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Crabbing in Cornwall is a favourite pastime for many, offering a fun-filled, hands-on experience for the whole family.
From finding the best place to go crabbing in Cornwall to understanding the crabbing season in the UK, this guide will provide you with all the essential information you need for a successful crabbing trip.
In this ultimate guide, we’ll delve deeper into the best locations, techniques, and insider tips to make your crabbing trip unforgettable.
What is Crabbing?
Before we dive into the best spots for crab fishing in Cornwall, it’s important to understand what crabbing actually is. Crabbing is the act of catching crabs using a variety of techniques, such as using baited lines or nets. It is a popular leisure activity for people of all ages and a great way to connect with nature while enjoying the beautiful Cornish coastline.
How to Go Crabbing and Catching Crabs
To begin your crabbing trip, you’ll first need to gather some essential equipment. You’ll need a crabbing line, a bucket, and the best bait for crabbing. Many people find that using bacon, fish, or raw chicken as bait works well for attracting crabs.
Once you’ve found your perfect crab fishing spot, drop your baited line into the water and wait for a curious crab to approach. When you feel a tug on the line, gently pull it up to reveal your catch. Place the crab into your bucket and repeat the process to catch more.
For those looking to learn how to catch crabs using a net, opt for a crabbing net with a sturdy frame and a fine mesh. Carefully lower the net into the water, positioning it close to the crabs’ hiding spots. When a crab ventures onto the net, slowly lift it out of the water and transfer the crab into your bucket.
Best Crabbing Times and Crabbing Season in the UK
The crabbing season in the UK typically runs from April to November, although you can still find crabs outside of these months. The best crabbing times are during the hours around high tide, as this is when crabs are most active. Early morning and late afternoon are also prime times for crabbing, as crabs tend to be more active during these cooler parts of the day.
Best Places to Go Crabbing in Cornwall
1. Crabbing in Newquay
Newquay, a popular seaside town in Cornwall, is an excellent spot for crab fishing. The harbour offers a safe and sheltered environment for crabbing, with plenty of nooks and crannies for crabs to hide. Be sure to keep an eye out for the colourful crab pots that are often seen around the harbour, as they can be a great indicator of crabbing hotspots.
2. Padstow Harbour
Padstow, another well-known fishing village in Cornwall, is a fantastic place for crabbing enthusiasts. Its picturesque harbour offers a perfect setting for catching crabs, and you may even spot some local fisherman hauling in their catch of the day. In addition to the harbour, there are several small beaches and coves around Padstow where you can try your hand at crab fishing.
3. Fowey Estuary
The Fowey Estuary is a top location for crab fishing in Cornwall, thanks to its calm waters and abundance of marine life. The quayside is an ideal spot for crabbing, providing a great opportunity to catch a variety of crabs, from common shore crabs to more elusive velvet swimming crabs. You can also explore the nearby Polruan and Bodinnick areas, which are known for their excellent crabbing opportunities.
4. Mevagissey Harbour
Mevagissey, a charming fishing village on the south coast of Cornwall, boasts a bustling harbour that’s perfect for crab fishing enthusiasts. The clear waters are teeming with marine life, offering a fantastic opportunity to catch a wide variety of crab species. With its quaint streets and picturesque scenery, Mevagissey is an ideal location for a day of crabbing and exploration.
5. St Ives Harbour
St Ives, a popular tourist destination in Cornwall, is not only known for its stunning beaches and art scene but also for its excellent crabbing opportunities. The harbour and surrounding areas provide numerous spots to set up your crabbing line or net, and you can often find other crabbers nearby, creating a friendly and competitive atmosphere.
6. Looe Harbour
Looe, situated in southeast Cornwall, offers yet another prime location for crab fishing. The town is divided by the Looe River, with both the east and west sides of the river providing excellent crabbing spots along the quayside. The river estuary is a haven for crabs and other marine life, ensuring a fruitful crabbing experience.
Tips and Tricks for a Successful Crabbing Trip:
To make the most of your crabbing in Cornwall trip, consider these helpful tips:
- Always handle crabs gently and release them back into the water after catching them. This helps preserve the local crab population and allows others to enjoy crabbing experience as well.
- Be mindful of the environment by disposing of your bait and any litter properly. This helps keep Cornwall’s beautiful coastline clean and healthy for both marine life and visitors.
- Remember to take breaks, as patience is key when it comes to crab fishing in Cornwall. Bring snacks, drinks, and sunscreen to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable day by the water.
- Try visiting different locations throughout your trip to increase your chances of catching various crab species and experiencing the diverse coastal landscapes of Cornwall.
- Get involved with the local crabbing community by joining a crab fishing group or participating in a crabbing competition. This can provide a great opportunity to learn new techniques and make lasting memories with fellow crabbers.
Now that you’re equipped with all the necessary knowledge for a successful crabbing experience in Cornwall, it’s time to pack your gear and head out to catch some crabs. From picturesque harbours to serene estuaries, Cornwall offers an array of stunning locations for an unforgettable crabbing trip.
Frequently Asked Questions about Crabbing in Cornwall
Below is a list of frequently asked questions about crabbing in Cornwall.
Where is the best place for crabbing in Cornwall?
The best place for crabbing in Cornwall depends on your personal preferences and the specific experience you’re looking for. Some popular spots include Newquay, Padstow, Fowey, Mevagissey, St Ives, and Looe. Each location offers a different crabbing environment, from picturesque harbours to serene estuaries.
Can you go crabbing in Looe?
Yes, you can go crabbing in Looe. The town’s harbour, situated along the Looe River, provides excellent crabbing spots on both the east and west sides of the river. The river estuary is abundant with crabs and other marine life, making Looe a prime location for crab fishing in Cornwall.
Do you need a licence to catch crabs in the UK?
For recreational crabbing, you do not need a licence to catch crabs in the UK. However, if you intend to catch crabs for commercial purposes or use certain types of equipment (such as pots, traps, or nets), you may need a licence. Be sure to check local regulations and guidelines before engaging in any commercial crabbing activities.
What is the best crabbing bait in Cornwall?
The best crabbing bait in Cornwall is typically a combination of fish, bacon, or raw chicken. These types of bait are known to be particularly effective in attracting crabs. It’s important to note that using fresh bait is crucial, as crabs have a keen sense of smell and are more likely to be lured by fresh, enticing scents.
Can you crab at Newquay Harbour?
Yes, you can go crabbing at Newquay Harbour. The harbour offers a safe and sheltered environment for crab fishing, with plenty of hiding spots for crabs. Keep an eye out for colourful crab pots around the harbour, as they can indicate popular crabbing areas.
Which harbour is best for crabbing in Cornwall?
It’s difficult to pinpoint the single best harbour for crabbing in Cornwall, as there are several fantastic locations to choose from. Some top contenders include Newquay Harbour, Padstow Harbour, Fowey Estuary, Mevagissey Harbour, St Ives Harbour, and Looe Harbour. Each harbour offers unique crabbing opportunities and beautiful scenery.