A kid explores the coastline near Beaumont, catching fresh crabs.

One of the joys of living in Beaumont is access to the Gulf Coast. Any number of fresh and saltwater fish and shellfish can be found in these waters. Redfish, flounder, speckled trout and shrimp are just a few of the many local residents who may end up on the dinner menu. Fishing can be fun, but if you don’t want the expense of poles, gear, and bait, consider taking the family out crabbing, which is a bit more accessible in terms of affordability and has a bit less of a learning curve.

How to Go Crabbing in Beaumont

Blue crabs are plentiful in our area and easy to catch. All you need are some raw chicken legs, (chicken breast and turkey necks also work well), some string, a stick at least 5 inches long for measuring, and a net with a handle. You might also want to take a cooler or bucket filled with ice, and tongs for handling the crabs without getting pinched.  Adults will also need a fishing license unless you are in a state park.

To catch blue crabs, simply tie a length of string to a piece of raw chicken, toss it in the water and wait. When you feel a tug, that means the crab is nibbling on the chicken. Slowly pull the string toward you without scaring off the crab. When the crab is in sight, drop your net under the crab and scoop it up. If you intend to keep your crabs for dinner, make sure to measure them from “horn to horn” which are the points on both sides of the crab. They must be at least 5 inches in length and cannot be bearing eggs to be considered a legal catch. Anything smaller is catch and release, which is still fun.

Where to Go Crabbing in Beaumont

If you are new to crabbing, you might want to start at Sea Rim State Park where tackle and instruction are provided free with park entry. No fishing license is required here. Keep in mind that alligators also like chicken parts. If you see a gator, move to another location.

Many people find the coves at the base of the Rainbow Bridge on the Bridge City side to be excellent places to catch blue crabs. Safety first! This is a busy place for traffic. Make sure you are completely pulled off the road and that you are standing several feet from your vehicle.

Port Neches Park boardwalk is a lovely place to set up a lawn chair with an umbrella and drop a line or two. There is really no limit to the lines you can throw out. It’s all about how many you think you can manage at one time.  Boats and jet skis zooming around here in the Neches River will frighten away a fish, but crabs are oblivious to the activity.

The seawall at Pleasure Island in Port Arthur is a favorite for crabbers. The Neches River converges here with Sabine Lake bringing lots of sea life. If you are out on the water in a boat, you will see professional crab traps in many places. Be advised it is illegal to tamper with these traps.

At Collier Ferry Park in Beaumont, you can walk right down to the water and cast out for your supper. If you aren’t sure what to do with crabs after you catch them, check out YouTube for instructions on how to clean and cook them.

Even the smallest children enjoy crabbing. With cooler weather on the way, and so many locations to choose from, now is the time to plan a trip!