Where You Can Go Crabbing in Tillamook Bay


Tillamook Bay, situated along the picturesque Oregon coast, is renowned for its abundant seafood harvests, including the prized Dungeness crab. Crabbing offers anglers a unique opportunity to enjoy the thrill of the catch while soaking in breathtaking coastal scenery. In this guide, we’ll explore the top spots for crabbing in Tillamook Bay, along with tips and tricks to maximize your success on the water.

Garibaldi Marina - Oregon Coast Visitors Association

Where to Go Crabbing in Tillamook Bay

Garibaldi Marina

Garibaldi Marina is a popular launching point for crabbing enthusiasts in Tillamook Bay. With ample parking, boat rentals, and easy access to the bay, it’s an ideal starting location for both novice and experienced crabbers. Head out into the bay and drop your pots in areas with sandy bottoms or around submerged structures where Dungeness crabs are known to congregate.


Tillamook Boat Launch

Located near the mouth of Tillamook Bay, the Tillamook Boat Launch provides convenient access to prime crabbing grounds. Launch your boat or kayak and navigate the bay’s channels and estuaries to find productive crabbing spots. Be sure to check the tide charts and target outgoing tides, when crabs are more active and feeding along the bay’s bottom.

Bayocean Spit for Hiking & Fishing Outdoor Tillamook Coast Oregon

Bayocean Spit

The Bayocean Spit, a sandy peninsula extending into Tillamook Bay, offers excellent opportunities for shore-based crabbing. Set up your crab pots along the shoreline or wade into shallow waters to deploy your gear. During peak crabbing seasons, such as late summer and early fall, the Bayocean Spit can be bustling with activity as anglers try their luck from the shore.


Memaloose Point

Memaloose Point, located on the eastern side of Tillamook Bay, is another productive crabbing location accessible by boat or kayak. Cruise along the bay’s shoreline and look for rocky outcrops, eelgrass beds, and shallow bays where crabs are likely to forage for food. Anchor your vessel and drop your crab pots in strategic locations to increase your chances of a successful haul.

Nehalem Bay State Park - Oregon State Parks

Nehalem Bay State Park

While technically outside of Tillamook Bay, Nehalem Bay State Park is worth mentioning for its excellent crabbing opportunities just a short drive north of Tillamook. Launch your boat or kayak from the park’s boat ramp and explore the expansive Nehalem Bay, targeting shallow flats, channels, and tidal creeks where Dungeness crabs thrive.


Kilchis Point Reserve

For a unique crabbing experience, consider visiting Kilchis Point Reserve, located along the Kilchis River estuary near Tillamook Bay. This protected area offers opportunities for both land-based and kayak crabbing. Explore the reserve’s trails and shoreline, and set crab pots in strategic locations where freshwater meets saltwater, creating an ideal habitat for Dungeness crabs.


Netarts Bay

Just south of Tillamook Bay lies Netarts Bay, another prime crabbing destination worth exploring. Launch your boat or kayak from Netarts Bay’s public boat ramp and venture into the bay’s expansive waters. Target shallow flats, submerged oyster beds, and channels where crabs are abundant. Netarts Bay is known for its large and flavorful Dungeness crabs, making it a favorite among local crabbers.


Tips When Crabbing in Tillamook Bay

– Use quality crab pots or rings baited with fresh chicken, fish heads, or squid to attract crabs.
– Check local regulations and obtain the necessary permits before crabbing in Tillamook Bay.
– Monitor your crab pots regularly and avoid leaving them unattended for extended periods to prevent theft or damage.
– Handle crabs carefully and comply with size and catch limits to ensure sustainable harvesting practices.
– Enjoy your freshly caught Dungeness crabs by cooking them on-site or taking them home to prepare delicious seafood dishes.

Wildlife Officials: Now is Best Season for Crabbing on Oregon Coast

Crabbing Equipment Rentals

If you’re new to crabbing or don’t have access to your own gear, consider renting equipment from local outfitters or marinas in the Tillamook Bay area. Many rental shops offer crab pots, bait, and other necessary equipment for a nominal fee, allowing you to enjoy a hassle-free crabbing experience without the need for extensive gear investment.

Local Crabbing Charters

For those seeking a guided crabbing adventure or wanting to learn from experienced captains, consider booking a crabbing charter in Tillamook Bay. Local charter operators offer guided crabbing trips aboard fully equipped boats, providing all the gear, bait, and expertise needed for a successful outing. Enjoy a hands-on crabbing experience while taking in the stunning coastal scenery and learning insider tips from seasoned professionals.


Crabbing Events and Festivals

Throughout the year, Tillamook Bay hosts various crabbing events and festivals that celebrate the region’s rich seafood heritage. Keep an eye out for annual crabbing derbies, competitions, and community gatherings where anglers come together to showcase their crabbing skills and enjoy fresh seafood offerings. Participating in these events is not only a fun way to connect with fellow crabbers but also an opportunity to immerse yourself in the local crabbing culture.

Here's why the West Coast Dungeness crab season has been delayed - OPB

Ecotourism Opportunities

Beyond crabbing, Tillamook Bay offers abundant ecotourism opportunities for nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers. Take a break from crabbing and explore the bay’s scenic estuaries, marshes, and tidal flats, which support a rich diversity of bird species, marine mammals, and other wildlife. Consider joining guided eco-tours or birdwatching excursions to learn about the region’s natural history and conservation efforts while enjoying the beauty of Tillamook Bay’s coastal ecosystem.


Crabbing in Tillamook Bay: In Conclusion

Tillamook Bay offers a wealth of opportunities for crabbing enthusiasts, from launching a boat at Garibaldi Marina to casting crab pots from the Bayocean Spit. By exploring these top crabbing hotspots and following expert tips for success, you can enjoy a memorable and rewarding crabbing experience in Tillamook Bay while savoring the bounty of Oregon’s coastal waters. So grab your gear, head out on the water, and embark on an unforgettable crabbing adventure in Tillamook Bay.

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