Your Ultimate Guide to the Best Oregon Coast Crabbing

Crabbing is a quintessential part of a Pacific Northwest vacation. It’s perfect for a fun day out with the family! Our region’s inlets, bays, and estuaries are home to many tasty species, including the succulent Dungeness crab. Simply visit a local fishing business for gear and supplies, then head to the water. Here are some of our favorite Oregon Coast crabbing spots.

Learn more about crabbing and other outdoor activities when you access our free Vacation GuideIt’s full of recommendations for things to do and see during your stay with Starfish Vacation Rentals.

Top 3 Places for Oregon Coast Crabbing

1.Tillamook Bay

Fed by five freshwater rivers and the salty Pacific Ocean, Tillamook Bay is the second largest bay in Oregon. It’s also one of the most popular crabbing spots on the Northern Coast. Head to Garibaldi Marina for supplies, then take your pots and nets to the public crabbing dock.

Garibaldi also offers boat rentals for those who want to explore the bay. You’ll find great crabbing west of the port near the jetties on either side of the channel. Or check out “Crab Harbor,” which is tucked behind Kincheloe Point across the main channel from the Painted Rocks. Both spots are accessible by boat.

2. Netarts Bay

Netarts Bay is a hidden gem on the northern Oregon Coast. It’s just 15 minutes from Tillamook and offers boat and bank crabbing year-round. You’ll find crowds of crabbers here in the summertime, but if you want to hit the peak season, we recommend visiting in months that end in “BER.” In September, October, November, and December, when the crabs are big and loaded with meat!

3. Nehalem Bay

Though much smaller than Tillamook, Nehalem Bay offers exceptional crabbing opportunities near Rockaway Beach. Like Netarts Bay, the best time to catch Dungeness crabs here is from late summer to the beginning of winter. Summer crabbing is pleasant as well, but much of your catch will be in softshell condition and won’t have as much firm meat.

While visiting Nehalem Bay, visitors are welcome to drop nets or pots from a boat. You can also crab off the docks of Kelly’s Brighton Marina. Owner Kelly Laviolette instructs guests on the fascinating art of crabbing and will teach you how to catch, clean, and cook Dungeness crabs properly. The marina even has tanks with live crabs, clams, and oysters that you can cook up and enjoy right on the dock.

Crabbing Rules & Regulations

Did you know that Oregon Coast crabbing requires a shellfish license? This license is different from a fishing license and is needed to harvest crabs, clams, etc. Most local businesses sell licenses, so be sure to pick one up before you head out. The license is good for one year.

There are also limits to how many crabs you can catch. Most of the time you’re looking for Dungeness crab, and the daily limit is 12 males that are at least 5 ¾” inches across. The second most popular species is red rock crabs. You can catch up to 24 of any size per day.

Book Your Stay with Starfish Vacation Rentals

When it’s time to start planning your Oregon Coast crabbing adventure, be sure to book your stay in one of our beautiful vacation homes. Our rentals in Manzanita, Arch Cape, Rockaway Beach, and Cannon Beach have everything you need for the perfect getaway. Enjoy upscale furnishings and concierge-level assistance throughout your stay. We even provide a complimentary welcome basket for guests! Simply check our availability and contact us to make your reservations. We look forward to having you.

Looking for more fun things to do in the area? Check out our blog about Oregon Coast fishing.