This week: Salt Water Yabbies
Yabbies or nippers can be found in river sand flats and bays on the east coast of Australia. Yabbies live in the sand. The male of this species has a rather large claw, the female has a smaller claw. They feed by filtering organic materials from the sand. I reckon these are the best all round bait any fisherman can use. Even outside they work well on snapper and other reef species. Great fun for the kids to participate in catching.
These little critters can really only be used when completely fresh and alive. As there’s no option for freezing or refrigerating them, if you want to use them, you need to catch them yourself. Buy a nipper pump and away you go. The best time to get yabbies is on the low tide. I’ve have had good success mid tide by using a round plastic sieve with floats on the sides and pumping the slurry into the sieve and picking out the yabbies I also find this way does not knock them around to much as they are not being smashed onto the sand.
Yabbies can survive for a few days if treated with respect out of the water and it does depend on where you are and how hot it is. There are two no-no’s when handling yabbies: 1. Never keep them in the sun and 2. Never leave them swimming in water. 12 hours is the maximum I’ve have leaving them in water. I found that putting them in moist sea water infused straw out of the sun they will last for 2 days. Still best to pump what you need each day.
Wide gap hooks are my personal preference. Yabbies should be presented as naturally as possible so I thread the hook through the tail of the yabby and continue until the point of the hook goes through the head. Remember there is a limit on how many yabbies per day you can take in NSW. 100 per person and trust me 100 yabbies is more then enough.
All river fish do love a yabbie whether is flathead, whiting, bream, taylor, and even the odd ludrick will take one that is well presented.
Tight lines until next week enjoy and have fun.