In our travels we've found quite a few people who are quite new at this yabbie catching thing that many of us take for granted. So all those of you who have done this before just skim over the bits that you already know. The rest of you, read this and no one will know you’re a Red Claw newbie.
Equipment You'll NeedOpera House Traps (3 or 4 will be plenty)
About 4metres of thin rope for each trap
Dog food (Good O or My Dog have worked well for us)
A bit about Redclaw
Redclaw (cherax quadricarinatus ) are a native of northern Queensland and parts of the NT but have been introduced to other parts of Queensland. They breed rapidly when conditions are favourable and can tolerate absolutely horrible water conditions which would wipe our most other species. And they're quite tasty, I might add.
Heaps more info on Google.
We’ve caught Redclaw using potatoes, carrots and even beef, but by far the most successful bait has been dried dog food. Our next door neighbour here in Boulia has been using Good-O dried dog biscuits and we’ve been using My Dog dried food, both with similar spectacular results. At one stage we were cleaning out our traps every two hours.
Chuck your traps in the shallows and preferably near weeds or snags. Red Claw prefer water about a metre or less. Tie off your cord and remember where you set them.
CookingThe internet is full of recipes but so far we’ve used only two.
1. Chuck the live yabbies in the freezer for an hour or so to euthanize them and then chuck into a pot of boiling salty water, boil for about 6 or 7 minutes. Rip the heads and shells off and flavour them with a seafood dip.
2. Boil for two minutes in salty water, extract the meat, season with garlic or sweet chilli sauce and cook on the barbie or a pan for two or three minutes more.
So now there’s no excuse for not giving yourselves the occasional treat of Red Claw, and have a damned good time catching them as well… and the equipment takes up bugger-all space in your rig.
Lyall & Trish Booth
Currently on the banks of the Burke River, Boulia Queensland