How To Catch & Rig Fiddler Crabs For Redfish, Black Drum, And More [VIDEO]

By: Joseph Simonds on June 21, 2017
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how to catch fiddler crabs

It’s fiddler crab time!

Did you know that fiddler crabs are an excellent bait for inshore fish such as sheepshead, black drum, redfish, and even tarpon?

Yep. I have absolutely killed it using this free (and pretty easy to catch once you find them) bait.

Fiddler crabs are also a top choice for pompano fishing. 

The good news is that they are super easy to catch as long as you can find an area that holds them.

how to catch fiddler crabs

Nice black drum caught on fiddler crab

Fiddlers can be found all along the shorelines of inshore waters and beaches.

The biggest giveaway that you have found them is that you will see them scurry up the shoreline back to their shelter or structure that they may have been hiding in.

They prefer soft, damp areas with areas to hide such as washed up grass, logs, branches, etc.

The next biggest giveaway are the tiny holes in the ground in which they burrow.

how to catch fiddler crabs

Note: They only go a few inches into the ground and can be easily scooped up with a sand flea rake or a small shovel.

Here are a few items you will want to consider if you plan to catch some fiddlers on your own:

  1. Gloves – If you want to just grab these critters by hand it may be wise to wear a pair of gloves. They don’t have the biggest pinchers out there, but if they get you in the right spot you may shout a few choice words.
  2. Small Bucket/Container – It is very easy to store fiddler crabs as they don’t require any maintenance. A small bucket with a tiny bit of water will do just fine. Be sure not to overfill with water.You want just enough that the crabs are kept wet but not submerged. This small bucket can also be used to scoop the crabs up.
  3. Sand Flea Rake – This is a great tool to use for scooping the crabs up as they scatter on land. It is also very useful for digging them up if they are burrowed in the ground. Be sure to take them out of the rake quickly and placed into a container as they can easily crawl out.
  4. Net – Also a useful tool, as you will see in the video. If you can spook the crabs to the waterline you can easily scoop them out of the water with the net. It also gives you a temporary place to store them as you catch them.

inshore fishing spots

The more you start catching your own fiddler crabs, the finer tuned your technique will be. 

Most people go out with a small bucket and their bare hands and just pick them up (that would be the quickest and easiest way to go about it).

In the following video, I will be showing you what to look for when looking for fiddler crabs.

I will also be discussing how I like to rig them up for inshore fishing.

How To Catch And Rig Fiddler Crabs [VIDEO]

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Conclusion

Nothing better than catching bait without having to get in the boat or kayak.

And the good news is that fiddler crabs are not hard to catch once you find them (and they rarely are by themselves).

My best advice is to have a net and/or a sand flea rake so you can dig down in their holes and get them out that way.

And even though I use a jig head in the video, feel free to use whatever hook fits your needs.

What are your best tips on catching/rigging fiddler crabs?

Let us know in the comments.

Related Post: How To Catch Redfish, Snook, and Trout Without Live Bait

inshore fishing spots

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Shaye Hobbyaaron wRobert BargholzTony AcevedoRick Devro Recent comment authors
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Christopher Hobby
Member

The fiddler crab run is goin’ on right now. Saw so many today and the other day. Never used them for the Drum family. Will give it a shot.

aaron w
Guest
aaron w

If i ever run out of live mullet when fishing, and im using a carolina rig for the live mullet, do you think if i can find some fidler crabs i can just rig them on the carolina rig? or should i tie on a 1/8oz jighead?

Robert Bargholz
Member

Excellent tip, I wonder3d how to catch and rig these suckers when I was in the glades, they were everywhere!

Richard Devereaux
Member

Easiest way to gather fiddler crabs:

Get a plastic laundry basket (preferably round, but rectangular or square can be used). Cut off the top rim of the basket – be sure to have 2″-3″ width of the cut off rim.
Especially at this time of year, when herds of fiddlers can be found roaming the water’s edge before high tide, use the laundry basket rim to capture them: toss it like a Frisbee. When the laundry basket rim lands over a herd of fiddlers you’ve got them “corralled”. No digging required!
Male fiddlers have a larger claw compared to the females. Keep the males for bait and leave the females to reproduce.

Tony Acevedo
Admin

Great tip. Thanks Richard!

Kingfish
Guest
Kingfish

Good and Cool info fishermen helping fishermen doesn’t get any better

Tony Acevedo
Admin

Thanks for the feedback Kingfish!

Cowboy Everly
Member

Thanks for the tips. I appreciate all of the videos you Guys put together.

Luke Simonds
Admin

Our pleasure Cowboy! Thanks for making time to leave the nice comment. Fish On!

Robert Price
Member

Good Video, Thanks

Luke Simonds
Admin

Glad to see that you enjoyed the video. Thanks for making time to leave the nice comment. Fish On!