Crabbing In Norfolk

Published: Monday 28th Jul 2014

Written by: Laura Foster

Heading to a Norfolk Seaside town this summer? Then there’s one activity you just have to do!

Crabbing guarantees fun and laughter, keeping the children entertained for hours and can be addictive and competitive for the adults, eyeing up fellow competitors for the most caught, largest, smallest, ugliest, I could go on......

Being lucky enough to grow up in Wells-next-the-Sea, I have lost count of the number of summer days I spent with my family enjoying this activity, so would even go to say I’m kind of an expert in the sport.

The crabs at Wells are very obliging happy to go up and down the Quay wall all summer long, so you are always guaranteed to catch some. Other popular hotspots include, Blakeney, Stiffkey and Cromer, around piers and harbour walls tend to be the best spots to find them. Also check tide timetables, high tide is the best.

Back in the day we use to go asking at the butchers for scraps of meat to tie on as bait, this is ideal as crabs are not fussy when it comes to raw meat. However you can really use anything such as bacon rind, chicken, fish and nowadays you can even buy crabbing bait in a little bag all ready to go! (Less mess, but as a kid would have said it was more fun getting your hands dirty tying the bait on!)  Most lines come with a weight which is something you do need as this ensures the bait is kept at the bottom of the sea.

Once your lines are in the water, I’m sure you won’t have to wait very long before you feel a pull, wait a few moments until the crab has a firm hold, then gently bring the line up steadily and smoothly, it helps if you have a children’s fishing net to scoop the crab into on his way up, then release him into your bucket and be proud of your catch.

You can hold the crab safely, picking it up from behind, with your finger and thumb as their pincers can’t reach you! Be careful when doing this, and try not to scare your siblings too much!!

Once you’ve finished crabbing, gently release the crabs near the water’s edge, I remember releasing them on the slipway and the sight of them all scurrying sideways back into the water was like something from a horror film, but all good fun.

Safety Advice,Be careful when at the water’s edge, don’t lean over to far.Make sure children are accompanied by an adult at all times.Keep the crabbing bucket in the shade. Don’t keep too many crabs together, and separate any that start fighting.Never use hooks when crabbing.

Finally just have fun!!Please post any pictures of you crabbing on our Facebook page, we would love to see them…….

Laura Foster
Laura Foster


Enjoys running, cycling, going to the theatre and supporting Norwich City Football Club.


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