Blue Swimmer Crabs

This was a bumper year for blue swimmer crabs at Stansbury. We were reasonably successful using our usual technique of baiting up our nets and catching them the odd one or two at a time. we did have an interesting experience one day when we spotted a beautiful and large crab on our way out to the end of the jetty in very shallow water … so the hunt was on. A skilled throw of the crab net followed by a tense wait for the crab to crawl in and a perfectly timed retrieval and the result was a nice large fresh crab for lunch.

But that wasn’t the best experience with the crabs. We met a fellow caravanner who introduced us to night hunting with a light and a rake. This was one of the most exhilarating and enjoyable ways to get a good catch of crabs. You need a light (our friend had special lights that worked under water) but a good torch works just as well, a rake and a floating plastic receptacle for the catch. You then wait for dark and high tide, wade out (only up to the knees), turn on the light and the chase is on. The hardest part is using the rake to drag them towards you and then expertly flip them on to their backs and into the floating box. It gets really interesting if you miss one and it then starts swimming about furiously sometimes requiring an athletic leap out of the water to avoid a nasty nip.

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