Crabbing Adventures

One of our yearly traditions while camping at Nehalem Bay is to go crabbing.


If you are just taking one trip out, we found the easiest and most convenient way is to rent a boat. I think the price this year was around $85 for a two hour rental (plus the cost of a crabbing license). I feel like the money is well spent considering everything you get for the price. The rental includes a boat, 3 crab rings, crab bait, and they will cook and clean whatever crab you get. While that may seem like a steep price to some, it’s worth the money to take the kids on a fun adventure!

We have rented from the Jetty Fishery and Kelly’s Brighton Marina and had great experiences with both of them.


Connor and Cory have the ring ready to drop in the bay. You really do need two adults in the boat as one person needs to be the driver and the other in charge of setting and picking up traps. We would drop off all our rings and then anchor somewhere to grab a bite of lunch and give time for the crabs to find them before going back to check them.


Sorting out the crabs! I think we ended up with around 9 crabs when it was all said and done. We had enough that we were able to eat our fill, share with my family, and share with some friends in the campground!

And as a side note on the price… I seem to remember buying fresh crab at the market for around $10 each. So that makes it about even!


Once you get the crabs in the boat it’s really easy to sort them (says the girl who refuses to touch them after being horrifically pinched by one). First you need to look at the bottom of the crab to identify if it’s a male or female.


On the underside of the crab, there is a tab in the middle and you want the crabs with the narrow tab. Once you have found the male crab, you then hold it up to a plastic crab gauge and if the shell is wider than the opening, you get to keep it!


My brave daughter loved to hold the crabs. If you hold them from the back, they can’t reach their giant claws back to pinch you. Just watch out for your dad throwing crabs through the air back into the bay (note upper right corner of picture) and your mom’s finger getting in front of the camera trying to take a picture while worrying you are going to get pinched and traumatized for life.

Driving the boat is really simple… I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves on this matter!


The cutest little fishermen. Or would they be crabberkids?


And if you don’t feel like renting a boat… Cory decided an adventure was in order and took a trap out on his inflatable alpacka raft. The main part of the bay was a little more rough than the previous day we were out!


He managed to not fall out of his boat and even brought back one keeper! It was a lot more effort and a little bit awkward at times, but it worked.

The kids each took a turn getting to hold the (cooked) crab that their daddy caught.

In conclusion… Crabbing is fun with delicious results!



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