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Lake Tinaroo, Camping and Catching Yabbies.

Last Updated 17/11/2022.

A weekend camping on Lake Tinaroo. A great chance to catch Lake Tinaroo redclaw yabbies and mess around on Tinaroo dam. There’s loads to do up on the Tablelands, from playpus spotting to chocolate tasting, but first catch your yabbie.

How to catch yabbies. Lake Tinaroo
Red Claw Yabby also known as dinner!

The Tablelands lie to the west of Cairns and Port Douglas in Far North Queensland. It’s somewhat cooler and there are many places to see, Lake Eacham, Atherton, Mareeba, Julatten, The Curtain Fig Tree, Gallo Dairies, coffee and chocolate facilities, wineries, distilleries, Herberton Historic Village, and more. You can also see Platypus on the tablelands, notably at Yungaburra and at Tarzali Lakes.

We just got back from an amazing 4 day homeschool camp up on Lake Tinaroo, up on the Atherton Tablelands in tropical Queensland, Australia. Lake Tinaroo is an easy drive from both Port Douglas and Cairns.

This big red claw yabby, and some of his friends, will be dinner tonight.

How To Catch Lake Tinaroo Redclaw Yabbies, For Beginners

First you need to go and buy yourself a yabby pot. We had no idea how to catch yabbies, we just bought a pot and had a go. This is ours, but there are other designs. Any hunting, camping, fishing type shop should stock them for around $10.

how to catch yabbies
A yabby pot and our first yabby catch ever.

You put some bait in the little bait bag inside the pot. After a few unsuccessful attempts, a local let us in on a little secret. Yabbis are vegetarian. So the sausage we were using as yabbi bait just wasn’t going to work. People use all sorts of veg as yabbi bait, part boiled potato, watermelon, just about anything really.

You tie a long rope to your pot with an old milk container as a marker float and drop your pot wherever you think is a good spot. Best to ask a local, but yabbies live in holes in muddy banks. Leave your pot overnight and go back in the morning. Voila! Yabbies.

The males are the Red Claws because they have a soft fleshy red bit down one side of their claws. Interesting but useless information.

Give it a go, they are delicious. I should get my chef husband to post a few recipes and instructions on how to dispatch the little blighters.

When you’re placing your yabbie pots just be careful, there is stinging plant up here if you stray off the paths. There are rumours of salt water crocodiles in Lake Tinaroo but no evidence that we know of.

While we were up on the  Atherton Tablelands we took the chance to check out some more of the local attractions, including viewing wild platypus and taking a gourmet tour of local dairies, wineries and coffee producers.

If you'd like to hire a car during your stay, use this car rental comparison tool to find the best deal!

David Hamburg

Wednesday 24th of August 2016

Camping and catching fish for your meal is always a spot on combination. Very useful information on the yabbies because I myself tend to assume that most valuable catches are carnivores. They're quite tricky to cook though. Looking forward to those recipes -- I could use them.

Melvin

Monday 14th of March 2016

Really helpful information. I think that you spend a lot of time to prepare for this. I found many useful tips and advice while reading this blog. I love fishing and almost every week I go for it. Your guides may help me catching more fish. Thanks for your great work!

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