While visiting a seafood market in North Carolina will be an option to eat fresh crabs, consider catching them yourself. Blue crabs are in abundance through coastal areas of the state, and all you will need is a few low-cost items before heading to a dock or pier. Do you need a license to crab in North Carolina? 

Do You Need A License To Crab in NC?

Crabbing in North Carolina requires that you will need to have a coastal fishing license if over 16 years old. The process of obtaining a license in North Carolina is simple and can be completed in just minutes. If you need your North Carolina fishing license, have a credit card on hand, go to the website, and fill in the information.

 What kind of crabs are In North  Carolina?

It is essential to know what type of crab can be caught before heading out fishing in North Carolina. The blue crab is the most highly sought-after in the state. Most seafood restaurants in North Carolina offer fresh blue crabs, so you may have had the chance to eat them before. 

The Blue Crab has a sweeter taste to it than some other crabs. One of the most challenging parts of eating blue crabs is removing the meat. The yield per crab is minimal. It will take numerous for a complete meal.

Catching blue crab is simple during the right time of the year. Commercial and recreational fisherman seek these crustaceans. When it comes to seeking them recreationally, they are caught in a multitude of ways.

What is Needed To Go Crabbing?

The fisherman in North Carolina most often use a crab trap, otherwise known as a crab pot. Crab traps and crab pot are the same things.

The crab trap appears as though it is a wire box. The bait is placed in the center of the cage through a door. 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.

When leaving the crab trap, it needs to remain at least halfway submerged at all times. Traps left above the waterline at low tide can cause the crabs within it to die. Allowing the crabs to dry out and die is not the right thing to do. Measure all crabs before placing them in a bucket to keep.

When using a trap, it must be checked daily because the crustaceans are physically trapped inside. 

Beyond catching blue crab with these methods, they can also be caught other ways in North Carolina.

Catching Blue Crabs With Drop Nets or Ring Nets

One of the best and most effective methods for catching crabs from an elevated surface such as a dock or pier is by a drop net or ring net. This type of trap can be lowered into the water from well above the waterline. 

A few items are needed, including a net, long string, bait, and a bucket.

One of the best baits to use when crabbing in North Carolina are chicken necks. Blue crabs flock to raw chicken necks when they are secured inside of the net. 

Secure a whole chicken neck bait to the upper side of the center of the ring net, place the crab net in the water and let it soak for five to ten minutes. It is so simple you can bring along a book or fishing rod while the bait soaks at the bottom. 

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.

What is the Best Bait for crabbing?

When choosing the best bait for crabbing, most anglers would suggest large baitfish such as mullet or chicken necks. Chicken necks are more durable, and therefore they last longer to catch more blue carb. Keep in mind that the crustaceans eat both. 

When Can You Catch Blue Crabs In North Carolina?

Fortunately, crabbing is legal year-round in North Carolina. Keep in mind that the water temperature can be restrictive as far as how active the blue crab is. Wintertime will be more limited compared to summer and fall.

When the water temperatures are not right for crabbing, you simply won’t catch them. The water temperature must exceed 55 degrees Fahrenheit, or the crabs will lay dormant on the seafloor. There may be a chance you will catch one or two, but they are likely to be small. 

One of the best seasons in North Carolina to catch blue crabs is in the early fall. The population of large crustaceans will be high. Often times you can glance into the water and watch them walk along the bottom. Head out crabbing once the air temperatures have cooled to avoid roasting in the hot sun.

Cost Of A North Carolina Fishing License

Going crabbing in North Carolina does not have to be an expensive adventure. All that is needed is ring net. Keep in mind that a North Carolina fishing license must be purchased.

So It’s Time To Head Out Crabbing In North Carolina

Whenever you venture out in the state of North Carolina to catch fish, remember to check if a fishing license is necessary. Generally speaking, if you’re over the age of 16 and fishing in salt or freshwater, a license is required. The process of getting a fishing license in North Carolina takes just minutes and helps regulate the population of sea creatures for generations to come.