Kids Love Cornwall Living2018/19

Guide to crabbing

Who can catch the biggest crab? There’s only one way to find out! So, why not give it a go by following our essential tips…


North coast
Try Port Isaac and Padstow.
The harbours here provide plenty of crabbing opportunities.

South coast
Fowey is the perfect place to spend an hour or two catching crabs on the riverside, as the boats come and go up the river.

West coast
Cadgwith, on The Lizard, is a traditional fishing village, where edible crab, lobster and monkfish are still landed. Porthleven is a great spot too – the extensive harbour walls are usually home to legions of eager crabbers.


How to do it

Find a suitable spot on the harbour wall (be careful now, harbour walls can be dangerous, so take care).

Tie your bacon onto your line (crabs love the rind best), tinned sardines or any old fish head you happen to have lying about.

Drop your line in the water and wait. The shore crab, the most common in Cornwall, needs a little coaxing – about five minutes should do it.

Raise your line, it should feel a little heavier, and observe.
Clustered to your now half eaten bait should be a few happy crabs munching away, or you might need to wait a little longer.

If you want to keep your crabs in a bucket for a while to look at, only put a few in at a time. They don’t like crowds, and make sure you place your bucket in the shade – crabs are not used to the sun.

After you’ve observed their quirky antics, carefully place them back into the water. They are not edible so please don’t try them on the barbeque, simply let them go back home!


Did you know? 

The shore crab, which loves bacon, is an opportunistic scavenger that can grow up to: 3 INCHES!

200,000! That’s the number of eggs produced by a shore crab. She also carries them on her legs until they are ready to hatch!