Ghost Crabbing 101


Ghost crabbing is a beach activity that is great fun for all ages and is the type of activity that can create memories for a lifetime. It’s easy to do, free or charge and enjoyable for family members of all ages. While Ghost Crabs can be found on the beach during the day, the real fun starts when the sun goes down! What could be more fun than hitting the beach at night with your Family and Friends to explore and catch some Ghost Crabs under the stars? On your next beach vacation to a Ghost Crab location, make sure to join in the fun. Simply grab an ILLUMINETTM, put on some flip-flops and head to the beach. The following is a guide to help you on your quest to catch Ghost Crabs...all you need is your Family and Friends.

Two important reminders: 1) please treat the Ghost Crabs with care and 2) stay off the sand dunes.

What time of year do we go?

The best time to find Ghost Crabs is during the prime summer months, from May until early September in the USA. They may be more active year-round in warm weather climates.

What time of day do we go?

Wait until at least dusk. Once it starts to get dark, the Ghost Crabs will come out of their burrows in the sand dunes and travel across the sand to the ocean to wet their gills. Anytime after dusk, the crabs will be all over the beach from the dunes down to the water.

What equipment will I need?

  1. ILLUMINETTM 
  2. Beach bucket
  3. Camera
  4. Chair for the adults

How do I hunt Ghost Crabs?

Before you hit the beach, get ILLUMINETTM and…

  1. Attach the flashlight to the net using the custom flashlight clamp
  2. Put the LED glow bracelets on your kids
  3. Get a large bucket (not included in kit) to collect Ghost Crabs. Use a bucket big enough that the crabs can move around...like a 5 gallon bucket or an empty cooler
  4. Turn on LED glow bracelets and flashlight before leaving the house

When you are at the beach...

  1. Set up your large bucket at a central location where you can easily locate it
  2. Begin searching the beach for crabs using ILLUMINETTM
  3. Search both near the water and near the dunes. The bigger crabs are usually further from the water and are typically slower and are easier to catch. Sometimes, the larger crabs will stop running and turn to fight with their claws snapping at you.
  4. Keep ILLUMINETTM pointed well out in front of you to find the Ghost Crabs before you've gotten close to them.
  5. Once a crab is located, use ILLUMINETTM  to capture it
  6. Bring the crab back to your large bucket and repeat