Off-Boat Fish and Crab Sales

The 2024 commercial crab season will open starting Thursday, January 18, with reduced traps allowed to mitigate whale activity in the fishing areas, per California's Department of Fish and Wildlife. 

For more than 100 years, Fisherman’s Wharf has been a working commercial fishing hub. Today, San Francisco maintains the largest fishing center along the California coast, and the commercial fishing industry has been centered at Pier 45, the northernmost historic pier in the Embarcadero Historic District.  

Map of crab sales vessels as of 12.28.22

During the season, vessels will be selling during the week and weekends, pending weather or availability. Visit the Off the Boat Sales Facebook page for updates on available crab and fish sales. 

Purchase fresh live crab and fresh caught fish direct from local fishers at Fisherman's Wharf. All fish and crab sold under this permit are to be sold whole (uncooked, whole fish, gilled and gutted only) and in accordance with all Health Code regulations. All fish and crab sales must occur from the vessel.

Individual fishers are using the Fish Line mobile app to provide details about when and where they will be open to the public for fish or crab sales. Additionally, information will be available on the San Francisco Off the Boat Sales Facebook page and Instagram page. Selling vessels are located along the walking pier near Al Scoma Way and Pier 47 and along the south walkway near Pier 45.

Parking is extremely limited. Do not use the Scoma's restaurant parking. There are parking structures and street parking available. Visit Getting Around for transit options.

First time crab buyer? Here’s what you should know: 

  • Before you head out, check when fishers will be docked on Off-Boat Sales Facebook or Instagram. Vessels and availability will vary throughout the season.

  • Arrive early. Lines are common, and fishers often sell out. 

  • BYO container, preferably something thicker like a cooler or bucket. Crab claws are no match for plastic bags. 

  • Cash is preferred, but some fishers also take electronic payments. 

Sport Fishing Excursions

Want a more hands-on experience? Head onto the bay for a sport fishing expedition. Sport fishing charters can accommodate individuals and groups for fishing parties or crab hauls. Find an available sport fishing charters at the inner lagoon on Jefferson Street and Hyde Street Harbor.