I was thinking the other day about crawfishing, and i thought that fishing and eating crawfish is so fun to do, either by yourself or if you take your whole family with you, they are super tasty and easy to catch.
That’s when i thought to myself that i have to do a guide on how to fish them. So that everyone can enjoy these beautiful creatures. So follow along for this guide, and you will know after this, exactly how to start fishing crawfish.
Crawfish are a freshwater creature that resembles a small lobster, to which they are related to. They are also known as Crayfish, Crawdads, Freshwater lobsters, or mountain lobsters. This is a really good tasty creature, that is worshipped all around the world.
Crawfish loves the dark, they tend to love colder environments, and to spend time in the dark, alone, taking shelter under a rock or plant. They only come out of their hiding spot when they need to get some more food and when it’s starting to get dark outside. Tearing apart just about anything they can catch with their large pincers, including worms, insects, plants, and mollusks.
Crawfish have blue blood, just like some snails, spider and some other creatures have, that is being caused because they have hemocyanin in their blood, which is a pigment that contains copper rather than iron, and they breathe through feather-like gills.
Remember that in many states, you must have a fishing license to be able to catch crawfish, however, once this licenses is acquired, you can catch as many crawfish as you like, all your round. Family fishing linceses are available for purchase at your local state department, for a fee of around 60$. When you are using traps, the license number must be marked on the trap, along with your name and address.
Where To Find Crawfish
Crawfish can be found almost all around the world and is eaten everywhere from Europe to Asia. North America has the most common and popular species of crawfish, while Australia is home to the world’s three largest crawfish species, which can get up to over 11 lb, (5kg).
They like fast-flowing rivers and streams, and they like to hide under rocks, mud, vegetation, and other coverage they can find cover in.
The best time of the year to catch crawfish is between April and October, they are most active during the warmer months of the year, but it is still possible to catch them during the colder months as well just don’t expect to catch as many as you would otherwise.
Fish Crasfish At The Right Time
Crawfish are most active at night, especially in the warmer waters during the summer. That is why people will set out to catch crawfish at dusk or will leave their traps in the water overnight and go out to get them again in the morning if you are using a closed trap.
It will still be possible to catch them in the day, but you will fill up your traps much more if you do it at night time.
Different Ways To Catch Crawfish
This is a very simple way of catching crawfish, and its super fun to do. All that you need is a fishing rod and some bait. Start by attaching your bait to the string using a fishhook, make sure that it’s attached to the hook real good to prevent the crawfish from getting away, artificial lures as grubs work well too.
Lower your bait in the water and start to jiggle it about 1-2 inches from the bottom until you feel a tug on the end of your rod. This means that you might have got your first crawfish, slowly move the crawfish and bait as close to the shore as possible, and gently pull it out of the water without dropping it. As soon as it’s up you want to place the crawfish into a bucket.
If you think it’s hard to pull the crawfish all the way out of the water then you could try to use a fishnet with a long handle to scoop it up as soon as you can reach it. This will also prevent them from releasing the bait and getting away.
Traps are for sure the best way to catch larger quantities of crawfish with less effort even. This is the method to use of you is goin to have a big family gathering or if you just want to restock your fridge with some tasty crawfish.
There are two main types of traps, the first one is open traps, which is basically a net that is collapsible, and is open on one end and closed on the other end. The Closed trap is a more advanced variety with a funnel on one end which allows the crawfish to enter the trap but prevents them from escaping the trap.
Open traps can be left in the water for several hours at the time, as long as there is enough bait rigged up. Closed traps can even be left out overnight, without having to worry about the crawfish escaping the trap.
Make sure that you avoid using square-shaped traps as they can get stuck, or get rock in them at the bottom of the water and get broken. The best shapes are cylindrical, conical and beehive-shaped traps. The traps should be less than three feet in height, width, and depth.
So now you have your traps, and you are at the spot you are going to fish on. Now before you lower your traps into the water, you want to make sure that you bait them. Some traps have a hook in the center of the trap that you can attach the bait to, while some other traps require the use of bait boxers or bait jars.
Now, all that you need is some luck. Pull up your trap and if it’s a good one, the trap will be completely filled with crawfish. When you got some good fishing luck, you can catch about 15-20 pounds per trap.
Catch Crawfish By Hand
To catch crawfish with your hand are much easier then you might think, they can often be found amongst the rocks in shallower pool, and can easily be picked up with no problem at all, just watch out for their claws so you won’t get hurt.
All you need to do, to fish crawfish is to find a lake, pond, or creek that is well known for its crawfish population, to make it easier for you. They usually like to hide under rocks or plants in shallow parts of the water.
Walkout into the water and start to scout for some nice looking rocks, that could potentially have some crawfish under them, now very slowly put your hand into the water and carefully lift the rock. Make sure to lift rock slowly so you won’t startle it.
If you have some luck and have chosen a good rock, you will now see a crawfish just sitting still on the bottom of the water. Now you can just pick it up using your thumb and forefinger of one hand, just behind the pinchers. You could also use a bucket and a stick, and just place the bucket behind the crawfish and gently give it a light tap to make it swim in the bucket.
Use The Right Bait
What bait to use when you are fishing crawfish is always debated, but most people will agree that you can’t go wrong with the heads, tails, and guts of oily fish that are native to the local areas.
Baits like sardines, squid, clams, sole, and eel will not work well at al, but baits like salmon, herring, carp, perch, walleye, and trout work very well.