Where to find the Magical Muddy.

Mud crabs are primarily nocturnal critters, most of their activities – including eating – are carried out between sunset and sunrise. Prime feeding areas are out of the main tidal flow around the mouth of small drains and creeks or melon holes in the creeks themselves. nugget FredPrestonAs long as the water is salty and doesn’t dry up at low tide, there’s a good chance it will hold mud crabs. In most waterways, the best time to crab is on the run in tide, especially if it coincides with the first few hours after dark or before daylight. Crabs usually walk into a tidal flow not across it and while they will crawl around and over a pot to get to the bait, aligning your pot entrances with the current, increases the catch rate.

On the move!

Crabs can cover as much as a 500 metre area so it’s a good idea to leave your pots a good hour before the first check, after that you can reduce the time to 30 minutes. Pots should weigh at least three kilo, if not then add half a brick to ensure they don’t drift with the tide. If the tidal difference between high and low tide is three metres, the pot rope needs to be at least three meters longer than the depth of water you’re crabbing in, this way the rope will always have enough slack so the pot stays on the bottom. It’s a good idea to clamp several small strips of sheet lead spaced a metre apart around your rope for the first few metres under the float, this will ensure the rope sinks and is less likely to be cut by a passing boat propeller.

Best baits

Fresh mullet is a top bait, however any fresh fish or fish frames work well. Other baits that work include chicken necks or frames and any red meat. Contrary to some opinions, rotten baits do not work as well as fresh.


Northern Territory Bag Limit: 10 per person, max 30 per boat Number of Pots: 5 per person, max 10 per boat Minimum Size: females 140mm, Males 130mm measured tip to tip Other: Egg bearing females must be released

Queensland Bag Limit: 10 per person Number of Pots: 4 per person Minimum Size: 150mm measured tip to tip Other: Witch’s hat dillies prohibited All females must be released

NSW Bag Limit: 5 per person Number of Pots: Two crab traps and four witches hats/hoop/lift nets per person Minimum Size: 85mm measured front to tail of carapace Other: Egg bearing females must be released

WA Bag Limit: 5 per person, 10 per boat Number of traps: 10 per person Minimum Size: Green mud crab 150mm, brown mud crab 120mm measured tip to tip Other: Egg bearing females must be released.


About Dave "Nugget" Downie

Dave ‘Nugget’ Downie was raised in the Snowy Mountains in southern New South Wales and grew up fishing for everything from local trout on fly in the Snowy lakes through to land based game on the south coast.

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