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Prawns at Blackwall Reach

Prawns at Blackwall Reach

Wednesday 27 May 2020

Darrel suiting up at Blackwall Reach

Wednesday night delivered some surprises this week, especially considering the awful weather just gone, firstly in the number of people taking up all parking at Bicton Baths reserve this evening, numbering over 8 other divers and a hoard of fishermen. Consequently after a respectful wait for any late comers, we upped camp and went to Kent Street down the other end of the parade.

The second surprise was the surprisingly calm conditions with near glass like water reflecting lights and the boats across the water and the clouds parting to a starry vista.

After kitting up and quizzing a solo diver just out, we headed into an unusually strong outgoing current but reasonable-ish viz for the river considering, at +3m. The current didn’t lessen with depth but as the Prawns were evidently keeping down deep tonight, I spent 80% of my prawning activities below 12m. Not surprisingly with a 10L tank I was pushing the red bar by one hour and surfaced with a respectable near kilo bag of some monster sized prawns, and a huge squid that seemed intent on giving itself up.

Aside from the impressive numbers of big Blue Swimming Crabs, the water was thick with Toadies in the shallows, Hardyheads zooming around overhead and the bottom interspersed with a liberal scattering of Prawn’s eyes poking out of the mud along with numerous Mantis Shrimp and a couple of juvenile Tongue-sole, one of which unfortunately ended up in my kitchen sink amongst the evening’s catch.

Water temperature ranged from 17.8oC surface to 16.0oC down deep, but everyone still went home with a smile of their face.

Martin Crossley – PADI Instructor / UW Digital Photographer Instructor

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