How to Catch Fiddler Crabs: Learn Ways to Catch This Fresh Bait

Fiddler crab is one of the best baits that fishermen and anglers often use. While others purchase this tiny crustacean from a bait store, you can learn how to catch fiddler crabs yourself. 

Knowing where to look and learning different ways to catch then will make the process of catching fiddler crabs very easy. Considered as valued live bait for Pompano, sheepshead, black drum, and redfish, fiddler carbs can often be spotted living in burrows between the high tide and low tide marks.

You can also find them on beaches surrounded by salt marshes or mangroves. In this article, I will help you discover different ways on how to catch fiddler crabs. Furthermore, I will share a few essential tips along the way.

What You Will Need:

Before I share with you the different ways on how to catch fiddler crabs, there are important materials that you will need for this project. These are the following essentials that you will need.

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    Simple bucket

One of the most inexpensive and simplest way to catch fiddler crabs is with the use of a simple bucket. You can use any type of bucket that you have available for this method.

How To Catch Fiddler Crabs
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    Light-colored bucket

To gain more attention from fiddler crabs and increase your chances of catching them, you can opt to use a light-colored bucket. Fiddler crabs are attracted to things that reflect a cool surface.

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Aside from the conventional bucket, you can also use a net to catch fiddler crabs. Since fiddler crabs have the tendency to burrow or hide under wet sand, you have to find a suitable spot around the tip of the shoreline.

  • Any type of container

In catching fiddler crabs, you also need to be innovative. Do not just resort to traditional buckets or nets for catching them. You can also use any type of container that you can bury under wet sand and set it up with bait for the fiddler crabs.

How To Catch Fiddler Crabs: The Step-by-step Procedure

How To Catch Fiddler Crabs

Once you have all the vital materials for this project, you may now proceed to follow the simple guide as follows. Now, here are the steps on how to catch fiddler crabs.

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    Using ​a simple bucket

In using a simple bucket to catch fiddler crabs, you need to find the right location first. Fiddler crabs usually hide or make burrows under the wet sand. Once you have the ideal location, place dead fiddlers inside your bucket.

Place or bury the bucket in the area you have chosen and leave there for some time. You will be surprised if you this method can also score you some snook, pompano, and cobia in addition to fiddler crabs.

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    Using a light-colored bucket

Light-colored buckets will increase your chances of catching fiddler crabs for the reason that they reflect a cooler surface that fiddler crabs are very much attracted to. Using the same method as with the simple bucket, locate the area of your choosing and place baits inside the bucket.

Again, you have to place or bury the bucket on wet sand and leave it for a couple of hours.

(Tip: In using buckets to catch fiddler crabs, you can drill small holes at the bottom to serve as proper drainage. This is to ensure that your fiddler crabs will not drown and die even if you leave the container for a more prolonged period.)

Watch this short clip and see how it is done

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    Using a net

Fiddler crabs are really sneaky and one way to catch them instantaneously is by using a net. You will need to scout for the right location first. Walk along the shoreline and find small indentations that indicate a possible fiddler crab burrow.

Next is to toss chopped minnows or pet food into the water. This will get the fiddler crabs to surface. Once you see them surface, immediately cast the net over them. Throw in your catch in a large container layered with sand and wet mud.

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    Using any type of container

You can also improvise by employing any type of container that you can find. The trick is to bury the container near an area where there fiddler crabs and fill it with bait. Leave the container overnight and go back for it the next day to check on your catch.

Other Important Tips On Catching Fiddler Crabs

How To Catch Fiddler Crabs

To make sure that you will be able to have a successful trip in catching fiddler crabs here are some tips you can look into to and use to your advantage.

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    Know where they hide

Fiddler crabs usually house themselves on areas called the littoral zone. This is a spot that between the low tide water mark and high tide water mark. They leave their burrows during low tide and return to hide in them during high tide.

During hide tide, they seal the holes with mud to block or avoid water from gushing in.

To find out more on this, watch this video

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    Knowing their movements

Since fiddler crabs are very agile and fast, you also need to witness and know their movements. You already know that fiddler crabs leave their forage during low tide. This is the precise time to catch them.

Keep in mind to be very quick once you spot them, take a hold of your catch firmly. Fiddler crabs may seem intimidating due to their claws but no need to worry as it will not bring you serious harm.

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    Knowing how to excavate holes
How To Catch Fiddler Crabs

If you feel you are not quick enough to keep up with fiddler crabs and you are not so much of a chaser, you can opt to excavate their burrows. This means you have to locate where their burrows are and use a shovel to dig them out.

You can also dig them out using your bare hands since the mud is soft enough.

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    Important Note:

Before catching fiddler crabs, it is paramount that you find out if it is legal to catch them within your area. There are some regions or local areas that prohibit the catching of fiddler crabs. Others consider rules and regulations as to presenting a fishing permit before you can go and catch fiddler crabs.


Fiddler crabs are used as a great bait for catching fish. To save money, many fishermen opt to catch fiddler crabs themselves. This can be a straightforward task if you recognize important tips and tricks for doing so.

Now that I have shared with you some of the effective ways of catching fiddler crabs and also a few tips you can use for your advantage, you are well on your way to getting a load of fiddler crabs that you need.

Was this article helpful? Were you able to learn and understand the steps on how to catch fiddler crabs? Do you find the additional tips useful? Do you have any other suggestions regarding this topic?

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John Morris

Hi, I’m John Morris. I’m an avid outdoorsman and fisherman, blessed with an awesome wife and 2 kids. Fishing is not my passion, it is my lifestyle. I fished before I knew how to walk! I’m obsessed with all things related to fishing, even the fishy smell. I’m always willing to extend a hand to novice anglers looking for fishing tips and tricks thus I created this blog. This blog is a collection of my experiences, knowledge, and also research from other blogs.

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