Fishing & Crabbing

Mandurah is renowned
for its seafood and
fantastic fishing.

The Mandurah fishery is also the first joint recreational and commercial fishery that received the international tick for sustainable fishing and quality from the Marine Stewardship Council in 2016.

This means that both the commercial and recreational fishers of Mandurah are showing the world how sustainable fishing should be done. Something we’re very proud of, so we hope you follow the rules and guidelines too when you go out to catch yourself dinner.


Mandurah is well-known for its blue swimmer crabs and excellent crabbing.

Crabbing season opens on December 1st, just as the weather warms up for summer. By January the Peel-Harvey Estuary is swimming with full size crabs ready to be caught.

Early morning or evening is the best time to catch them and you can go crabbing from a boat, a jetty using drop nets, or wade into the shallows with long-handled scoop nets.

Family crabbing in Mandurah
Crabbing at Novara Foreshore Reserve, Falcon

Best Locations

You’re more likely to catch full size crabs in January, and early morning and evening are the best times, when crabs come into the shallows.

Here are our tips for some good places to go crabbing:
  • Mandjar Bay
  • Mandurah Estuary
  • The Peel Inlet-Harvey Estuary by Boundary Island
  • Sticks Channel
  • Mandurah Estuary Bridge
  • Dawesville Cut

Rules for crabbing

You don’t need a licence to catch crabs, however they can only be caught from 1st December to 31st August and there are minimum size and bag limit regulations.

The minimum size limit is 127mm. The size of a crab is measured from the tips of its spikes across the widest part of the shell. Measure accurately using a crab gauge available from the Mandurah Visitor Centre and fishing tackle shops.

Keeping undersize crabs or egg-carrying (‘berried’) females is illegal and you could be fined up to $5,000. These crabs must be returned to the water immediately, before attempting to catch another crab.

The bag limit in the Mandurah area is 10 crabs per person per day. You must not catch crabs for anyone else. A boat limit of 20 crabs per boat per day applies (as long as there are two fishers with their Recreational Fishing from Boat Licence on board).

If you use a powered boat to fish for crabs or to reach your fishing location, at least one person on board needs a Recreational Fishing from Boat Licence (RFBL), available for purchase from a Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development office or online.

See full details on crabbing rules in the Mandurah area here.

Our Tip: Visit the Mandurah Visitor Centre before heading out and ask if there are any new good spots this crabbing season.

Please check: Some areas around Mandurah are protected nature reserves and off-limits for crabbing all year around. Look out for signs before you start crabbing to make sure it is an approved area.

How to clean & prepare a blue manna crab

Now you’ve caught some nice full-sized crabs, but what to do next to be able to enjoy them?

Well, here you go:

It’s best to cook crabs a few hours after they’ve been caught, as they usually die quickly. Bring crabs to the boil in salted water, then simmer for 5-6 minutes (longer for more crabs). Once cooked, place in cool water. Serve with bread, lemon, vinegar or seafood sauce.

Where to buy crabs

If you don’t have much luck catching your own crabs, you can buy fresh local crabs here.

  • Wattsies Place

    • open 7 days a week from 8am to 5pm
    • Address: 2299 Old Coast Rd, Herron WA 6210
    • Cooked Crabs available daily. Raw Crabs only available Tues-Sat (24hrs notice required for raw crab orders).

    Fun Fact: Fishing in Mandurah since early 1890’s began with Alfred Loton Watts and wife Ester Watts (Nee Morfitt). Wattsies Place began trading approximately 46 years ago under a tree in the front yard of John & Diane’s house, since then the business has grown and prospered as Mandurah’s reputation for fresh seafood has spread. Visit Wattsies Place or pre-order via phone on (08) 9739 1065.

  • Fisho Singleton

    • open Wed-Sun from 9am to 6pm.
    • Address: Corner of Singleton Beach Rd & Mandurah Rd, Singleton WA 6175
    • Crabs are sold fresh or cooked

  • Fisho at Gilbert’s Fresh Market

    • open 7 days a week from 8am-5pm
    • Address:  13-15 Rouse Rd, Mandurah WA 6210.
    • Crabs are sold cooked only


Fish for herring, sand whiting, bream, cobbler, tailor or garfish in the Mandurah Estuary. In season you can fish for salmon and tailor on the beach, and the Dawesville Cut is the best place to catch King George whiting.

Fishing at Dawesville Cut Mandurah
Fishing at Dawesville Channel (Dawesville Cut)

You can also catch trout and redfin all year in Lake Navarino (also called Waroona Dam) and Drakesbrook Weir in Waroona. If you love some black bream, mulloway and whiting, Murray River is a great spot to try your luck. Upstream, the river has been stocked up with trout. At Preston Beach, fish for whiting, herring, skippy and salmon (when they run) straight from the beach.

A licence is required for freshwater and boat fishing and you can obtain it via Fishing gear is available for hire in Mandurah.

Seafood and Fishing Tours

Learn tips and tricks from the pros and get access to the best spots to catch seafood on a tour.

On Mandurah Cruises’ Wild Seafood Adventure you’ll journey out to the Indian Ocean and help haul in crayfish pots, before enjoying the rewards of your labour with a delicious barbecue lunch with local wines, served on board as you cruise the calm estuary waters.

If you’d prefer to go out fishing by yourself, boats and fishing gear can be hired from Mandurah Boat Hire.

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