Blue Swimmer Crab season is here: Tips on how to catch them

Blue Swimmer Crab season is here in Port Vincent

The Yorke Peninsula is well known for its abundant fresh seafood available to catch on our doorstep all year round, but it is our succulent Blue Swimmer Crab and our beautiful location, that keeps our visitors coming back, year after year.

The Blue Swimmer crab can be caught with a baited drop net over the side of a boat or off our local wharf, but you can also catch a tasty feed by “raking” the sand on the back beach, right out the front of Port Vincent Caravan Park & Seaside Cabins.

Blue Swimmer crabs are seasonal and come into the shallow waters in the warmer months and as a general guide, you should be able to catch them between spring to autumn, or any month with an “r” in it.

Memories of crabbing with dad

Crabbing for Blue Swimmer Crabs at Port VincentI personally have very fond memories as a child of crabbing with my dad and I have been fortunate to be able to continue these memories with good times crabbing with my own children here at Port Vincent.

Raking for Blue Swimmer crabs can be a lot of fun for young and old and if you have not tried it, I would recommend giving it a go.

All you will need is a crab rake and a floating tub to put your catch in and we do lend out rakes and tubs for free to our park patrons, or you may supply your own.

You will also need to wear some sturdy shoes for there may be some sharp rocks and shellfish that live in the shallows and the crabs have claws that can get a bit cranky if you step on them.

But do not let that put you off.

Ensure you do have a crab measure with you for there are size limits and check the bag limit quantities before heading out.

Best times for crabbing for Blue Swimmer crabs

The best time to head out is at low tide and follow the incoming tide back to shore.

You should not need to go out much deeper than your knees or slightly higher but depending on the weather and your own temperature sensor, you may go out deeper if game.

Stick to the edge of the weed line and keep your eyes open.

If you cannot see any crabs swimming around, look for the sandy patches. You may see a dark shadow or imprint in the sand. This could be a buried crab and if you pull your rake across these sandy patches a “bluey” may erupt out of the sand so be quick with your rake and scoop it up.

This is usually very entertaining for all and we can often hear the squeals and laughter from back on shore.

Crab care and bag limits

Ensure to keep your crabs alive and cool by keeping a small amount of fresh sea water in the tub and replace often if the weather is hot.

If not, you will end up with a tub full of claws and legs.

When you have reached your bag limit (ensuring any under sized crabs or females with bright orange eggs underneath are returned immediately back to the water), bring the rest of your catch back to camp ready to cook up your seafood feast.

Please see this link for crab fishing regulations or ask any of our staff when you’re staying with us.

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