One of the most abundant crustaceans in the state of Georgia is Crabs. Both blue crab and stone crab are present in the coastal waters to be caught by anglers. Crabbing requires little to no experience; therefore, anglers of all ages can partake in the fun. Many people ask the question do you need a license to crab in Georgia? 

Do You Need A License To Crab In Ga

All anglers over the age of 16 are required to have a Georgia saltwater fishing license when crabbing in Georgia. Georgia provides the opportunity to purchase saltwater fishing licenses online in a matter of moments. When you’re ready to buy a Georgia fishing license, visit the website with a credit card available to complete the transaction.

Despite the crab season in Georgia being open year-round, it is essential to know and follow the Georgia crabbing regulations when it comes to size, harvesting methods, and limits.

 What Kind Of Crabs Are In Georgia

There are two primary species of crabs in Georgia with high food value. The two types of crabs in Georgia are the blue crab and the stone crab. Blue crab is highly valuable and therefore is harvested by recreational and commercial fishermen in the state. Georgia markets and restaurants serve up fresh blue crabs but lower the cost by catching them on your own. 

The second variety of edible crab found in Georgia is the stone crab. Stone crab is unique because the crab is not killed, a single claw or two claws are removed, and the live crab is released back into the water.

Blue crabs are more prevalent in the coastal waters. As a result, they are caught in frequency. Pulling the meat is challenging, so consider precleaning them before cooking. Remember, a significant number of crabs are needed to feed one person. 

Blue crabs are caught in a multitude of ways. Commercial fishers use baited traps, while recreational anglers can utilize traps, handlines, or ring nets. However, remember to purchase a Georgia fishing license before targeting stone crabs or blue crabs. All methods are effective, so pick what you prefer.

What Is Needed To Go Crabbing

Georgia anglers of all experience levels frequently use a crab trap, also called a crab pot. A crab pot and crab trap are both the same.

The crab trap looks as if it is a wire box. A small door at the center is opened to place and secure the bait. Either end has an opening wide enough to allow the crab to enter but avoid escaping. One side of the cage will open for easy removal of the crabs trapped within it.

Ensure that when a crab trap is left, a minimum of half the enclosure remains underwater at all times. Unfortunately, traps that are left high and dry at low tide cause the crabs to die. 

The law requires the crab pot must be checked every 24 hours. All crabs that are egg-bearing or under legal size must be released. 

During peak activity, don’t be surprised to fill a five-gallon bucket in short order when paying close attention to fishing for crabs. 

Catching Blue Crabs With Drop Nets Or Ring Nets

The most effective method for catching blue crabs in Georgia is by using a ring net. Ring nets are deployed from docks, piers, and vessels by lowering the trap into the water with the bait attached to the center. 

Gather the necessary items, including a bucket, gloves, the net, bait, and a strong string to lower and retrieve the trap.

Visit the local grocery store to purchase chicken necks if fish carcasses are not available. Blue and stone crab sniff the tasty treat and head to the center of the trap to feed on the bait.

A ring net contains a hook central to the trap. The hook’s point must be pushed through the middle of the bait and snapped closed to avoid it from becoming free or a swarm of crabs walking away with the meat. 

Soak the traps on the seafloor for a minimum of 5-10 minutes. Remember to bring a fishing rod or book to use between intervals of pulling the trap to pass the time.

After five to ten minutes, pull the string attached to the trap to the surface at a moderate speed. Peer over the side of the dock and look for crabs gnawing on the bait. If they are in the trap, pull the net to the dock. Try to dump the crabs straight into the bucket if they are of legal size to avoid being pinched.

Best Bait For Crabbing In Georgia

The best baits for catching crabs in Georgia are chicken necks and filleted fish remains. Chicken necks are the longest-lasting, and therefore they are preferred by crab fishermen. Remember, both will work equally as well. 

Whether you are looking for the best stone crab bait or the best blue crab bait, chicken necks or fish carcasses are the most productive for attracting and catching crabs when targeting Georgia crabs.

When fishing for blue crab vs stone crab it is important to know the difference. Here is a comparison of the blue crab vs stone crab.

When Is The Crabbing Season In Georgia

There is no crab season in Georgia, blue crabs are legally harvested year-round. Due to the lack of a season, fishers catch crabs throughout the year. Rather than visiting a seafood market, head to a local dock or pier and save money. 

Remember that crab fishing productivity is higher with warm water temperatures, particularly in the summer and early fall. Blue crabs lie dormant when the temps fall below 55 degrees. The likelihood of catching a bushel of crabs in the winter is slim. 

For your best shot at catching crustaceans in Georgia, venture out during September and October. Not only will you catch more crabs, but you will avoid succumbing to heat exhaustion while baking in the hot sun. During the winter months despite there being no blue crab season Georgia, blue crabs dig themselves into sandy and muddy bottoms to preserve warmth during the cold winter months when the water temperature falls.

Cost Of A Georgia Fishing License

You do not need a specific Georgia crabbing license to catch blue crab or stone crab when fishing recreationally. Purchase a Georgia fishing license that is specific to saltwater and follow the Georgia crabbing regulations.

Going crabbing in Georgia is a fun experience for the entire family, from young children to grandparents. The expenses are bait and a net. Purchase a Georgia saltwater fishing license online to save time. When buying a Georgia saltwater fishing license it is affordable for residents of the state of Georgia and non-residents.

So It’s Time To Head Out Crabbing In Georgia

Crabbing in Georgia requires a minimal amount of equipment when compared to fishing for swimming fish. Ring nets and bait is inexpensive; therefore, the reward of a bushel full of crabs is even more exciting. Crab bait is readily available at local grocery stores. Remember to purchase a fishing license and to follow the regulations of the state.