Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge

Delaware Crabbing and Crab Houses

In Delaware, the agile (and delicious) blue-claw crab holds a place of honor – in people’s hearts, minds and bellies.

To know the true spirit and understand the real culture of Delaware, then, it is important to see how deeply this delicacy has shaped the state and its people. It is crucial to experience the kinds of things that make crabs part of people’s lives, from childhood onward – experiences such as sitting by the side of the bay, trolling with string and some bait for your dinner, or tucking up with a roll of paper towels and a pitcher of beer to a heaping pile of just-steamed crabs.

For the people of Delaware, it’s these kinds of experiences that speak of family, of friends, of memories that are held dear for a lifetime. They’re experiences that we’d be happy to let you share – and happy to show you how.

If you’d like to take the easy route and have your crabs steamed for you, see our listings of Delaware Crab Houses. If you’d prefer to catch them yourself, here are a few tips crabbing in Delaware:

Crabbing – Here’s how to get started:

Rules and Regulations:

  • A fishing license is required to crab in all waters of the State of Delaware. Visit the Application Page for more info. http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/fisheries/pages/fishinginfo.aspx
  • The minimum size for hard-shell blue crab is 5 inches. Females bearing eggs may not be taken and should be returned to the water immediately.
  • Recreational crabbers may not use, place, set or tend more than two crab pots.
  • Recreational crabbers may use a trot line (no length limit) and any number of hand lines or traps. The recreational daily limit is 1 bushel per person.

… and here’s where to go

Holts Landing State Park

Located in Millville on the Indian River Bay, Holts Landing State Park is home to the only pier on Delaware's inland bays that is purpose-built for crabbing. The serene park also offers wildlife viewing, picnicking, hiking and horseback riding.

Woodland Beach Wildlife Area

Located on the shoreline where the Delaware River becomes the Delaware Bay, Woodland Beach is a quiet spot with a fishing pier where fisherman and crabbers can drop their lines.

Delaware Seashore State Park

Located on a barrier island surrounded by water, this park provides access to the Atlantic Ocean, Rehoboth Bay and Indian River Bay. Inside the park, Indian River Marina offers supplies and facilities.

Induldge Yourself