How to catch Sand Crabs in Lakes Entrance?
Sand Crabs are plentiful in the Gippsland Lakes, however, there are certain requirements as to what you can use to catch them. A proper Crab Net is the best way to go. Preferably a net made out of natural fibre, instead of deadly plastic netting.
To setup your Crab Net is easy. Just tie some fresh meat, such as a chicken carcass into the middle of the smaller hoop and then throw it off the Jetty.
Of course, don't forget to tie a long piece of strong rope to the net and don't let it go. Many nets end up on the bottom of the Gippsland Lakes, causing problems to fishermen and sea life. Be careful of the Pelicans, as they will be flocking around to try to steal your catch. Do not throw your crab nets near Pelicans.
Where to catch Sand Crabs in Lakes Entrance.
The best place to catch Sand Crabs in Lakes Entrance is on the jetty at Bullock Island. See the map below. If you're coming from Melbourne, you drive past the lookout on the top of the hill, follow the windy road down and cross the bridge.
Immediately after crossing the Bridge you come to a roundabout. If you turn left you can go to the Visitor Information Centre and purchase your Fishing Licence and find out where to hire or purchase a Crab Net.
Otherwise, turn right at the roundabout and this will take you onto Bullock Island. Over a small bridge, follow the road, then just near the end of the road, take a right hand turn onto a dirt road. Follow this road to the carpark at the end.
It's best to use the Jetty on the right hand side, as locals and visitors like to park on the Entrance side to sit and view the Entrance to the Gippsland Lakes.
When to catch Sand Crabs in Lakes Entrance.
You can go Crab Netting in Lakes Entrance all year round. There are seasonal limits elsewhere, but in Lakes Entrance it's open season on Crabs.
Legal requirements for Sand Crabbing in Lakes Entrance.
Fishing Licence: A fishing licence is required. You can purchase one at the local Visitor Information Centre just across the road from the roundabout that turns onto Bullock Island. If you're over 65 years of age, you don't need one.
Limits: You can only keep a maximum of 30 crabs per person with a licence. So throw back the smaller ones and let them grow for next year.
Net size: Hoop net
A hoop net is a cylindrical net open at the top, consisting of 1 or 2 hoops not exceeding 77cm in diameter. The net must not have a drop of more than 50cm. Nets must be labelled if set from a boat or left unattended. The label must float at the water's surface, and must clearly display the recreational fisher's full name and residential address OR full name and recreational fishing licence number clearly and legibly written.