Crayfish, also known as crawdads or crawfish are found in water bodies all over the world. Catching these crustaceans can be a fun activity for families and individuals. If you want to know how to catch crawfish in different types of places, You are in the right place.
You can use traps, fishing poles, and even your hands to catch them in rivers, lakes, ponds, creeks, and from holes.
Crawfish are very sweet and can make a tasty meal. You can also take them home as pets. Just ensure that you catch crayfish where it’s legal.
Where To Find Crawfish?
Crayfish can be found in streams, ponds, or lakes that have sufficient places for cover and enough food supply. You can easily get them under rocks and around water plants. Crawfish are generally scavengers and can, therefore, be found at the bottom of the lake or river.
How To Catch Crawfish In Different Methods
There are three ways of catching crawfish. They include:
1. Closed and Open Traps
People who want to catch crayfish for meals should use this method. This is because traps can help you catch large quantities of crayfish with little effort. Those who want to feed their families and friends with crawfish should use this method.
There are two types of traps: closed and open traps. Closed traps have a funnel on one end that allows crayfish to enter into the trap. Open traps are just collapsible nets open on one end. Crayfish can’t escape once they enter these traps.
Don’t use square-shaped traps since they can be broken or trapped by rocks at the bottom of the water. Conical or cylindrical-shaped traps are the best. Ensure that your trap’s length, width, and height doesn’t exceed three feet.
You must bait your traps before lowering them into the water. Use bait jars and bait boxes if your trap doesn’t have a hook to hold the bait.
Leave closed traps for the entire night and open traps for a few hours at a time. Just ensure that you have enough bait. Under the right conditions, your trap will be filled with crayfish when you pull it.
2. String and Bait Catching
This method is simple and fun and can, therefore, be a good family activity. You only need a fishing rod or pole, fishing string, and bait.
Use a hook or safety pin to attach the bait to the string. This will prevent the crayfish from escaping and also ensure that water doesn’t wash the bait from the line. Use artificial lures such as grubs.
Place your bait into the water and jiggle it until you feel a tug on the string. Gently pull the bait to the shore and pull it out of the water. You can also use a fish net to scoop the crayfish as soon as you feel the tug. This is the best way of preventing the crawfish from releasing the bait and escaping.
3. Grabbing Crawfish by Hand
Another option for catching crayfish is by grabbing them with your hand. This method works well since these crustaceans are always found in shallow and rock-filled pools. You must be careful when grabbing crayfish since they have sharp claws that can cause harm.
- You need to find a lake, creek, or pond that has a high crayfish population for you to catch them by hand. Check under plants and rocks in the shallow waters. You will likely find them hiding underwater plants and rocks.
- Identify rocks that are likely to be hiding crayfish and lift them. Ensure that you raise the rock slowly and carefully. Doing it quickly can alert the crayfish or stir up mud that will obstruct vision.
- You will be able to see a crayfish sitting underwater if you lift the rock correctly. You can then pick up the crawfish with your hands. Grab it with both hands if it’s too small. Ensure that you hold it behind the pinchers.
- You can also use a bucket and stick to scoop the crawfish. Carefully put the bucket a few inches behind the crawfish. Tap the crayfish lightly or wave the stick in front of it. Since crayfish swim backward, it will swim straight into the bucket. Quickly remove the bucket out of the water.
- You must be very careful when grabbing crawfish by hand. Their pinch can be nasty.
Catching Crawfish in Lakes, Ponds, and Rivers
Crawfish can be found on the shores of lakes and rivers. You can catch crawfish using strings and baits, traps, and even bare hands. It depends on your purpose of catching them.
Use traps if you intend to cook them. Use strings and baits if you want to catch them for fun since it’s an exciting activity. People who want to keep them as pets should pick crawfish by hand. It will protect them from injuries.
Sometimes, crawfish can be found in deep waters. It requires one to dive into the lakes for you to catch them. Only skilled scuba divers should try this. Ensure that you wear the right gear before you dive into the lake.
Digging up Crawfish From Holes
Digging crayfish from holes is much different from catching them in rivers and lakes. Crawfish usually make underground tunnels (burrows) depending on water availability and the season. Look for mud mounds near the banks of rivers, creeks, or lakes to find these burrows.
You can find the entrance of the burrow by removing the bumpy mud mound. Put your hand into the hole and start digging and expanding the hole. The tunnel will open into a cavity or take a turn after digging for some time. This is where you will find your crawfish.
Grab any solid thing that grabs onto your fingers and pulls it out. Get a better grip on your crawfish by holding behind the claws. You need courage and motivation for you to extend your hand into a hole containing the unknown.
Ensure that you put on protective gloves to protect you from a crayfish pinch. Also, a protective glove will protect your hand from being bitten by other animals that eat crayfish.
Factors To Consider When Catching Crawfish
Here are important things to put into consideration when catching a crawfish.
Acquire a fishing license
A license is an important document that allows you to do your activities without having issues with the relevant authority. Once you get it, you will be able to catch as many fish as you can throughout the year.
Family fishing licenses, for instance, allows any member of your family to engage in catching crawfish. Note that, when catching crawfish using crawfish traps, you need to ensure that your fishing license number is either attached or engraved on to the trap together with your address and your name.
Go for crawfishing during warmer months of the year
Note that, crawfish usually are active between April and October. Therefore it is advisable for you to go crawfishing during this period. Nonetheless, you can still go to crawfish during the cold, but unfortunately, you won’t catch as many like warmer months.
Always look for crawfish in freshwater rivers, ponds, creeks, and lakes
Crawfish are aquatic creatures mainly found in freshwater bodies such as lakes, creeks, and ponds all over the world. They also make shelters in canals, springs, bedrock pools, and reservoirs.
Most crawfish usually prefer slow-moving water with enough vegetation and rocks to offer cover. You can easily get them either in a deep hole or close to the bank of a pond, lake, or river.
Nighttime is the most preferred period to go for crawfishing
Crawfish are usually active at night normally during summer months or in warmer waters. They are nocturnal. It is always advisable to go for crawfishing at dusk (night), or you can leave your fishing traps overnight and pick them in the morning for maximum reap. You can use them as live baits for catching trouts or catfish.
Always ensure that the string you are using in your fish traps are long enough to allow the cork to float above the water, banking for the current pull. This will help you to get your fish traps easily during the daytime.
Nighttime is always the appropriate time for most people as it enables them to catch more crawfish. However, crawfishing can also take place during the daytime using bait.
Employ the appropriate bait
Before going for crawfishing, it is always crucial to consider the best and ideal bait for this exercise to allow you to accomplish your crawfishing goals appropriately. For example fish such as salmon, walleye, herring, perch, trout, and carp typically work perfectly as crawfish bait. Things such as sardines, clams, squid, eel, and sole don’t work well as crawfish bait.
Other alternatives like raw meat like pork or chicken or any fatty usually work well for crawfish. They are also attracted by fish-based cat food and fish-based hot dog food. Always ensure that your bait meat is ever fresh to attract crawfish easily.
Properly secure your bait
This is an important factor to consider especially when you are using your traps for crawfishing. The bait is usually hung from the hook at the trap center.
The trap should not also be left in water for a very long time. This is because the crawfish will consume all the bait, lose interest, and later on escape from the trap. I use quality crawfish traps made by Frabill.
Many crawfish specialists recommend the usage of bait boxes during crawfishing. This is because the bait enables the crawfish to consume and allows the bait smell to disperse via the water hence attracting more crawfish to the trap.
Here, the bait is less accessible, and therefore it won’t be fed quickly, and therefore the crawfish will remain in your trap for more time.
You can also employ bait jars as they allow bait smell to disperse via the water and also don’t help the crawfish to consume the bait on the jars.
Here, the bait lasts for a more extended period. Unfortunately, the crawfish might not stay in the bait trap for long once they notice that they can’t feed.
It is also important to note that:
- Always pay attention to the licensing rules and requirements of crawfishing. Understand each detail before making your way to this important activity. This is because the fine and penalty of not following these instructions might cost you heavily.
- Focus on using a wide range of bait. This is inclusive of oily, flesh and soft bait will allow you to get the required results. They also keep the crawfish intact for a longer time hence enabling you to collect them even after three days.
- Wood pots will always begin to fish effectively once they have been soaked for about two days.
- Always have fun, stay safe, and ensure you value your activity, so that you get your crawfishing goals accomplished.
Let’s Watch A Video On How To Get Crayfish
Different areas have different laws governing crawfishing and how they should be transported from where they have been caught. Normally fresh water fishing licensing always prevails but the truth of the matter is in many regions crawfish are considered as unique species, and they are handled with special care. Many regions need crawfish to be transported when they are dead to safeguard them from causing havoc to the environment they were taken to.
Note that, fresh bait conveniently securely attached to your crawfish trap and this allows you to get large quantities of fish. Crawfishing at night is also fun and entertaining. To keep crawfish and other live baits an adequate Livewell pump comes in handy.
Remember always ensure that the technique that you employ when you want to catch crawfish must suit your ability, location, and needs to get your objectives right. I recommend using the tips that I have comprehensively discussed in this article, and you will never regret crawfishing.