Pacific City Crabbing is an exciting coastal adventure not to be missed. You fish for crab from a boat using crab rings and traps. Pull them up quickly and you’ll see piles of tangled crabs all scrambling to get out. Reach in with a mitt so you won’t get pinched—then measure to sort between legal size keepers (males only) and smaller lucky crabs who get tossed back. Then take home to cook in a pot of boiling water where they’ll turn a beautiful bright red.
Best Places to Go Crabbing in Pacific City
+ Nestucca River in Pacific City: You can usually find crab in the Nestucca Bay near the mouth of the river, but you’ll need a boat of some kind. Some people have little crab traps that can be used from a kayak or you can use crab rings from a motor boat. There are no crab ring rentals in Pacific City so be sure to bring some with you. If you’d prefer to go from the beach rather than a boat, consider hunting instead for softshell clams at Nestucca Bay. Beach access for Nestucca Bay is obtained from Brooten Rd., approximately one mile south of Pacific City. Here you’ll find large mud flats perfect for clamming. Bring along a shovel for ease of digging.
+ Netarts Bay: There is good crabbing in Netarts Bay, just 15 miles north of Pacific City on the Three Capes Scenic Loop. You can rent crab rings from Netarts Bay RV Park & Marina. 503.842.7774
+ The Garibaldi Marina: If you love boats and small towns, you should visit the Garibaldi Marina approximately 45 minutes from Pacific City and 15 miles north of Tillamook. This is a great place to see real working boats and buy some freshly caught salmon or crab too. They rent boats and crab rings. 503.322.3312
The best time of the year for crabbing in Pacific City Oregon along the Oregon Coast is during late fall and early winter, from October through December. As for the best time of day, you’ll be most successful at either peak or low tide, also known as “slack water.” Fresh or slightly rotten meat works great for bait and be sure to use well-marked buoys for your pots so you can tell which are yours. Once you’ve successfully caught some crabs, hold them behind the claws to avoid getting pinched as you sort through which you’ll keep and which need to be thrown back by state guidelines.
When it comes to enjoying your crab feast, it’s as simple as boiling and cleaning them before digging in. Boil or steam the crab in a large pot of salty water. Then crack and clean the crabs before adding a bit of butter for your crab dinner.
Best Pacific City Restaurants for Crab
If you didn’t manage to catch any crabs on your outing, you can still enjoy a crab dinner at one of the best seafood restaurants in Pacific City. Consider snagging an outdoor table at Pelican Brewing overlooking the water or enjoying a fresh seafood meal along the banks of the Nestucca River at The Riverhouse Nestucca. Both of these eateries offer some of the best fresh seafood dishes around!
More Things to Do
Pacific City is a true playground for outdoor enthusiasts. For more ways to catch your own dinner other than crabbing, consider a day of river fishing or ocean fishing in Pacific City’s waterways. Other great ways to enjoy the outdoors are surfing in Kiwanda Bay, kayaking down the Nestucca River, fat biking right on the beach, hiking, or exploring via horseback. Pacific City offers a wealth of activities right on the coastline as well as in its surrounding wilderness areas.
In search of a vacation rental that will put all of these adventures right at your doorstep? Browse these Pacific City vacation rentals that are perfectly situated for your vacation along the coast.