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Killer Bream Bait... cooked prawn...and the white spot debate | Category: Fishing Talk

itsaboat 1 year ago

I thought I might share my favorite killer bream bait...

Sorry about the photo quality. I forgot to bring my camera and so have to rely on the phone.

I got some nice tiger prawns today. Of course I am going to eat them. But there is more to a prawn than just the tail. The head, although it can be eaten, makes excellent bait...I prefer cooked prawns for this but green prawns are just as good.

Start by removing the head...we all know how to do that...I hope

Then holding the legs use a finger (a good finger if you have one) gently lift the head shell off...It comes off very easy.

You now have a prawn head with legs and no shell. You can eat it...I do !! Lightly crumbed and deep fry till the legs start turning white, about 30 to 60 seconds. Crunchy and delicious with a chili dipping sauce. Besides, almost half the weight of a prawn is it's head and you just paid close to $30 a kilo for it and most of the head is meat.

Now gently pull the legs off the head. Again, the legs can be eaten as is or deep fried. Fried is more crunchy and better.

Now that the shell and legs are off, you can see just how much perfectly good prawn meat you were about to throw away !! Although it can be eaten as is, there are some guts so you might prefer a quick rinse...personal choice.

If you want a larger bait, you are right to go. But for picky little bream I cut the meaty part of the head off. Yes, the meat gets eaten. In fact I will be using the head meat from these prawns for dinner tonight. A prawn omelet with green beans, Turkish pide bread and a home made habenero dipping sauce (yes, I like it hot).

So trim the meat off the head and you are left with absolute killer bait for bream -

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
Mark Totzke 1 year ago

great advise.

Here in New Zealand those prawns are also prime bait for rig shark and elephant fish.
I used them recently to catch a really nice rig.
People also use them as bait for stocked salmon in the Twizel canals.

I'm sure they'll also work really good on snapper and most other species.
Once I'm back in snapper territory I was planning to rig them up on my soft bait jig heads instead of soft baits and see how that'll work. I'm guessing it'll catch me a good feed.

Sometimes you get them really cheap in supermarkets, when they're close to expiry. Then I buy them and use the whole prawn as bait. Otherwise using only the heads and eating the rest is a fantastic option.

a snapper a day keeps the doctor away
itsaboat 1 year ago

There was someone on the forum a few years ago (maybe a bit more than a few) that was using whole prawn on jig heads.

I remember now. A woman with a couple of boys. She was just starting to fish but her husband was not keen on fishing...or something like that. Anyway, she was told to use a sinker and she was a bit confused. She then posted some pics and it turned out she was using a jig head...Oh, I remember I said I was going to give it a try, but I never did...She was catching some really nice fish.

Don't worry about waiting for the specials...Do some number crunching, you will find that bait prawns cost 2 to 3 times the price of eating prawns !! And it is not just prawns. I paid $12.50 for 1 kilo of pilchard bait a few weeks ago (Lakes Entrance). Yesterday I saw in the local fish shop butterflied, ready to cook sardines (pilchard) $8.50 per kilo. Bait prawns are $8 to $14 for a 200 gram bag. Eating prawns, already cooked and seasoned and ready to eat are $20 to $30 per kilo (ie $4 to $6 per 200 grams)....AND you will get eating prawns even cheaper if they are not "size sorted". AND you will get green (as in not cooked) eating grade prawns even cheaper...AND eating prawns are fresher. If the prawns have been on the boat an extra day they are not fresh enough for humans to eat and so are declared "bait grade" and are then sold for 2 or 3 or even 4 times the price.

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
Madmax0304 1 year ago


It’s actually illegal to use prawns bought from the supermarket as they aren’t native prawns which if you use them as bait they spread the white spot disease throughout the waterways. That’s why bait prawns are so expensive as they are native prawns.

The Bream Just Keep Coming
itsaboat 1 year ago

In what Act does it state that ?

It is not illegal. There is no Law stating you cannot used cooked eating prawns for bait.

The price of bait prawns is not reflected in the fact that they are "native". The prawns I have pictured are Australian tiger prawns...Local, "native", Australian and cost $25.99 per kilo which is at least HALF the price of bait prawns.

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
Madmax0304 1 year ago

It is illegal to use prawns bought from the supermarket in Queensland, I am unsure about other states. This law came into action in 2016. The link to the website is here,

The Bream Just Keep Coming
itsaboat 1 year ago

I see

That is not a Law, it is not an Act...It is just a media release. I don't see anywhere in that media release that refers to using prawns for bait, but I did only have a quick read.

An Act (ie Law) looks like this -

It has Divisions, Parts, Sections etc, etc.

If it is illegal to use cooked eating prawns for bait, then it MUST be stated in an Act.

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
Midgies 11 months ago

Nice catch mate. Just starting out on bream. Great fun fish. I'm using the same set up by accident what hooks do you favour. I've been using long shank 1/0 down to 4 with mixed results.

itsaboat 11 months ago

I use a suicide hook most of the time. But if flatheaed are in the area I will use a long shank hook. Bream will still take a long shank, it is just better with a short shank like a suicide. But flathead are much easier to un-hook with a long shank. Flathead are often a bi-catch when chasing bream.

When I choose hook size I always use the tried and tested method of "that-il-do". If the hook looks about right for the bait, then "that will do". I gave up on worrying about hook size years ago. If it looks good it will catch a fish.

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
Midgies 11 months ago

Thanks. Just tide a suiside on. And that explains the flatheads. That'll do technique...

Jeff Billing 1 year ago

This message was in an article I read last year. I have seen similar reports on other fishing forums
Minister for Primary Industries, Niall Blair has warned people fishing, crabbing or trapping yabbies in any of the state's waterways not to use prawns intended for human consumption as bait because it could spread White Spot.
Not sure of current situation.

Mark Totzke 1 year ago

hmm, interesting I haven't heard about the white spot disease before.
But after some research it does seem to be an issue in Australia, particularly in Queensland.
Looks like there have been several outbreaks in prawn farms and people are not supposed to use prawns for human consumption as bait.

I couldn't find any reports or warnings of this disease being an issue in New Zealand or other countries.
Although it seems to originate from prawn farms in South East Asia.

It also looks like that cooking prawns for more then 4 minutes will deactivate this virus.
So cooked prawns could be safe to use?

a snapper a day keeps the doctor away
itsaboat 1 year ago

A political issue maybe ? The issue is so full of holes if it went within 100 miles of a bath tub it would sink.

I am not sure if this link will work -

BICON regulations for importing cooked prawn. If the prawn farmers really do have an issue why are they not taking the Minister to task. The simplest explanation always tends to be correct. Are the farmers ignoring the fact that the Government the Minister and BICON are not doing their job...OR,,,Is the fact really that the farmers cannot compete with cheaper imports and so have invented a white spot scare campaign ?

It does seem strange, doesn't it. Seems to only be an issue in Australia and then only for a small handful of prawn farmers in Queensland.

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
itsaboat 1 year ago

It turns out that the regulations do not allow the importing of whole raw prawn.

But this topic is about using cooked prawn for bait.

Yes, you are correct, the cooking process (if done according to the Regs) removes or destroys all biological risks.

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
Mark Totzke 1 year ago

so it looks like the safest bet for Australian fishos would be to either pay premium for prawns labeled as bait or
use only cooked prawns and make sure they are cooked for at least 4-5 minutes to destroy the virus.
I've read that cooked prawns are just effective as raw prawns. So it wouldn't really affect the fishing.

Good to know those things. I'm sure nobody wants to spread any diseases if it can be prevented easily.
Perhaps the disease is more likely to spread in warm waters. Hence Queensland is mainly affected with prawns imported from South East Asia.

a snapper a day keeps the doctor away
itsaboat 1 year ago

Putting the confusion and mis-information to bed...

There is no Law, Rule or Regulation preventing or restricting the use of cooked prawn for bait...anywhere in Australia !

Likewise, there is no legal restriction on using imported raw prawn either. However, it would not be a good idea.

The only restriction in place regarding white spot, is a Movement Restriction Area authorised by Law. A map of the Movement Restriction area is available on line as a PDF. -

There are no Rules, Regulations or Restrictions in place preventing the use of cooked or raw prawns as bait (whether imported or local) within the Movement Restriction Area...However, all bait (white spot risk bait) that is taken in to the MRA must remain in the area. That is, you CANNOT take the bait back home with you. Once the bait is in the area it must stay in the area.

Fines and other penalties apply if prawns, worms or yabbies are removed from the MRA.

There is no Rule, Regulation or Law preventing the use of eating grade prawns as bait...anywhere in Australia...and eating prawns are at least HALF the price of bait prawns !!

Points of reference...
Biosecurity Act 2015 Cth as amended 2017
Biosecurity Act 2014 (QLD) as amended 2017
Fisheries Act 1994 (QLD) as at current (2018 )
Fisheries Regulation 2008 (QLD) as at current (2018 )
Fisheries Management Act 1991 Cth

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
Madmax0304 1 year ago

So the solution to this argument is to buy a cast net and catch live prawns for free.

The Bream Just Keep Coming
itsaboat 1 year ago

An argument ? Fair enough, I do sometimes come across as appearing to be augmentative. I apologise

It is not an argument. It is an adult discussion. If what you are saying is correct and it is illegal to use "supermarket" purchased prawns as bait in Queensland. Then that would have quite an impact on all anglers nation wide.

I believe that i have read most if not all relevant Law, and I cannot find any Rule, Regulation nor Act that prohibits the use of "supermarket" purchased prawns (ie eating grade) as bait.

You have stated twice that it is illegal to use "supermarket" purchased prawns as bait. All I have done is ask what Law makes it illegal. Or is it just something you heard? A friend told you? Local tackle store owner told you?

Yes, a cast net...Now that is something that is definitely covered by Law. Fisheries Regulations of 2008 is a good starting point...But Dept summaries can give enough info. Just remember no prawns, worms (marine worms) or yabbies or any white spot risk animals can leave the Movement Restriction Area...You can catch it in the area, you can take it in to the area...but you cannot take it out !!

Yes, I understand there are some grey areas. The Regs say white spot risk animals can be taken out if cooked, for example.

Unless you can name an Act or Law that makes it illegal, I would suggest that the solution is to use cooked, supermarket prawns. They are a lot cheaper and they are cooked so there is no bio threat.

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
Mark Totzke 1 year ago

LOL - I got a more philosophical/linguistical comment here. Sorry for being out of context

But when I think of the term "argument", I think in the lines of the definition in wikipedia:

In logic and philosophy, an argument is a series of statements typically used to persuade someone of something or to present reasons for accepting a conclusion.[1][2] The general form of an argument in a natural language is that of premises (variously propositions, statements or sentences) in support of a claim: the conclusion (from wikipedia)

it would tick the boxes.

okay lets get back to the prawns...

a snapper a day keeps the doctor away
FRAZ 6 months ago

I like using the local fresh and cooked prawns which can be purchased from the co-op, Great Bait !!!

Mark Totzke 1 year ago

that's a great solution Madmax0304 On top of that you get some extra fishing time.

just gotta make sure to not take them to another spot for fishing, as seemingly this could spread the disease.
Assuming they have the disease that is. But looks like prawns with white spot disease are easily identified as they'll have those white spots on them.

I wonder how easy it is to catch your own prawns though. I assume it's not that easy

a snapper a day keeps the doctor away
Madmax0304 1 year ago

Sorry about my last message. I meant it as more of a debate or a discussion rather than an argument.

Also it is quite hard to catch prawns in a cast net it is really all about luck, however the upside of using a cast net is you can catch mullet, herring and a lot of different bait fish that work just as well if not better than prawns.

I fish at the South Bank area in the Brisbane river, so to get back to the original topic of this discussion is that I find bread and raw chicken breast works extremely well to catch bream. Downstream this far small hard body lures also work extremely well.

The Bream Just Keep Coming
itsaboat 1 year ago

As Mark has pointed out, the meaning of "argument" has dual meanings,

But he might just be throwing in a 'raw prawn' to liven things up...hahaha

I trust that you accept my apology for appearing to be argumentative. I can assure you that argument is not my intention, by any meaning.

I know it sounds confronting. But it's a simply a question, You say it is illegal and I ask under what Law is it illegal,

I like to think Fishing Reminder is very friendly as we have plenty of children readers,,,but robust.

I admit, this white spot issue is a vague memory. I sort of remember something about it from years and years ago. So now I am going off current data. I just can't find any info to support your claim that it is illegal.

You don't lose any face if a friend told you. Or if a local fisho told you,,,Did someone tell you it's illegal?

Yeah them little lures are great on bream. I have commented quite a few times on the Forum about lure fishing for bream.

I can not comment on the chicken breast but without being argumentative, I ask, is the chicken breast bait grade or eating grade??

Don't worry about going "off topic". Actually, next time I talk with Mark I will remind him of my suggestion of an "off topic" section. The ebb and flow of discussion is good.

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
Mark Totzke 1 year ago

no need to apologise. Once itsaboat get's into gear it's hard to slow him down again, LOL

Anyway good to stay on topic. I wonder if any of you guys have tried those gulp softbaits on bream.
I fish with them for snapper and they absolutely can't resist them. I swear by them, especially the green/orange lime tiger jerk shads. They might be a bit more expensive than prawns or other baits, but the good thing is you can re-use them and they don't go off.

And as far as I know snapper is part of the bream family so I'm guessing soft baits would work a treat on them when slowly bounced over the bottom.

a snapper a day keeps the doctor away
Madmax0304 1 year ago

In most parts of the Brisbane river it is a rocky bottom so soft plastics don’t work very well. However the canals on the Gold Coast are all sandy bottomed so I use Zman Soft plastics there. They are extremely good. I actually prefer Zman over Gulp as they are a lot stronger and work a lot better in Queensland (based on my experience).

The Bream Just Keep Coming
Mark Totzke 1 year ago

that's interesting. I tried Z-man's and know a few guys in the kayak fishing community who love them and prefer them over gulp.

For some reason I never had the same success rate with them as I had with gulp.
Do you have preferred size/colour for your Z-mans? I've tried a few different ones. But the brownish/speckled ones worked best for me. Nowhere near as good as the gulp lime tigers though.

a snapper a day keeps the doctor away
Madmax0304 1 year ago

I have got a few soft plastics that I find work really well for flathead. I am unsure of the colour but they are the brown speckled ones you were talking about and they are Zman grubs. There are also good soft plastics of any shape depending on what you are going for in the motor oil colour. Motor oil Zman soft plastics are definitely the best soft plastics around. However they are a bit expensive as they are $11 for 6-8 grubs.

The Bream Just Keep Coming
Mark Totzke 1 year ago

I'll give those motor oil z-mans a go next time I see them. Maybe I've just been using the wrong type so far.

But first I gotta try to put some prawns on a jig head and fish them on my soft bait gear
Also wanted to try the same with some salted squid.

a snapper a day keeps the doctor away
Madmax0304 1 year ago

Yeah I have never tried anything like that.

The Bream Just Keep Coming
Mark Totzke 1 year ago

hey itsaboat - what kinda rig do you use when you fish with those prawns?

a snapper a day keeps the doctor away
Madmax0304 1 year ago

I would probably use a running sinker down to a smallish swivel onto a size 4/0 or 5/0 suicide hook or a 5/0 circle hook.

The Bream Just Keep Coming
Mark Totzke 1 year ago

looks like he agrees with that

A running rig sounds good. That would have been my first choice as well.

a snapper a day keeps the doctor away
itsaboat 1 year ago

Just a standard bream rig. But if there are flathead in the area I will use a long shank hook.

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
Jeff Billing 1 year ago

Thanks for all the replies to this topic. This was my first post and I will certainly be hoping to submit more posts in the future

itsaboat 1 year ago

Hi Jeff,

A big welcome to Fishing Reminder

Your first post did mot go un-noticed.

I have a bandaged finger which makes typing sort of interesting....actually, if you could see half the typos this banage is causing you would wet yourself with laughter...Just to give an idea, Mark (prior to backspace) has been a bandaged jark,nark, hark,marj,kark...and that is just a feqw. Most of these bandaged caused typos would not get an R rating let alone a PG rating !! haha

Arr...It is OK. Just a scratch...and the pain killers work OK.

I was going to delete this topic. I only posted it on a pain killer induced whim. But it has caused an interesting discussion.

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
Jeff Billing 1 year ago

Thanks, know the problem, chopped top off 3 fingers on left hand, no more touch typing just hunt and peck. I am using Siri whenever possible, remarkabley accurate.

itsaboat 1 year ago

Oohh..3 fingers at once does not sound like fun.

That is an odd quote of Niall Blair. Maybe we should ask him to explain. His email is Just remember you should never address a Minister by their name. So you start with Dear Minister and always end with Yours Sincerely.

The facts...

According to the Australian Prawn Farmers Association 95% of prawn farms are in Queensland and 5% are in NSW...Blair is a NSW Minister.

All bait prawns are sold raw.

Pretty much all eating prawns are sold cooked. All raw eating prawns are checked and tested for white spot.

The only known white spot infected area is in QLD and that area is controlled by a Movement Restriction Area (MRA).

No prawns can come out of the MRA unless they are cooked.

Cooking kills the white spot virus and almost all eating prawns are cooked before being sold.

It is illegal to import whole raw prawn and all raw prawn that is legally imported is tested for white spot.

The chance of eating prawns spreading white spot is zero. Ever if a sick minded person wanted to deliberately spread the white spot virus they could not do it with eating prawns.

The only chance of spreading the white spot virus is with raw prawns such as bait grade or self caught prawns.

Bait prawns cost 2, 3 or even 4 times more than eating prawns.

End of facts and now for the assumptions...

The State Governments spend huge amounts of money on recreational fishing. That is a good thing. But of course, they expect to see a return on their investment. Victoria alone has just spent $40 million this year just on their 1 million fishers campaign. So, tax on $25 per kilo or tax on $50 per kilo ??

You cannot have it both ways, Blair. Eating prawns are either safe to remove from the MRA or they carry a risk of spreading white spot !! You cannot have it both ways, mate. What are you saying, Minister, is the 95% of prawns farmed in Qld a white spot risk? But they are safe to ship all over the country as long as they are only eaten ? Or is it the 5% from NSW that is the risk ?

I realise that getting a straight answer from a Minister is even more difficult than spreading white spot with a cooked prawn. So I keep it simple for you Blair...What information or data or facts do you rely on to support your claim that eating grade prawns can spread white spot ?

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
Mark Totzke 1 year ago

So you can't buy imported uncooked whole prawns in Australian supermarkets?
Didn't know that.

a snapper a day keeps the doctor away
itsaboat 1 year ago

Yes, that is correct.

I posted a link above in another post to the import regulations. The last section of shell and the tail fans can be left on. But head, legs and most of the shell must be removed.

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
Cucchiaio 1 year ago

I work for a mob heavily involved in the testing for White Spot and have been reading this thread with some horror. Yes, you can legally fish with uncooked prawns. Yes, they are available from overseas and that is almost definitely where this disease got out into the Australian environment at these farms in the Logan River. The ponds where it was discovered were the outer ponds of the farm (the ones closest water inlets off the river).

itsaboat 1 year ago

Hi Cucchiaio, Welcome to Fishing Reminder

So you work for a "mob" that is "heavily involved"...OK..So, this "mob" is not solely involved and you are an employee.

I would assume that if you are an employee of significance of this "mob" that is "heavily" involved you would be fairly observant...Did you miss the point that this Topic is about COOKED prawns ??

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
Cucchiaio 1 year ago

In Thailand and others places (India Vietnam China - who secretly import to Vietnam to be rebadged to keep their production quotas looking good because Vietnamese stocks have big die offs... due to all manner of diseases)) the disease mitigation measures in ponds are nowhere near as sophisticated as here. The way the big supermarkets get around biosecurity law on importation is through further restrictions on their sale. If they sell them undressed then they have to be cooked (little Johnny pressed for time out the back of Coles might leave them on for 3 not 4 minutes). Otherwise raw sold prawns are 'for human consumption only' and 'marinated'. The problem is that the marinating does not kill 100% of the virus. As Australia's shellfish population (farmed or otherwise) are naïve to the virus it doesn't take much. Prawns from virus endemic countries are theoretically checked for disease on the way in from overseas but biosecurity are known to be underfunded and understaffed. It's as simple as making sure a few of the boxes up front of the checked containers are clean whilst the others are from ponds full of disease and they get through. As they are much cheaper than bait prawns per kilo of course people are going to use them to go fishing.

itsaboat 1 year ago

Really ? India, Vietnam, China et al, "secretly" import prawns to Vietnam....Hang on...Vietnam (and India and China et al) "secretly" IMPORT to VIETNAM...Maybe I missed something here...VIETNAM is importing "SECRETLY" to VIETNAM ????

OK, so the big supermarkets are getting around the rules....Yeah, nothing new...Have you reported them ? You do not need funding and staffing to expose the truth!

I smell a "conspiracy"...I love a good conspiracy theory...But the plot !! Where is the conspiracy plot...Oh, I see now...Vietnam is IMPORTING prawns from VIETNAM in order to HIDE the VIETNAM prawn stocks have "big die offs".

If this is all done so "secretly" how do you know about it ?? I have a feeling that if India and China et al combined want to do something "secretly" YOU will NOT know about it !!!!!

Or are you seriously asking us to believe that a toilet cleaner (employee) at some un-named bait prawn "mob" knows international "secrets" that are devastating the Australian prawn industry ???

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
Cucchiaio 1 year ago

Farming in Thailand and others places (India Vietnam China (who secretly import to Vietnam to be rebadged keep their production quotas looking good because Vietnamese stocks have big for offs due to all manner of diseases)) the disease mitigation measures in ponds are nowhere near as sophisticated as here. Brood (breeding) stock in Aus are individually checked against a bank of diseases because it's so important. The stud prawns are caught wild in the Gulf or elsewhere and shipped here alive. After testing (including genetics) they can sell for $100+ EACH!

itsaboat 1 year ago

Yeah...yeah...We get the "secret" bit It is an international "secret" conspiracy....India, Vietnam, China et al "secretly" import into VIETNAM !! We get it, OK

You are now starting to read (sound) a little confused. I hope you are not using drugs or something.

$100 + each ??? $100 PLUS EACH ???....O thinks me is heading NORTH....

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
Cucchiaio 1 year ago

Regardless, either unwittingly or through arguably wilful ignorance (as evidenced above by the "it's not illegal and I don't give a sh*t" talk above) they will be used for recreational fishing. It might be morally corrupt, worth hundreds of millions to the Australian economy every year as one of our few export goods, and have huge environmental impact, but hey, I save $10 a month and it's not ILLEGAL. If it wasn't illegal to go 100km/h next to a primary school would you still do it? In the USA it's not illegal to keep a loaded handgun under your pillow but how many parents whose kids have accidentally killed themselves think it's a good idea. Sometimes the laws lag or are just plain wrong. Common sense should prevail in such instance. It's in all our interest (even directly in this case - what do you think bream and flathead live off??). If our native prawns (and and crabs that live off them) are decimated by foreign disease then there'll be fewer fish for all of us. Everything is connected. Ha! You thought catching a few with genuine sold/bought bait prawns was expensive, wait until you try catching one fish every five outings (like in overfished popular spots anywhere).

itsaboat 1 year ago

As a Forum Moderator, it would be amiss of me not to chip you here. I know it is a minor word to use and we hear it on TV etc, etc. But, really "it's not illegal and I don't give a ****" . Mate, it just shows lack of intellect and lack of maturity. I am happy to engage in any level of discussion and argument...But if you do not keep it at a civil level then I will not engage you

Your posts are quite confusing. It is a real effort for me to make sense of your comments...Maybe you could express your concerns to your boss at the "mob" and maybe the "mob" boss could engage me ??

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
Madmax0304 1 year ago

I lost you in the first sentence.

The Bream Just Keep Coming
itsaboat 1 year ago

How do you think I feel

Confusing at best....But I am sure he/she has a valid point to make. Just need to work out what the point is

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
Cucchiaio 1 year ago

Sorry for the repetition and grammar/spelling mistakes in my posts yesterday. I was out fishing believe it or not and writing on my phone. Never the best strategy. I'm also not a semi-professional sit at home argumentative type with nothing better to do with my time.

Anyway, I can assure you that the source of this information was not a "toilet cleaner" employee of a a local bait shop. I realise your comment was just designed as an inflammatory remark but do you really think a LBS is testing their prawns or gives a... rats? They sell raw bait prawns (caught in Australia for the very reason of limiting the spread of disease). I agree that someone at that level would have no idea. Incidentally, if white spot gets into our native stocks in the wild where they're caught, which it very well could, then interstate sale of all raw bait prawns would be curtailed I'm sure, at least from affected areas. Tweed bait is less than 50 km from the Logan River where disease has flared again recently. But this is very likely a case of the cat is out of the bag, so I guess that is a bit of a moot point. I wonder how expensive and fresh bait prawns caught in WA are and whether our bream like the exotic tastes?

Cucchiaio 1 year ago

As to the conspiracy theory stuff. I must have confused things with my comments about Viet secretly importing Chinese prawns and on-selling to bolster their production/'export' numbers lest people find out about the health of their farmed national stocks (hint: it's not great). Hopefully with correction things are now clear enough. You're absolutely right that it is a conspiracy as I cannot quote anyone on this, suffice to say that the person who was in the room when it was being discussed probably should not have been there, and definitely should not have shared that subsequently (admittedly in a qualified manner off the record). I was, and am still, in two minds about posting it here. If only I had a 'mob' to back me up and wasn't employed by a company that explicitly advises against this sort of thing. Enough said. I have no proof to point to so take it as you will.

Cucchiaio 1 year ago

If you think corruption isn't rife in some of these countries then you've got your head stuck in the sand. It's quite well documented by investigated journalists far more adept at exposing the truth and communicating that truth than you or I. It's a pity that it always comes down to the dollar value of things, both on the supermarket and the consumer side (including fishermen). There is a difference between knowing that it goes on and proving it, let alone stopping it.

Cucchiaio 1 year ago

Finally, in regards to your comment about supermarket bought prawns used as bait posing zero risk of spreading White Spot and other predominantly viral diseases - I could not disagree more. Stick to your day job (I wonder what that is? Trolling users like on this forum/the internet?) and I'll stick to mine.

I like dealing with facts too (it goes with my profession), so here's a few:

1) Predominantly raw vannamei prawns from SE asia can and do harbour and spread all manner of diseases. They represent the most popular imported prawns sold here, are cheap and are small and 'hook sized'.
2) It is questionable whether marinating alone is enough to kill these, hence current research
3) The fact that White Spot appeared first in the farms at Jacob's Well is not that surprising considering the bulk of Australian farmed prawns are from there, close to lots of recreational fishers in the Logan River
4) Prawns (and other crustaceans such as crabs) are teh scavengers of the seas, eating pretty much anything that they come across; this gives them their amazing flavour and texture, but also partly explains their fragility and susceptibility to disease, especially in large numbers in farmed conditions. In Australia we have significant control measures at farms for this very reason, and yet, once it is out and perpetuated in the environment, the life-cycle through other marine detritivores means it will be almost impossible to stamp out.
5) Just because a prawn isn't covered in white spots or doesn't have a yellow head or visible muscle wastage doesn't mean it's not carrying viable pathogenic virus.

But hey, don't take my word for this stuff. Research it yourself. Here's a good start:

You're right though, even if diseased, raw prawns cooked for 4 minutes in salty BOILING water are largely safe. Anything less and results are variable. That is exactly what scientists are testing. All too late for the Aus prawn industry and White Spot in SEQ probably, but hey, you need a crisis for the government to fund some of this stuff and realise how serious it is.

Your bait preparation procedure, with that cooking step, is probably fine. Until those tests have been done and I've seen the results though, and there are no more outbreaks of whatever, then I will reserve my judgement on the use of imported prawns (implicitly sold for human consumption) as bait. Hopefully all who read this take note.

Mark Totzke 1 year ago

come on guys, what's the matter here?
There's no need for personal attacks on your jobs or intellectual capabilities.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
Be nice to each other and stick to the facts and topic at hand.
I know it's highly controversial but you wont achieve anything by trying to degrade each other.

We're all in the same boat and I would like my site to remain friendly and open to everyone.

Perhaps make it clear in the original post that we're talking about cooked prawns here, as everyone seems to agree that this will get rid of the virus and hence they are safe to use as bait.

a snapper a day keeps the doctor away
itsaboat 1 year ago

Thanks for the reples Cucchiao,

News articles and media releases are not and can never be considered factual.

Here are some facts...

White spot is only known in Australia in one area. That area is controlled with a Movement Restriction Area (MRA).

According to the APFA prawn farming produces appox $88 million per year.

According to Australian Prawn Fisheries, the Australian prawn industry produces approx $272 million.

It is not clear if that $272 mil includes the $88 mil of farmed prawns or if it is only wild caught prawns.

About $94 million worth of Australian caught prawns are exported.

Even if every single angler in Australia refused to use bait prawns and ONLY used supermarket prawns as bait, it would be impossible to have an impact worth hundreds of millions !!

All bait prawns are sold raw...UNCOOKED !!

It is illegal to ship raw prawns out of the can take them in but you cannot take them out.

Morton Bay is smack in the middle of the MRA !!

80%...80 PERCENT of all RAW bait prawns come guessed it...Morton Bay !!

So, 80% of an entire sub-industry is restricted by the MRA !! Certainly millions affected but not 100's of millions.

So, 20% of that entire sub-industry has almost the entire country as it's market !!

You want to look at news, OK, take a look at the news about banks at the moment. You will see what people are like when it comes to money.

The facts speak volumes. Queenslanders have 80% of an entire sub-industry reasons, to argue that using eating grade prawns as bait is wrong.

Here is a simple solution...Cook the bait prawns !! Then instead of spreading false truths they could spread true truths about how good cooked prawns are for bait. Of course, cooked prawns CAN be shipped out of the MRA. For those anglers wanting to still use raw prawns can because 20% of the sub-industry is supplying them.

Back to the money...With or without it being combined $94 mil is exported. So somewhere around $200 mil is domestic use. Pick a number...Let's say 20% is imported, that would be about 40 mil...Do you really think that India and China are going to join forces to supply Vietnam just to get around our import regulations for the sake of 40 mil ?? Of course not. No country is going to risk international condemnation for the sake of 40 mil...they would not do it for the full amount of 200 mil.

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
Madmax0304 1 year ago


The Bream Just Keep Coming
Madmax0304 1 year ago

Btw how do I stop getting notifications from this thread?

The Bream Just Keep Coming
Mark Totzke 1 year ago

good question madmax
there should be an unsubscribe button, but for some reason it's not there anymore.
I'll look into it tomorrow.

a snapper a day keeps the doctor away
Madmax0304 1 year ago

I am actually quite proud that I started this huge debate about the white spot disease from watching one ad on YouTube for it.

The Bream Just Keep Coming
Mark Totzke 1 year ago

LOL - you should be - it turned out into a rather interesting and sometimes hair raising thread.

a snapper a day keeps the doctor away
Madmax0304 1 year ago

Btw I found this awesome lure for bream in the Brisbane river, I have could so many bream and cod on it. It is an Atomic hardz bream crank 38 double deep diving hard body lure.

The Bream Just Keep Coming
itsaboat 1 year ago

Posted by Mark Totzke

LOL - you should be - it turned out into a rather interesting and sometimes hair raising thread.

Yes, it is very interesting. A worthy subject of interest.

Don't worry...I have my hand on the "restrain" lever....haha

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
itsaboat 1 year ago

Posted by Madmax0304

I am actually quite proud that I started this huge debate about the white spot disease from watching one ad on YouTube for it.

Madmax0304 1 week ago
It is illegal to use prawns bought from the supermarket in Queensland, I am unsure about other states. This law came into action in 2016. The link to the website is here,

Youtube ??

What? Are you saying that you based your (wrongful) assumption that using cooked prawns (from a supermarket) is illegal, on a single ad that you saw on Youtube ?? Are you saying that you actually stated that this non-existent law came into force in 2016, based on ONE ad that you saw on Youtube ??

No wonder that you are looking for an "unsubscribe" button !!!!!!!!!

You are proud of it ? Nothing wrong with a bit of self pride !

A few more FACTS.

According to APFA (Australian Prawn Farmers Association), 95% of Australian prawn farms are in Queensland and 5% are in New South Wales.

The ONLY know infestation of white spot virus is in QLD.

Fact...No one knows where, how or when white spot was introduced to Australia...In FACT no one knows if it was introduced !!! It could in fact be quite natural for Australian waters !!

Fact...History has shown that farming causes disease and illness.

Fact...Some of the disease and illness caused by farming includes anthrax and foot and mouth, bird flu, horse flu...just to mention a flu -- sorry, a few

Fact...95% of prawn farms in Australia are in Queensland...Fact - Farming causes disease !!!...Fact 100% of white spot is KNOWN to have started in the QLD prawn farms !!! Fact grouping animals together (ie farming) causes the onset of disease...

Throw some FACTS and figures at me. Take the wind out of my sails ! Please throw real FACTS not Youtube ads...Oh and please, don't bother with the international conspiracy theory of India and China conspiring with Vietnam to undermine the Australian prawning industry...I have already heard that one

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
Madmax0304 1 year ago

I first learnt about it on YouTube, then I went on further to research about it.

The Bream Just Keep Coming
itsaboat 1 year ago

OK...So if you researched about it, then it should be easy for you to throw some facts and figures at me !!

I have done some research too...Only because this topic has become quite a topic. And I think it should be a topic for discussion.

What I have found so far, sort of puts a grey cloud over Qld.

I am not a brick wall. I am not a stubborn person. I started by asking what Law. OK, so it turns out there is no such Law. But that has in turn raised more questions...

Only because this Topic persisted, is why I researched more...and that further research has lead me to farming. Unless you, or anyone, can throw some facts and figures at me to the contrary, I have to conclude that farming has caused the problem....But, no one knows...Yeah it could be that India and China have conspired with Vietnam to undermine the Australian prawn industry...But simple tends to be correct. Farming is known to cause disease...Prawn farms - then white spot appears - bla bla - simple - But no one actually knows !!

An "unsubscribe" button is a good idea. I am sure Mark will look in to it. It would be good to see your further input. I would like to see you stick around but it is your choice

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
Jeff Billing 1 year ago

Can I remind everyone of who first raised the topic of the possible illegal use of using ‘prawns for human consumption’ as bait. My first post and probably the one which will result in most responses.

itsaboat 1 year ago

Hey Jeff,

Don't worry mate. You have not gone un-noticed.....We are all just going with the ebb and flow

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
Madmax0304 1 year ago


The Bream Just Keep Coming
Cucchiaio 1 year ago

I'm with you that intensive farming increases the chance of these diseases massively. That is the major shortfall of farmed aquaculture and particularly prawn aquaculture.

Did you watch that video in the last link I sent of the government review into this exact outbreak? There was a massive breach in quarantine with imported prawns before January 9 this year. Investigations have shown that 35-40% of imports shown to be negative for white spot were in fact false negatives and actually contained disease. Coupled with another 20 odd percent that showed positive in initial testing and it is quite clear that procedures did not cut the mustard. Those are the facts. There is contention about who is to blame (was it the test? was it the fact that Australian quarantine inspection agents were calling suppliers to pick out the random boxes from cold storage ahead of their visits? Tell me such a process isn't open to easy subversion through swapping with known virus free samples). Regardless, I actually age with you. Ockham's Razor: the simplest explanation is almost always correct.

If you accept that infected imported prawns could have slipped through quarantine and recreational fishermen near the affected farms may have used uncooked 'marinated' prawns for bait the it's not hard to imagine how this whole debacle most likely occurred.

As I acknowledged previously, there's a difference between knowing something is highly the truth and proving it. And yet that is actually what current ongoing research is trying to do. Believe it or not you can actually track where disease stains originate from through their DNA. Look up the current woes of the SA and Tasmanian abalone industry for another example.

In the end it doesn't really matter whether the bait (originally sold for human consumption) came from China India Vietnam or wherever. It's happened. Now it's limiting its spread that is important.

itsaboat 1 year ago

Yes, I was referring to Ockam's Razor...A scientific principle which states - all things being equal the simplest explanation tends to be correct.

Are all things equal?

I assume you refer to post #5974 above, in which I stated -

itsaboat 1 week ago
A political issue maybe ? The issue is so full of holes if it went within 100 miles of a bath tub it would sink.


It does seem strange, doesn't it. Seems to only be an issue in Australia and then only for a small handful of prawn farmers in Queensland.

Have you heard the saying "the squeaky wheel gets the grease" ? If you make enough noise you will get the attention...Guess have made enough noise !!

Put the FACTS aside for a moment and consider some questions...

Are all imported prawns exclusive to Queensland, in particular the MRA part of Queensland? Or, are imported prawns imported to all of Australia?

If prawns are imported to all of Australia, (which they are) then why does white spot virus from imported prawns ONLY affect the 95% of Australian prawn farms located in Queensland ??

Do you have any actual facts and figures, from official, authoritative, sourses to back up your claims that using cooked prawns for bait is illegal, morally corrupt, environmentally damaging or what ever claims you want to make ??

According to official information from the QLD Government, no one knowns HOW, WHEN or WHERE white spot virus was introduced in to fact no one knows if it was introduced as it might very well be a quite naturally occurring virus in Australian waters. How do YOU know it was introduced ?

Sorry, no, I have not seen the link you posted to a Government Review. I see you have posted some links to a few news reports, but I do not see your link to a Government Review.

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
Cucchiaio 1 year ago

I do find it slightly ironic that you as a skeptic point to some conspiratorial cabal of Queensland (wild-caught) bait prawn suppliers being in cahoots with government to screw the poor recreational fisherman (or woman) by putting out supposed propaganda about the risks of using supermarket prawns for anything but eating.

Madmax0304 1 year ago

I lost you, zero idea what you mean.

The Bream Just Keep Coming
itsaboat 1 year ago
#6087 is confusing at best

I think Cucchiaio is very passionate about the issue. He / she is maybe a little to passionate.

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
Cucchiaio 1 year ago

Sorry Max, I was replying on my phone again, hence the litany of mistakes. Not the best. I was also actually referring to itsaboat's conspiracy about the Queensland bait industry and the theory that they're putting out YouTube ads as a protectionist measure not for the sake of the Australian environment and a well-managed, healthy industry that has now been compromised through no fault of their own.

He purports that $40millions of dollars annually is no incentive for overseas suppliers to falsify test data and also that these foreign governments are not open to corruption and yet White Spot aside that's exactly what has been proven more than once over many years. I was never suggesting this was a deliberate attempt by foreign markets to undermine the disease-free Australian domestic suppliers. It's just a happy coincidence for them that this disease has escaped now and that they have largely escaped severe reprimand themselves.

If you want to talk about a better conspiracy theory then think about the prime real estate value of affected farms that are holding out on developers on the Logan River. It would take a kilo of easily domestically procured infected prawns (40%+ of Thailand imported prawns subsequently tested at the Australian Animal Health Laboratory in Geelong proved to have virus) dumped in those outer ponds and Bob's your uncle, farm stocks are decimated and the companies potentially go to the wall. Guess who's all to eager to buy the land upon liquidation?


All the frozen bait comes from a few smalll areas in Australia the majority of recreational fishos get their bait from a freezer at a servo. There have been outbreaks As far as WA via frozen bait procured and distributed from northern nsw and qld estuaries.
These estuaries were hit with an outbreak but wasn’t discovered before they had been distributed all over the country. Many had already been thrown into estuaries as bait. The qld gov is trying to prevent these cases as should all the other states. However the problem with it is that the prawns for humans come from all over the world. Unfortunately greed and profit margins corrupt many markets to label prawns origin as Australia when In fact they are from Vietnam for example. Also most people can not tell What kind of prawns they are buying when they are already cooked. The scary thing is that we could easily damage our local fishing spots by introducing foreign baits.

So being fisherman no matter what we think about laws and acts etc why not , in the name of fishing active source your own bait in the same area. You may spend a chunk of time procuring your bait only to. One up empty handed but that is fishing regardless

itsaboat 1 year ago

There have been outbreaks As far as WA

Do you have a point of reference to this? Google knows nothing about it...and let's face it Google knows everything.

The qld gov is trying to prevent these cases

Of course! All the factual information suggests only one thing...and that is that white spot in Australia is caused as a direct result of prawn farming. The QLD Gov have indirectly caused the white spot outbreak by allowing intensive prawn farming and in turn could be held responsible and legally liable if it were to spread to other states.

Unfortunately greed and profit margins corrupt many markets to label prawns origin as Australia when In fact they are from Vietnam for example

Australia has some of (if not the most) strictest labeling laws in the world. Australia also has some of the strictest quarantine and import laws in the world. Have you notified the authorities ? Do you have a point of reference to support your claim that white spot infected prawns are being deliberately imported from Vietnam and through greed and corruption being deliberately labeled as Australian ??

So far the only evidence provided in support of this claim, is hear say of a rumor told in "secret" at a "secret" meeting. The person making that claim even went as far as to say he could not disclose details because he was told in "secret" !! But he went on to demand that we all comply with his demands. So we all have to support the QLD prawn farmers because of a bunch of criminals that have asked you to keep their activities "secret" ??

How do you know that imported prawns from Vietnam are being illegally labeled as Australian ? Have you notified the authorities ?

Do you have a point of reference showing that using cooked prawns as bait is dangerous to the environment?

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
Madmax0304 1 year ago

Well said mate.

The Bream Just Keep Coming
TandegerineDreamMachine 11 months ago

TandegerineDreamMachine 11 months ago


TandegerineDreamMachine 11 months ago

Cooked prawns....

itsaboat 11 months ago

That bottom photo looks just like my ex wife

Did you catch all of them on cooked prawns? Good going

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
Mark Totzke 11 months ago

Haha, that's so funny. Sounds like you didn't have much luck with woman in your life.

a snapper a day keeps the doctor away
itsaboat 11 months ago

Hang on...The Australian prawn farmers and fishers want to complain about imported prawns. To the point of making things up like Laws that do not exist and "secret" conversations that "never happened"...

The label says it all...What a bunch of hypocritical morons !!!

What is the truth ?

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
Timthebream 11 months ago

Hello, big fan of cooked prawn on a jig head for bait for bream!

Works extremely well . Hadn't tried the prawn head trick but certainly will now.

With regards to white spot the government was repeatedly warned by experts that allowing prawns from Vietnam to be imported would rise the risk of a put break of the disease.

The minister responsible didn't listen. seemed Barnaby Joyce had other things on his mind .

I practice fillet and release
itsaboat 11 months ago

Hi Timthebream,

Welcome to Fishing Reminder

I have been meaning to try a cooked prawn on a jig head.

I have no time for pollies. They are all dishonest and corrupt. But credit when it is due...

What can any Minister do? For a Minister to take an issue to parliament, they need facts and figures.

At the end of the day, there is only one KNOWN FACT regarding white spot in Australia...That is, farming causes disease and the only known out break of white spot is in the Queensland prawn farms ! Everything else is an assumption.

It is not even known if white spot was introduced...No one knows...It is not known if white spot naturally occurs in Australian waters...It is just not known, no one knows.

If any Minister was to take action, the only option on the table would be to shut down the prawn farms. Because it is the only known fact.

As for imported prawns, the above photo is only one example. I have not found any pre-packed Australian raw prawns that are not peeled and packed in Thailand. So they are imported...they have been exposed to a known white spot country and then sent back to Australia...imported ! So if any Minister was to take head of the lobby groups demanding action, the only option would be to shut down pretty much the entire Australian prawn industry.

Joyce has probably done the prawn farmers and catchers a favor by ignoring their "expert" demands...Remember the old adage Be careful what you ask for because you just might get it !!

Oh, and of course, there is nothing wrong about what they are doing. It is not illegal. They catch Australian prawns then pay Thailand wages for packing. Then sell at Australian retail wage prices...Quite legal, just very hypocritical of the prawn industry lobby groups.

Anyway, that is my rant for today

Give the cooked heads a try, you might be surprised with the results. Let us know how you go

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
JewCraze 10 months ago

I absolutely loved reading this thread. Thanks for the cooked prawn heads bait tip itsaboat! Awesome!

JewCraze 10 months ago

I took my 2 boys to Narrabeen beach today at the major time (18:05 to 20:05) but caught nothing. Not even a bite. I'm theorizing that my sinker is not heavy enough to help me cast the bait our far enough, or the surf is rougher than ideal.

Anyway, before I walked across the sand dune from the carpark to the beach a guy was leaving and offered me his prawns. I took them but didn't use them because I already bought a pack of pilchards and was hoping to catch Tailors (not even sure if Tailors are still around, but hoped for them nonetheless). After battling the current for about 2 hours with casts and re-cast and the two lines from my two rods got all tangled up we packed up and went home.

But I still have those prawns with me, so I cooked them and will freeze them for my next trip. Will try your cooked prawn heads trick @itsaboat!

itsaboat 10 months ago

Sounds like a plan. Cooked prawns work good on beaches.

Some times even just a few meters can put you on or off the fish. Did you try moving up and down the beach? Even just 5 or 10 meters can make a difference. When I beach fish I don't make a hike of it. I pick a stretch that looks good of about 50 to 100 meters. I then work just that stretch. If nothing happens, all it means is the fish were on a different part of the beach on that day.

A heavier sinker might not be the answer. Using a heavier sinker might not work (and probably will not work). The kinetic energy needed to cast a heavy sinker compared to a light sinker, is quite significant. There is a balance in the force ...too light and your cast will be short...too heavy and, you guessed it, your cast will be short...But get the right balance and your cast will be long and smooth. Then once you master the balance of a long cast, you should master the idea that 90% of people cast over the top of the fish they are trying to catch

Let us know how you go with the cooked prawns on the beach.

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
JewCraze 10 months ago

Hmm ... thanks for your words of wisdom. It could also have been that my bait + sinker was too heavy and thus the short cast! Other fishermen were there fishing too and no ones seems to be getting bites. If I had moved up and down the beach my lines could have been tangled with theirs too.

Anyway I'm still learning how to identify gutters from the waves. Watched lots of videos already but still don't seem to know when I'm standing in front of the waves. Swell was forecasted at 1.6m. The current was strong, probably a little too strong for fishing, I don't know.

I didn't know cooked prawns works well for beach fishing too, and was planning on going back to wharf / jetty fishing with those cooked prawns I might try the wharf first and then try the beach again another day. Will let you know how I go, hopefully with photos of lots of breams

JewCraze 6 months ago

Hi itsaboat!

OK, so I've tried salted prawns' heads for bream but it didn't work for me (no bites), but knowing that it works well for you I'm wondering how I'm doing it wrong. So here I've uploaded a photo of what I've got. I bought some prawns yesterday for a dish and saved the heads for this. Just cooked them and salted them tonight. Cooked and salted just like last time.

Having had a second look at your prawns and their heads I'm theorizing maybe I've over cooked mine.

Question: Did you cook the prawns yourself, and if so for how many minutes and what heat level (high, medium, low)? Or did you buy the prawns already cooked? Mine just didn't work last time. I'm not giving up so I'm trying again, but then as I was salting them I though maybe I should upload a picture and ask you if they look OK.

itsaboat 6 months ago

I am not sure why it is not working for you. All I can think of is there are no fish in the spot you are fishing.

I only use pre-cooked prawn for bait. But cooking green prawn should work the same. Yours look OK to me. I see you have removed the feelers (antennae) which might make a difference. I always leave the feelers on for the "real look".

When they cook prawns for market it is usually done on the boat, They measure exact cooking time and temperature to get the best colour and flavor. They want to sell the prawns and if the flavor or colour are even slightly off they wont sell.

Fish are very sensitive. Maybe if the heads are over cooked it might put the fish off. But yours look OK.

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
JewCraze 6 months ago

Thanks for your reply. That gives me some pointers.

I know the spot has breams because I've caught them on bread, pilchards, and beef. Just no luck with my prawns' heads.

The fact that the prawns are cooked on the boat probably means they're extremely fresh (or even still swimming and kicking) when cooked, which might preserve the freshness required. My prawns are thawed prawns so that might be a significant factor also, apart from perhaps over cooking it.

Next time I'll buy some cooked prawns and keep the feelers and have another go.