GOOD EATING TOO: Catching crustaceans is great fun if it's done properly.
GOOD EATING TOO: Catching crustaceans is great fun if it's done properly. TOURISM NSW

TOTALLY HOOKED: Catching crustaceans lots of fun

WITH the days getting longer and warmer, a lot of people start chasing their favourite crustaceans.

Crustaceans form a large group of anthropods including crabs and crayfish.

Chasing crustaceans is one of the easiest forms of fishing and one of the Sunshine Coast's most accessible ways to fish. So, I thought this week would be a good time to talk about the legal sizes and apparatus allowed in the Sunshine Coast waterways, surrounding hinterlands and impoundments.

Let's start with the mud and sand crab in tidal waters. No more than four crab pots and dillies (or a combination of both) can be used by one person.

The minimum age limit for the use of an apparatus has been removed and the traditional witch's hat and or inverted dillies are now illegal and were phased out about six years ago.


A supplied photo released Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009 of an undersized male mudcrab seized in a border patrol at Wallangarra on Nov. 19, 2009, being measured by Department of Primary Industries, Fisheries and Rural and Regional Queensland staff. The crabs will be DNA tested as authorities seek those responsible for the undersized and female crabs. (AAP Image/Department of Primary Industries, Fisheries and Rural and Regional Queensland) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
It's important to know how to measure crabs properly. DEPT OF PRIMARY INDUSTRIES

A very important and regularly forgotten practice is to mark your apparatus with an identifying tag clearly stating your name and address of the owner.

Surface floats should be a light colour and must measure 15cm or 6 inches in any dimension and be clearly marked with the owner's name.

All surface floats sold at any of our Davos stores are of legal size and come in the standard white or the new hi-vis model.

Floats are available on their own or in ready-to-go packs which include floats, ropes and identification tags and bait clips.

If you are crabbing from a bank, your pot can be attached to a fixed object and should have a tag with the owner's name. Attach it to the rope above the high water mark.

I suggest you drop into any of the Davo's stores as all our crab pots and dillies meet legal requirements. Make sure not to buy any homemade pots as these may not be legal and could result in a hefty fine.

Measuring your catch is now easier and safer than ever with the introduction of purpose-built crab measures.

Mud crabs must be measured at the widest part of the carapace with the minimum size being 15cm at this point. The sand crab, or blue swimmer as it sometimes called, is measured by the distance between the notches immediately forward of the base of the large lateral spine of the crab on the other side trap. Again, mark all your apparatus with ID tags containing surname and address and the 150mm light coloured float with your name.