Home' Traveller : Scoop Traveller WA 019 Contents December-June 2011 Scoop Traveller 197
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You don’t have to be an expert to catch your dinner in Peel’s rivers,
estuaries and ocean. It’s cheap, it’s easy and it’s heaps of fun. If you
don’t have your own gear, pick some up – along with bait and local advice –
from the fish and tackle shops. In Mandurah, head to the Peel inlet, Harvey
estuary, San Remo and Madora beaches, or Halls Head. Further east in
Boddington you can fish in the Hotham River. Chris Barber of
Tuckey’s Tackle in Mandurah shares his tips.
Blue Manna crabs are found in the Peel inlet, Harvey estuary and
rivers feeding into the estuary. The best time to catch them is about
half an hour after sunrise, and one hour before sunset. There’s no licence
required and you can use either scoop nets on foot, or drop nets from
jetties or a boat. There are rules for crabbing, though, as laid out by the
Department of Fisheries.
Gear | Only wire or plastic scoop nets, drop nets or hand-held blunt wire
hooks may be used to catch crabs. It’s illegal to take crabs using fishing or
prawning nets. Any crab caught accidentally this way must be released.
Minimum Size | 127mm across the widest part of the shell. Return all
undersize and berried (egg-carrying) crabs to the water.
Boat Limit | There is a boat possession limit of 20 crabs if there are two or
more people in the boat. If there is one person in the boat, a limit of 10
crabs applies. These limits apply regardless of the method of capture. There
is also a limit of 10 drop nets per boat.
Bag Limit | 10 crabs per fisher per day. You may not catch crabs for others.
Crab Care | Remember that any mutilation of sea creatures is an offence
(carrying a maximum fine of $5000 for an individual) so only take
legal-size crabs and treat those you return to the water gently.
Quick Release | You must return unwanted crabs to the water within five
minutes of catching them. Crabbers are required to release any undersize
or spawning crab before pulling another. This will reduce the mortality of
small and spawning crabs, and help preserve breeding stocks for the future.
You must have a licence for these types of fishing. Bag limits,
weight limits and methods of fishing also apply.
• Rock lobster
• South-West freshwater angling (trout fishing)
• Net fishing
• Recreational fishing from a motorised boat, including
ferries, yachts, and catamarans.
Jetty fishing, beach fishing, pier fishing and bridge fishing do
not need licences, but you must abide by the general fisheries bag
and size limits. Herring, for example, has a limit of 30. For more
information, see fish.wa.gov.au
While crabbing in the Peel and Harvey estuaries, you can also try your
hand at catching tailor and herring. Prawns are likely to be plentiful
throughout the estuary early in summer, so grab a dab net and fish for
them around the Old Mandurah Bridge or off a boat. Steer clear of the
mussels though - it’s hard to tell if they’re good to eat or not.
If you’ve got a 4WD or a boat, get the wheels onto Preston Beach at
Tim’s Thicket Road and White Hill Road, and lure tailor, mulloway and
herring. Remember if you fish off a boat, one of you will need a boat fishing
license. Alternatively, head offshore with any of the boat charter operators
in town and you’re likely to return with WA dhufish and pink snapper.
If DIY dinner just doesn’t appeal, Peel Fisheries on Mandurah Terrace
has a massive display of local fish. All the seafood is labelled according to
where it’s been caught so you know you’re buying local. Pass the chips!
WHAT YOU NEED
Chris Barber, above, shares all the best tips for fishing in the Peel area – just be sure that you follow the rules
and guidelines laid down by the Department of Fisheries
“You don’t have to be
an expert to catch your
dinner in Peel’s rivers
ON THE WATER
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