crabbing in bluffton

Whether it’s your first time or your hundred-and-first, crabbing in Bluffton is always a treat. The Lowcountry produces some of the most succulent crab on the eastern seaboard! Locals and visitors alike know when it’s crabbing season in Bluffton, you get while the getting’s good.

So how do you find the very best places to catch (and eat) these delicious crustaceans? Well, just keep on reading because we cover it all for you right here.


Bluffton Crabbing: Where

It may be easier to list where you CAN’T crab vs. where you can - because finding great locations to go crabbing in Bluffton is easy. Our most popular crustacean is the blue crab, but if you’re extra lucky (or seasoned) you might snag yourself a stone crab too.

Blue crab can be found everywhere from lagoons to the ocean. Most locals toss a crab trap into the tidal marshes with a few pieces of chicken to attract them. Large male crabs are often found in the rivers and creeks.

Stone crab are more often found in the marshes around the docks, making them a lucky find if you’ve dropped a crab trap. Remember, if you catch a stone crab, take only one claw and toss them back. They regenerate the claw!

If you’d like a guided crabbing trip in Bluffton, check out May River Excursions. They’ll take you where you want to go and teach you everything you need to know. If you’re looking for an afternoon adventure, try any public dock!


Crabbing in South Carolina: When

According to the SC Department of Natural Resources, “crabs can be caught all year but….the best time of year to harvest large, heavy crabs is usually from October to December”.

South Carolina law requires that crabs smaller than five inches be returned to the water. Anyone who has picked a crab will tell you waiting for the bigger crab is wise anyway! Picking is an art form in itself, and the bigger they are, the easier it is.

Speaking of picking, let’s talk about how to catch and eat these yummy delicacies!


Crabbing in Bluffton: How

We think the best part about finding blue crab is the simplicity! With the right gear, anyone can do it. Get yourself a quality crab pot, sturdy rope, some chicken parts and a place to drop. That’s it!

Once you’ve caught your share, preparing them is also quite easy. Find your largest pot and boil up some water. Add in your desired amount of Old Bay seasoning! Place the crab into the pot for 8-10 minutes.

Here comes the fun part: picking! Catching and cooking may be easy but picking wouldn’t be described as such. While it isn’t a simple task, the reward is certainly worth it.
Here’s how to pick a blue crab:

  1. Remove claws (save these for later).
  2. Use a paring knife (or whatever you have handy) to remove the apron (the tab on the backside).
  3. Pull off the entire backside of the crab.
  4. Scrape out the gills and other guts (some folks like the guts, called “mustard”).
  5. Time to get even messier and break the crab in half.
  6. Pick, pick, pick! Once you’ve extracted the sweet meat, work on the legs and claws.
  7. Your mallet comes in handy here. Crack the claws in a few places and the meat should be easy to pull out.



Have some fun on the water and some happy bellies after dinner when you spend your day crabbing in Bluffton. Remember these tips:

  1. Wondering where to go? Take a guided excursion or simply drop a crab pot!
  2. Fall months produce the largest crab.
  3. For DIY crabbing, use a crab pot and chicken to catch them. Boil up with some old bay and get to picking!


What is the best part about crabbing in Bluffton?

Share with us in the comments below!

Posted by Paige Rose on


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