Blue Crabbing Tips and Tricks

Meet Tia - a Charleston native, Rheos ambassador and host of Casual Crabbing with Tia, one of the top Airbnb experiences in the world. (She was recently featured in People Magazine sporting our Rheos x Southern Tide Signature Series!) 

In our H2OME series, we had the opportunity to highlight her story and learn more about the magic of fishing for blue crab in the Lowcountry. She’s shared some great crabbing tips and tricks with us and is providing some of her expertise for this blog post! Without further ado, here’s four beginner-friendly crabbing to-dos. Let’s get crabby!

  • Check tides and currents before you go out.

  • This will help you avoid crabbing during strong tidal changes and currents when your chances of success are low and you could encounter some real headaches, like tangled lines and dragged buoys due to too much water movement. Not knowing the tides before you go is the easiest way to lose your gear out in the water. You can also see when high and low tides are and while you can likely get some claws either way, the best time for crabbing is when the water is moving in either the low or high tide.

  • Crabs need a cool, moist environment so their gills don’t dry out. 
  • We use a wooden crate with a burlap sack on top of the crabs and keep the crate in the shade. If you don’t have a crate or burlap, a cooler with an open lid, open drain plug and an unopened bag of ice underneath the crabs will do the trick. Crabs do not do well in cold water so make sure to not freeze them when using ice.

  • Make your buoys highly visible
  • Waves and weather can be unpredictable and make it easy to lose your buoy. In case the water carries your crab trap, it’s important your buoy can be easily found (otherwise there’s no telling where it will end up). 

    It’s important to note that several states, including our home state South Carolina, require certain size buoys and certain colors for maximized visibility. Even if it’s not state law though, visibility is key for a safe experience. 

  • First time? Trust a guide

  • If you’re new to the world of crabbing, it’s probably best to let an expert walk you through it. From throwing a cast net to setting bait, Tia and other crabbing guides can help you understand the basics and build confidence to catch some claws yourself. If you’re in the Charleston area (or are visiting soon), book Tia now!