BEST Time To Use Blue Crab (For Redfish, Snook, Tarpon & Black Drum)


With most baits, you never know what you’re going to get.

If you’re using shrimp, you could catch anything from a big black drum to a dink trout or catfish.

But if you throw a big chunk of blue crab out there, you know that anything big enough to eat it is going to put up a fun fight.

In this video, I’m going to show you when the best times to use blue crab are.

There are two times of the year and two scenarios in particular that I like to use blue crab to catch redfish, snook, tarpon, and black drum.

See what those times and scenarios are in the video below.


BEST Time To Use Blue Crab [VIDEO]

Sign up for FREE to receive the latest saltwater fishing videos, tutorials, product reviews, and fishing product discounts!

➡ Click here to join the Salt Strong Insider Club

If you haven’t seen the post for the best time to use shrimp, check it out here.

I like to use blue crabs in similar situations as I would use shrimp.


Winter is great for using blue crab for two reasons:

  1. Fish are lethargic in the cold water
  2. Most baitfish are offshore

Blue crabs don’t move that fast (and cut blue crab doesn’t move at all!) which makes them easy meals for cold, lazy fish in the winter.


In the heat of summer, like in the dead of winter, fish are lethargic.

A chunk of blue crab is a delicious meal for tired fish this time of year.

Match the Hatch

With any fishing, matching the hatch is a good strategy to hook into feeding fish.

If I’m cruising a muddy shoreline and I see crabs scurrying out, I know that fish are likely feeding on them, so I’ll hook one up and toss it along the shoreline to entice predator fish cruising the flats to eat.

Tailing Reds

When redfish are tailing, they’re usually digging their noses in the mud and grassroots trying to stir up crustaceans like shrimp or crabs.

This can be a great time to use blue crabs for bait.


how to rig a blue crab
Bull Redfish Caught Using a Whole Blue Crab

If you’re looking to catch tarpon, snook, black drum, or redfish, using whole or cut blue crab is a great option.

The best times to use them are:

  • In the winter when the fish are lethargic and the baitfish have moved offshore
  • In the middle of summer when fish are also lethargic
  • When you’re seeing a lot of blue crabs in an area
  • When redfish are tailing

Check out the best time to use shrimp here.

Have any questions about the best time to use blue crab?

Let me know in the comments below!

And if you know someone who wants to catch tarpon, snook, redfish or black drum, TAG or SHARE this with them!

P.S. Want access to the best fishing spots, tips, and exclusive gear and discounts? Click here to join us and +10,000 other anglers in the Insider Club!

Do You Want To Quickly Find New Fishing Spots In Your Area?

Then you’ve got to see this private fishing club!

Here’s what you’ll receive today:

  • Weekly fishing reports and TRENDS revealing where the inshore fish are feeding all year long
  • Weekly “spot dissection” videos that walk you through all the best spots in certain areas
  • Exclusive fishing tips from the PROS you can’t find anywhere else
  • Everything you need to start catching fish more consistently (regardless if you fish out of a boat, kayak, or land).

Click here to join today.

Related articles:

Related categories:

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jeffrey Sorrell
3 years ago

Tony, love the idea of using live blue crab, never done it. Where do you you hook it and I imagine you are usin 7-9 hook size?

Steven Free
3 years ago

I totally agree Tony I don’t use blue crabs per say except for my chasebaits smash crab haven’t used it much and haven’t caught any fish on it but like excersise equipment your not going to loose weight if you don’t use it same with lures only going to catch fish with them if you use them but my comment ist really about this it’s about a weird happening on new years day when me and my girlfriend started fishing a small creek that believe it or not HAD A TON OF MULLET in it both sizes from the finger mullet size to the big ones that scientists to this day have no idea on why they always jump out of the water so much but anyway it was crazy on new years day a normal date when in all other years a mullet at that time would of been long gone out to sea and if an angler sees one it would be a little rare well not this new years I’m serious the creek had so many in it the water was literally alive with them!!! It was bizarre to say the least we did manage to catch 4 small rat reds out of that creek though she got 2 on a gulp pearl swimming mullet with a zman quarter ounce jighead and i caught 2 as well on a chasebaits flick prawn in jelly color I also caught a nice flounder that day as well the only keeper fish in the bunch on the flick prawn as well I also modified it a bit so it sinks a little faster by wrapping some old suspend strips that I have had for a while but never used them they are old but work well originally designed to be put on crank baits to get the bait to dive deeper they attach very well to the chasebaits hook shank anyways great info tony maybe this happened because of global warming don’t know I just know it was weird to say the least thanks for all you do????

Richard Fiorentino
3 years ago

Thanks Tony. It is difficult to get blue crabs at bait shops in my area. What size do you generally use, and what do they usually cost. Also, do you use artificial crabs? Thanks

Lara Delorenzo-Sims
3 years ago

how do you keep blue crabs alive ? thank you

Eric Thomasson
3 years ago

Can cut blue crab be used on the west central coast inside Tampa Bay?

Glenn Lumpkin
3 years ago

Have you ever used Savage or any artificial crabs?

Glenn Lumpkin
3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Acevedo



Do what the “SMART ANGLERS” are doing and join the Insider Club.

Here’s what you’ll receive today when you join:

Other Fishing Tips You May Like :

How To Tie The Perfection Loop [Picture And Video Tutorial]

Looking for a simple and strong loop knot? In this article, Luke Simonds shows you how to tie one of the popular knots of all time -- the Perfection Loop.
See Full post

Smart Fishing Game Plan For The Weekend [May 8th – 10th]

See the best fishing game plan for maximizing your results this weekend based on the latest feeding trends along with the tide & weather forecasts.
See Full post
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

Get Instant Access To “The Inshore Fishing Manifesto” PDF Now

You’ll automatically be emailed a private link to download your PDF, plus you’ll be added to the Salt Strong Newsletter.
(Please double-check your email below to ensure delivery.)