Ultimate Guide to catching Marron: Tips, Tricks and Techniques

Marron are a prized catch for fishing enthusiasts throughout the south west area of Western Australia.

Marron being caught in Wellington Dam
chasing marron with a snare at night time

For more info on how and where to catch marron check out the guide below.

How to Catch Marron?

Marron can be caught using three predominate methods, which are using a drop net, scoop or snare. In rivers fisherman can use drop nets and scoops, whilst in trophy water dams you can only catch marron using a snare.

How to catch marron

Method 1: Drop nets

When using a drop net ensure that you have a net that is meant for marron. What I mean by this is a net which has holes and mesh large enough for the smaller undersize marron to escape out of the net (this is mentioned in the recreational marron fishing guide).

Marron net used to catch marron in Western Australia
Above is an example of a marron drop net (note the difference is mesh size compared to crab nets)

Similar to crab nets, marron drop nets can be purchased from most tackle stores, however these are usually only in stock leading up to the marron season (Starts in January).

What baits to use when fishing for marron with a net?

There are a number of ways to bait marron nets with a number of different baits used to catch Marron. One of the most common methods is to use a stocking or sock tied to the mesh floor with a handful of chook pellets.

As the mesh of the stocking is so fine there is enough of a scent escaping to attract the marron whilst at the same time the marron are unable to overfeed and move on.

Chook pellets used to attract marron
The chook pellets above is what I’ve used season after season with marron always keen on them (these are from PetBarn)

Although premium chook pellets are definitely a proven bait, other popular baits used to catch marron include;

  • Chicken necks or wings
  • Cow liver
  • Mince mushed up with chook pellets
  • Meat
  • Oily fish
  • Spleen
  • Kangaroo meat / tail
  • Dry dog or cat food

Where to place nets?

When fishing for marron you want to put the net close to the structure and deep enough so it’s not too shallow for the marron to get spoked.

Placement of marron net on preston river
A friend of mine placing a marron net in Preston River, Collie

Below are some good examples of where you could place your nets. Ideally, you want to look for the areas of the river with little current as this is where the marron will rest up.

If you plan to drop some nets in a new location at night it’s much easier to scout out the river banks during the day to find ideal locations.

How long to leave marron nets in the water?

Similar to crabs, marron need enough time to pick up the scent of your bait and then move in. It’s not often for marron to shy away from the net hence you need to allow enough time for them to first find the bait and then move into the centre of the net. Based on my experience I wait at least 25-30 minutes before pulling the net.

Catching Marron with drop nets
Catching some marron off the Preston River

Method 2: Snaring for marron

Considered the more challenging method, snaring marron is a rewarding way to catch a feed of marron. In waterways classed as trophy waters this is also the only way you can catch them.

My son with a Marron caught fishing at Wellington Dam, Western Australia

There are not many places that sell pre-made snares, hence a lot of people make marron snares out of a bushman’s pole using wood with string or other material that is self tighting (I.e. fine electrical wire)

How to catch a marron with a snare?

To snare marron you can follow the below steps:

  1. Before dark head out and sprinkle small clumps of chook pellets to attract the marron in from the depths;
  2. Once it’s dark and the marron are in, locate the marron that you want to catch;
  3. Using your hand make a big enough loop within the string of your snare for marron to back into;
  4. without spooking the marron reach over and place the snare behind it;
  5. then either bring the marron forwards and over the tail of the marron, or use your torch to spook the marron into walking backwards;
  6. once the tail of the marron is in the loop quickly lift the pole of the snare to tighten the string over the marrons tail;
  7. Bingo, you’ve caught your first marron! (remember to check its size and to make sure it’s not pregnant)

Check out the below video of some marron being caught with a snare in a southwest dam…

How to attract the marron in?

Although you may find the odd marron walking along the river banks or edges of the dam, the best way that I’ve found to attract marron in is to use chook pellets.

Like in the video above, just before the sun goes down I sprinkle small handfuls of chook pellets along the edge of the area I’m fishing roughly 3m apart.

Where can I buy a marron snare in Perth?

If you’re keen to try the snaring method of catching marron then Diamond Networks in O’Connor stock some great snares ( www.diamondnetworks.com.au).  They usually sell out quickly so try and contact them well before the season starts.

Method 3: Scooping

Similar to crabs another popular method of catching marron is using a wired scoop net. To catch a marron like this you will need to be in non-trophy waters.

Using a torch you simply locate the marron and scoop it out of the water. Note, when scooping, always scoop towards the shallow side of the river bank so in case you miss you’ll be able to have another go.

Helpful tips when fishing for marron

1. Keep torch use to a minimum

Similar to prawns and crayfish, Marron propel themselves back when they want to escape or feel threatened. Therefore, when using the torch to look for the marron refrain from shining the torch directly on the marron as it will quickly start moving away from you to escape the light.

It’s worth noting that this can also be used to your advantage in the sense that if you have the loop setup behind them you can shine the torch in front of them to spook them back into the snare;)

2. Consider a Shoulder bag or floating esky

Similar to catching blue swimmer crabs, you will need to consider how you’re going to store or carry your marron as you catch them.  If you’re walking along snaring or scooping then you may like to carry them in a shoulder bag or perhaps have a floating esky setup behind you. 

Whatever arrangement you have it’s best to keep your hands free so you can focus on using the scoop or snare.

3. Torches and headlights

You can never have enough torches and headlights when fishing for marron.  An awesome night snarring for marron can quickly come to an end if lights go out so always ensure you have some spare batteries. 

I’ve tried a number of torches over the years and have finally settled on using a Ryobi 18v portable torch.

This led torch provides ample light and will make a huge difference when looking for a marron.

If you do go with this torch then I’d also recommend taking a spare 12v battery for those all-nighters. You can also consider a 12v charger which is great for charging a battery from your car or solar setup.

Buy this torch from eBay today!

4. Shhhhh everyone, you’ll spook the marron!

Marron can quite easily spook especially when they come in close to the river bank.  Also, ensure you keep noise to a minimum to ensure they don’t spook back into the deeper water.

5. Marking your territory…

I don’t personally use markers when fishing for marron, though some fishermen like to mark out an area where they have baited for marron using sticks or flags. (see pics below)

Therefore, if you do come across these it can be considered common courtesy to respect the area they have marked and find another area to fish (assuming the size of the area is within reason and fair to others).

6. Clothing

Ensure you’re dressed for the occasion. If I’m walking along the edge of a river looking for marron then I usually wear clothing head to toe and sometimes put on a pair of waders. Such clothing will ensure you avoid getting scratched by bushes and branches whilst also avoiding bites or stings from insects (not to mention the odd tiger snake!).

Having waders will also allow you to enter the shallow waters without getting wet at night, though as always be aware of your surroundings and make sure the tops of your waders are not too close to the water line to avoid them filling with water.

7. Take some bushmans spray

Bushmans spray insect repellent

It’s amazing how many insects and mosquitoes etc come out at night, especially when you have the torch going, hence also best to cover yourself in some insect repellent before heading out (especially when marron fishing at night).

Where to catch Marron?

Marron are found amongst many waterways throughout the southwest of WA. As they are a freshwater crustacean they prefer cool areas with low salinity water. They also like to hide under vegetation and amongst fallen trees so this is always a good start.

Below are a few popular destinations where you can catch marron in the southwest.

When can you catch Marron?

Marron can only be caught during the open season which runs for approximately 4-5 weeks at the start of the year. This usually starts in January and finishes in February.

When is the best time to fish for Marron?

Although some people do manage to catch a feed of marron during the day, I’ve found the best time to fish for marron is at night. In particular, that hour or two after the sun has set and before the moon rises is ideal. The reason I say this is that the light from the moon (especially a full moon) can cause the marron to retreat or become more skittish making them harder to catch.

When is Marron Season in 2023?

The marron season for 2023 starts at 12 noon on January 8th and runs through to 5th February (inclusive). Refer to the fisheries website for more information.

How to cook Marron

There are a number of ways to cook marron, these include boiling, under the grill, frying on a hot plate, or popping them in the oven.

My favourite way and probably the quickest way is to boil them. First I heat up some water in a pot until it starts boiling.  Once it starts to boil I add some salt and throw the marron in to cook.

Similar to blue manna or crayfish I usually boil them anywhere from 4-6mins or until the shell turns a reddish colour.  Shortly after I take them out and cool them off in cold water.

Cooked marron

After they’ve cold down I remove the head from the body of the marron and cut the tail in half. Once you clean out the gut line and give them a wash they’re good to go.  In addition to eating the tail I also eat the big claws – they are delicious!

if you want to take things further have a look at the below video:)

How to Cook Marron (Video by Consuming Passions)

Do you need a license to catch Marron?

Yes, a license is required to catch Marron unless you are fishing on private land. For more info on the rules and regulations for catching marron visit the Fisheries website.

Marron Fishing Articles

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