Swan River Crabs

Myaree Staff Member Curtis Waterman got out in the Swan River after some crabs. Here is his report.

I was lucky enough to get out twice last week in the boat to drop some pots in the local haunts of the Swan River chasing some of those big blue mannas that have filled a crab sandwich countless times over the years. Having spent a few days in Mandurah the week before last I was in good crabbing form however had not come across a real net kicker in a while. The Mandurah crabs are known for both their abundance and relatively small size and often you have to work a bit harder for a feed. The same can not be said for the deep water of the Swan that, at the right time of year, often produces ‘mule’ sized crabs.

Close mate, Dylan Matthews joined me and it was good to get out with him as Swan River crabbing was something we had both done as very young blokes with our Dads but had not done in a while. It had been years since he had pulled a crab net but he was sure that his form was going to be better than mine. We headed out to a deeper hole that was evident on our navionics chart and dropped the pots in depths between 19 and 21 meters. The ‘Bunbury Special’ style pots were the choice for the day which are available at all our Bluewater Tackleworld stores. I prefer using this style net as they are built heavier, larger and sturdier. Often the lighter nets drift on the way down in the deeper water and you can’t always be accurate with your drop whilst the wire bottomed nets don’t usually catch as many crabs.

Our bait of choice was half a mullet secured to the nets with a basic clip. A worthwhile investment also are the bait cages that you can also pick up from Bluewater stores. These save a whole lot of messing around with bait, but in saying that the traditional clips do the job. It is important to get the bait clipped so it is sitting right in the middle of the net and also not underneath the net itself.

We started our run and dropped all eight pots in a line in the deeper water, leaving them to sit for 20 minutes or so on the first drop just to let those baits soak. The first run saw us pick up none which suggested either it was too early, or I hadn’t let the baits soak long enough. So another 20 minutes of waiting allowed our second run to produce four nine size crabs, two that just just flicked over the gauge and two that smashed the 127mm cut off.

The next three runs got us up to the number nine mark just as it started to get dark and so we headed off after a successful afternoon that resulted in a solid feed for two. Usually a few more than nine would be ideal but the sheer size of the majority of the crabs meant there was plenty of meat in them. That’s what we’ve come to love about the crabs in the Swan River.

Click HERE to see the rest of this report including Curt’s top tips for Swan River Crabbing!