Living Center Oregon

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Lincoln City is the Home of Lincoln City Crab Trappers.


Siletz Bay in Lincoln City is the best place to catch Dungeness Crabbing on the Oregon Coast.

The Lincoln City Crab Trappers were born out of necessity. Siletz Bay is an excellent feeding ground for Dungeness Crabs. It has a Sandy Bottom and lots of Ell Grass, which is the Dungeness Crab’s favorite breeding area. We have never caught a Rock Crab or Green Crab in six years of renting 8,234 crab traps.

No crabbing docks reach the bay water, and no public or private boat launching ramps are available on Siletz Bay.

The challenges were increased because the Federal government purchased 560 acres of marshland bordering Siletz Bay, which limited the assess to Siletz Bay. The Siletz Bay starts at the Hwy 101 bridge, which goes over the Siletz River.

In the early 2000s, to harvest Crabs from Siletz Bay, two disabled men, Bill Paterek and his blind buddy Merl developed a crab trap to catch the abundance of Dungeness Crabs in Siletz Bay using a fishing pole to cast the trap into the water.

They called it the CrabMax in honor of Bill’s dog, Max.

The CRABS MAX is a lightweight folding, a spring-loaded trap that springs opens when cast from a fishing pole but closes like a killer Clam Shell when pulled in any direction.

The Crab Max works when there were no Docks or public or private boat launches and all the crabbing has to be done from the shore..

There is a free public boat launch 6 miles up the Siletz Rive, a paid boat launch at Coyote Rock RV Park, and a boat rental location at Hwy 101 under the Siletz River Bridge. The trip to Siletz Bay is slow because of the distance and the 5 miles speed limit on the Siletz River.

In 2004, during the summer, the Visitors Bureau of Lincoln City started sponsoring a free Crabbing Clinic with Bill Lackner, once or twice a month, to encourage Cabbing in Siletz Bay.

The Crab Max can be used with a fishing pole. This picture is of Bill Lackner, the author of book “Oregon Crabs” with a fish pole and two Crabs caught in a Crab Max,

During the Crab Clinics, Bill found a Hand-Line thrown from the shore or boat worked as well or better than using a fishing pole.

With a Hand-Line, one can catch Dungeness Crabs from the Beach by throwing the Crab Max into Crab Alley. It not only is a superior Crab Trap to use from the shore, but also from ANY dock, Kayak, Crab Boat or Crab-Cat.

For the last couple of years, we have been taking pictures of the crabs caught and people from the Shore, Kayak. Crab Boat and Crab-Cats. CLICK HERE to see the results.

There are two types of Folding Spring Crab Traps: the Crab Max type and the Crab Trapper. The traps are only made in Lincoln City, Oregon. Not legal in California.

Why is Siletz Bay the best to keep Dungeness Crabbing secret on the Oregon Coast?

  • None of the Docks in Siletz Bay go into the water because they are silted into the point that they do not reach the water
  • There is no free public boat ramps on the Siletz Bay. The closest free one is Ichwhit (Bear) Park located on the Siletz River approximately river mile 6.7 (within tidal influence.) 
  • Closest paid one is $10/boat Coyote Rock RV Park (541-996-6824) 2 miles up the Siletz River.
  • Boat rental location (541-765-2109) where crab boats are rented for one (1) person up to (6 – 8) persons. It is located under the Hwy 101 bridge at the mouth of Siletz Bay
  • Sandy bottom with lots of Ell grass and no rocks. Dungeness crabs live in Ell Grass. Only Dungeness Crabs are found in Siletz Bay, no Rock or Green Crabs.
  • A Narrow Channel, we call Crab Alley, runs from the Pacific Ocean to Siletz Bay, through which all the Dungeness Crabs that come into the Bay go through Crab Alley

Crabbing in Siletz Bay is like Crabbing in the ocean without going to the Sea

In 2004, during the summer, the Visitors Bureau of Lincoln City started sponsoring a free Crabbing Clinic with Bill Lackner, once or twice a month, to encourage Cabbing in Siletz Bay.

During the Clinics, Bill Lackner found out that using a Hand-Line from the shore was more effective than a fishing pole.

Bill wrote the book “Oregon Crabs.” CLICK HERE to order the new 116-page color edition of Oregon’s Crabs for $22.00 plus the $3.40 shipping and handling.

During the day, Bill is available to answer Crabbing questions at 541-265-5847

Our problem with renting the Crab Max Traps. …. We have rented and sold the Crab Max type of crab trap for more than six (6) years. It is an excellent Crab Trap. But on average, our customers lose one (1) trap weekly. As part of the customer rental agreement, they agree to pay (buy) if they cannot return the trap, but this is not good for our business.

We have started to replace the weaker parts of the Crab Max system with more substantial parts to the point we are rebuilding the original Crab Max.

We now sell recycle Crab Max or the Crab Trapper MOD1. You can use your fishing pole or furnish your Hand-Line; all you need is either trap.

If you Crab in a place where crab traps can get caught, we have the following Hand-Line options.

Soft Braided Hand-Line (90 ft) Option … $10.00 when ordering with a trap.

  • More robust line … Tensile* Strength of 420. If you get tarp caught on something, you can pull harder before the line breaks … fewer lost traps.
  • Easier on the hands when not wearing gloves, but it will tangle if put into a pile. It works well if you spread it over a wide area. If you pile it in one place, it will tangle more than the Hard -Line braided

Hard Brainded Lay Hand-Line (90 ft) Option … $15.00 when ordering with a trap

  • Less robust line … Tensile* Strength of 200. This means if you get trap caught on something, you cannot pull as hard as the Soft Braid Hand-Line before the line breaks … More lost traps.
  • Rough on the hands if not wearing gloves.
  • The original Crab Max came with a Hard Braided hand-line.

Soft Braided Hand-Line (130 ft) Option $15.00 when ordering with a trap.

Hard Braided Lay Hand-Line (130 ft) Option … $20.00 when ordering with a trap

When ordering without a corresponding trap order $5/String extra plus handling and shipping

*Tensile Strength in pounds based on conditions pulled to break the line

Crabbing Extras

Using a crab mallet and shaking the crab will cut your crab-picking time to minutes rather than hours. The crab mallet is used to humanely kill the crabs by turning them over onto their back and striking at their abdominal flap, humanly killing them before cleaning and cooking them.

The Mallet offers several advantages.

  • It reduces accidents when adding live crabs to a pot of boiling water.
  • Eliminates contact with the crab butter and internal organs, thereby reducing exposure to marine toxins.
  • Exposes the crab meat to the flavor of spices added to the boiling water, such as those found in Crab Boil.
  • Real time saver when cooking large numbers of crabs.
  • Crab Max Trap 2.0 (Hand-Line extra) … $30.00
  • Crab Mallet … $3.00
  • Crab Keeper Gauge … $3.50
  • 116-page color edition of Oregon’s Crabs Book for $14 when placed with Trap order
  • Keepers are defined as 5 -3/4 inches across the shell.
  • Twelves (12) Dungeness Crabs are allowed per day per license
  • We Clean and Cook @ $2.50/Crab

Shipping and Handling Options

Free Lincoln City Pickup Locally …. FREE Handling and Shipping

Handling Fee …. $10 ,,, Packing and Delivery to Shipper for any size order

Shipping Options for 3 Traps … $ 35 … UPS Ground with tracking number if shipped In Oregon or Washington

Shipping Options for 3 Traps … $ 20 .. Snail Mail (US postal service and no tracking number)} if shipped In Oregon or Washington.

Outside of Oregon or less than 3 traps

Email …. quote for a quote

How to use Crab Max 2.0

Once the decision is made to purchase a Crabs Max Trap, Do not cut or untie any of the lines on the crab trap or alter the bend in the trap’s frame.  Be sure to wear gloves when deploying or retrieving the traps. Always use the wooden ball when throwing the trap into the water to avoid injuring yourself or others.

To use the crab max with the Hand-Line, uncoil all 90 feet of the hand line from the hand-line holder. To use the crabs max with the hand line, uncoil the hand line, then reverse coil the hand-line back toward the holder.

Chicken legs are hollow and full of bone marrow. Use a pair of pruning shears to cut halfway through the leg bone below each chicken leg joint to facilitate the entry of the bait pin exposing the bone marrow to attract crabs to the bait. 

Step on the line holder, grasp the Hand-Line and look behind you to ensure the area is clear. Spin the crab trap several times in a circular motion and throw the crab trap into the water. The wooden ball on the hand line is set to achieve the maximum distance when spun in a circular motion and thrown into the water.

When crabbing is good, wait 5 minutes before pulling the Crabs Max crab trap filled with all sizes of Dungeness Crabs.

The Crabs Max Trap is easily the most delicate folding crab trap on the market today. Made from high-quality stainless steel, the Crabs Max trap is easily used with a Hand-Line with our exclusive “wooden ball” used to deploy the trap up to 90 feet into the sub-tidal areas of the bay. You will take crabs from our bays long after throwing other traps away. The use of hand lines is exclusive to Crab Max.

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This entry was posted on October 24, 1996 by .