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Jan 26, 2021 | Activities, Family Days Out, Salcombe

Famously, Salcombe has some of the best crabs in the UK (even the world in our opinion). Once you’ve tasted the buttery, flakiness of Salcombe crab you can’t forget it. Crabbing in Salcombe is not only fun but incredibly rewarding, as our crab is second to none!

While the crabs you will be fishing for aren’t edible, after a long day of crabbing why not tuck into a crab yourself. If you’re visiting South Devon you won’t want to miss out on anything that we have to offer. So, here are our top tips for crabbing in Salcombe.

Crabbing in Salcombe Checklist

What will I need?

Before you head out on your crab catching adventure, you’ll need to prepare a few things. Firstly, you will need a bucket. It almost goes without saying, but you will need somewhere to store your crabs after you catch them. Fill a bucket with seawater, a few pebbles and seaweed to keep your crabs happy. You will also want a net to transfer your crabs into your bucket.

Crabbing Salcombe

Next, you’ll need a crab line if you have children a no-hook crab line is perfect for you. Crabbing kits are readily available all over Salcombe, so don’t panic if you forgot to pack your own.

Finally, and the smelliest part of crabbing, you’ll need bait. Crabs have a very strong sense of smell and love potent foods. Sardines, mackerel or even a fish head are all great crab baits. A Salcombe local top-tip is to use streaky bacon! Forgetting crab bait is an all too common mistake that tourists make; read our blog article on other common mistakes made when crabbing.

The Perfect Crabbing Time

The amount of crabs you will catch completely depends upon the tide at the time you’re crabbing. The best time to go crabbing is just before high tide and some Salcombe locals will tell you that spring is their favourite season. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to catch any crabs at low tide, so make sure you plan your crabbing trip before heading out.

crab rockpooling

Where can I go crabbing in Salcombe?

Salcombe, though a small town, has plenty of great crabbing hot-spots. Ensure that you always check that crabbing is allowed somewhere before you begin. Some spots are reserved for commercial crabbing, however, there are endless places to go for crabbing in South Devon.

Although you can go crabbing at almost any beach or quay in Salcombe, Victoria Quay is known to be the best crabbing spot. Some have even accounted that they’ve caught 60 crabs an hour there.

Furthermore, each year in Salcombe we host Salcombe Crabfest. The seafood in Salcombe is so tasty that we believe it deserves to be celebrated! But Crabfest is so much more than just crabbing. So if you’re not into catching your own, you can try some of the best locally cooked crab in South Devon. 

How will I know if I’ve caught a crab?

Crabbing requires a lot of patience. This is what makes it such a relaxing holiday pass-time. Once you’ve tied your bait onto the line and dropped it into the water the crabs will start to scurry around.

You should feel a slight pull on the line if you’ve got a catch. If you’ve felt a strain on your line or after five minutes have passed start to slowly pull your line back up. If you see a catch, gently pull the line up, trying not to be too aggressive. Once you’ve got your catch you can take a picture and then either release it or pop it in your bucket!

Crabbing can be a real waiting-game, so if you’re ready to kick-back for a few hours then crabbing in Salcombe is for you.

Shore crabs don’t like to be left in a crowded bucket for very long. Keep your bucket out of direct sunlight and put a few pebbles at the bottom to make the crabs feel more at home.

Make sure that you are gently releasing your crabs back into the water after you’ve finished watching them scuttle around. To release the crabs, gently drain the water from your bucket near the edge and watch them run back into the ocean.

Whether you’re a family wanting to create life-long memories or a couple who just wants to unwind, our luxury holiday cottages will be perfect for your post-lockdown holiday. Explore our wide range of luxury holiday lettings on our website, or contact us if you have any queries. We can’t wait to welcome back tourism to Salcombe and happy crabbing!

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