If you are new to the area you might not know that Netarts and Tillamook Bay are loaded with Dungeness crab! Crabbing is best during months that end in an “er” (like November) but you can catch, keep and eat crab year round.  Crab from Netarts Bay are by far my favorite seafood! Something unique about Netarts Bay vs.Tillamook Bay is that it has very little fresh water influence, whereas Tillamook Bay has five major rivers running into it. This, in my opinion, affects the flavor and quality of the crab meat.

If you think you’d like to try catching your own crab, there’s good news! They are not too difficult to get. We have our own boat and go crabbing as often as we can, but if you don’t, you can rent one along with traps (or rings) from the Big Spruce RV Park or Netarts Bay Garden RV Resort located in Netarts.  Our go-to is traps and chicken drumsticks for bait. Some crabbers use fish carcasses, or you can purchase cans of bait. We have tried all the types and chicken is the least expensive and we seem to do the best when we use it.

You will need a shellfish license to crab in the local bays to catch and keep crab. You can harvest 12 male crabs per day per licensed person (sorry, no females allowed!). You will also have to use a crab measuring tool, since the crab has to be a certain size in order to keep them. The marine patrol is around making sure everybody is following the rules, so measure carefully! The high and low tides can affect the success of crabbing and also your safety, so be sure to check a tide book prior to heading out (you can get a tide book for free from Rob Trost Real Estate!).

We like to be out there on a high slack tide where the water is barely moving in either direction. If you are unsure, be sure to check with a local sporting goods store, or the outfit where you rent your boat. One last piece of advice: always wear a life vest when crabbing. Even on the nicest day accidents can happen!

You can take my word for it: Crabbing is enjoyable and well worth the effort! Be aware if you start catching a lot of crab you’ll find yourself making new friends because everyone loves a good Oregon Coast crab feast! Good luck out there!

Here’s the link to Big Spruce RV and boat rentals! https://www.bigspruceboatrentals.com/

 Here's a link to the Netarts Bay Garden RV Resort: http://www.netartsbay.com/

Blog contributed by Kristi Moore, Rob Trost Real Estate, Tillamook, OR


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