Best Bait for Crabbing

Geoff Stadnyk in Baits & Lures on

Many types of bait are used for crabbing. But the best bait for crabbing should not necessarily attract other creatures in the sea. Note that your bait can easily entice animals such as sea lions. When that happens, your crabbing activity will be very unproductive, and I’m sure you don’t want that to be your case.

But come on! Be creative. Use the baits that many sea creatures won’t be interested in eating. Some of these notable baits that attract crabs include turkey and chicken necks. Note that the crabs love stinky baits, but the fresh food would work better. Thus, fresh bait is easier to attract all types of crabs.

When you are crabbing, ensure that the bait stays inside the gear. The trick will ensure that crabs are caught in the trap easily and don’t escape after eating your bait.

Table of Contents

Chicken Necks

Pay attention and take notes because Chicken necks are one of the best bait for crabbing. They attract crabs due to their juicy taste. These baits are irresistible for the crabs, and they make a convenient trap for the crabbing. Alternatively, when there are no necks available, you can use chicken livers or lungs.

The hardness of these chicken necks makes them suitable for crabbing. With this hardness, the crab latches for a longer time, making the crabbing more convenient. Ensure you keep the chicken necks in a cool place until you’re ready to use them. They tend to be effective when they are fresh and juicier.

You may be wondering why chicken necks are popular for crabbing. But the answer is simple. These baits don’t attract other third-party creatures in the water. Keeping away other animals in the water helps you directly target the crabs without worrying about your bait being eaten.

Chicken necks are suitable for trapping different crabs, such as red rock, Dungeness and blue crabs. Generally, all crabs can’t resist the juiciness and tenderness of the chicken necks.

Chicken necks as bait for crabbing

Crab Bait Oil

Crab bait oils will be a great option if you intend to catch different species of crabs. The oil is considered the best crab bait oil that attracts all species due to its unique aspect of amino acids.

Crab bait oil is a commercial bait that you can buy from any store. The product is made of natural ingredients such as anise oil, salmon, egg juice, and fish oil. These ingredients are marinated together for hours to produce the best oil with a strong scent to attract crabs.

Crab Bait Oil or Attractants

When crabbing, use crab bait oil or attractants to catch more crabs.

Pro-Cure Shedder Crab Bait Oil

You can marinate or inject this crab oil into your bait to catch more crabs.

Pro-Cure Crab & Shrimp Attractant

Marinate your crab bait overnight before you go crabbing with this crab attractant.

Recommended Crab Bait Oil or Attractants for Crabbing

Rotten Fish

Fresh baits are the best when it comes to crabbing, but we consider rotten fish as an exception. I know it sounds crazy, but rotten fish have a stinky smell that will attract crabs from a distance. Moreover, they are tender, making it easier for crabbers to attach the bait to the crab trap.

Crabs are not selective when it comes to rotten fish. Any species will work, and the best thing is that fish markets will give them for free, since they’re disposable. The most used species for crabbing are mackerel and tuna.

Be aware that rotten fish produces an odor that is not pleasant. So if you’re allergic to these smells, use other baits. Be intelligent when you use rotten fish as bait, since crabs can tear them easily because they are soft. Also, note that fish attract other predators in the water.

Turkey Neck

The turkey neck or leg works well at enticing crabs. These baits play the same role as the chicken neck. They are easy to use and stick on the crab trap. These necks are available in wet markets, and you can purchase as many as possible depending on your needs.

These turkey necks have the best results when they are fresh. The baits can be used for a maximum of one week when refrigerated. You can catch shrimp and crab with turkey necks.

Razor Clams

Razor clams are the natural food for crabs. It’s one of the favorite foods for crabs. These baits are significant since you don’t have to convince the crabs to eat. The best thing is that it is legal to use razor clams for fishing.

Note that there are many razor clams in the area. The bait might not be suitable for crabbing. So do your homework.

Cat Food

Cat food is another option that helps to attract crabs on a large scale. First, you need to make a hole in the food can and then fix it in a crab trap. Cat food is a good alternative when you’re tired of using rotten fish for crabbing.

The bait works well in the sea and oceans, where there are a lot of crabs. However, in other areas where you suspect that there are scarce crabs, it would be better to use other baits such as chicken necks.

Cat Food

When crabbing, cat food is the most readily available bait.

Blue Buffalo Indoor Health Natural Adult Dry Cat Food

This cat meal which is made from natural ingredients will help you catch some crabs.

Purina ONE Natural Dry Cat Food

With the use of this cat food formulated with natural ingredients, you can attract some crabs to your trap.

Recommended Cat Food for Crabbing

Salmon heads

Salmon heads have a strong scent that attracts crabs easily. The baits are cheap and easy to acquire. Every local supermarket has these salmon heads. The best thing is that they last for a long time in the water, since they are bony.

These baits are suitable for attracting blue crab. The oily scent helps to attract the crabs easily.

Mink Carcasses

Mink carcasses are super stinky and one of the best bait for crabbing. Mink is commercially used in crabbing operations in the Oregon region. Large firms use mink to catch crabs for both local and export purposes. Its minky and oily aspect makes it a preferred bait for crabs, especially blue crabs.

Note that the mink is sticky on the hands, and it would be best if you used hand gloves when fixing them in a crab trap.

Crab Trap

Make sure you have the finest crab trap before your next crabbing adventure.

Drasry Crab Trap

The openable design of this crab trap makes it easier to transfer the captured crabs.

Danielson 24" Fold-Up Crab Trap

Even little crabs will be caught in this crab trap.

Palmyth Wire Grid Bottom Crab Nets

A wire grid bottom ring on this crab trap allows for easier bait attachment.

Recommended Crab Trap for Crabbing


Wild Eel as bait for crabbing


Many crabbers commercially use eels as bait for crab traps. Crabbers cut small pieces of eels that fit their respective traps. Eels have a strong odor that attracts crabs easily. Thus, they have the best result for crabbing, and companies utilize these baits to be profitable.


Crabs will eat anything that appears on the surface. However, it would be easier for you to attract more crabs if you have an attractable bait. Chicken necks and cat food remain one of the best baits that attract crabs for a distance.

The region of crabbing and the species of the crab are important factors to consider. These factors help you evaluate the most appropriate bait. Nonetheless, try the baits covered in this topic and thank me later.

You might also want to check out article for the best bait for bluegill, for perch, and many more.

Geoff Stadnyk

Geoff started fishing as a child in the gorgeous lakes of Mammoth, while on family vacations. His fishing experience includes the use of fly rod and reel. Guided trips along the Madison and Gallatin rivers in Montana, the Frying Pan and Animus in Colorado, and the Deschutes river in Oregon have all paid off and helped make Geoff the angler and writer that he is today.

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