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Found 6 results

  1. Link to Gold Coast report.
  2. Found this interesting post on FB -
  3. Hi all, just wondering everyone’s preference when they use cranka crabs, or any crab lure, as to whether they go for a knot or a snap for ease? thanks
  4. Headed out for a fish and managed a couple of unusual catches. Caught my first ever crab!!!!, and also managed to hook up to a one eyed whiting. Both caught on soft plastics. Picked up quite a few small flatties as well which were all released.
  5. Hey everyone, We got back from our annual pilgrimage to the stunning waters at Wooli last week. Sorry that it has taken me a while to put up a report. There is lots going on in the Oyster Reef Project and Foot Project. Enough of that - on to the report Crabbing at Wooli - Easter Report 2018 Wooli is one of the quiet and remote coastal towns east from Grafton NSW and sits on the stunning Wooli Wooli river overlooking Yuraygir National Park. An absolute jewel of an area rich in wildlife and vegetation, very worth your while exploring. Check out this link to see walks and stay options. Each year we put in paintings for the Wooli Art Show at the pub. None of us are much good but it is fun and gives us a reason to pull out the paint with a deadline to finish stuff. All paintings go up for sale and all money made goes to the Protect Wooli cause. We have been lucky enough to see the dunes come back after many years of hard work planting and dune protection. Both my paintings sold! You may now refer to me as Drop Bear the professional artist haha This link shows you about the show if you ever want to enter. Wooli had received a LOT of rain in the weeks before we arrived. the run out tide was very dark tannin stained. The guy at the dive shop told me how many crabs had been caught recently and I was worried straight away. After heavy rain I find there is a nice window of good crabbing and after this they all climb back into the deep holes in the mangroves. But we were here and wanted to have a go anyhow. The kids had brought their keen crabbing friends along and we had 8 people that had 2 Crab Traps (NSW for Crab Pots) each. I'm glad to report that Quampie was a star. This was one of the things I bought her for. We had 9 people in her one day with no problem at all. The first day had 8 people 16 crab pots, a full tank of gas, all the extra life jackets and of course every one needed to bring their phone. Go the 5m tiller steer! So much room. The plan was to start closer to the mouth and hope that they had marched down from the traditional crabbing spots up stream from the caravan park. 8 of us got in the boat and set 2 pots each. Yes that is 16 pots. We had our work cut out for us I found it tricky to work out the actual rules for crabbing in NSW. Googling is very confusing as some older reports have it that you are only allowed to have 1 crab trap per person but the current rules are 2 crab traps and 3 dillies. We had no dillies. The first few days were over the Easter period. Despite checking the pots before dawn they had pretty much all been raided but many showed no sign of crabs touching the baits. We got 3 crabs in the first day 3 in the next 0 for the next 2 days then 1 large buck on the last day. We had 4 pots stolen... This buck was uge! He really wanted to eat me. I cant really blame him. I wanted to eat him. Seems fare. The crabs were mostly Jennies (remember we were in NSW - Don't hate me) and apart from the large one on the last day were mostly small to medium sizes with 2 just over legal size. These just legal ones are small crabs. NSW regulations state they must be over 8.5cm front to back. If we were going to boil the crabs I probably would not keep these small crabs and would have put the big green buck back as he would not be full. But we were planning Chili Crab so all legal crabs are good for the pot. To test how full a crab is simply squeese the shell near the back swim fin. If it is flexible it is probably not full. A good Rusty red colour on the under side of the crab pretty much means it is as full as an eski after a 1770 trip. Interestingly we pulled 8 legal Bream out of the pots as well as one very angry eel, one very large Ludric and a nice small Estuary Cod that we let go (could have kept but had enough fish). That was more fish than we caught angling for the entire trip! I am kicking myself that I didn't keep the eel for Shark baits now... Oh wait that means I can go fishing for eels soon! Winning. So a feast was planned. We fed 16 people chili mud crab!!!! It was a delicious meal and everyone agreed that the time and money spent on baits (about $100.00) was worth it. My daughter took the food photos and I had to screen shot them from her Instagram account. She is just setting up a food blog... yes we do need another food blogger... apparently... I don't mean that she is super good at all this stuff. If you do insta you could follow her if you like. The recipe for my chili crab is; Ingredients 8 crabs from Wooli - all sizes over legal 4 packets of rice noodles (you can use spaghetti or any noodle you like) Big knob of butter (how big is up to you but I use a lot) 6 large fresh tomatoes (tins work well too) 4 large red capsicum 2 large brown onions 2 bulbs of garlic (whole bulbs not cloves) (yes that is a lot of garlic so make sure your partner eats some too or they wont talk to you) A large stem of ginger 1 bottle of white wine, Pinot Gris is good if you are fussy but any white wine will do. Half a cup of Tomato Sauce Half a cup of Sweet chili sauce 2 large chilies. More or less depending on your taste About half a cup of brown sugar - Depends on how sweet you want it and how sweet the sweet chili sauce is. 2 table spoons of soy sauce Salt and pepper Flour for dusting 1 ltr hot frying oil (Rice bran or Peanut or what ever you like just not Olive oil etc.) 3 limes or lemons if you prefer Big sprig of coriander or parsley if you prefer. Method Noodle Bit Place rice noodles in a bowl and cover with cold water. Let sit for about an hour. Sauce bit Roughly chop tomatoes and capsicum into about $0.20c coin size chunks. Slice onion and chilies. Finley dice/grate/crush ginger and garlic. Put butter in a very large sauce pan on high heat. Add onion, tomato, ginger, capsicum and chopped chilies and fry until it gets soft and browns up a bit. Add white wine, tomato sauce, sweet chili sauce, garlic, soy, sugar, salt and pepper. Add all the bits out of the shell of the crab and all the crab juice. Reduce heat and slow simmer while you cook the crabs. Crab bit Place crabs in ice slurry until they no longer want to rip your face off. Remove back shell over a bowl to keep the liquid that comes out of them. Discard the gills but keep everything else including all the mustard. Jennies have a lot of fat and goodness in the main shell so scrape all of this out and put in the juice bowl. Take claws off and separate into 2 pieces. Crack these with the back of a knife. Keep all liquid that comes out. Split the body part in half then cut in half again so that each body part has 2 legs... (does that make sense?) You end up with 8 pieces per crab. 4 claw pieces and 4 body pieces. I discard the main body shell after taking out all the fat and good bits. Make sure you go through all this goopy stuff as there can be small bits of shell in the head and its best if you take this all out. You could keep the main shell and boil it for presentation if you like. Dust the pieces of crab in flour and fry in heaps of oil until most of the outside goes red and the flour gets a bit crispy then drain. This process is great as it lets the sauce coat the shell and is really yummy. The last bit Place the crab into the sauce and simmer for about 10 mins or until you think the crab is cooked. Add the noodles and stir through. You might need to add some water at this stage. The sauce needs to be thick but not gluggy. Make it so that it coats the crab but is not runny. We just put it all in a big bowl and let everyone fight over the biggest claws Grate the lime rind over the top then cut the limes in half and squeeze juice over or put to the side and let everyone do there own. Chuck the sprig of coriander on top. I suggest drinking a few bottles of cold climate riesling (Fave is Clare valley or Tamar valley) with this as they are high acid and it cuts nicely through the sweetness of the dish. For a free personal lesson for this recipe bring all ingredients to my house (including the wine) and we can cook together. Yay! Don't plan to drive home Thanks Dropped one Oh and dont forget to lick your fingers.
  6. This was one from just last weekend... So since last December I have put a bit of effort into crabbing around the bayside and Northern NSW when visiting in laws. In my years I have been known to throw a pot or two in the water but it has always been something on the periphery of fishing rather than any sort of dedicated process. While I had a bit of time (ha) on paternity leave I decided to change this and spend some time really focusing on crabs. So my previous “ha” was in relation to finding I had far less time than I thought I would. Tanya is actually brilliant but the fact of the matter is I like spending time with the wee lad and have scaled back the extent of my weekend missions accordingly. So with short windows on offer I really focussed on land based bayside missions. I knew this would be a challenge as logic would dictate that easily accessed locations be over fished. Well logic has a funny way of being to obvious and I was to learn that there were many overlooked nooks and crannies right under my nose. On finding them… Google maps have been a big asset in my searches and I have combed every possible access point where one can pull up in a car, bash through some mangroves and set the pots. One thing in regard to overlooking certain areas is I suggest giving anywhere a crack. One of the biggest crabs I caught for the campaign was right a the bottom of my street in a very unassuming little trickly of a creek. Some decent crab sign... Under an urban bridge... Finding signs of crabs has become a real focus for me and an extra 5-10 minutes looking for holes goes a long way. Now of course there are probably countless holes under overhanging banks etc that are not easily seen but my thought process with crabbing in line up as many aces as you can. It is not like lure fishing where you just move… Once a pot is in overnight you have very little control from that point so you might as well maximize chances early. The less foot prints in the mud the better as well. Flats can also be as good as creeks. Standing permanent water seems appealing but I have had some success walking pots out onto mangrove covered flats at low and leaving for an overnight high. They are not that likely to be raided as it is pretty hard and easily hidden on low lying mangrove plants. The crabs obviously come out over night, crawl in and are waiting in the morning. I try to set my pots late in the evening and retrieve early to ensure my efforts are not noticed and so the crab doesn’t suffer high and dry longer than needed. On baits… Mullet has been a top bait for me but can start adding up putting a fresh mullet in each pot each day. Salmon heads are a new favourite and a fraction of the cost at a lot of seafood markets. Also during fishing adventures down in NSW whiting and bream frames work just fine. Most importantly setting them well in the pot I think is critical. To be honest the first few times (and certainly in the past) when I set my pots I was sometimes guilty of just throwing bait in. Quite a few times I can back to baitless pots with no crabs. You can theorize as to what did this all day long from little bream to crabs eating the baits from the outside… But the point is you do not know. This comes back to maximising your chance during the times you have control. I now fix my baits on the bottom of the pots with bits of wire or zip ties (if the pots no longer have their own contraption for this). On kayaking… I have found kayaking pots into hard to reach places an awesome option. So many sweet crabbing creeks are inaccessible from the bank due to thick vegetation and also inaccessible to boats due to being way to narrow. It is fiddly but worth taking the kayak option. Advice is to not overload as it is far more effort than worth. 2 pots is currently my preference. Also when setting, do so near some sort of bank you can get out on if needed. This will help set the pot, but is critical if you have crabs to get out, or baits to reset. A hessian bag is an awesome option as well as the crabs stay pretty quiet once you get them in and is far more practical in a kayak than a bucket or whatever. On cooking… I keep meaning to try new ways but to be honest… Mud crab, white bread and nice butter is very very hard to beat. My neighbours scored a crab off me they did an amazing pasta with but I have been loathe to complicate them to much yet. I have researched chilli crab etc and it looks amazing… But I think I need a serious surplus before I am trying this! When boiling I often put them to sleep in the freezer first. Not only does ease the conscious a little, I find a fresh crab dropped straight into boiling water loses its legs very easily. A simple time frame I read once and has worked every time is to bring the water to the boil, put the crab in, wait 20 minutes and your good. On Identification... So obviously you cannot keep females in QLD but you can in NSW. They are easily told apart in any case. The claws are quite different but the easiest way is the flap under the body. The males is narrower while the females covers nearly the whole body... MALE FEMALE Anyway this report is in no way designed to sound like an expert rather to share my own learning curve. I look forward to learning more as I go! Cheers. Angus