Crawfish or crayfish depending on what part of the Country you are from, are one of the many outdoor activities that doesn’t get “its day in court” so to speak. I started putting out crawfish traps when I was around 13 years old. I never had huge amounts of luck in the small creeks around where I lived. Just like with a lot of things, time passes and things in life get in the way and an art or tradition gets thrown by the wayside. Honestly, many years went by without me even thinking of it as a thing worth putting effort into. But now it has become one of my favorite activities and here is why:
During turkey season I was hunting on some public land here in Georgia. I never heard any gobbles or no sound at all right after daylight so I decided to start walking and cover some ground to see if I could find where the turkeys were holding up at. After walking a mile or so with no luck I stumbled upon a creek that runs through the WMA. The water was higher than normal for this time of year and the water was overflowing the trail that I was walking on. As I started walking through the water I started seeing crawfish everywhere. Dead ones. It looked as if someone boiled up some crawfish, ate them, then dumped the rest on the ground. I must have seen hundreds of crawfish carcasses scattered on the trail and even further up the road. My focus went from calling in a turkey to get some traps in the water. I went home grabbed a few traps that I had and set them out. I checked them at daylight the next morning and to my surprise I caught around 10 with two traps. I was hooked! I ordered 8 more traps online and waited. I ended up having a very good run at crawfish during that summer. My catch was in the hundreds and was able to stock the freezer for those low country boils.
The reason why I am adding crawfish to my yearly list of things to do and why you should too is.. It is a very cheap and passive activity with high reward. If I remember correctly the traps I bought were $8 a trap. That is hardly breaking the bank compared to my other outdoor activities. I spend more than that on lures for bass, perch, trout etc. One other great thing is they are widely abundant on public lands. You should never have to ask for a landowners permission to set out crawfish traps. As for baits, I tried several different varieties and my favorite is fish heads. I am not telling you that fish heads are the best at attracting crawfish but it is my favorite. Mainly because I have a utilitarian type nature about me and anything I can use for other things besides throwing it away I will use it. During the summer months that I am fishing I will literally freeze fish heads and thaw them out when I am ready to set traps.
To me, the biggest perk is that it requires very little time and patience. Between work and all my other planned hunting and fishing trips plus family time it is extremely difficult to squeeze in another activity. But trapping crawfish takes up virtually no time. I just leave my house about an hour earlier than normal, for travel time, set out the traps then go to work. On my lunch break I check the traps and put all the crawfish from that morning in my cooler. I will check them once more when I get off work then simply bag them and freeze them. I can’t make any promises you will be successful but I can promise you the ones you cook and eat will be way better than the cooked ones you buy from the grocery store. Trapping crawfish is fairly simple and not complicated but there is a lot of content that I left out. If anyone is interested in an in depth guide to crawfishing, simply comment or write to me and I will make it happen. This article was mainly about awareness and maybe reminding someone that has old traps they forgot about to get them back in the water.
Last modified: August 24, 2020