Prawning in Nanaimo
|Between Piper's Lagoon and Neck Point Park in Nanaimo|
Since prawning is open year round (in most areas always check the BC Sport Fishing Guide to learn of possible closures in your area) my dad and I decided to brave the unpredictable winter weather and head out just off of Neck Point Park to drop some prawn traps.
There are actually 6 species of shrimp/prawns that thrive off the British Columbia coast, but we were after the largest of the species; the local spot prawn. Large females can exceed 23 cm in total length! You can tell a spot prawn by 3 distinct white horizontal bars on their head area and two white spots on their first and fifth abdominal segment. Prawns are male in their second and third year, then becomes female in the third or fourth year, eggs can be found on the underside of their abdomen Oct - March. For conservation purposes it is suggested that these egg bearing prawns be returned to the ocean.
|the local spot prawn with it's distinct white stripes on the head|
|A typical ring net prawn trap with bait holder in the middle|
Prawns generally thrive in more rocky areas so you want to avoid dropping on muddy bottoms. A sonar system is needed! Sometimes you can even see the cluster of prawns on the bottom! You're looking for between 200ft and 400ft as far as depth goes.
Prawns are the best with some garlic butter! Happy fishing!