Crabs are some of the most widely popular and tastiest meals from the sea, but that doesn’t mean catching them is easy. You can’t really fish for crabs because they don’t often stay on the end of a line to be reeled in and getting close enough to catch one by hand is hard because they’re skittish and fast. Plus, crabs are tough creatures with strong claws that pinch, and they can live in the oceans most rugged conditions, so even getting to them can be a challenge. A great way for the average fisherman to change their tune and hunt crabs is to use crab traps.

Crab traps are specially designed contraptions that are set out and baited to trap crabs. They come in a variety of sizes and designs, so you can choose the best crab trap design that works for your location. Crab traps should be durable, efficient, strong, lightweight, and portable to ensure that you have the best time and fall in love with the sport of catching crabs.

How To Choose A Crab Trap – Buying Guide


Crab traps are designed for a variety of species. Catching just one type of crab can get boring but investing in a great crab trap an ensure you get a variety of flavors. Plus, the portability of a crab trap can ensure that you can set up your trap in the reef, at the beach, or off the pier, which makes crab fishing easy and fun.

Often crab traps have a smart design with a hole that lets the crabs in but prevents them from crawling back out. You can set the trap and leave, which means no pinched fingers. Below we have the most important considerations that make a quality crab trap design.


There are three types of crab trap designs that you can choose from. The box, ring net, and pyramid crab traps are the most commonly used traps on the market.

Box crab traps are the most popular design that is used by many people because it leads to the most success and is the most efficient. It is highly successful at keeping crabs in the trap once they are caught because of their smart design. A box crab trap will have multiple holes that serve as entryways for the crabs to swim in, but not out. The only downside is that these types of traps can be very bulky and harder to transport.

Ring net crab traps are a collapsible crab pot that is made of two rings; one larger than the other. A durable net connects the two rings and is where the crabs will be held once they are trapped. The larger ring is inviting for crabs to investigate and acts as an open top crab trap, which is highly successful at luring in curious crabs. This type of trap is easily portable because of the collapsible design, but it does require a precise placement and positioning to catch crabs.

Pyramid have the easily recognized triangular shape that is great for baiting and trapping crabs. To set the trap, you place the bait in the middle and as the crab crawl in, the trap top closes and ensures they can’t get back out.


To determine which size of crab trap would best suit your needs, you should consider what type or types of crabs you are looking to catch. Crabs come in many different sizes and some are quite a bit larger than others, which means you need your trap to match accordingly.

Most crab trap designs will tell you how much weight they can hold, which allows you to make an estimate of how many crabs of a particular species it could successfully keep inside. For example, blue crab traps can be much smaller than a Dungeness crab trap because they are a smaller species. A blue crab is about 5-7 inches wide, whereas a Dungeness crab can be over 10 inches in width.

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Hole Size

Like the overall size of the crab trap, the size of the hole will need to be large enough to let the crab slip in, but not too big that they can easily see the hole as an escape route. Most crab trap designs have a hole in the shape of a funnel, which reduces the amount of crabs that are able to outsmart the trap and escape.

Not all crab traps have small holes, so you’ll need to be careful. Folding crab traps and slip ring crab pots will likely have small entry points, which allows them to be left in the water for longer to try and catch as many crabs at once. An open top crab trap will likely have a large hole for the opening, which allows crabs in but also allows them out just as easily. Traps like these will need to be monitored and brought up whenever you feel a tug, so you can try to catch the crab before it is done with eating the bait.

Material and Construction

Whether it is wire or mesh that makes the walls of the trap, metal is the best material for a durable crab trap. Metal is a long-lasting material that is also strong, so it can take some bumps and scrapes as it gets dropped into the water. It’s also a material that the crabs themselves won’t be able to break or cut through with their strong claws, which ensures you make more catches.

Overall, durable and quality materials will make a better crab trap with a great construction that is strong enough to hold all the crabs you catch, as well as be used for multiple trips. Crab trap reviews are a great way to determine if a design is made with quality materials because the higher the rating, the more likely you are going to enjoy using the crab trap design and with a high success rate.


The depth that you intend to set the trap is also an important consideration for the crab trap design. You want a crab trap that will easily sink to the bottom because that is where the crab will be lying in wait. However, depth can be hard on crab traps because of the pressure and temperature of the water. The best crab pots will be durable enough to withstand a deep depth without failing to function.

For ethic reasons, any top rated crab pots should have an automated mechanism, which allows the trap to empty itself. This is a smart feature in case you are unable to retrieve the trap from where you set it, which will allow the crabs to live for another day.

Specific Applications

There are a lot of different reasons why people trap crabs. Some want food, others are studying for research, and it can even be a fun activity for the family. It is important that you consider why you are trapping crabs and for what purpose, so you can find the perfect crab trap that suits your needs.



Q: How do crab traps work?


Crab traps function because of their design, which is optimized to let crabs in but not out. They are frequently set with bait to entice crabs in and, depending on the design, the crabs will pass through a small hole, which they won’t be able to escape from. The holes lead to the middle of the trap, where the bait should be set, and then the material of the trap creates a solid holding space for numerous crabs.

Most crab traps are monitored, so that the trapper can sit with a line in hand, which is connected to the trap. When they feel movement on the line, they can raise the trap and see what they caught, hopefully capturing it before it can attempt to escape. This is a highly successful way for people to trap crabs and is used both professionally and recreationally.

Q: How to set up a crab trap?


To set a crab trap, you’ll have to check your specific design. Collapsible crab pots, like the slip ring crab pots, will need to be expanded to make space for the crabs. Other crab traps will not require any further setup because they are not a folding design. You’ll want to tie a rope or line to the trap, so it can easily be retrieved and pulled up from the depths. Once you have set up the trap, you will need to place the bait and the best place is in the middle. With the bait, you can lower your crab trap into the water and wait for any movement before you bring it to the surface to check.

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When you want to try your hand at catching crabs, using crab traps is a safe and easy way to catch some of these tasty animals. Crab trapping is a great way to get outdoors and experience a new activity. You don’t have to be a professional to use a crab trap because of the portable and lightweight designs on the market today.

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