10 Best Oregon Coast Crabbing Spots: Where to Go

August 30, 2022

Categories: Oregon Coast

Everyone loves crabbing in Oregon because of how simple it is compared to other forms of fishing. All you need are some basic supplies (like traps or nets), some patience, and maybe a bit of luck! Crabbing is a popular activity for those who live in or are visiting the coastal areas of Oregon. Whether you are a local or just visiting, there are many places where you can go crabbing. 


Dungeness Crab

There are many different types of crab in Oregon, but the most common one you will find is Dungeness crabs. It is a large crab that has a unique look, with a black body, white stripes on each side, and five spines on each of its claws. Dungeness crabs are great for eating and are generally easier to catch than other types of crabs.

Oregon Coast crab walking on the sand.

Photo by Keri Logan ~

You can go Dungeness crabbing in Oregon year-round—the seasons depend on where you are, so timing is everything.


Where To Go Crabbing

The Oregon coast is home to some of the best crabbing spots located right here in Oregon. Crabbing here is easy when you know exactly where to go. Here are some of the most-visited spots for crabbing in Oregon:


1. Tillamook Bay

If you’re looking for the best Oregon crabbing spots, Tillamook Bay is the place to be. The bay itself is located along the Pacific Ocean and stretches from Cannon Beach to Seaside. This area features some of the richest crabbing ground in all of Oregon, and the best crabbing spots are easily accessible by boat or kayak.

Crabbing in this area is open year-round, but the best time to do it is in late summer and early fall when crabs gather to spawn. In fact, you might see so many crustaceans that you'll need a second pair of rubber gloves after handling all of them!


2. Netarts Bay

Netarts Bay is also one of the most popular places in Oregon to go crabbing. It has an abundance of crabs and low tides that make it easy for anyone to do this activity. You can find this bay located just southwest of Tillamook.

Netarts Bay has a variety of species including Dungeness and red rock crab. These are all good eating, but one stands above the rest as far as taste goes – the red rock crab! 

View of Netarts Bay with Oceanside in the distance.

Netarts Bay ~


3. Nehalem Bay

Crabbing in Nehalem Bay is one of the best ways to enjoy a day on the water. Nehalem Bay is located on the Oregon Coast, near the communities of Nehalem and Manzanita. The bay is well known for its crabbing and fishing, making it one of the most popular areas for recreational boaters.


4. Nestucca Bay

Clams and crabs are famous for being found in Nestucca Bay. Clams are typically collected by hand, but crabbing is also popular today. Various bay clam and crab species can be found within Nestucca Bay, however, they are less accessible.


5. Siletz Bay

If you're looking for a place to start, consider Siletz Bay in Lincoln City where there are plenty of rocks along the shoreline that provide perfect hiding places for crabs - especially at past low tide when they come out to feed!


6. Yaquina Bay

Yaquina Bay in Newport offers a great variety of crabbing trips and dock crabbing, which is fun for first-timers. The equipment is minimal and can be rented from a local tackle shop. For an additional fee, some offer facilities to cook crabs on the right of the dock!

The Newport Public Pier, which is beneath the beautiful Yaquina Bay bridge, offers proximity restrooms, fish cleaning stations, and marina stores. And it’s just a short walk to the Rogue Ales Brewery and Restaurant.

Yaquina Bay Bridge and views of marina, crabbing and fishing dock.

Yaquina Bay Bridge by Agate Cove at Nye Beach ~


7. Alsea Bay

The crabbing in Waldport's Alsea Bay south of Newport is one of Oregon’s most unique and exciting experiences. The region has many small shellfish bays. Alsea Bay is a larger area with several side-by-side bays that are exposed to ocean swell and currents. This can make boating more difficult, so be cautious when you crab in this area. 


8. Siuslaw River

The Siuslaw River passes through Florence before continuing for another 4 miles to the Pacific Ocean. If you want to go crabbing, you can head west of the 101 bridge and check around rocks for Dungeness crabs or other crustaceans.


9. Umpqua River

If you're a seafood lover, you've probably heard of the Umpqua River. The Umpqua River is unique because it has a high freshwater influence. This means that because it gets so much rain and snow melts, there is a lot of fresh water in it. This makes the Umpqua River seasonal for crabbing—you can't fish for crabs year-round in this river.


10. Coos Bay

Oregon’s largest bay, Coos Bay, has a marine-dominated lower bay that offers some of the state’s most productive shellfishing opportunities. If you want to experience great crabbing and fishing, head down to Coos Bay.


Oregon Crabbing Licenses

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) is an agency of the State of Oregon that manages, protects, and improves fish and wildlife resources to sustain a healthy environment for all Oregonians. See information for ODFW shellfish licensing, tags, and permits.

Oregon crabbing licenses are required by anyone who fishes for crabs using pots, traps, or trotlines in coastal waters. The Oregon Resident Shellfish License is $10 per year, and the Non-Resident Shellfish License costs $28 annually. Moreover, for persons under 18 years old the Annual Combination License for Resident and Nonresident is $10.00.

 Call or visit the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife for current information at (800) 720-6339 and visit their website for details.



Beachcombers NW can help you find the best crabbing in Oregon. We know where the best crabbing spots are, and we'll tell you about them. Crabbing is a lot of fun, and it's something that people of all ages can enjoy. If you've ever been curious about what crabbing is like, just contact us now and get started on your adventure today!

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