Yabbies (also known as saltwater ghost shrimp or nippers) are one of the best baits you can use. While you can use them when dead, they are at their most effective when they're alive. This fact means, if you want to use them, you're going to want to catch them yourself.
What is a yabby pump?
A yabby pump is a pretty basic tool - a steel tube with a vacuum sealed pump. This allows you to stick the end of the pump into the sand and pull the handle, sucking water, sand and hopefully yabbies into the tube.
How do you use a yabby pump?
Yabbies dig burrows into the sand, tunneling underground and waiting for the tides to bring along with them fresh plankton. This burrowing behaviour means yabbies leave fairly clear signs of their presence - patches of holes in the sand. They can be found anywhere on the beach the tide reaches, but your best bet is to hunt somewhere between the high and low tide mark, where the sand is not too hard and not too soft.
You'll want to find a hole and stick the pump into it. Opinions on what technique is best vary, but one way of doing it is to empty the hole bit by bit. Start with inserting the pump about of third of the way down the shaft. Pull the handle and remove the pump from the sand. Re-insert the pump two-thirds of the way and repeat, and do the same with the full length of the pump after. This way you can save yourself some stress instead of trying to do the whole thing in one go.
When you empty the pump of sand and water, it's best to disperse it in a sweeping motion. This way the contents spreads thin, giving you the best chance of spotting any yabbies lurking within. They can be hard to spot with their semi-transparent bodies - you don't want to leave any behind!
Ideally you'll be able to go fishing on the same day you catch your yabbies. If that's not possible, you can put them in a bucket with some sand and water to keep. They'll only last a day or two in this state so don't forget them!
Whether you're a seasoned fisherman or someone looking to buy a fishing boat in the future, you'll definitely want to pick up a yabby pump. You can find this tool, along with endless other handy accessories, in our online store.