Nov 3 2014
Opening Weekend for Crab Season
Post by sara albers

crab fest san franciscopost by Sara

It is Crab Season in San Francisco! We spent all day yesterday at Baker Beach in San Francisco with friends – certainly the best way to usher in November. This past weekend was opening weekend and our third season out there. I say “our” but I really should say “their.” My husband, Ty and some good friends have enjoyed crab fishing for the last few years. Their preferred method is paddling the traps out on their surf boards. Can’t get anymore West Coast than that!

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crab fest

Baker Beach was packed with crab fisherman yesterday as the swell was too big Saturday for an Annual Crab Derby. Our guys did not participate in the Derby, but it was fun to watch.

crab fest san francisco

crab fishing san francisco baker beach


There are a few different methods for crabbing:

– Fishing pole with line using a snare trap (bait box with plastic hoop attached to the fishing line). When the line is pulled the plastic hoops cinch the crabs, catching their legs.

– Kayak to set the box traps. This was such an entertaining part of day to watch people try to beat the shore break. Half make it, the other half have to regroup and try again. The crowd would cheer when the kayak would finally make it through the shore break.

– Paddle out on surfboard to set box trap. They bungee the traps on top of their boards. The crabs come in through a one way door to get the bait. Raw chicken worked best yesterday. The guys used raw salmon yesterday as well. They would paddle the traps out on their surf boards and let the traps soak for at least thirty minutes before heading back out to check on how many crabs had climbed in. They also had a hoop trap that lies flat on the bottom of the ocean.

crab fishing san francisco


crabbing baker beach san francisco


crab fishing san francisco

crabbing san francisco baker beach

Crabbing on Baker Beach is fun for the kids as well. They race to the guys as they bring in the traps to see what types of crabs were caught. There are regulations as to size and types of crabs you can keep. Minimum size for Dungeness crab is 5 3/4 inches. There is a special measuring tool to use and you can only keep the males. Yesterday some pregnant females got in the traps. The kids were amazed at the orange sack/belly. We gently put them back in the water.

crabbing san francisco baker beach

I love this San Francisco tradition with our friends and their families. It’s moments like this that I’ll cherish forever. I really do live in a magical place.

crabbing san francisco baker beach

Check out more info on crabbing in Northern California.

*Special thanks to my friends for letting me document the wonderful beach day!

All photos by Sara Albers. All rights reserved. 

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