Bush Craft & Wilderness Survival Articles, Gear Reviews & Videos
A Short Discussion on Crawfish Traps - Part One
by Keith A. "Bootlegger" Williams
I was speaking with a friend today about gathering Crawfish, and somewhere in the conversation, I became aware that this particular topic could stand a little overview. So at any rate, today, I'd like to say a few words about Crawfish traps.
Crawfish, Crayfish, Crawdads, Mudbugs, or whatever you may call them in your area- are roughly the freshwater equivalent of shrimp or small lobsters. They make for both an outstanding meal, as well as fantastic Catfish bait, but as with their saltwater cousins, it does take a few to make for much of a meal. Now you can certainly "fish" for them one at a time with a baited line, or spend your time plunging first one calf and then the other in sucking mud while trying to run them down with your bare hands and a purposely dim light… OR- you can take the easier approach and build a wire mesh trap and try to catch several at a time. Crawfish prefer a freshly killed meal, and better yet if it is something that would naturally be in their area but in practice, I think you'll find that they are often not as finicky as some people like to suggest. I bait it with whatever I have left over from cleaning the fish and regard my Crawfish as a separate entrée altogether.
Building a Crawfish trap need not be an expensive project. The main item is a roll of Hardware Cloth (click on photo for larger image):
This is commonly known as "Rabbit Wire" and can be found at most any Hardware Store. A 24" wide x 5' long roll will typically cost you about $9.00 and I like to use the type with 1/2" squares. I'm sure someone will make the point that welded squares are stronger – and they are, but they are also more expensive, and not really required for a trap on this small of a scale. Depending on how carefully you construct your design, you may have just enough wire left over to make an additional trap from the same roll. Another thing that can be useful is a few feet of heavier gauge wire. Use something stiff and with adequate strength but pliable enough to bend easily. Pictured here are a few loops of approx. 12 ga. electric fence wire which I find to do the job quite nicely:
ON TO PART 2 - Crawfish Traps
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Send an email to georgehedgepeth(at)hotmail(dot)com
Briar Patch Outdoors
219 Holmes Street
Durand MI 48429
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