Sunday, April 20, 2008

How to catch crawfish (crayfish)

I first saw the technique for catching crawfish on dirty jobs with Mike Rowe and since watching the episode these little freshwater crustaceans have fascinated me.

Crawfish, also called crayfish, are a freshwater crustacean that resemble a small lobster. Different species of crayfish are found throughout the world. They make very good eating and for this reason are a popular angling target.

How to catch crawfish
Crawfish are not difficult to catch and as long as you follow some simple tips you should not have any problems.

1. Choose a crawfish trap
There are many different crawfish traps and choosing a crawfish trap is one of the more difficult parts of crawfish fishing, but all the crawfish traps on the market will work. Some crawfish anglers argue that certain types of traps work better than other ones so my advice is to purchase a few different types of traps and run a few tests before deciding which type of trap you will exclusively use.

2. Best bait for crawfish
Crawfish can be picky eaters, but if you stick to fresh, fish based baits you will be fine. Try fresh fish heads, guts or whole small fish, preferably from oily fish such as salmon or herring, but any fresh fish that can be caught locally should work. Many people swear by secret baits like dog food, cat food or chicken, but most experienced crawfish anglers dismiss these as proper baits.

3. Set your traps
You cannot simply toss your traps into the water and expect record catches on crawfish. Instead, try to lay your traps in areas where crawfish have cover to hide from predators such as grassy areas, rocks, tree roots etc.

4. Catching crawfish
Check your traps after a few hours and place your keepers into a sack or container. Remember to return any small crawfish or excess crawfish into the water for another time.