Abalone: Info, Tips and trick for catching Abalone in WA

Are you keen to catch a feed of Abalone within Western Australia? Well here’s a useful guide to help you succeed.

Freshly caught abalone from Perth Western Australia
A fresh abalone that I caught from the reefs near Mindarie, Western Australia

Types of Abalone

There are actually 11 different species of Abalone in WA, however, there are only three main species that get large enough for fisherman to target. These three species of abalone are:

  1. Brownlip abalone
  2. Greenlip abalone
  3. Roe’s abalone

How to tell the difference?

The three main types of Abalone have some differences to them. The Greenlip and Brownlip are quite similar in size though different in colour, with the Roe abalone being the smallest. Have a read of the below info to familiarise yourself with their differences.

Brownlip Abalone

Brownlip abalone are the largest of the three with their shells measuring up to 24cm in size. As per the name, Brownlip abalone have a brownish coloured ‘lip’ around the edge of their muscular foot. The Brownlip shell is also a red-brown colour and is somewhat more ridged compared to the greenlip.

Greenlip Abalone

Measuring slightly smaller (up to 22cm in size) the Greenlip abalone can be identified by it smoother, somewhat off-white shell.

Roe Abalone

A catch of Roe Abalone in Perth

Roe abalone are much smaller in size compared to the Green and Brown lip abalone with their shells only measuring up to 12.5cm in length.

Catching Roe abalone in the southwest of WA near Canal Rocks

How to catch Abalone?

Fishing for Abalone near Mindarie Marina WA

The main method, well I guess the only method of catching Abalone is to pry them off the rocks with flat-tipped knife.

However, depending on where you are fishing and the tide conditions fisherman may choose to walk the reefs to catch them or swim over the reefs with a snorkel and mask.

In addition, the more advanced commercial divers with also dive for them using scuba equipment.

Tips for catching Abalone:

Here are some great tips to consider when fishing for abalone:

Wear Feet Protection

A lot of the reefs in WA waters are full of sharp rocks and shells that can cut your feet to pieces so always look at wearing appropriate foot ware such as purpose-built reef shoes or old trainers.

Wear Gloves

It’s always a good idea to glove up when Abalone fishing. Wearing gloves will ensure your hands don’t get grazed or cut up when dealing with the Abalone and the reef/rocky surrounds.

Get the right tool for the job

Ideal dive knife for removing abalone off rocks

Some Abalone fishermen use standard knives or even screwdrivers to remove Abalone from the rocks, however, this can damage the Abalone’s flesh. If you’re serious about Abalone fishing then pick up a purpose-built Abalone knife that comes with a flat edge design for removing Abalone from the rocks. Such Abalone knives can be found at most dive or tackle stores.

Always take a snorkel and mask

snorkel and mask for abalone diving

If the weather conditions aren’t ideal Abalone can be hard to see under the surface. Therefore, also take a snorkel and mask with you so you can see where they are.

Take a mesh bag

Once you catch some abalone you’ll need to store them somewhere. The best method of storing them is in a mesh bag as the mesh is lightweight and lets the water through minimising floating whilst keeping your catch nice and fresh.

A meshed bag suited for storing abalone
This is the type of bag I carry with me. It’s relatively small though as I usually target Roe abalone it does the trick

Where can you catch Abalone in Western Australia?

There are only specific days and times of the year when you can fish for Abalone. There are also designated or zones as fisheries call it where you’re allowed to fish for Abalone.

Perth and Surrounds

Below are some popular spots for catching Abalone in and around Perth.

  • Point Peron
  • Mettams Pool
  • Hamersley Pool
  • Ocean Reef
  • Burns Beach
  • Quinns/Mindarie (Reef area north of Mindarie Marina)
  • Yanchep Lagoon / Beach

Look Out For Cars!

Peak time fishing for Abalone

One key giveaway when it comes to knowing if you’re where the abalone is the crazy amounts of vehicles parked up at a particular spot. Therefore, if you’re unsure, head down to an area mentioned above around say 6.30am and drive along the coast. As soon as you come across cars everywhere, you know you’ve found the spot;)

When is the Abalone season?

Abalone season sign perth western australia

The abalone season in the west coast zone occurs on four mornings (usually saturdays) between December through to February. Note, however, you can only fish for 1hr from 7-8 am.

Abalone season 2022-23 – West Coast Zone (Perh)

  • Saturday 10 December 2022
  • Saturday 14 January 2023
  • Saturday 4 February 2023
  • Saturday 18 February 2023

Tips for cooking Abalone

If Abalone isn’t prepared well it can have quite a chewy texture. Therefore, I’ve found the best way to prepare Abalone for cooking is to first tenderise the meat and then proceed to finely slice it. When it comes to cooking Abalone, once it’s prepared right I then like to fry it quickly to ensure it’s not overcooked and rubbery.

useful resources

Below are some useful links in relation to Abalone fishing in Western Australia:

Videos

Fishing for Abalone along the coast of Perth
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