Blue Swimmer Crabs sell at the markets for upwards of $25 per kilogram sometimes much higher. However, a 25 minute drive away from the city of Adelaide is Port Gawler, a crabbing paradise. While it may look like a long-forgotten swampland, the shallow waters of the mangrove-laden coast make the perfect location for crabbing in Adelaide.

I am no crabbing expert. In fact calling myself a beginner might be an over exaggeration. However, my dad and his friend George wanted to go crabbing in Adelaide and get a haul so I tagged along. The bag limit per person is 20 crabs and they need to be of size.

crabbing in adelaide

crabbing in adelaide

What you will need

To hunt for the crabs all you need is a rake and a bucket. Rake over dark patches of sand or on the edges of reeded areas and if there is crab hiding below they will latch on to your rake. Turn your rake over and bring them to your bucket. You will need to do a few things before celebrating your catch. First check if the crab is of size. Secondly check if it is a female carrying eggs. If the crab is too small or carrying eggs you must release them immediately. Here are the rules and regulations for crabbing in Adelaide.

crabbing in adelaide

Rules & Regulations

– Minimum size limit 11 cm at widest point of carapace
– Liimit of 20 per person per day 
– If any other fishing gear is used like a fishing rod, maximum number of nets (combination of hoop and / or drop nets) that can be used at a time is three
– It is illegal to take female blue crabs carrying eggs. These must be carefully returned to the water immediately (fine of $500 + $60 levy applies)

For more information about crabbing head to

Supposedly you want to get out in the water at high tide and then as the water moves with the tide the crabs are more likely to be moving also. Thompson’s Beach is also another great spot to go crabbing in Adelaide.

On this day in particular we managed to round up 30 crabs of size in under an hour. There were only two people raking so it is quite quick work when the crabs are about. That equated to almost 7kg of crab, which if bought at the market would be almost $200 worth.

Cooking and shelling the crabs can be a lengthy process but the fresh crab meat is definitely worth the hunt and the hard work.

Blog Comments

  1. Plenty of idiot keyboard warriors on this thread again. The internet of A-holes is alive and well I see. Good on you fellas for getting what looks like a great feed.

  2. Turn your crabs over next time you take the photo then you won’t have everyone on your case,crikey folks get off his back it is only illegal if the females have eggs or are undersize, yes it is best Not to take females if they are very dark underneath as they are soon to be loaded but until the eggs show on the outside it is not illegal.

  3. I’m with the others. Really sad to see you took female crabs from what is really a nursery/ breeding ground regardless what the law says. You are legally allowed to dump your rubbish a few miles out to sea, but half a.brain should tell you it’s not the right thing to do. Most people have returned those females, that’s why you got 20 in an hr. If they have a large V under neath, and especially if it’s dark, put them back.

  4. Dear all
    You berate him for taking females. It’s not illegal.
    Maybe berate fisheries for allowing the commercials in.
    For us rakers it’s all you can really get.
    As long as you don’t take females with eggs.

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