Best Places For Crabbing In Cornwall




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Stand on the Padstow harbour walls, the gem of North Coast, with a crab line in hand and anticipation in your heart.

With its perfect locations for crabbing, the South Coast beckons you to St. Ives, where the whole family can indulge in this age-old tradition. Ready to explore some more of the best spots, discover the best bait, and uncover the biggest crab? 

Then read on and let us help you find the best locations for crabbing in Cornwall.

The Crabbing Season In Cornwall

The best crabbing times in Cornwall are during the rising or ebbing tide, when crabs are more active and accessible. The crabbing season typically runs from late spring to early autumn, with peak months being June to September. Remember to adhere to local regulations and handle crabs with care.

The Best Crabbing Locations

Cornwall, with its abundant crab population and beautiful beaches, boasts several locations that are perfect for the beguiling pursuit of crabbing. As the rhythmic ebb and flow of the tide reveal the shore crab’s secrets, allow us to present a captivating list of the best places in Cornwall for crabbing.

1. St. Ives

Located on the north coast of Cornwall, St. Ives offers a perfect place for crabbing enthusiasts.

The picturesque harbour provides an ideal setting to try out your hand at crab fishing. The best time to visit is both during high and low tide, when the crabs come closer to the shore. You can often find Hermit crabs, shore crab, and Velvet Swimming crabs here. 

St. Ives also offers stunning beaches, making it a wonderful spot for a family day out.

2. East Looe

Situated on the south coast, this is another excellent location for crabbing in Cornwall.

The harbour and quay side are the go-to spots for crab fishing. Families and kids will love crabbing here, as the crabs are plentiful and the atmosphere is delightful. The best time to visit is during summer months, and using raw bacon as bait is known to attract the crabs.

3. Falmouth

Falmouth, located on the south coast of Cornwall, is known for its scenic beauty and crabbing opportunities.

The nearby beaches are great crabbing locations. You can go crabbing here during high tides, and using crabbing nets or lines can help you catch crabs effectively. The town also offers various amenities such as car parks and public toilets for visitors’ convenience. And the nearby Falmouth Fish Market is a popular place for buying seafood and fish. It also supplies bait for catching crabs.

4. Padstow

Padstow, nestled on the north coast of Cornwall, is a must-visit destination for crabbing enthusiasts.

Padstow Harbour is a bustling hub for crab fishing, and its charming harbour wall provides a suitable spot to try your luck. The best bait to use for crabbing here is raw bacon. Just make sure to bring a crabbing net and bucket to collect your catches. 

Free parking facilities are available near the harbour, which can get full during peak seasons.

5. Mevagissey

Mevagissey offers a fantastic crabbing experience for visitors of all ages.

This quaint fishing village is located on the south coast of Cornwall, and provides a great spot for kids’ crabbing, as shore crabs are abundant. The harbour and quay offer direct sunlight, making it an ideal place to wait for the crabs to catch the bait.

6. Polperro

Polperro is a charming fishing village on the south coast of Cornwall, that provides a unique crabbing experience.

The scenic harbour is an excellent spot to catch crabs. You can take a boat trip, or buy a crabbing line to try catching a crab. Additionally, you’ll notice rock pools or fish off the rocks. Polperro also allows you to enjoy beautiful walks along the river, making it an ideal location for crabbing enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

7. Newquay

Positioned on the north coast, Newquay is not only famous for its surfing spots, but also offers great crabbing opportunities.

With its stunning beaches and rocky shores, Newquay provides a variety of locations to go crabbing. The peak season for crabbing in Newquay falls between April and September when the warmer sea temperature attracts crabs to come closer to the shore. Parking facilities are also available near the beaches.

8. Lizard Peninsula

The Lizard Peninsula, situated on the south coast of Cornwall, is a haven for crabbing enthusiasts because of its rocky shores and sheltered coves.

Aspiring crabbers can take advantage of the region’s well-documented tide times to plan their excursions effectively. Beyond crabbing, visitors can immerse themselves in the enchanting beauty of the sea, indulging in activities such as swimming, beachcombing, or simply relishing in the tranquillity of the coastal ambiance.

9. Fowey Estuary, National Trust

The Fowey Estuary, managed by the National Trust, is a prime location for crabbing in Cornwall.

The estuary provides a rich habitat for crabs, including the popular edible crab. While crabbing steals the spotlight, Fowey Estuary offers much to explore. Its breathtaking sea views and tranquil atmosphere attract nature enthusiasts and avid photographers, while its rich history and charming coastal town captivate cultural enthusiasts. Fowey Estuary is not just a good spot for crabbing, but a treasure trove of experiences waiting to happen.

10. Perranporth Beach

Situated on the north coast, the Perranporth beach is not only a beautiful stretch of sand, but also an excellent place for crabbing.

The expansive beach offers plenty of space to set up your crabbing lines and crab bucket. Additionally, Perranporth Beach offers a multitude of other attractions, including pristine swimming conditions, picturesque cliffs perfect for hiking, and a vibrant local community that adds to the area’s allure. 

Parking facilities are available near the beach for the convenience of the visitors.

11. Crantock Beach

Crantock Beach offers a fantastic spot for crabbing in the north coast of Cornwall. This splendid sandy beach is nestled between the rugged cliffs and the tranquil Gannel Estuary.

It is an excellent location for families and kids to enjoy the exciting activity of crabbing. The nearby car park provides easy access to the beach, and the harbour wall is a prime spot for crab fishing. Apart from crabbing, this location offers an array of recreational activities, including swimming, surfing, and beachcombing. Its reputation as a good spot for picnics and leisurely walks further adds to its charm.

12. Mullion Cove

Mullion Cove boasts stunning natural beauty and is a great place for crab fishing. Its rocky shorelines and clear waters attract an abundance of marine life, including various crab species.

This small harbour, situated in the Lizard Peninsula, provides an ideal setting for crabbing. Beyond crabbing, visitors can bask in the natural beauty of the cove, explore the coastal trails, or indulge in the delightful local cuisine at the quaint nearby cafes and restaurants. Mullion Cove offers an unforgettable experience for all who venture to its shores.

13. Mawgan Porth

Nestled on the north Cornish coast, Mawgan Porth is renowned for its wide sandy beach and scenic surroundings. This popular family-friendly destination is not only an ideal spot for sunbathing and swimming, but also offers an excellent opportunity for crabbing, with its sheltered bay and clear waters.

The soft sand and shallow pools left by the receding tide provide perfect conditions for catching crabs. Kids, in particular, will have a great time engaging in this activity. For the best crabbing experience, visit during high tide and enjoy a leisurely walk along the beach, while searching for these crustaceans.

14. Port Isaac

Known for its charming harbour and picturesque village setting, Port Isaac offers a delightful experience for crabbing enthusiasts. Located on the north coast of Cornwall, this fishing village provides an idyllic backdrop for a memorable crabbing adventure.

The harbour wall and the rocky areas are perfect spots for crab fishing. Children especially enjoy this activity, and it’s a great way to engage with the local marine environment. Plan your visit during high tide for the best chances of catching crabs, and make sure to explore the narrow streets and scenic beauty of Port Isaac.

15. Charlestown

Charlestown is a historic port village on the southern coast of Cornwall, renowned for its well-preserved Georgian harbour. While the village offers a glimpse into Cornwall’s maritime past, it also provides an excellent location for crabbing.

The harbour wall and the quayside offer great spots for crabbing enthusiasts. Explore the bustling harbour area and enjoy the captivating atmosphere while searching for crabs. Beyond crabbing, visitors can immerse themselves in the rich maritime history of Charlestown by visiting the Shipwreck Museum to explore its shipwrecks.

16. St. Agnes

Nestled on Cornwall’s north coast, the village of St. Agnes is not only a great destination for stunning coastal walks, but also offers ample opportunities for crabbing. The rocky shoreline and rock pools provide an ideal habitat for various crab species.

Kids can have great fun searching for crabs and observing their fascinating behaviour. Beyond crabbing, St. Agnes offers a myriad of attractions, including stunning sandy beaches and historical sites such as the iconic St. Agnes Beacon.

17. Mousehole

Located on the south coast of Cornwall, Mousehole is a charming fishing village famous for its narrow streets and quaint cottages. It also offers a fantastic place for crabbing. The harbour area and rocky shores are ideal spots to search for crabs.

Apart from crabbing, visitors can immerse themselves in the enchanting charm of the town. They can explore the quaint shops and galleries, savour delectable seafood and delicacies, and embark on scenic coastal walks.

18. Polzeath

Situated on the north coast of Cornwall, Polzeath is a popular destination for beach lovers and water sport enthusiasts The sandy beach and the rock pools also provide a perfect environment for catching crabs.

Kids can have a great time exploring the pools, trying to catch these fascinating crustaceans. Apart from the captivating crabbing opportunities, Polzeath is also celebrated for its world-class surfing conditions, drawing in thrill-seekers from far and wide.

19. Coverack

Coverack is a visually stunning village on the east coast of the Lizard Peninsula, known for its breathtaking views and tranquil atmosphere. The rocky shoreline and the small harbour provide ample opportunities to catch crabs. Kids can also have great fun searching for crabs and observing their behaviour up close.

Coverack entices visitors with its breathtaking coastal walks, delightful local shops, and delectable seafood cuisine. With its tranquil ambiance, blue waters, and a plethora of rock pools, Coverack truly epitomises the idyllic Cornish charm, making it a must-visit for any avid crabber or nature lover seeking a memorable seaside adventure.

Other Crabbing Spots

Other favourable spots renowned for crabbing in Cornwall include:

  • Porthleven
  • Porthcurno
  • Portreath
  • Portholland

Unleash The Claws Of Success In Cornwall With Expert Tips And Tricks

Get ready for a claw-some crabbing adventure in Cornwall with these expert tips:

  • Timing is key – crab during high tides for better catches.
  • Use chicken or bacon as bait for catching crabs – they love the smell and taste.
  • Attach a small weight to your crabbing line to keep it from floating away.
  • Bring a crab net or scoop and buckets to catch crabs more easily.
  • Look for rocky areas or piers, where crabs like to hide.
  • Handle crabs carefully from the back to avoid getting pinched.
  • Get a crabbing licence to avoid legal issues.
  • Release undersized or female crabs to help maintain the population.


From the rugged coastlines to the quaint harbours, the stunning county of Cornwall offers a plethora of prime crab-catching spots.

Begin your crabbing adventure at the charming fishing village of Padstow, where you can indulge in traditional crabbing off the bustling quay. Next, head to the stunning St. Ives, where the crystal-clear waters teem with succulent crustaceans and eager crabbers. 

Don’t miss the vibrant town of Falmouth, where the lively atmosphere blends seamlessly with fantastic crabbing opportunities. Lastly, make your way to the idyllic Lizard Peninsula, known for its secluded coves and bountiful crab populations.

With its captivating charm and abundant crabbing locations, Cornwall is the ultimate destination for those seeking an enthralling and memorable crab-catching adventure.

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