Best Crab Bait for Crabbing

Are you struggling to catch more crabs? It’s not you. It’s the crab bait you’re using. These best crab bait options are widely popular because they attract crabs from their hiding spots and into the pots! And don’t worry, these crab baits will not cost you an arm and a leg. You can even pick one up when you go out for your next grocery run!

1. Crab Attractant Bait Oil

Pro-Cure Crab & Shrimp Attractant, 16 Ounce, Red

Using crab attractant bait oil is the perfect way to get your claws on those delicious crabs. First, you need to mix a thick, oily emulsion of ground-up salmon eggs and oil. Then, pour and slather it on your baits. And, that’s it! If you prefer a ready-to-use crab attractant bait oil, we recommend the Pro-Cure Crab & Shrimp Attractant.

Pro tip: Douse the oil on your baits and leave it overnight.

2. Chicken

Close-up of fresh chicken parts.

Another good crab bait is chicken. This bait isn’t a natural food for crabs, but they love it because it has a lot of meat to munch on. A simple way to make chicken more appetizing to crabs is to use some pork fat when tethering the baits.

Pro Tip: Catfish also loves chicken.

3. Anchovies

Fresh anchovies on ice.

Anchovies are one of the best Dungeness crab baits – provided that you use fresh and not frozen ones. Plus, this crab bait is wallet-friendly and available in local grocery stores.

4. Pet Food

Believe it or not, pet food is also popular with crabs. People cut holes into a can and then throw it in with other seafood bait. Some find this bait a bit messy, but it wouldn’t hurt to use it for crabbing.

5. Turkey Necks

The turkey neck is the best blue crab bait. Plus, they’re easy to use – all you have to do is stick the necks on your trap. But make sure that you’re picking up fresh turkey necks.

6. Squid

A person slicing squid for crab bait.

One of the best baits for crabbing is squids. It is not as popular as other baits because it’s expensive, but it’s reliable and effective bait to attract crabs. One way to mitigate cost is to combine squid with other cheaper alternatives.

7. Razor Clams

Bundles of razor clams on a table.

Razor clams are one of the favorite foods of crabs. As a matter of fact, they will eagerly eat this bait without any second thought. Plus, it’s the best bait for blue swimmer crabs.

8. Salmon Head

Several salmon heads for crabbing.

If you’re looking for an easy and affordable way to catch blue crabs, grab some salmon heads because crabs love its strong scent. The best part is that they last long enough, so you can save time and effort throwing in new baits.

9. Mink Carcasses

Mink carcasses release a pungent smell that can attract crabs out of their hiding spots. However, they are not readily available in groceries or wet markets.

Pro tip: Wear gloves when handling mink carcasses because the odor will linger on your hands.

10. Smelly Jelly

Smelly Jelly is a popular crab bait attractant

Smelly Jelly is a unique crab bait that lasts for several hours. Please don’t attempt to smell this crab attractant because it’s absolutely vile! Smelly Jelly is also available in different scents for catching fish.

11. Eels

Eels may seem like a daunting challenge to hunt, but it’s not difficult if you typically know where and how to find them in abundance. You can cut it into small, three-to-four-inch pieces before setting the parts in your trap. Don’t worry. It will take a few weeks to decompose.

Crab Bait FAQ

Is Chicken Good Bait for Crabs?

Chicken is good bait for crabs, especially raw chicken meat. Chicken liver and neck are popular because of their strong scent. Plus, they are cheap and are available in grocery stores and wet markets.

Will Crabs Eat Rotten Chicken?

Yes, crabs will eat rotten chicken. But if there’s a fresh food source, they will more likely stay away from rotten bait.

Can You Use Bacon for Crabbing?

Yes, you can use bacon for crabbing. Just make sure that you use the rind part.


Whether you are crabbing as a hobby or profession, having reliable and effective crab bait can help you attract and catch more crabs! You can try using these fantastic items on our best crab bait list. Leave a comment below and tell us what your favorite crab bait is.