What is an Australian Yabby?

Catching yabbies in a net is a whole heap of fun, particularly when caravanning in Australia. Found in many Australian waterholes, a Yabby is a small inland Crayfish. Mostly known as Red Claw, they are called Marrin in Western Australia.

Suggested bait to place in yabby net

What I find really interesting there is a huge variety of unusual yabby bait used in nets for different areas of Australia.

Yabbies are vegetarian.

The popular belief is that yabbies are meat or fish eaters. How wrong can they be? If a yabby is found with a meat-based bait in their claws, it is in fact trying to remove the offending bait from its home.

From Rockhampton to Brisbane, including Emerald’s Fairburne Dam, the preferred bait is Sunlight Soap. That is of course, solid, cake formed Sunlight Soap. I believe you cut off pieces to use as the bait.

The area North-West of Rockhampton – Cantelope (also known as Rock Melon)

And the bottom of New South Wales to the West – Potato Skin. (Yes, not the potato, just the skin).

Another option is a small tin of sardines or cat food, with a slightly open lid.

Yabbies travel overland

I was told the following story, and have no reason to doubt the teller.

At great expense, a Yabby Farm was built with the construction of many large dams. All was going fine as the dams were filled with water and thousands of yabbies introduced to their new home.

But the yabbies obviously didn’t appreciate their new location.

Searching for better waterholes, they literally packed their bags and marched off overnight.

Yes! You heard correctly! They all disappeared – overnight!

Sadly the result was an extremely expensive, failed business venture.

Opera House Net now banned for Yabbies

Banned since 2018, the Opera House has been one of the most common yabby nets used in Australia. The ban took place because too many platypus, water rats and turtles were being caught in these nets and died as a result.

In some areas your old Opera House Net could be taken to participating fishing supply stores. For a short time they replaced the Opera House Net for an open top lift net which is more “wildlife-friendly”.

This is most noteworthy. For the good of our wildlife, please exchange or purchase a safer net.

Is a Fishing Licence required to catch yabbies in a net?

Catching Yabbies in a net is nearly as much fun as eating them!

But yabby hunters must be aware each State or Territory in Australia have their own Fishing Licence regulations. If you disobey these regulations big penalties can apply.

It’s not a problem if you check for local area requirements and, if necessary, purchase a Licence. The Licence fee is fairly low and could spare you a lot of trouble if caught without one. To make it even easier, the Licence can often be purchased on-line.

Especially relevant find out if fishing for yabbies is banned for certain months of the year. A yabby limit could also apply.

Just caught and ready for the pot!

How could any useful yabbie resist this yummy meal of vegetable peels.

Yum! Plenty for a feast by all!

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