Catching wild prawns, better known as ‘prawning’ is an excellent family activity during the warmer months of the year. It’s a simple process that’s guaranteed to deliver laughs and if you’re lucky, a tasty feed of fresh local prawns!
A flashlight, a bucket, a scoop net and of course, a Victorian fishing licence, are the only things you’ll need to get started.
If you’re not ready to invest in a prawning light (a waterproof torch on a long pole), a head torch is a good substitute.
You want to find a nice light net to make maneuvering in the water easier, ensuring that the holes are small enough to avoid escapees.
Ensure your bucket is large enough to hold ample water for your prawns to hang out in, and also tall enough they won’t be able to jump out the top. Sometimes a lid is in order!
If you haven’t got a Victorian fishing licence yet, you can find all the details here
Prawns are often found on the flat, sandy banks around the edges of waterways. They will move in and out with the tide, so there’s no need to go deeper than waist height. Nighttime will often see them travelling under the cover of darkness, and in tidal waters they’ll likely be on the move in the current.
When you’re prawning in moving water, wade out into the shallows and shine your torch across the surface, searching for red eyes reflecting back at you. Wait until the prawns are within scooping reach, then send out your net ahead of them in the current, grabbing them as they swim by.
In still water, prawns hold close to the bottom and will scoot off backwards when disturbed. Wave the light slowly across the bottom searching for the red eyes, then scoop them up from behind with the net. If you hold the light directly in front of them while you get in position, you can then gently spook them backwards into your waiting net.
Lakes Entrance and Lake Tyers are well known prawning hot spots that sees many Victorian families travelling to the area between late Spring and early Autumn. You can check out my favourite spots at both locations using the maps below.
For more info on bag limits and prawn regulations, you can access the VFA’s Recreational Fishing Guide information here
Prawning is a fun and easy activity for anglers of all ages, so get out there in the warmer months and give it a go! As always, we love seeing your adventures, so be sure to tag us via @wirfabnetwork on all your social media!