Crabbing Fun!

Crabbing is a fun, family activity.
Come and give it a try at Mudeford Quay,
Poole Quay or in the rockpools along our beaches.

Win a crabbing kit

Top Tips for Crabbing Success

When to go
  • Best time of year – You can go crabbing all year round!
  • Best time of day – High or Low Tide (Slack Tide) when crabs are looking for food.
Where to go
  • Choose a safe place and take an adult with you.
What equipment do you need?
    1. A crab line – Make your own with string and a small weight or buy a crabbing line at a seaside shop.
    2. A large bucket so you can study your catch.
      Half fill the bucket with seawater and a little seaweed. Keep you bucket shaded and change the water once an hour.
    3. A net – to help put your catch into the bucket before they scuttle away! Put it under the crab just as you pull it from the water.
What is the best bait?
  • Crabs are greedy and have a strong sense of smell. They love bacon and smelly fish like sardines.
  • Make sure your line drops down to the bottom (or is against the seawall) and not in too much seaweed.
Look after your catch
  • Crabs hate crowds! Don’t put more that 10 crabs in each bucket.
  • If they start to fight, put them back in the water.
  • You cannot eat shore crabs – pop them back into the water or tip them close to the water as the tide comes in and watch them run sideways into the sea!

Mind your fingers & toes!

Even tiny shore crabs can give you a nip! Pick them up gently:

  • Holding both sides of the shell, or
  • Picking them up from behind with one finger on top of the shell and one underneath.


Fab Crab


Where do crabs live?
  • Most crabs live by the coast in salty, fresh or brackish (slightly salty) water.
What do crabs eat?
  • Crabs eat meat and plants making them omnivores.
How many legs do crabs have?
    • Crabs have 10 legs – they are decapods (ten-footed).
    • The two front legs are their claws.
How do crabs communicate?
  • Crabs communicate by drumming their claws and flapping their pincers.
How do crabs move?
  • Crabs walk and swim sideways.


The Crab Family

  • Crabs belong to the crustacean family
  • Crabs’ shells are their skeletons. They are on the outside of their body – exoskeletons!
  • There are more than 4,500 species of crabs.
  • Smallest species: The Pea Crab – between 7mm and 12mm long.
  • Largest species: Japanese Spider Crab with legs stretching up to 4 metres!
  • Crabs are super old!
    They first appeared in the Jurassic period, 200 million years ago.




    Download our Crabbing Fun Wordsearch.


    Download our colouring fun sheet.


    Win a Crabbing Kit!

    We have Crabbing Kits to give away to the first 8 crabbing fans to send us the correct Crab Codeword:

    1. Collect the six Crab Codeword Letters from the three pages on this website:

    There are 2 letters to collect on each page.

    1. Use the six letters to work out the Codeword. Clue – Is this a lonely crab?
    2. Enter your Codeword in the Entry Form along with your name and an email address*
      *Please ask permission from your parent/guardian to enter the competition and use their email address on the Entry Form.

    Entries close on 17th February 2023. Winners will be notified via email by 24th February 2023.

    Competition T&C’s