Commercial crabbing is out third largest industry at Money Island with two to five commercial boats operating from here in parts of the season. Recreational crabbing is also of interest and this post is written at a very basic level for those who might not have a background in it.
This post is not meant to cover any of the regulatory issues. Please read the state official web site for that. This post only covers the practical or operational aspects that pertain to our local scene. Also please consider local laws like no parking or crabbing from roads or bridges.
First, the SEASON: recreational crabbing starts slowly for us. Crabs come up the bay in the spring and do not populate our backwaters in larger numbers until June. You can try earlier but do not have high expectations. The season increases each month until it peaks in September and dwindles away around the third week of October.
Second, the BAIT: Chicken or bunker are most common. We have plenty of crab bait frozen bunker available to anyone who asks to crab here.
Third, the TRAPS, LOCATION and TECHNIQUE: the type of traps that work best, the locations that work and the method depends on the tide cycle, the season and other factors. It makes more sense, in our opinion, to decide on a crabbing plan when you arrive at the dock. Some techniques require a license, others do not. Please make that distinction. We keep a variety of different type of crab traps, nets, boats, rafts, etc. at Money Island to accommodate a wide range of crabbing situations. All of this is available to borrow while you are here. If Tony is on site, he is pleased to share what’s been working best for recent visitors.
If you want to purchase your own equipment, we highly recommend two great local businesses. The links are to their Facebook pages becasue that’s how we usually reach them:
American Blue Claw (Dave)
In general, crabbing is better by boat that from shore here. We usually have boats that you can take out yourself or boats that can be chartered with a captain (and maybe crew). If you don’t have an operator’s license we can offer a training and single day license.
Fourth, we have shedding tanks (for allowing your shedders to become soft shell crabs), cooking tanks, picnic area, massive amounts of crab boil seasoning, ice, coolers, etc. that may be useful to handle your catch.
Last, in all cases, please follow the Money Island guest policy carefully so make it the best experience for all. All of our activities are supported by donations, so please make a generous contribution to keep these expensive services going. It is common practice to share extra crabs and bait. Of course that varies day to day, even hour to hour. There are no fees for anything related to crabbing at Money Island and we do not buy/sell/barter or trade any New Jersey fishery product.