The two common types of crab that you will catch in Westport is:
- Dungeoness Crab
- Red Rock Crab
Unlike many parts of Washington, crabbing is available all year round. Licenses can be simply purchased near the marina at the dock where businesses can provide fishing licenses (saltwater and freshwater) for residents and non-residents. You can purchase a day pass, multi-day pass, and annual pass.
Crabbing is simple. Besides the license, you just need a crab pot (trap or essentially a cage) and bait. Common bait used for crabbing include squid, chicken, fish head, cat food, or anything that emits an odor or contains fleshy meat for the crab to nibble on.
After throwing your crab pot in the water (you can do this on the dock, you don’t necessarily need to take a boat), simply wait for a while for the crab to smell/see the food and get into the pot. How long should you wait? It depends on who you ask. Typically, waiting 10-15 minutes is sufficient, although there are some people that throw it in for an hour and then go away to do other tasks, such as fishing, talking a walk around the marina, etc.
Once you pull up the pot, you’ll need to measure the crabs to make sure they are legal size. For dungeoness crabs, you can only take males (narrower abdomen). You have to return all female dungeoness crabs back into the water. The legal size may vary, but it’s typically approximately 6-inches for the minimum. For red rock crab, you can take either males or females and typically have approximately a 5-inch minimum.
Crabbing is blast! What are you waiting for? Reserve your hotel and bring the whole family along. It’s guaranteed to provide memorable times.