Our friends travel to Lake Maraboon each year around May to spend a week red claw fishing. The keen fishermen (usually the men) travel onto the lake in their chosen vessel late in the afternoon and place their pots, full of bait, in secret spots, usually close to an old dead tree. The bait can consist of oranges, sweet potato, pumpkin, avocado and whatever secret ingredient the individual fishers prefer.
The next morning the boat travels out to the pots, which have been marked by a buoy and an identity tag and licence. The nets are pulled into the boat and the redclaw are retrieved and either dropped into a bucket for keeping or thrown back into the water if undersized or a female with eggs.Their heads are removed together with the tails, body shell and the waste pipe down the spine of the cray.Eagles, whistling kites, hawks, cormorants and smaller birds, follow the boat hoping for a free feed.
After each pot has been emptied, the fruit and vegetable bait is replaced, usually tied down and the pot is placed back into the water.
The cray meat is taken back to the camp and depending on the culinary skills of the camp are cooked and eaten. The most common method of cooking is to drop them into a pot of boiling salted water. We had them fresh on bread rolls with tartare sauce. Our friend, Sue, prepared a redclaw curry, she also wrapped them in coconut crumb and deep fried the little balls of delight. Delicious.