prawns
Use your cast net to catch prawns.

Beginner’s guide to catching prawns

Nothing beats a day of fishing followed by a delicious feast of prawns!

With plenty of great spots across the coast, there is no shortage of places to cast for prawns.

Over the past month or so an abundance of prawns as well as other baitfish have been accumulating in local waters, making it the perfect time to take advantage of the fantastic fishing the Sunshine Coast offers. Catching them is a fun and rewarding experience for all ages, providing a great weekend or holiday activity for both adults and children.

The easiest way to find where they’re hiding is to look for boats casting for them – wherever there are prawns, there will be boats!

All you need is a cast net and some enthusiasm.

prawns
Some great sized prawns are caught on the Sunshine Coast.

 

When to catch them

The best time for catching prawns on the Sunshine Coast is typically from February to the end of May, but this is highly dependent on weather conditions and rainfall.

Creeks and rivers benefit from good rainfalls to flush freshwater towards the mouth and to increase the salinity in the water, which creates the optimal environment for prawns.

Prawns are predominantly nocturnal creatures, meaning after sunset or before sunrise are the times when they are most active.

How active depends on the tide, moon phase and conditions, so it’s worth dropping into your local bait and tackle shop or chatting with other fishos to get the most up-to-date information on the area you’re targeting.

prawns
Keep your prawns fresh in an ice slurry. Photos: Dan Park

 

Prawns prefer to move around under the cover of darkness, so nights around a new moon and a cloudy evening would be our timing tips.

Older fishers will tell you that a new moon after rain is the prime time to catch them.

Prawns tend to congregate in deep holes in the hours before and after a low tide.

If you’re prawning in a creek that’s fed by a river, the first run-in tide of the morning is your best bet, as they tend to migrate rapidly with the tide at that time of day.

Try for a run-out tide in creeks and rivers or the tide change in open water.

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