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British Columbia's coastal waters are a haven for seafood enthusiasts, especially those with a penchant for prawning. The cold, nutrient-rich waters of BC provide an ideal habitat for various seafood species, with prawns being one of the most sought-after delicacies. If you're keen on diving into the world of prawning in BC, this guide is for you. Here's a look at the best techniques to ensure a successful prawning experience.

1. Choose the Right Location

BC's coast is vast, but not all areas are equal when it comes to prawning.

  • Deep Channels: Prawns prefer the cooler waters found in deep channels and fjords. Depths between 250 to 350 feet are often productive.
  • Rocky Bottoms: Areas with rocky or sandy bottoms with some structure are ideal, as prawns gravitate towards such habitats.

2. Use the Right Bait

  • What you use as bait can significantly influence your prawning success.
  • Pelleted Prawn Bait: Available at most fishing stores in BC, this bait is specifically designed for prawns.
  • Fresh Bait: Fresh fish parts, especially from oily fish like salmon or herring, can be highly effective.

3. Timing Matters

  • Slack Tide: Prawns are most active during slack tide, the brief period between high and low tides. Dropping your traps just before slack tide can yield good results.
  • Seasonality: While prawning can be done year-round in BC, the months between April and July are especially productive.

4. Set Up Your Trap Properly

Ensuring your prawn trap is set up correctly can make a significant difference.

  • Weighted Traps: Ensure your trap is heavy enough to sink to the desired depth quickly and remain there.
  • Multiple Entrances: Traps with multiple entrance tunnels increase the chances of prawns finding their way in.
  • Bait Cage: Secure your bait within a cage in the trap to ensure prawns stay in the trap longer.

5. Patience and Soak Time

Unlike crabbing, where traps can be checked more frequently, prawning requires a bit more patience.

  • Long Soak Times: Letting your trap soak for 2-4 hours (or even overnight) can lead to a more bountiful catch.

6. Safety First

BC's coastal waters can be unpredictable.

  • Weather Awareness: Always check the weather forecast before heading out. Fog, wind, and storms can pose significant risks.
  • GPS and Markers: Always mark your trap locations using a GPS device. Using buoy markers that are clearly visible will also help you locate your traps.

7. Follow Regulations

Prawning is regulated in BC to ensure sustainability.

  • Licenses: Ensure you have the appropriate license for recreational prawning.
  • Catch Limits and Size: Familiarize yourself with the daily catch limits and ensure you're only retaining legal-sized prawns.
  • Area Restrictions: Some areas might be closed for prawning, either permanently or seasonally. Always check current regulations before dropping your traps.


Prawning in BC is not just about the catch but the entire experience. The serene beauty of the coastal waters combined with the thrill of the catch makes it a memorable adventure. With these techniques in hand, you're well-equipped for a successful prawning expedition in the beautiful waters of British Columbia. Happy prawning!

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