Lopez Island Crabbing How To

Edenwild, Inn, Kayak Rental, Crabbing, Lopez Island

If you have never crabbed before in your life or even if you’re a seasoned crabber, Lopez Island is a crabber’s paradise. Piles of Dungeness and Red Rock crabs surround our shores, and you can even get them from our island’s public docks, beaches. Or, rent an Edenwild kayak and drop a pot a little deeper. If you really want to increase your haul, we can arrange a crabbing/bottom fishing charter. Make sure to check out our YouTube catch and cook videos about Lopez Island crabbing to learn some tips and tricks. Now, let’s go over the basics, so you can crab successfully in the San Juan Islands.

Crabbing on Lopez Seasons and Regulations

There are a few ways that you can harvest crabs on Lopez Island. Make sure you check the regulations before you head out. Many people use crab traps which are usually square cages that allow crabs to enter through one way flapping doors on all four sides. Bait is placed in the center of the trap to attract crabs. With this method you leave the trap and check on it periodically. You can drop a trap from Odlin Park Dock, Mackaye Harbor Boat Launch, or Hunter Bay Boat Launch. Just make sure you wait with your trap and don’t drop it in a place where you would be in the way of boaters.

Another way to crab on Lopez is to use a crab snare. A crab snare is a tiny square cage that just holds bait. Attached to this cage are a dozen snares, or nylon nooses. They are designed to entangle the crabs who feed on the bait inside the cage when you start reeling it in.

We rent both traps and snares at Edenwild and both can be combined with a kayak rental, so that you can drop your pot or cast your snare in the very best spots.

The last method of crabbing is only for the very brave. You can free dive for crabs in water as shallow at 6 to 10 feet on a low tide. While it might sound crazy to most to swim in our frigid waters that rarely get above 50 degrees,  a proper wetsuit and a snorkel makes this a super cool way to catch your crab dinner.     

Cooking your Catch

So now that you have caught a bunch of keeper crabs, it is time to cook your catch. We can arrange boiling your catch at the Edenwild, but you can also cook your crabs over a campfire at Odlin or Spencer Spit Parks. Melt a little butter, and you will have one the best tasting crab dinners of your life! 

Learn more about kayaking on Lopez Island Here.



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