This is a frequently asked question by most fishers and anglers. This article will clearly explain if crabbing can be achieved by the use of a fish finder. If yes, it will show you how to catch crabs with the aid of one.

First and foremost, crabs, unlike fish, don’t get suspended in water. This is because they don’t lack a bladder which can help them be buoyant as the case with a fish.  The inability to swim leaves them stuck in soft mud or hard sand underwater. This makes it difficult for a fish finder to see them.

Another reason why crabbing is a bit challenging is that crabs are small in size. Even with a great fish finder, it won’t pick them up with ease. It is definitely easier if they are in a cluster rather than in a few numbers.

Crabbing With a Fish Finder is Still Achievable

First, you need to have the knowledge of areas where you can find the crabs. You also need to know when to throw a crab trap in the water.

To get the crabs’ dwelling areas, you have to search for the areas where commercial crabbers have their pots. However, you should show respect to these areas and keep a fair distance away from their traps so as to give them enough room to navigate.

Secondly, it does not take a big boat to catch crabs, a small one will do just fine as far as you are in the bay or a protected sound area. If you manage to crab in one of the hot spots, you may as much drop your traps anywhere and catch more crabs. Crabbing early in the morning produces a lot of catch compared to other times of the day. Although you should abide by the local laws of when you are allowed to drop your bait.

Consider the Best Time To Go Crabbing

There is generally no specific time to catch crabs. What really matters is paying attention to the tides. Most experienced crabbers advise to crab during the slack tides. In case you are using a boat, being in water 30 minutes before yields great results.

It is basically up to you to choose whether to do crabbing during low tides or high tides. You can try each of them and see which works best for you. 

Fish Finder and Locating Crabs

A fish finder will help you find drop-offs and ledges which is crucial for crabbing. Catching crabs can be effective in certain depths especially in a ledge flat or drop-offs. If you use it to locate structure and depths, this method can be very successful as you may be able to develop a pattern for crab hot spots.

Prevent You From Running Aground

Besides locating the crabs, it will help you determine where you will set your line and if it is hard or soft ground, or grass. It also helps you find the softest bottom and with the least grass.

Using a fish finder really helps you set your crab traps where they would perfectly deploy and run your line there. The fish finder has a depth alarm on it which helps you go deeper in the waters than the length of a rope. It is also great in reading the water temperature.

With the transducer mounted inside the hull may not give very accurate readings, but they should get you close.

Another way is to coordinate it with your depth sounder. First, you have to be able to read what is on your screen. Knowing how to use your fish finder is of great importance. You should be able to tell what frequency your transducer is.

Kinds of Trap to Use

In order to crab effectively, you need to consider the sort of trap to use.

Ring Traps

Ring traps, to start with, are much faster compared to any other traps. Crabs walk-in directly onto it without meeting ramps or doors.

However, without the doors, the crabs can leave any time. When using this type of trap, you should pull off often, around every 20 minutes, and also move quickly as they can move out through the top of the trap. They are effective to use in potential crab hot spots. They are flat which is another great benefit, especially where there is an issue of space.

Cage Traps

As the name suggests, they are fully enclosed except for a one-way door located on every side of the trap. They also come in different sizes and shapes.

The bait is placed in the center of the cage. As crabs navigate, they get in through the one-way door and get trapped inside forever.

The best part of this trap is that you can leave it set in the morning and come to collect your crabs later.

Crab Bait

Another important tip should be your crab bait. The most popular ones are:

Fresh or Rotten Fish

On a great day, a salmon or fish carcass that has been filleted is perfect to catch crabs. They are great because this is a type of food that crabs enjoy to eat. 

However, most sea creatures like the seal also feed on dead fish. They are likely to destroy your crabbing equipment. Another demerit is that rotten fish is very smelly.

Raw Chicken

Using chicken junks will fit perfectly on your bait box. Unlike rotten fish, raw chicken is not smelly and crabs love it. Another advantage is that seals don’t bother with it and thus keeping your bait safe.

If you’re having a hard time choosing between chicken or fish, watch this video!

Catching Blue Claw Crabs: Chicken or fish for bait?

Mink Carcass

Some areas like Oregon use this type of crab bait. One of the great benefits of this is that it is very stinky and oily hence crabs love it. The oily residue from the mink attracts monster crabs as they travel through water.

When using this crab bait, always use a pair of gloves to handle it to avoid smelly hands.


In short, crabbing can be achieved with a fish finder using various features to your advantage. With these tips, a huge crab catch will be coming your way.


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