When and Where Is the Best Time of Year and Place to Go Crabbing in NJ?

The crabbing season in New Jersey is from mid-March to the end of December, with peak harvests between June and August. Between 65 and 86 percent of the total crab harvest each year is caught in the regions of Barnegat Bay, Little Egg Harbor and the Maurice River Estuary.

The state of New Jersey places regulations on certain aspects of crabbing. All crab pots must allow for the escape of crabs and other animals if they should be lost or abandoned. Additionally, crab traps must be designed to exclude turtles. There are also regulations on the size of the crabs that can be kept for consumption. Soft crabs must be at least 3 1/2 inches. Hard shelled crabs must be 4 1/2 inches if intended for private consumption and at least 4 3/4 inches if they are intended for commercial sale.