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Crabbing is a fantastic family activity that can be enjoyed by all ages.
In this guide, we will explore the best places to go crabbing in Devon and provide essential tips to make your crabbing adventure a memorable one.
What is Crabbing?
Crabbing is the fun and engaging activity of catching crabs, typically using a simple line, bait, and a net.
It’s an excellent way for families to bond and spend quality time together while enjoying the great outdoors.
Plus, it’s a perfect opportunity to teach kids about marine life and conservation.
Crabbing Season in the UK
The best time to go crabbing in the UK is during the warmer months, from April to October, when crabs are more active.
Although you can still find crabs throughout the year, it’s during these months that you’ll have the best chances of catching them.
How to Go Crabbing
Going crabbing is relatively simple, and all you need is a crab line, crabbing bait (such as bacon, fish, or even a piece of chicken), and a bucket or container to hold your catch.
Here’s a quick step-by-step guide:
- Find a suitable location, preferably near a harbour, pier, or estuary.
- Attach your bait to the crab line and lower it into the water.
- Wait for a crab to grab the bait, and then gently pull up the line.
- Once the crab is close to the surface, use a net to scoop it up and place it in your bucket.
Remember to handle the crabs gently and release them back into the water when you’re done.
Top 10 Places to Go Crabbing in Devon
Appledore Quay is a picturesque spot in North Devon and one of the best places to go crabbing.
With its gentle waters and abundant crab population, it’s the perfect location for families to spend a day catching crabs and exploring the charming village.
Another great spot in North Devon, Ilfracombe Harbour offers ample opportunities for crabbing along its walls.
The harbour is also home to many other attractions, including boat trips, an aquarium, and delicious seafood restaurants.
Teignmouth Back Beach:
Located in South Devon, Teignmouth Back Beach is a fantastic place to go crabbing.
The beach offers a calm and sheltered environment, making it ideal for families with young children.
Plus, the nearby town offers plenty of amenities, including cafés, shops, and playgrounds.
Dartmouth Castle’s historic surroundings provide a unique backdrop for crabbing.
The nearby Sugary Cove is a lovely spot to set up your crab lines and enjoy the beautiful views.
Afterwards, explore the castle grounds and take a stroll along the River Dart.
Brixham Harbour is a bustling fishing port in South Devon, providing an excellent crabbing location along its breakwater.
The harbour is surrounded by colourful houses and offers numerous attractions, such as boat trips and an impressive replica of Sir Francis Drake’s ship, the Golden Hind.
Exmouth Marina, situated at the mouth of the River Exe, is a fantastic location for crabbing.
With ample space along its pontoons and walkways, it’s an ideal spot for families to set up their crab lines and enjoy the beautiful views of the marina and estuary.
Nestled in the picturesque village of Beer, this pebble beach is a hidden gem for crabbing in East Devon.
Surrounded by dramatic cliffs, Beer Beach offers a tranquil and sheltered spot for families to enjoy a day of crabbing and exploring the local area.
Clovelly is a charming, privately-owned village in North Devon, known for its steep, cobbled streets and quaint atmosphere.
The village’s historic harbour provides an idyllic setting for crabbing and taking in the stunning coastal views.
Keep in mind that there is an entrance fee to access the village.
Torquay Harbour is a popular destination in South Devon, boasting a lively atmosphere and plenty of crabbing opportunities.
The harbour’s lively vibe, coupled with its abundance of shops, restaurants, and nearby beaches, make it a perfect family day out.
The historic Plymouth Barbican is not only rich in maritime history but also offers fantastic crabbing opportunities.
The nearby Mayflower Steps and Sutton Harbour provide excellent spots for families to set up their crab lines and take in the picturesque surroundings.
Crabbing Bait and Tips
Using the right crabbing bait is crucial for a successful catch. Bacon, fish scraps, or even a piece of chicken can work wonders in attracting crabs.
Make sure to check your bait regularly and replace it if needed. It’s also a good idea to have a spare line or two, just in case one gets snagged or tangled.
To increase your chances of catching crabs, try to go crabbing during high tide, when crabs are more likely to be closer to the shore.
Also, consider wearing gloves when handling the crabs to protect your hands from their sharp claws.
Lastly, don’t forget to bring a camera to capture the excitement of your crabbing adventure!
Conservation and Crabbing Etiquette
It’s essential to practice responsible crabbing to protect these fascinating creatures and their environment.
Here are a few tips to ensure a sustainable and enjoyable experience:
- Use a bucket with a layer of seawater to keep your catch comfortable and avoid overcrowding.
- Handle crabs gently and avoid lifting them by their claws or legs.
- Release the crabs back into the water at the end of your crabbing session, preferably near where you caught them.
Devon offers an array of fantastic locations for crabbing adventures. From Appledore Quay to Plymouth Barbican, there’s a spot to suit every family’s preference.
Remember to pack your crabbing lines, bait, and bucket, and most importantly, have fun!
Frequently Asked Questions about Crabbing in Devon:
What type of crabs can I expect to catch in Devon?
The most common type of crab you’ll encounter while crabbing in Devon is the green shore crab (Carcinus maenas).
These small crabs are found in abundance along the Devon coastline and are easily recognisable by their greenish-brown shells and black-tipped claws.
Can I eat the crabs I catch while crabbing in Devon?
It is not recommended to eat the crabs caught during a casual crabbing session in Devon, as they are usually too small and not suitable for consumption.
The primary purpose of recreational crabbing is to enjoy the activity and learn about marine life, with the expectation of releasing the crabs back into the water afterward.
What should I wear when crabbing in Devon?
When crabbing in Devon, it’s essential to dress appropriately for the weather and the coastal environment.
Wear comfortable clothing, waterproof shoes or boots, and consider bringing a light rain jacket or windbreaker.
Wearing gloves can also help protect your hands when handling crabs and their sharp claws.
Are there any crabbing competitions or events in Devon?
Several towns and villages in Devon host annual crabbing competitions and events, often during the summer months.
These events can be a fun way for families to participate in crabbing together and engage with the local community.
Keep an eye on local event calendars and social media pages for information about upcoming crabbing events in the area.
Can I go crabbing all year round in Devon?
While crabbing is possible all year round in Devon, the best time to go is during the warmer months from April to October.
This period is when crabs are more active, and you’re more likely to have a successful catch.
During colder months, crabs may be less abundant and harder to find.