How to Catch King Crab

To catch a king crab, you’ll need to be more than an amateur weekend fisherman. Catching a king crab is not an easy task, and it is actually considered among the most dangerous jobs in general with a high fatality rate, mostly due to drowning and hypothermia. Keep in mind that the season for this activity is during the winter months in the coast of Alaska. Also, if you care to go a bit further to catch a king crab, you will find it in Russian waters as well. There are three species of king crab you can catch: the red king crab, the blue king crab, and the golden king crab. The red king crab is the largest, and is highly prized because of its meat. Taking this under consideration, if you are still planning to go on this adventure, below are several tips to accomplish it successfully. Just be aware of the hazards and implications to your health that this endeavor might bring to you.

To go on this ride, you will need:

  • A license from the state of Alaska
  • Cold water gear
  • A fishing boat equipped with pots to catch the crabs
  • Fish for bait

Step 1 – Setting Up

First of all, if you haven’t got your fishing license yet from the Alaska fishing department, start the paper work right away. This is a must, before doing any fishing activity, especially in this case. When you fish, you can only keep the male crabs, and there’s a maximum number of crabs you can catch during each year. Then, you must have a boat ready to sail, and you should be wearing the proper gear for the occasion.

Step 2 - Going to the Right Spot

Once you've gotten into your boat, you can start sailing towards Bristol Bay or Norton Sound. These are the right spots to catch the highly-prized red king crab. If you are looking for the other types of crab to catch, you will find the blue king crab on St. Matthew Island, and the Golden King Crab near the Aleutian Islands.

Step 3 – Setting the Bait and Placing the Pots

When you are already out there, it's time for you to set up the bait. Grab your fish; herring and codfish are the most commonly used lure for crabbing, and place them in the bottom of the pot. Then, throw the pots into several locations in the water (all of these must be attached to the boat with ropes), and wait.

Step 4 – Collecting Your Catch

After several hours of waiting, start picking up the pots and taking out the king crabs in them. Be sure to keep only the ones that meet the regulation requirements. If so, place them into a holding tank. The ones that don’t meet the criteria must be thrown back into the water. Once you have taken out all the catch, put some more bait on them and throw them into water once again.

You may continue as long as you wish, as long as you keep within your allowed limits of crabbing. It is a very short season, so make the best out of it.