At one point, blue crabs were so thick in these waters you could nearly walk on them; however, no shortage exists in Georgia today. The Georgia blue crab fishery extends roughly 110 miles from Florida up to South Carolina. 

The blue crabs are a highly sought after crustacean to feed hungry seafood eaters both commercially and recreationally. With over 15 barrier islands and many access points to reach the water crabs lurk, you and your family will surely find a convenient, safe place to cast your traps. In Georgia, check your local regulations before filling up your bucket. 

During peak seasons, fishing for blue crabs can be straightforward. Its meat is tasty and allows for a great social gather both cathing and sit down table side, eating your fresh catch.  

As we begin to look at the Georgia blue crab regulations, understand how to tell the difference between many terms broken down by harvesting laws.

Georgia Blue Crab Regulations Terms You Need To Know

  • Males belly are shaped like a  T. When the claws are pointed up towards the sky, your view is of an upside-down T.
  • When trying to figure out how to tell a male versus a female crab here’s an easy way, flip them over and look for these pronounced differences.
  • The underside of a female crab is more round-shaped. Recognize how to identify a female crab that has eggs. 
  • A female crab with eggs needs to be identified quickly, when the crab is on its back, you will see a belly with a spongy red covering on the rounded underside. 

Who Needs A Crabbing License In Georgia? 

When fishing in the state of Georgia, if you are over the age of 16, you are required by law to possess a valid fishing license

  • When utilizing traps, you are allowed to use up to six traps at one time unless you obtain a commercial fishing license
  • A lime green or fluorescent green float must be connected to the top of the crab trap line and have your name and address written on it with one-inch letters.
  • If the traps are being released and monitored with a boat, they cannot sit within a marked channel. 

How Often Do I Need To Check My Crab Traps? 

All traps must be checked within 24 hours of being sent into the water. Good excuse to tell the significant other you need to head back to the water.

  • Don’t let your trap sit in dry water at low tide. Check the tides to be sure it’s sitting in water; otherwise, the blue crabs may die before harvesting them. 
  • Keep the traps away from high boat traffic areas even when outside of a marked channel. No need to wrap someone’s prop and never see the trap you paid good money for again.  
  • Don’t let your line float; it can become a tangled mess and increase the likelihood of a boat running over it. 
  • The trap needs to have an escapement ring on installed on an outside wall measuring at least 2 3/8” in diameter. 
  • While not required, a terrapin turtle excluder device secured to the entranceways of the trap will help eliminate them from crawling in. Terrapin turtles often become stuck and drown. 

How Big Does A Blue Crab Need To Be To Keep It? 

When you check your trap every 24 hours, measure each crustacean carefully to ensure the crab is legal to keep. The crab must measure 5 inches from tip to tip on the top shell.

Double-check each crab has no eggs are attached. Release any female with eggs. 

How Many Blue Crabs Can I Keep In Georgia? 

The Georgia blue crab limit is 2 bushels within 24 hours.

In Georgia, following these simple Georgia blue crab regulations will help you to avoid being ticketed by The Department of Natural Resources. Next time you see your fishing friend or at the local bait shop, ask them for help on finding and catching these crustaceans. Crabbing is exciting and fun-filled entertainment for the whole family.