How To Catch Fiddler Crabs For Bait (Quick & Easy Way)
By: Tony Acevedo on February 27, 2020
Sheepshead, black drum, redfish, snook and even tarpon love fiddler crabs.
They’re like bite-sized treats that predator fish just can’t resist.
In the summertime, you see armies of these little morsels on the shore, but they’re not so prevalent in the winter.
And of course, wintertime is sheepshead time, so this is one of the best times to use them.
In this video, I’m going to show you how to find, catch and keep fiddler crabs for bait—even in the winter.
Let’s dive in!
How To Catch Fiddler Crabs [VIDEO]
Before you start wrangling up fiddler crabs, you need to make sure you’re in the right type of spot.
When & Where To Find Fiddler Crabs
Soft sandy or muddy shorelines with structure are the best spots to find fiddler crabs.
In the video above, I was on the shore of a quiet creek off of the main river.
As far as types of structure, I like to look for:
- Mangrove trees
- Tree limbs
I also try to avoid areas with lots of human activity such as foot traffic, noise, or cars because the crabs will be more skittish and try to hide in these areas.
Now in the summer you can see colonies of these guys on the shorelines so it’s a lot easier to catch them then.
But in the winter, they’re more likely to be hiding out in their holes, which are round, dime-sized holes on the shore near the water.
How To Dig Up Fiddler Crabs
Once you’ve found the fiddler crab holes, all you have to do now is dig them up and grab them.
To do this, I used an old kayak paddle, but you could also use a shovel.
Place the shovel a few inches away from the hole, dig in to get under the hole, and lift up.
If there’s a fiddler crab in the hole, usually they’ll scurry out when you dig them up and you can grab them.
They do pinch, but it doesn’t hurt too bad.
How To Keep Fiddler Crabs
To keep your fiddler crabs, put them in a bucket with sand and some water.
You don’t want there to be too much water that you’re drowning the crabs, but you do want the sand to be moist.
In this video, I was catching fiddler crabs for a sheepshead trip the next day, so I also grabbed a bottle of water from the creek so I could keep the sand moist overnight.
Most inshore fish can’t say no to a tasty fiddler crab.
And if you don’t feel like paying for them at the bait shop, or if they don’t have them, then all you have to do is go to a sandy or muddy shoreline, find their holes, and dig them up.
Have any questions about catching fiddler crabs for bait?
Let me know in the comments below!
And if you know someone who would love to learn how to catch them, please TAG or SHARE this with them!
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