Where to Catch Crawfish – Ultimate Guide

In this guide, I will explain where to catch crawfish and also how to catch them. Crawfish can be used to eat them ourselves or to use them as live bait. You can also just catch them to observe them and return them to their habitat.

Always remember to check local regulations for crawfish fishing wherever you fish for them.

Crawfish; Habitat, and Morphology

First let’s get to know the crawfish a little bit, to know what they eat and how they behave.

They are arthropods that roam the depths of rivers, lakes, streams, etc. Crawfish are generally nocturnal and hide in rocky bottoms, branches, etc.

They feed on smaller crustaceans, small fish, worms, algae, and whatever they find in their way

crawfish arkansas
Small Crawfish caught by hand in Arkansas, which was returned to the water.

Crawfish Fishing Techniques

There are several ways to catch crawfish, here are the main ones.

Thread and Bait

Catching crawfish, especially small ones, is not difficult. You can do it with a line and bait with a hook.

Depending on where you are, you may not even need a rod, although you can use one, of course.

The most important thing is that, when the animal bites, do not pull it up or pull hard. Just bring the line to the shore slowly, it will not notice the movement.

If you go as a family, it can be fun to have someone ready with a handled net on the shore to catch the crab without having to reel it in or lift it; this way, the crab will not be able to run away.

With Traps

In areas where there are many crawfish if you want to catch them fast and several, try with traps. The trade-off is that it’s less fun.

There are open and closed traps, both are very good options for this fishery. However, avoid square traps; the best ones are oval, cylindrical, and beehive traps. The bait can be placed in boxes or, if the reel has it, in the hook itself.

crawfish trap

By Hand

Much more fun and focused on enjoying the activity is crabbing by hand.

Do things slowly, the crab will probably not even notice if you slowly lift a stone. Also, you avoid that, with fast movements, the crawfish gets scared and runs away or that you pick up mud, losing vision. To catch them, use your index finger and thumb and hold them by the part immediately behind their claws so that they cannot use them against you.

small crawfish arkansas
Small Crawfish caught by hand in Arkansas, which was returned to the water.

Where to Catch Crawfish: Crawfish Bait

Suitable bait to catch crawfish more easily includes:

Belly, fin, and headfish. Herring, salmon, perch, trout, or perch are excellent choices.

Raw meat. Wet cat food or raw chicken are very good choices as bait. They also like pate or some ground meat.

crayfish cooked