Crabbing in Dorset

There are some brilliant spots to go crabbing in Dorset:

Poole Quay
The harbour here provides plenty of crabbing opportunities. The most popular place is near to the Lifeboat Museum at the east of the Quay since there aren’t many boats here and there is a slipway that enters the water (in case of emergency). Note that there are no handrails so take extra care and always stay within view of your kids.

Mudeford Quay

Weymouth Harbour

West Bay Harbour

Crabbing at Poole Quay is always a popular pastime
Poole Quay

How to do it

  • Find a suitable spot on the harbour wall. Don’t use a hook, choose a line with a small net bag. Bacon or any fish off-cuts are ideal as bait.
  • Drop your line in the water and wait .. about 5 minutes should do it. The most common in Dorset is the Shore Crab
  • Raise your line, it should feel a little heavier, and observe. Hanging on to your now half eaten bait, there should be a happy crab munching away.
  • If you want to keep your crabs in a bucket for a while to look at, make sure you only put a few in at a time. They don’t like crowds and will start fighting if there are too many. Dorset Wildlife Trust recommend a maximum of 3 crabs at a time. Remove any crabs that start to fight.
  • Make sure you place your bucket in the shade, crabs are not accustomed to bright sunlight. You could add some seaweed and stones to give a bit of extra shade and make them feel at home.
  • Change the water regularly so it’s fresh and not too warm.
  • After you’ve observed their quirky antics, carefully place them back into the water. They are not edible so please don’t try them on the barbeque, let them go back home.
  • When you have finished, please take everything away with you. Do not let any plastic bags etc to fall into the water.
Poole Quay

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