By John Pedler
Published: Friday, September 21, 2018
Updated: February 20, 2019 at 11:07 am
Blue swimmer crabs are delicious. Evolution knows this and has equipped them with tough shells, outrageous pincers and a cranky attitude. Brussel sprouts, on the other hand, are unarmed and can’t run very fast.
There are three main methods for gathering the key ingredient for a crab feast – raking the sand offshore between high and low tide, launching a baited drop net from a jetty or boat, or heading down to the local fish market with a fistful of cash. The first two methods are a bit more fun, plus you’ll get to visit some of SA’s great coastal locations.
1. Thompson Beach
This is one of several crab raking spots along the tidal flats between St Kilda and Port Parham, north of Adelaide.
Head out at low tide, then follow the incoming tide back towards the shore. Wear strong footwear to prevent injury from rocks, shells and other sharp objects on the sea floor.
There’s no need to go much deeper than knee level, and you should avoid walking across the extensive meadows of sea grass. This grows in mud soft enough to suck you down to the centre of the earth or, at the very least, steal your shoes. Crabs can be found by raking in clear sandy patches, and contact with a ‘bluey’ will be evident by the sudden chaos under the rake.
Tidal movements here are extreme, and at low tide it seems like you can walk across the gulf to Yorke Peninsula. If the kids are up for it, this is great day out for the family.
Because the Thompson Beach area is an important nursery for aquatic creatures and a sanctuary for birds, please tread lightly.
It’s also worth noting that fisheries officers regularly check catches here.