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Maryland Cabbing Regulations

Down Time Charters with Capt. Frank Tuma is fully licensed to provide  you with the safest and legal crabbing experience.

License # 2982

Crabbing Charters include license for 1 bushel of legal crabs.

Maryland Crab Regulations

To Obtain an additional License or Saltwater Angler Registration:

Go to, call 855-855-3906 (available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., 365 days a year) 

Maryland Crab Regulation Summary




April 1–Dec 15.

Time of Day Restrictions

Rivers, creeks and tributaries:

  • April and Oct through Dec. 15—one half hour after sunrise to sunset.
  • May through Sept—one half hour before sunrise to sunset.

Chesapeake Bay Mainstem:

  • April and October through Dec. 15—one half hour after sunrise to 5 p.m.
  • May through September—one half hour before sunrise to 5 p.m.

Using properly registered crab pots on private property, dip nets or handlines is permitted 24 hours a day.

Day of Week Restrictions

No recreational crabbing is allowed on Wednesdays except:

  • When using crab pots from private property;
  • When using handlines or dip nets;
  • During a week when a state or federal holiday falls on a Wednesday or Thursday.


Minimum Size Limits
(measured from tip to tip of spikes)

Male hard crab:

  • April 1–July 14—5 inches
  • July 15–Dec 15—5¼ inches

Male peeler crab:

  • April 1–July 14—3¼ inches
  • July 15–Dec 15—3½ inches

Soft crab:

  • April 1–Dec 15—3½ inches


It is Illegal for a Recreational Crabber:

  • To sell crabs.
  • To possess an egg-bearing (sponge) crab or any female hard or peeler crab.
  • To set or fish a trotline, collapsible trap or crab net ring within 100 feet of another individual’s set gear.
  • To fish crab gear which belongs to another person.
  • To harvest crabs while SCUBA diving.
  • To use gear other than the gear listed in the table below.

See full Regulations