Where to go Crabbing in Florida (The Complete List) – Crabbing Hub (2024)

I wanted to make the absolute best list of crabbing spots across the State of Florida. I called bait shops, integrated locals, and scoured forums to find every spot people have had luck crabbing in the Sunshine State. I put them all together on a map to find a spot close to you. Enjoy!

I color-coded the spots on this list to give you an idea of what each spot has to offer.

  • Public pierswhich are perfect for crabbing are labeled with ablue pinpoint.
  • Boat Landingsto go crabbing by boat are labeled with agreen pinpoint.
  • Shoreline crabbing spotsare labeled with ared pinpoint.
  • Bridges that allow crabbing are labeled with a yellow pinpoint.

The spot you end up choosing depends on how you want to go crabbing. There are several methods to catch a blue crab, three of the most popular being hand lines, collapsible traps, and crab pots.

If you want to go crabbing with a hand line or ring net, pick a red pinpoint. If you want to use ring nets or other collapsible traps to go crabbing, pick a blue or yellow spot. If you want to set a crab pot and come back later, or actively crab with a collapsible trap connected to a buoy, I recommend you go crabbing by boat at one of the green pinpoint locations.

I’ll go over these methods and more later on in this article. For now, let’s go over what crabs you’re after.

The crabs you are catching in Florida

Where to go Crabbing in Florida (The Complete List) – Crabbing Hub (1)
Where to go Crabbing in Florida (The Complete List) – Crabbing Hub (2)

The two species of crab you’ll catch in Florida are Atlantic Blue Crabs and Florida Stone Crabs. Both are native to the state, with stone crabs being exclusive to the area. Both have their respective seasons, regulations, and methods of harvesting.

Florida has two blue crab populations: Atlantic stock and Gulf stock. The Gulf stock accounts for 70% of Florida’s Blue crabs, while the Atlantic is the remaining 30% (Source). I’ve noticed that locals say crabbing on the Atlantic side of Florida isn’t as exciting as their home state of Maryland or those who live on the gulf coast, and for good reason. While you can still have a successful crabbing trip on Florida’s Atlantic coast, you are more likely to find blue crabs on the Sunshine State’s Gulf Coast.

Stone crabs, unlike blue crabs, are only harvested for their claws. When they are caught, their largest claw is measured and broken off if it’s of legal size. The claw must be removed while keeping its joint intact to allow a new claw to grow in its place. You can read more about this on Florida’s Wildlife Website.

Public Piers

Crabbing from a public pier is so easy and beginner-friendly that I recommend anyone start there. You don’t need a boat, fancy supplies, or a lot of know-how. I explain how to go crabbing from a pier in this guide I wrote. Be sure to read that if you are a beginner after you pick a crabbing spot.

Let’s talk about some of the best piers to go crabbing in Florida. Keep in mind that this is my personal opinion and that there are plenty of piers across the state. I just picked a handful out of the many I put on the map above that stood out.

1) Valparaiso Fishing Pier

If you’re crabbing around the panhandle, this pier is an ideal spot to set a few collapsible traps. It’s within driving distance of Pensacola, Destin, and Pensacola City. There are other piers that are much closer to these three cities, but this one is not as popular. It’s no fun to have to compete on a busy pier.

The spot is a quiet park with benches and a well-kept public restroom. You’ve got plenty of parking that’s in the shade, which is nice on a hot day.

If you want to make a day trip out of it, there are plenty of restaurants nearby and the more popular Lincon Park. You can go swimming from the shore there.

2) Bob Sikes Fishing Pier

I always love recommending old bridges turned fishing piers to go crabbing and fishing. There is so much room for you to spread out your traps and see where the crabs take the bait. The water here is deeper (23 feet at its deepest) and the current is stronger. So, bring around 40ft of rope per trap (see this water-depth map) and secure some weight to your traps. I’ve seen people zip tie rebar to their traps, or purchase this 2lb weight on Amazon.

You pull off of 399 for plenty of parking and porta potties. I read The Angler Within’s Guide to fishing here and they recommend bringing a cart or something on wheels to carry your fishing gear across the 500-yard pier. In this case, it would be crabbing gear.

3) St. George Island Fishing Pier

This is another long, old bridge that has been turned into a fishing pier. The water is not as deep as the previous spot at 12 feet in the deepest spots (see this water-depth map), but the current is still strong. Remember to add those weight to your traps! Here, you can get away with 20 feet of rope.

This spot has plenty of parking and porta-potties. The only problem is lugging your gear up a flight of stairs and across the never-ending pier. You can’t complain about a lack of space to go crabbing, though! There are plenty of locals who will tell you what’s biting, and what isn’t. It’s a more quiet spot than the last bridge, and one I highly recommend.

4) Roger Batchelor Pier

For those in the Western Orlando and Gainesville area, Roger Batchelor Pier on Fort Island is a great spot to go crabbing. You can use collapsible traps on the pier, as well as handlines on the saltwater flats that surround the island.

There is parking at the pier, the boat ramp, and along Fort Island Beach. There are restrooms at the beach where you can go for a swim if the crabbing gets slow. Remember to pack bug spray, sunscreen, and lunch as this spot takes you far into the marsh.

5) Fishing Pier At Anclote Gulf Park

The pier at Ancolate Gulf Park is perfect for those north of Tampa, with plenty of parking and well-kept public restrooms. The pier stretches over 500 feet into The Gulf, giving you plenty of room to set collapsible traps along the pier. I like that this spot has railings for you to tie your lines to. It’s a bit too high off the water for handlines, so expect to use crab pots and collapsible traps here.

6) Sunshine Skyway Fishing Pier

Sunshine Skyway Fishing Pier is a unique spot to go crabbing as you can drive your car on the pier! It’s another old bridge-type spot that has been renovated into a functioning fishing pier with a bait shop at the end.

Come from the North side on 275 and take the exit onto the pier. From there, you can drive to a vacant spot along the pier and set up shop! I love this spot especially because you have your vehicle right next to you. I like to have all my gear on hand and not have to lug it all the way down the pier.

This spot is over some rough water. Bring extra line so your crab traps can reach the bottom. Add weight to your crab pots and collapsible traps so the current doesn’t pull it away.

7) Ainger Fishing Pier Park

I picked this spot in Lemon Bay, not too far from Fort Myers because it’s a calmer spot. You’re away from the crowds and rough water you’ll find at the larger fishing piers. Here, it’s just you and the crabs. The spot comes with limited parking, but it’s not too popular. There is also a sea wall before the bridge where you can set handlines and collapsible traps from shore.

The spot has waste bins for garbage and a porta-potty as a restroom.

8) Matlacha Community Park Pier

If you want a spot a bit closer to Fort Myers, I recommend Matlacha Community Park. It’s in the center of hundreds of acres of crab-filled saltwater marshes. They have a fishing pier here that is perfect for crabbing with collapsible traps and crab pots.

This pier is equipped with waste bins, benches, and fish cleaning stations. There are public restrooms at this spot. The only thing that I do not like is the lack of parking spaces. They are scattered around the park, and you may have to walk a bit to the pier.

9) Buena Vista Park Pier

A spot in New Smyrna Beach may surprise some of you as one of my favorite crabbing piers on this list, but Buena Vista Park is no joke! Set next to the Buena Vista Hotel, this park is well-managed with clean restrooms, plenty of parking, and an outstanding fishing pier.

Besides that, the park has a playground and plenty of open space. This is a great spot to bring children to go crabbing.

A Beginner’s Guide to Crabbing off a Pier (Step-by-step)

Browse my “Florida Crabbing Spots” Articles

Where to go Crabbing in Pensacola, Florida
Where to go Crabbing in Sarasota, Florida

Where to go Crabbing in Florida (The Complete List) – Crabbing Hub (3)Where to go Crabbing in Florida (The Complete List) – Crabbing Hub (4)

Where to go Crabbing in Tampa, Florida (Local Spots)
Where to go Crabbing in Destin, FL (Secret Spots)


Blue crab spawning and larval dispersal in Florida. Florida Fish And Wildlife Conservation Commission. (n.d.). Retrieved July 15, 2022, from https://myfwc.com/research/saltwater/crustaceans/blue-crabs/spawning-survey/

Mancinelli, G., Bardelli, R. & Zenetos, A. A global occurrence database of the Atlantic blue crabCallinectes sapidus.Sci Data8,111 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41597-021-00888-w

Where to go Crabbing in Florida (The Complete List) – Crabbing Hub (2024)


Where is the best place to catch crabs in Florida? ›

Located on the Gulf Coast of Florida, Cedar Key is a popular destination for crabbing. Its shallow waters and marshy areas are home to a variety of crab species, including blue crabs and stone crabs. You can crab from the shore or by boat, using crab traps or dip nets.

Where is the best place to catch crabs? ›

Crab prefer to be near structures, so when planning your trip, look for spots like docks, piers, and jetties. Freshwater crabs like fiddler and red crabs are best fished in shallow water near land.

What month is best for blue crabs in Florida? ›

The primary season for all crab species is October to January, when they are often at their largest and populations are highest after spawning. Some regions even stretch crabbing season into July.

What is the best bait for crab traps in Florida? ›

Bait – the two most popular baits are fish and chicken. Fish tends to attract more crabs, especially if it is oily, but chicken lasts longer. Almost any species or cut of chicken can be used but necks are preferred as they are both cheap and easy to secure.

What is the best blue crab bait in Florida? ›

The best bait to use for blue crabs is raw chicken, or oily fish like saltwater catfish or mullet, but crabs are bottom feeders so don't think too hard about what scraps you come up with. You can't go wrong with a raw chicken neck, and it holds up a lot better than most fish.

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