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Prawn Diving - Swan River (What's the go?)

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  • Prawn Diving - Swan River (What's the go?)

    G'day all,

    After abit of looking around

    i.e

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAhcUqrXoEQ]YouTube - Giant Tiger Prawn caught in Swan River Australia[/ame]

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIR_vz_mRG4]YouTube - Swan River Dive, October 2006[/ame]

    I've decided I would like to have a crack at a night dive in the Swan for prawns.. Problem being I don't know anything about the little fuckers..

    Firstly..
    Do any form of regulations exist - licensing (net?), seasons, size limits, quantity?

    Second..
    What do I need? - clearly a knife for fighting off line and bull sharks, net, does a cray catch bag suffice? - or do they get out of the small holes near the springs (unlikely).. oh and torch

    Finally..
    Where are the bastards? Are they rampant? or do I need to find the right spot and eagerly await the right tide and moon?

    Yeah I know, many a question - but any guidance is greatly appreciated.

    Cheers in advance

  • #2
    I used to go prawning with a net, some beers and a few mates in freshwater bay over summer a few years ago... but the catch - while there was some - wasn't really worthwhile.

    Good way to spend an evening though.
    Originally posted by Ferris
    I love how PSB has turned into "Dear Martha"

    Figure shit out yourselves, retards.

    Comment


    • #3
      First of all check the pollution levels in the river and see if it is safe to eat them
      For LAMS information and resources - http://www.perthstreetbikes.com/foru...thread-156358/
      For LAMS discussion and to ask questions - http://www.perthstreetbikes.com/foru...thread-143289/

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      • #4
        Hey, I have done loads of night dives in the river for prawns so here is what I know...
        Winter months are the best times to get the bigger Kings in greater numbers. I used to enter near Meads Restaurant in Mosman Park and just head up and down the bank between 5 and 10m and around the boat moorings and there always used to be loads. I used to come up with a couple of kgs on a good night.

        I use a fine mesh hand net with a longish (1m at least) tail and you just catch them and keep them in the net as you go. Some people put a tennis ball or something like that in the end of the net to keep the end (with all your juicy prawns in) up so the little buggers dont escape when you go for the next one. There is a bit of an art to it!

        Sometimes they will be everywhere just swimming around on the surface of the sediment and sometimes they will mostly be burried just under the surface in which case you will have to look for their eyes reflecting your torchlight or for the telltale markings in the mud. Mostly if you approach smoothly you can get right up to them and bring the net down over them before they even move.

        As far as the torch, well the brighter the better really but make sure it is strapped to your wrist as you will need to drop it and use both hands to struggle with the prawns especially when the net starts getting full. The most important thing... get a mini Q40 (or 2) and attach it to your mask so that you can still see when you do drop your torch.

        As far as the pollution... I never listen to it. Mosman area is tidally flushed with fresh seawater daily so it shouldn't be a problem.

        Lastly enjoy... Fresh prawns I have caught from the Swan River have been the best tasting prawns I have ever had.

        Also If you are struggling to get a dive buddy I am keen to get back into it :-)

        Maree

        Comment


        • #5
          My dive buddy just moved to Esperance but agree with MT81 ...

          I eat kilo after kilo out of the river and there is nothing wrong with them. I don't eat mussells or scallops from the river though. Unless there is plenty of water flow they wouldn't be too good I don't think.

          My dive torch cost me $400 and its an Alpha. HID is a better way to go now but add another $200 to the price for a base model one. Its imperative you buy a decent torch so save your coin til you can afford one.

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          • #6
            I'm heading out this Thursday night if the old sinus clears up in time, have been a regular prawn hunter this year.

            The bag limit is 9 litres. If you catch this, take a photo - it's a rare occasion! No permits required, no size limit (although after an hour's shelling the bebbies you will probably get a hell of a lot fussier), no set season.

            Gear?
            - DPI requires you to have a float with divers' flag and a light on it when shore diving.
            - Having had a torch die on me mid river I'm glad I followed the general practice of carrying AT LEAST two torches, a main and a backup.
            - The river is fucking silty, shit vis, blah blah blah. You need a compass and you need to be comfortable with using it.
            - It's cold - about 15 degrees in some places at the moment - make sure you have a decent wetty or dry suit and good warm clothes for when you get out.
            - A bucket is nice to take your stuff home in.
            - You catch them with the net. Nets can be bought nice and cheap from dive shops. Usher them to the back of the net and cart them along to the next victim.
            - Take a buddy!!

            Where? Just about anywhere from Pt Walter & downriver has given good results.

            That about cover it?
            "Once upon a time we would obey in public, but in private we would be cynical; today, we announce cynicism, but in private we obey."

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Viper View Post
              My dive buddy just moved to Esperance but agree with MT81 ...

              I eat kilo after kilo out of the river and there is nothing wrong with them...
              Feed 'em to the pigs, Errol....

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              • #8

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Captain Starfish View Post
                  I'm heading out this Thursday night if the old sinus clears up in time, have been a regular prawn hunter this year.
                  Hmmm......never done any night diving, but if someone doesn't mind me tagging along behind them, I might come down and just float around for a bit. I've been interested in prawning and crabbing via SCUBA so I'd be keen to see the process first hand.
                  A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.

                  Dear god, it's some weird bastardized three wheeled two person go-kart.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Cheers to all. Your advice is greatly welcomed (bar. Maxo )

                    Prawn diving or not - it looks like I now have a good enough excuse to browse the local dive shop.

                    Originally posted by MT81 View Post
                    Also If you are struggling to get a dive buddy I am keen to get back into it :-)
                    Cheers Maree.. Some great info there.. Once I've thrown my wallet at the dive shop I'll take you up on that!!

                    Originally posted by Viper View Post
                    HID is a better way to go now but add another $200 to the price for a base model one.
                    I don't know if i can justify that atm - My 'UK Q40' was sufficient on the Rowleys (read VERY limited) so I'm thinking maybe I'll head midway and hit up the 'UK C8 xenon' or 'UK D8 xenon' $100/$150 repectively

                    Originally posted by Captain Starfish View Post
                    The bag limit is 9 litres.
                    Farken! - Pherhaps I need to add a lift-bag to the shopping list.

                    Originally posted by Captain Starfish View Post
                    DPI requires you to have a float with divers' flag and a light on it when shore diving.
                    What sort of light are we talking here? (i.e. is it worth adding something to an existing float flag) I've had a lil squiz and found a heap of float flags without a light - or am i not looking hard enough *Shakes fist at internet*

                    Originally posted by Captain Starfish View Post
                    A bucket is nice to take your stuff home in.
                    YES - I just had the image of me hooting down the freeway with a dripping net of prawns hanging out the window.. My car thanks you.

                    Is there anytime I should/shouldn't be heading out. i.e. during a full moon, certain tides etc?

                    And finally, what sort of time at night are we talking - or just as long as its dark

                    Thanks again guys - greatly appreciated

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                    • #11
                      well do not go down with a cheap ass torch.

                      I'd be willing to lend you my Alpha for a dive or 2 and I'm sure Choccy starfish would agree with a shit torch you won't catch much.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MT81 View Post
                        As far as the pollution... Fresh prawns I have caught from the Swan River have been the best tasting prawns I have ever had.
                        :o

                        Sorry for the misquote there maree - couldnt help myself

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                        • #13
                          I did it a bit a couple of years ago, there definately is an art to it, and I recommend getting used to/comfortable with diving in complete darkness, you never know when lights will go out. Backup torch should be a must. torch on the goggles could be a good idea but I used to just get the net over them and do the rest by feel. If you have some half decent gloves, you can grab a blue swimmer or two on your way back aswell I caught a pearler one night. As far as location goes next to Meads restaurant in Mossie was my favourite place. park at the carpark on the hill and walk down the steps all suited up to go in.
                          Just when you thought noone was watching!

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                          • #14
                            hmmm from someone that studied the pollution of the river... don't do it
                            "Heaven doesn't want me, and hell is afraid I'll take over"

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                            • #15
                              Ignore the haters.

                              Torch - I have three Underwater Kinetic jobs, a mini-Q (4xAA), an SL-6 (6xC) and a D8 (8xD). All xenon but about to try an LED upgrade on the SL-6. Whilst the D8 is more than up to the task, it's also a PITA because it's so bulky when you're also trying to juggle net and compass, blah blah blah so now it stays at home. The SL-6, for me anyway, is an absolutely magic compromise between light output, beam pattern and bulkiness. Any bigger than that I reckon it's time to look at the $1000+ canister lights.

                              Next dive, the mini-q will be on the mask strap. Not for the sake of having to drop the torch, that's fine, but it apparently makes navs a lot easier. Point the mask light along the lubber line of the compass and you can identify features to swim at. It means that, even in a current, you're moving on the correct bearing (as opposed to travelling along a compass heading which is carrying you down river).

                              Cheap torches are fine as long as you have a backup - my usual river buddy dives with a cheap Woolies torch, he logs about 30 dives on a $6 torch and when it floods at last he chucks it and buys another one.

                              A cyalume stick on the flag is sufficient lighting to warn incoming boats etc that there's something up ahead. Generally we're diving in amongst moorings and boats which means that towing the float is impossible, I leave it somewhere in the middle of the site (or just tied off at the entry point - hell, it's there, it's stupid but we comply with the law) and dive around it instead.

                              Your biggest danger is from canoodlists - they are quiet and quick, you pop your head up when they're coming along and you will cop it. So I tend to wave the torch around a lot on exit. And a cyalume stick on the tank valve is not a bad idea here either.

                              Time? Seems to be best about 1-2 days after last rain, don't think it makes a huge difference, this (from mates' log books) is the best time of year right now. About 1/2 hour after it gets dark is about the earliest you want to be in the water.

                              I have _never_ heard of any of my mates getting crook from river food. And most of them don't even look at the trust's alert site (for sewerage overflows etc). I'm not generally a fan of prawns, and was giving them away for a while. The last batch came home and I cooked 'em up for Kylie. Not quite enough so I got some more from the shop. Tell the difference much? It was amazing - the river prawns were so sweet and lacked that skanky dead fish taste that the shop bought prawns had, they were lovely!
                              "Once upon a time we would obey in public, but in private we would be cynical; today, we announce cynicism, but in private we obey."

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