at night?

The crabs that are on the beach at night are Ghost Crabs. They are named Ghost Crabs because they are white and come out during the nighttime. These crabs are also known as sand crabs because they have the same color as the sand and can easily blend in. We have observed and captured Ghost Crabs of various sizes, ranging from smaller than a dime to several inches across.

Do sand crabs bite?

Sand crabs do not bite or pinch, which makes them harmless. It is important to leave sand crabs where they are found on the beach because they cannot be kept as pets in aquariums and rely on the ocean environment for their survival.

How do you catch ghost crabs during the day?

To catch ghost crabs during the day, one should go to a beach where these crabs are commonly found and search for holes. The presence of damp, dark sand around a hole indicates the presence of a crab. To capture the crab, place a trap by inserting the 3-inch cylindrical end into the crab hole and securing it with sand.

What time do crabs come out in Gulf Shores?

Crabs come out in Gulf Shores just after sundown, as parents and kids can be seen chasing little sand crabs along the beaches of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. This activity, known as ghost crabbing, involves finding these small shore crabs that burrow deep into the sand and are more easily spotted at night when the beach is darker.

What month are crabs most active?

Crabs are most active during the months of October to December, which is the best time to harvest large, heavy crabs. However, they can be caught throughout the year, although they become less active and harder to catch in the winter when the water temperature drops below 50-55 degrees.

How do you find crabs at night on the beach?

To find crabs at night on the beach, you can head to the beach as soon as it gets dark and shine your flashlight. By doing so, you can observe the crabs scurrying across the sand. When a ghost crab is illuminated by the flashlight, it usually pauses momentarily before quickly moving away. This presents a perfect opportunity to capture a photograph or encircle the crab if the children wish to attempt catching one.

When can you catch crabs in Alabama?

You can catch crabs in Alabama between March and November. During these prime months, blue crabs can be found scuttling near the shore or in bay waters along the coast, ensuring a fresh catch.

What tide is best for crabbing from shore?

The best time for crabbing from shore is during slack water, which refers to the time around high or low tide. This is when crabs are typically active and searching for food, as they are not affected by the strong currents caused by tidal exchange.

What is the best month to catch crabs?

The best month to catch crabs depends on the area and specific type of crab. Generally, the primary season for all crab species is from October to January, when they are often at their largest and populations are highest after spawning. Some regions even extend the crabbing season into July. It is during this time that crabs will be their freshest and most abundant.

What is the best bait for crabbing?

The best bait for crabbing is typically raw liver, bacon, sardines, squid, and fish heads. These options are highly effective due to crabs’ strong sense of smell and their greedy nature. It is recommended to choose bait with a strong odor. Local butchers and fishmongers in the area usually offer these bait options, and it is even better if the fish heads are a couple of days old.

What are the best hours for crabbing?

The best hours for crabbing are during the period of 1-2 hours before high tide until 1-2 hours after high tide. During this time, the water will have sufficient movement, providing you with the greatest opportunity to catch crabs. However, it is important to be cautious of water currents as they can potentially displace your traps or cause them to become lodged in the mud.

What moon phase is best for crabbing?

The best moon phase for crabbing is during the full moon. This is because crabs tend to feed before the full moon, consuming a substantial amount of food to meet their nutritional needs. Additionally, during this time, crabs often bury themselves in the sand to protect themselves from predators.

Are shore crabs good bait?

Shore crabs can be used as effective bait for perch and cabezon, particularly the small ones that are commonly found near pilings, rocks, and jetties. To obtain them, you will need to catch them yourself, but if you are in a favorable location, it shouldn’t take much time to gather a sufficient amount for fishing purposes. This is especially true if you venture out at night equipped with a flashlight.

How long can shore crabs live out of water?

Shore crabs can live out of water for 1-2 days, but terrestrial crabs, including fiddler crabs, can breathe out of the water indefinitely. They are able to keep their gills moist simply by breathing.

Do shore crabs need air?

Shore crabs do require air as they have adapted to living in environments where they can survive underwater for certain periods of time. However, they cannot sustain a permanent underwater existence and still need access to air.

What tide zone do crabs live in?

Crabs live in the intertidal zone, which is a tide zone that requires them to adapt to fluctuations in moisture, temperature, and salinity, as well as endure powerful waves. Other organisms that can be found in the intertidal zones of rocky shorelines include sea stars, snails, seaweed, and algae.

How do crabs survive in tide pools?

Crabs survive in tide pools by keeping their gills moist, which allows oxygen in the air to diffuse into the moisture and into their gills for breathing. By taking a quick dip in the surf to keep their gills wet, crabs can freely crawl around onshore.

What crabs are in Gulf Shores?

The Gulf Shores are home to the blue crab, which is widely considered as the most prevalent crab species in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico. This particular crab sustains a thriving fishery and is easily recognizable by its vibrant colors, including red and blue claws, as well as blue legs and swimmerets.

Do I need a license to crab in Alabama?

You do need a license to crab in Alabama. To take crabs for personal, non-commercial purposes, individuals can use a maximum of five (5) crab traps. However, it is necessary to purchase either a resident or non-resident annual or 7-day trip Saltwater Fishing License.

What’s the best time to catch crab?

The best time to catch crab is during the period of 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 your traps or cause them to become stuck in the mud.

Is there a crab season in Alabama?

There is indeed a crab season in Alabama. The freshest catch can be found between March and November, with blue crabs scuttling near the shore or in bay waters along the coast during these prime months.

Can you eat the crabs you find on the beach?

The crabs found on the beach can be eaten as a delicacy and are regarded as a healthy food choice due to their high protein content and low fat content, making them a nutritious option for those seeking a wholesome meal.

How deep do crabs dig in the sand?

Crabs can dig burrows up to four feet deep in the sand, and these burrows are frequently located hundreds of feet away from the water’s edge. Ghost crabs, in particular, tend to burrow closer to the water when they are younger, but as they age, they prefer to burrow higher up on the beach.

What are the tiny crabs on the shore?

The tiny crabs on the shore are known as sand crabs or mole crabs. These peculiar creatures have a unique shape resembling small eggs and can reach a length of up to 1.5 inches. It is quite easy to spot these inhabitants of the sand when visiting the beach.

Are there edible crabs in Gulf of Mexico?

There are edible crabs in the Gulf of Mexico, such as the Blue crabs. They can be found along the Atlantic Coast and are caught by both commercial and recreational fishermen. Known scientifically as Callinectes sapidus, which translates to ‘beautiful savory swimmer’ in Latin, Blue crabs are highly valued and constitute the most valuable fishery in the Chesapeake Bay.

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