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How To Get a Crabbing License for Crab Pots In New Jersey


Crabbing In New Jersey

I enjoy crabbing in the Intracoastal Waterway in New Jersey. Crabbing is great fun and delicious too if you are lucky enough to get some keepers.  If you use a crab trap where the doors remain open and only close when you lift the trap you do not need a crabbing license in New Jersey.  If you use a recreational hand line you also do not need a license.

I've decided I'd love to own a crab trap that I do not have to monitor all of the time. These crab traps, officially called crab pots, can sit unattended in the water for hours. Crabs are able to enter the crab pot but once they are in the can not get out.  You need a crabbing license to use a crab pot in New Jersey.

The Crabbing License

At first I was concerned about the cost of a crabbing license.  Don't worry about this. I am just a recreational crabber.  The recreational, non-commercial crab pot license costs a mere $2 as of summer 2010

The crabbing license will allow you to use up to two crab pots at one time. You can not share your license.

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How to Obtain a New Jersey Recreational Non-Commercial Crabbing License

This is very easy to do. I won't go into boring detail on this but I'll point you in the right direction and give you an idea what to expect.

This whole process can be done online. The following instructions are just a basic overview of what is going to happen. If you go to the site in step one, you'll be guided step by step on the New Jersey fish and wildlife site.

1. Go to

2. At the bottom of the web page click the "Start Here" button.

3. Select the ID method you wish to use. Very easy and self-explanatory. Basically a few steps where you use your social security number, drivers license number, etc to identify yourself.

4. Check off whether you are a N.J. resident or non-resident

5. Enter all of your contact information

6. Fill out the child support obligation form.  Eh, yes, you have to fill this out :-) You'll see what I mean.

7. Choose the permit you want

8. Choose method of payment

9. Print out your license on your printer. You'll need to have a printer attached to the computer you are viewing the license on. They won't mail one to you except under special circumstances.

It sounds like a lot but it is really easy. Have fun and happy crabbing!

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TurtleDog (author) on April 03, 2011:

Betty! You are so welcome! I just signed up again to crab legally in New Jersey with my new permit. Glad my trap description helps. For a visual too, if you have a pot to catch crabs like I've pictured at the top of the article you definitely need a permit. Have fun out there crabbing! Good luck

Betty on April 03, 2011:

Thank U very much TurtleDog very helpful ur info my husband love crabbing he owns the traps that stays open and everybody was telling him that he's going to need a license this year for that but thanks to you now I know the difference in traps so now he could keep crabbing without worries...

TurtleDog (author) on March 17, 2011:

Thanks surfaster2010! Getting those crab pots in the sea and bay water is easier than people think :-) Thanks

surfcaster2010 from Northeast USA on March 17, 2011:

thanks for the info. I went through the same process to get mine.

TurtleDog (author) on November 26, 2010:

You're very welcome! Start soaking that pot!

fisherman22 on November 26, 2010:

thanks homee im gonna get a trap and license for christmasss!

George Sparks on September 06, 2010:

5 1/2 years in Iraq and I come home to find out I cant get a Commercial Crab Pot License. Makes a man hate!

Ira on June 26, 2010:

Thanks TurtleDog,

Your post was very helpful and I just finished printing my license.

Hope you have a great summer of crabbing.

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