|When should you crab?
One of the many wonderful things about crabbing is that you can crab all year long! The Nehalem Bay is always full of Dungeness crabs. September through February tends to be the best time to find abundant crabs, but they are plentiful all year long. In the winter months, the crabs are at their freshest and meatiest, making them at their most delicious. Crabbing tends to be at its best right after a rainy spell. This is because during a rainstorm, the crabs recede into the Pacific Ocean. After the storm, the ocean's salt waters are pushed into the bays and estuaries, filling Nehalem Bay with tons of big, delicious crabs.
Rules of crabbing
A shellfish license is required for anyone aged 14 or older before you can go out and catch your first crab. You can obtain a license that is good for either three days or a year depending on how much crabbing you are planning to do. You can buy a license at the Wheeler Marina. More information about licenses can be found at licenseinfo.oregon.gov.
Dungeness crab tend to range from around 5 1/4 inches to 7 inches in length. However, crabs up to 10 inches wide have been found in the Nehalem Bay! There is a limit of 12 Dungeness crabs per person, per day and only the males are allowed to be kept. You can tell a male from a female by the thickness of the abdominal flap. The males generally have a relatively thin flap, while the females' flaps are wider. You can use either crab pots or rings to catch crab, with rings usually being the most effective method. After putting the ring in the water, it's usually just a short wait of 15 to 20 minutes before you have some tasty crabs for dinner!