Our neighbour dropped six prawn traps for us yesterday before he left for his city home.  We get to pull ’em and then re-set them as needed.  For a bit.  He’ll be back to take over again in a few days.  It was a nice gesture.  But we weren’t too excited.  The prawning has been poor.

Usually we just set two of our own traps and that has provided enough for a few meals and we are content with that.  Better the prawns should have fun and stay fresh down there while we have pizza or chicken.  Or whatever.  We’ll call on them when the occasion requires it.

Last year, with guests and all, we went through about 300 prawns.  About a five gallon pail.  Approximately ten Zip-Lok bags.  It was plenty.  More than enough.  If it was just Sal and I, a third of that would have been good.  Sal makes a mean prawn linguini in cream sauce and they are always good with garlic butter and some tomato-based sauce as an appetizer.  I sometimes add them to sushi with avocado slices.  I think of prawns like I do bacon – more than a garnish, less than an entrée.

And we needed a few entrées.  So, we did a town-day lite today.  Just over to the next island.  They have a store there and a recycling depot.  Plus I needed a couple of bits of hardware for the woodwork shop.  And there was the chocolate mandate to be filled, too.  We ambled over.  Did our thing.  And ambled back.  Pretty laid back.

Then we went to pull the traps.

The first trap came up empty but for a single prawn!  The next two on the string lifted the haul to about a dozen.  Twenty four hours on one of the best areas at the beginning of the season and I am not sure if we had a dozen!  That was not good.

We went to the next string.  Started to haul.   The traps were not coming up right.  It is hard to say what pulling a weight from the depths is supposed to feel like but I had done it enough to know that it just didn’t feel right.  I imagined that there were octopi in there.  That happens.

We kept pulling.

Eventually, I could see a problem as the traps came up.  They had somehow set on themselves.  They were tangled.  Each trap was ensnared with the other two.  It was a jumble of traps.

Of course, you keep pulling.  Have to.  We had to clear the tangle at the very least.

But as they came up, we began to see prawns in the traps.  Within the next five minutes we had filled a five gallon bucket!  Three hundred and fifty prawns!  And all of them captured in a pile, a jumble, a veritable rat’s nest of nets and ropes.

Wow!  A new prawning technique!

When we were done processing the little sweeties, we had our yearly allotment!  One haul!

It was a good day.

A Mess of Prawns




3 thoughts on “Gifts

  1. Dave, what are you using for bait? We have caught a total of 11 prawns, over three times, using tuna cat food paste. Not working. Any advice on how you got 350 of the blighters?


    • Yeah….forget the cat food and spring for some commercial prawn bait. Big commitment. It is really oily gross stuff but it works way better. You get a 25/35 pound bag or so for about $50 or $60. It lasts a long time, tho, if you keep it sealed after each use. Get the stuff in the white and blue bag. Go to Shar-Care. They carry it. Drop the traps at least 250 to 300 feet. Leave overnight. And use a proper good-sized trap – not the little ones. Prawns need a big target.
      But the real key is to find them. They seem to travel in ‘rivers’ underwater and you have to tap into a ‘river’ , a prawn highway, if you will. ‘Course the highway changes based on who-knows-what. Once you have found a ‘highway’ then you are gonna ‘tap into’ it now and then. It will produce.
      If you have the patience, try to find another highway after you have found the first. But, in our case, we only need to hit it once or twice and then we are good. So, one highway is enough. Hit it two or so times and we are good the season.


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