How Does a Crab Pot Work – All You Need to Know

Crabs are one of the feistiest, but also most delicious crustaceans coming from the ocean. We all know how lovely the taste of a crab dipped in garlic butter is. But, do you know how to catch them effectively?

Well, you might think that we need some professional skills and expensive equipment. However, crabbing can be an enjoyable, entertaining activity for all of us. All you need is a crab trap and some easy methods.

There are several traps for the crabbing games. Among them, crab pots are believed to be an effective trap that requires less human efforts. Are you curious about how does a crab pot work? This article will reveal to you the answer.

What is a crab pot?

A crab pot is a trap to catch crabs. It is designed like a squared metal cage made of steel bars and enclosed by a metal net. The cage has several one-way doors which allow the crab to go inside but not to exit. It also has some tiny doors for the undersized crabs, which are illegal to be caught, get back to the ocean. In the middle of the pot, there is a small chamber for the bait.

The structure shows how a crab pot works: it entices these marine creatures by their favorite food bait before locking them up.

How does a crab pot work?

The method is quite simple: You put some enticing bait to the bait box. Then you need a line and a buoy. Tie one end of the line to the pot and drown it down to the bottom of the sea. Tie the other end of the line to the buoy to mark the position of your pot. Next, you wait for the pot to do its job.

How does a crab pot work

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The crabs, lured by the bait, will draw closely to the pot. They will find a way to enter the trap through its one-way entrances, eat the bait. After they finish their meal, they crawl all over the trap to find a way out. But it is impossible for them to crawl back out of the pot – they are officially trapped in it.

Little by little, the pot will get fill after some hours. All you need to do is to lift the crab pot back up and collect the achievement.

How to choose the effective crab pot?

Yes, you can do nothing to control how the crab pot works after putting it down to the ocean. But it’s sure that you can increase the quantities of crabs that you can catch by preparing a perfect pot. Here are three things you need to pay attention on

The size

As a recreational crabber, you should choose the size that suits your needs only. Besides, a full pot might be too heavy to be lifted up. Thus, you can choose several smaller pots instead of a big one so you can take it from the floor of the sea easily.


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The net hole size

Take a research on what kinds of crab that are available in your region. Then choose a suitable net hole size to catch the crabs that you want. The fit net holes help to let the crabs stuck in the trap and prevent them from escape. Therefore, if you use a bigger size of net holes for small sized crabs, they can get out of the pot. And you will catch nothing.

The net hole size

Image Source: Cornish Shore and Kayak Fisherman

The material

You need a strong and lasting heavy metal, like steel, for the crab pot because it needs to stay stable after reaching the floor of the ocean. This material needs to be resistant from the corrosive of the seawater.

Also, some experts advise that you should choose a pot with more entrances. More doors, more crabs get in.

Benefits from using a crab pot

Honestly, you have to spend hours waiting for the crabs to fulfill the crab pot. Sometimes it takes even a day. Those tasty critters might need more times than you expect to find the ways to move into the pot. However, the number of crabs that you can have a long-time waiting is always worth.

Also, the structure of the pot can help you to prevent from harming other sea creatures (i.g. turtle) that accidentally stray to your trap.

Benefits from using a crab pot

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Besides, you can take that waiting time to have a fun boat day. Well, that is why you should not go crabs-fishing alone but with your close people. You can sunbath, read a book, dance to the music, or have some drink while preparing ingredients to cook the crabs. All together!

Some more tips

Remember to be patient. Crabs-fishing, like other types of fishing, is a patient game. You cannot control what happens inside the ocean. Therefore, just chill, and enjoy the whole journey.

If you take the pot up from the water and find nothing, don’t be sad. You just need some more luck. Refill the trap with new bait and drown it down again. Some popular baits for crabs are raw chicken, raw fishes or eels.

The pot needs to be maintenance carefully. After hours and days mashed under the sea water, there is no doubt that some spots on your pot are damaged. Take care of the joints and repair the loose ones.

Always put your fishing gloves on. You don’t want to get hurt from their pincers.

If you find some marine residents that are trapped in the pot and you don’t need them, send them back to the water. You may find some trashes, too. Collect them, and DON’T throw them back to the sea. They don’t belong there.


We hope this article can show you a crab pot works more simply comparing to its complicated design. So, next time going crabs-fishing, think about giving this equipment change, you will receive a satisfying result and a memorable experience.