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Catching Octipusses


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G'day all, its been a while since my last post but am always reading & learning from all the gurus on this site.

My question is: Once you catch an occy & get him to the side of boat how do you land it? where do you pick it up? I am guessing around the head(staying well clear of the beak underneath), then whilst it is obviously then wrapping its tentacles around you what then?

A friend of mine says that overseas he saw some locals catch a monster of an occy & quickly rip the top of its head off & pull out whatever 's in there & it stopped immediately. Is this the normal method?

I caught 1 on sunday in the hawkesbury a decent size approx 550mm across the tentacles, got him to the side of the boat & no-one knew how to pick him up.

I imagine then you only eat the tentacles ?

What about the hood of the head?

Many thanks for any replies

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You can eat the whole lot. Best way to get it into the boat is with a NET.

I used to catch and keep them all the time but since i had no idea on prepping them properly the tough meat started to make me sick of it. After seeing a documentary on how intelligent and personal each individual occy can be sort of made me look at them in a different way so i let them go these days.

Ive met quite a few older greek men who love octapus and specifically target them.

Ive watched them immediatley cut out the ink sack for later use while cooking. Its a real delicacy.


Thanks for the reply Musty, & you may be right about thier intelligence, but even if you use the net, how do you stop them moving all over the boat?

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Landing them:

You can just net them or swing them in if they are hooked well enough and your line is strong enough. I recommend into a bucket or esky but they should behave ink wise.

A knife through the head between the eyes is the quickest but as mentioned above be aware of what's underneath. If you do want to wrestle them this is how i do it.

Grab the occy between the tentacles and the head with one hand and hold on tight. The real men then bite the occy between the eyes to kill them but i haven't graduated to this yet. If you slip your fingers up in the back of his head (this hole is above the tentacles and not near the beak) you can turn his head inside out and pull all the bits out. If you are successful it will slow him down a bit but he will still appear alive and groggy for a while, if not he will be a bit crankier than before but just keep going until you get it. If you have trouble doing this and are only going to eat/use the tentacles anyway you can just cut the head off above the tentacles.

The octopus will regrip on you if you aren't quick enough and usually does it one tentacle at a time so if you're scared of getting bitten just stay on top of the situation by repositioning the tentacles so the beak is pointing away from your hand as they regrab you.

If someone does get there hands wrapped up by an occy just think for a moment before you panic and put a knife through the middle of everything, hands and all, and someone gets hurt (I've only mentioned this because someone almost did it to me one day when i got wrapped up).

I couldn't find anything on the fisheries website regarding the humane slaughter of an octopus but if anyone has any info on this or disagree with anything i've said can you please post it up.

Edited by Captain Spanner
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