The spatial expansion of offshore wind farms (OWFs) is key for the transition to a carbon free energy sector. In the North Sea, the sprawl of OWFs is regulated by marine spatial planning (MSP) and results in an increasing loss of space for other sectors such as fisheries. Understanding fisheries benefits of OWFs and mitigating the loss of fishing grounds is key for co-location solutions in MSP. For the German exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the North Sea we conducted a novel socio-ecological assessment of fisheries benefits which combines exploring potential spill-over from an OWF with an experimental brown crab (Cancer pagurus) pot fishery and an economic viability analysis of such a fishery. We arrayed a total of 205 baited pots along transects from an OWF located near the island of Helgoland. After a soaking time of 24 h we retrieved the pots and measured the carapace width (mm), weight (g), and sex of each individual crab. To conclude on cumulative spill-over potentials from all OWFs in the German EEZ and drivers of passive gear fisheries we analysed vessel monitoring system (VMS)-data and computed random forest regressions. Local spill-over mechanisms occurred up to distances of 300 to 500 m to the nearest turbines and revealed an increasing attraction of pot fishing activities to particular OWFs. This corresponds to the observation of constantly increasing fishing effort targeting brown crab likely due to both a growing international demand and stable resource populations at suitable habitats, including OWFs. Our break-even scenarios showed that beam trawlers have the capacities to conduct during summer an opportunistic but economically viable pot fishery. We argue that particularly in the North Sea, where space becomes limited, integrated assessments of the wider environmental and socio-economic effects of planning are crucial for a sustainable co-location of OWFs and fisheries.