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Office Location 18344 Coastal Highway,
Lewes, DE 19958
Phone: (302) 258 4368
Fax: (302) 360 0350

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2011 Crabbing Season

Posted by Michael Brown on Thursday, March 17th, 2011 at 2:58pm.

It's not the Deadliest Catch.... It's Delaware Crabbing!

Delaware in-state crabbing licenses cost $10.00 a year and can be purchased at most bait & tackle shops. The Delaware Crab Season runs from February 28 thru December 1st.


Photo: Real Estate Agent Mike Brown transports crab pots to his top secret crabbing grounds.

Equipment needed:

  • Crabbing License
  • Crab Pots
  • Float
  • Bait
  • Boat


  • Bunker. A stinky bait fish.
  • Chicken necks. Can be purchased at many local grocery stores.
  • Squid. Available at most bait and tackle shops.

The Blue Crab is common in all tidal waters in Delaware. Blue crabs grow quickly and mature in twelve to eighteen months

Highlights of the Delaware Crabbing rules and regulations.

  • Females bearing eggs commonly known as sponge crabs may not be taken and should be returned to the water immediately.
  • Only two crab pots allowed per person.
  • All crab pots must be tended at least once every 72 hours.
  • All crab pots must be removed from the water between December 1st and February 28.
  • The recreational daily limit is one bushel per person.

Sponge Crab

If it looks like this - put it back in the water immediately. This is a female bearing eggs
known as a Sponge Crab. This one was out of the water only long enough
to be photographed and then released back into the bay.

Crabbing basics:

  • Bait the trap.
  • Put the trap in the water.
  • Wait 12 - 72 hours.
  • Retrieve the trap from the water.
  • Separate the keepers from the throwbacks.
  • Keep your fingers away from their claws
  • Putting the crabs on ice will throw them into a state of hibernation.


Be sure to check out our article How to make Crab Cakes

delaware legal crab size

The State of Delaware offers a free Fishing Guide available at most bait and tackle shops. This guide contains all of the Delaware Crabbing rules & regulations.

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