Red Claw

Submitted: Monday, Nov 02, 2009 at 20:06
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Hi all,

Laraine and I are thinking of trying our hand at catching Red Claw on our next trip. We have a general idea on the "How To" but as we have always been beach people with regard to fishing and I must admit we have not been to any of the fresh water dams etc any advice or tips on places/dams to go or secret techinques etc would be helpful. We will be leaving from the Brisbane Qld area and do not want to be away for a great length of time .

Thanks Peter C
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Reply By: Slider - Monday, Nov 02, 2009 at 22:55

Monday, Nov 02, 2009 at 22:55
Hi there,
we have found that one of the places with the most abundant amounts of red claw is fairburn dam - near Emerald.
We use the opera house traps - which 99% of peeople use and have found that red claw tend to eat anything, we have used dry dog food amoungst many other things, we have found this is the easist to handle and transport around.
You need to make a small purse type thing out of shade cloth to hold the bait in.
The red claw tend to be more around the dead trees in the damms as well as close to shore, but the ones that are close to shore tend to get raided by the locals on friday and saturday nights.
Other than that its a mater of talking to people at the places your going and trying to suck some good info as to where they tend to be!!!!

Good luck of and one tip the red claw dont like cold snaps!!! they go right off then!!!


AnswerID: 579240

Reply By: Crowbar - Tuesday, Nov 03, 2009 at 04:28

Tuesday, Nov 03, 2009 at 04:28
Tinaroo dam is loaded (outside of Atherton not far from Tolga) - or it used to be, they just had a big fishing comp there last weekend (barra, sooty grunter, eel tail cattys etc) so I am told by my mate in Tolga. He said there were some big redclaw caught as well. We used to make up small cylinders with a funnel entry - and end stopper - we made these from plastic gutter guard, might be new and better designs around these days though - as far as bait is concerned a small tin of something rotten (sardines maybe with punctured lid even some road kill that you beat granny to) or dog or cat food as previously suggested. The commercial growers use a type of dry pelletised pet food to feed them with in their tanks. Not big on taste being fresh water creatures but if you clean them well and marinade the split or shelled animal in grated fresh ginger, soy sauce, garlic and honey and barbeque them you might find them palatable. Of course you need to be swilling beer or some vino to add to the enjoyment of it all. Good luck and good hunting!


Damian & Claire
AnswerID: 579241

Reply By: Frank Aus - Tuesday, Nov 03, 2009 at 04:56

Tuesday, Nov 03, 2009 at 04:56
Callide Dam has Red Claw as well, should be easy catching as the dam is running out of water to swim in,
AnswerID: 579242

Reply By: Innkeepers - Tuesday, Nov 03, 2009 at 05:56

Tuesday, Nov 03, 2009 at 05:56
Peter & Laraine,

If you're operating out of Brisbane and don't want to venture too far, then I would suggest that your head for Somerset Dam out of Kilcoy. There's a nice park there with boat launching facilities.

We're going to try Boondooma Dam via Proston when we have 10 days off at the end of this month.........can't wait...nice spot there as you can camp right on the grass by the lake shore and launch the tinnie and leave it in the water right at your camp.....they even supply firewood......

They have been catching big redclaw at Somerset Dam for a long time and all baits from Par Boiled Potato to Rockmelon and the old favourite Pal Meaty Bites.

The Pal option is rather easy to use and we just get an old 600ml water bottle that we all have, and then cut a few holes in the bottle with a pair of scissors or a cordless drill so that the aroma of the meaty bites can escape. Then fill the bottle with the Pal Bites and screw the cap on and put it in an Opera House trap. Don't forget that you should only have 4 traps set per person and have your name and address on the milk bottle float.

If you have a tinnie, place your traps in between 4 and 6 metres of water and if you have a sounder, try to find that depth near a drop off or a rocky ledge or group of rocks.

If you want more good oil on the Somerset Redclaw experience, become a member of the Ausfish Forum at and then click on to the "Freshwater Section" and do a search of that section of the forum for Somerset Redclaw. You will find some good info and some nice pics of huge redclaw.

To prepare them for cooking, whilst they are still green, take the head off and then get a pair of pliers and grab the centre "V" shaped bit of the tail at the base and then just twist to the left until you feel a click and the same for the right and then pull slowly and the whole vein will come away with the tail piece. We just boil them for about 5 or 6 minutes in a pot of water with some sugar......then peel and salt to taste.

Hope this helps.
Rick & Julie
AnswerID: 579243

Reply By: Deleted User - Tuesday, Nov 03, 2009 at 06:38

Tuesday, Nov 03, 2009 at 06:38
Thanks all for the info I am sure it will be put to good use. We are looking forward to the experience of fresh water fishing as we have always done well at the beach - so this will be all new!!!

We don't have a boat so we will be fishing from the edges if there are no hire boats available but with a lovely setting a glass of something good and lots of time on our hands all will be well with the world.

Thanks again.

Peter & Laraine.
AnswerID: 579244

Reply By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Wednesday, Nov 04, 2009 at 02:26

Wednesday, Nov 04, 2009 at 02:26
Ordinary soap also makes a good bait - Redclaw, Yabbies and Marron all like it due to its high fat content'.

AnswerID: 579245

Reply By: Wilmo7 - Saturday, Nov 07, 2009 at 04:07

Saturday, Nov 07, 2009 at 04:07
In Western QLD a lot of the property people use parboiled potatoes in their traps. One of the benefits is that by the time you land them their little digestive tracts have been cleaned by the potato.
AnswerID: 579246

Reply By: The Boondockers - Sunday, Nov 08, 2009 at 07:32

Sunday, Nov 08, 2009 at 07:32
I have a few freezer bags of Red Claw and was wondering if anyone has a good recipe.

Our contribution is:
Marinate in sweet chilli sauce and salt.
Shallow fry and add lemon juice and brandy.
Anyone else got a good one?

AnswerID: 579247

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