Prawning – the best time to go on the south coast

The prawning season has started and Durras Lake on the NSW South Coast is one of the best places to go prawning. The prawning season generally includes any month with an “R” in it. Thus from September through until April. However the primary months are from November until around late March.

Apart from the correct months, the other major factors influencing prawning are the tides and the moons. And, it needs to be dark. This means night time! The darker the better.

The Moon

I find the best times to go prawning is 4-5 days either side of the New Moon. (That is, the dark moon.) The full moon means too much light and the prawns are usually buried in the sand to avoid predators.

The Tides

In most estuaries, rivers and lakes such as Durras, which is currently open to the ocean, prawning is best done on the outgoing tide. For Durras Lake, there is approximately a 1.5 to 2 hour time lag before the lake starts running out to the ocean. I try and start prawning at the turn of the tide though this is not critical. So long as the tide is going out.

Getting the timing right!

Okay, so now the trick is to get the nights where the moon is okay and the outgoing tide is during the evening. You will need  a tide and moon chart to calculate the ideal times.

Prawning is best done with a simple hand prawn net. You will also need a prawning light or very bright torch and a bucket for your catch. These can all be purchased at your local tackle shop or at the Kangaroo Cafe at Durras Lake North Holiday Park. It is also possible to hire a complete prawning outfit here during the prawning season. A small hand light is also very handy. Also, as you are technically fishing, you will need a NSW fishing licence.