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  1. #1

    Good Crays: Easterns, Ornate & a slipper

    Having been at uni all year, I haven't been in the water nearly as often as I'd like to be so when I finished a few exams last week, I dived (excuse the pun) at the chance!
    Got down to my old stomping grounds with a good mate and decided to leave the guns in the car. I just didn't feel confident in my bottom times or abilities after so long out of the water.
    Turns out I needn't have worried, we saw bugger all fish other than a patch of small jew and a cr@pload of bait around, but wow did we find a few nests of good crays!
    On the first dive on a big deep wall, I saw a cave that used to hold 1 or 2 good crays most of the time, completely chockers full of crays from tiny little kittens to monster over-sized creatures of doom. I plucked 2 nice kilo jobs and I was set for the rest of the dive taking it easy.
    My mate however, found a pigeon pair of ornate lobsters in side-by-side caves and popped up feeling pretty chuffed with himself. Oh well, plans were made for a good BBQ and how funny it'd be if we could pull a hat-trick and pluck a slipper.
    We kept perousing through the area, and I've never seen the area look so healthy (other than the distinct lack of spearable fish). Almost every cave I dived on had crays, but I was finding they were mostly just on or just below legal size so didn't annoy them just to have a look.
    Had a massive occy try and rip our cray bag apart but he soon got the message when he got a fin in the face.
    We rounded the point and soon came upon some solid schools of luderick and bream all grazing which is always a good site. Thousands of good sized fish just going where the swell pushes them. I was getting pretty cold at this point so thought I'd get out, but first I better check out that bomby that I can never get near cause the swell is pretty heavy on it.
    Holy sh!t! The caves on the sides and the cracks on the bottom screamed crays but we only saw 1 good one. However, up the very back of a solid big crack on the bottom, I picked up my first slipper! I reckon i've seen them before and just haven't recognised them. The camouflage on these bad boys is ridiculous.

    All in all an amazing mornings dive, and while we didn't put some steel in fish, we certainly outdid ourselves on one of our best dives yet, not to mention the sensational BBQ that followed.

  2. #2

    Re: Good Crays: Easterns, Ornate & a slipper

    Sounds like a great time, mattooty!
    There's certainly been a few around this spring, great to see!
    Cheers.

  3. #3

    Re: Good Crays: Easterns, Ornate & a slipper

    mattooty,

    Are you in NSW? Were westerly winds blowing at the time?

    Reason I asked is I find westerly winds flatten the sea out and makes it a bit more comfortable to dive with an incoming tide. I've been out spearfishing and snorkelling so my fitness levels is shit compared to my youthful years.

    Nice catch of crays, would like to get a nice feed of 'em also.

    Bondy

  4. #4

    Re: Good Crays: Easterns, Ornate & a slipper

    Whats a slipper?

  5. #5

    Re: Good Crays: Easterns, Ornate & a slipper

    Quote Originally Posted by the lump View Post
    Whats a slipper?
    Slipper is a bit like a bug i.e. Balmain or Moreton Bay but slightly different, not the woolly kind. I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong

  6. #6

    Re: Good Crays: Easterns, Ornate & a slipper

    Scllarides_squammosus.jpgM0011383.jpgImagine a cross between a lobster and a bug. They grow up to around 2 kilo's I think but mostly found between half a kilo to a kilo.

  7. #7

    Re: Good Crays: Easterns, Ornate & a slipper

    But don't taste nearly as good as the crays IMOP
    Cheers Freeeedom

  8. #8

    Re: Good Crays: Easterns, Ornate & a slipper

    we get a few Slippers down my way now and then, and i reckon they are every bit as good as crays, and we get the Southern Rock Lobsters which leaves the northern painted crays for dead ( well so they say, I reckon they are all OK)

  9. #9

    Re: Good Crays: Easterns, Ornate & a slipper

    I don't like the northern painted crays or ornates nearly as much as the eastern rocks, which are only surpassed by the Southerns. All crustaceans get better the further south you go I find. I rate the slippers at about as nice as an ornate cray.

  10. #10

    Re: Good Crays: Easterns, Ornate & a slipper

    well there you go, maybe they get better with the cooler water or something, they are something like a cross between a good cray and a crab sort of I reckon.

  11. #11

    Re: Good Crays: Easterns, Ornate & a slipper

    Any cray is a good cray as long as it's fresh, caught by hand and not paid for.

    If a person is hungry enough then it will be eaten

  12. #12

    Re: Good Crays: Easterns, Ornate & a slipper

    Gotta disagree with you there Bondy, the different species of crays are as far apart on a quality scale as different species of fish. As I said before, I find the painted and ornates quite chewy and don't have that succulent top-notch taste that the easterns and southerns get. It was especially obvious when we ate the crays from this report in the one sitting, you can even see the different texture in the flesh.

  13. #13

    Re: Good Crays: Easterns, Ornate & a slipper

    Mattooty,

    I hear what you're saying and I've caught and tasted a few in my earlier years.

    Perhaps I should have rephrased my initial response by saying if it was a survival situation a person will eat any cray to survive, just like Bear Grills the ex SAS fella Man v the Wild. Although no crays were on the menu in his survival episodes

    Bondy

  14. #14

    Re: Good Crays: Easterns, Ornate & a slipper

    Quote Originally Posted by bondy99 View Post
    just like Bear Grills the ex SAS fella Man v the Wild. Although no crays were on the menu in his survival episodes

    Bondy

    Oh yes he did ...

  15. #15

    Re: Good Crays: Easterns, Ornate & a slipper

    boney leg, there you go, thanks mate that's one episode I have not seen.

    I stand corrected and I still stand by what I said, that is, if a person is hungry enough any lobster would be eaten.

    Bondy

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