How to rake blue crabs in South Australia

Port Parham, South Australia
Port Parham, South Australia

SA fishing regulations
SA marine parks

Blue crabs invade the shallows across much of the SA coast from spring to autumn, where they can be raked while wading.

All you need is a crab rake and a tub, a boots that won’t get sucked off in the sand and mud.

You’ll be working hard out in the sun so be sure to take extra drinking water and sun protection.

Tough jeans or overalls are recommended to minimise scratches and cuts.

Don’t go crabbing in bare feet as there are razor-sharp shellfish, rocks, spined fish, stingrays and even blue-ringed octopus to contend with.

Prime spots include tidal flats between St Kilda and Port Parham, north of Adelaide, Thompson Beach … or almost anywhere there are tidal shallows and a combination of sand and weed.

Most crabbers go at low tide, then follow the incoming tide towards shore.

Water less than knee deep is enough.

Blue swimmer crabs grab the rake when disturbed and can usually be caught by just flipping the rake over.

You will need a crab measure, to ensure your catch is legal, and bag limits apply.

Blue crabs can be caught off most jetties in South Australia’s two gulfs and in the larger sheltered bays by using baited drop nets.

There is also a species of sand crab that occurs in big numbers at times near Adelaide, it is a light-brown colour with two dark spots on its back. The sand crab is tasty, but not as good as the famous blue swimmer crab.

Some external videos are shown below, demonstrating how crab raking is done.

Meanwhile, another similar popular SA pastime in the shallows is garfish dabbing, which is scooping fish under a spotlight.

Crab raking at Thompsons Beach

Crab raking in South Australia

Crab raking at Parham

Crab raking at Port Gawler

Crab raking at Ardrossan

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