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Crawdad Fishing

by: Lloyd Tackitt 3/19/2014

I don't know about you but I don't normally eat my fishing bait.  Crayfish, crawdads, mudbugs, crawfish - whatever you happen to call them are great eating and make great bait.  How often can you say that?

Since I live on a river and a creek, and I know there are some crawdads in each, I ordered two crawdad traps.  They should arrive soon.  The water is starting to warm up just a bit and I want to see just how many I can catch in a night.  These aren't the big professional traps, but they're big enough I think.  I bought just about the cheapest ones I could find.  If I have a bonanza of crawdads getting into these two traps I'll order more traps, bigger ones, more expensive ones.  This is just a pilot run.

If I catch enough big ones, they'll go in the pot and be eaten.  I can eat several pounds of crawdads at each setting - love those things.  Smaller ones will be used for fish bait.  Crawdads are in every state and should be available to anyone on this site, although the number and size will vary considerably from place to place. 

Anyone else out there ever do this?  Any advice? 

Blog content © Lloyd Tackitt
Member comments
Coyute, CO   3/19/2014 9:19:26 AM
My dad made a batch of crawdad traps using coated chicken wire and brass wire and gave me three. I gave one to a mentor of mine who has trapped 'em in the past down in Texas. We are planning to make a video for work that explains how to go about it. Myself, I have never tried trapping them but they sure are good eating. As far as using them for bait, I'd rather eat the little suckers. When I was a kid on my grandparents dairy farm, I would spend hours catching crawdads. What great fun. Let us know how it turns out for you Lloyd.
 
Coyute, CO   3/19/2014 9:22:03 AM
One other thing, rusty crawdads have made their way to Colorado and are considered an invasive species. The local DOW encourages people to trap 'em and keep 'em for the pot and from spreading and doing more damage. From what I hear, they taste just as good as the non-invasive species of dads.
 
Coyute, CO   3/19/2014 9:24:38 AM
http://dnr.state.co.us/newsapp/press.asp?pressid=6342
 
Coyute, CO   3/19/2014 9:25:54 AM
http://cpw.state.co.us/learn/Pages/FishManagement.aspx
 
Attila64, TX   3/19/2014 9:52:44 AM
Use fresh natural bait like a bluegill stab it a few times but leave whole and suspend with fishing line into the middle trying to keep it off the sides of the trap. Place traps in calm area that is porous where they have multiple places to hide between rocks, in tree snags or beaver dams. If you have seen mudbugs there keep trying different locations and depths. Each sub species is picky about their housing arrangements and neighborhood. But once you figure out their preferred zip code they are like kiddies with cash on an ice cream truck.
 
cookster, CO   3/19/2014 12:15:47 PM
I use a seine instead of traps because I don't like to wait.... Be sure to bait the traps with a piece of bacon and you'll fill your traps. I don't care to eat the bait unless it shrimp. Good luck Lloyd.
 
Catman1979, CO   3/19/2014 3:03:51 PM
I used to a lot. I would buy some fried chicken prior to going out, and throw the bones in the cage after eating and set it up. We get some really big ones here in Colorado! Nuthin' wrong with eating bait. One of my favorite "childhood" meals is fried chicken liver on white rice. It's amazing, and the cats love some raw liver. I have yet to eat it raw however :)
 
anglerwannabe, CO   3/19/2014 8:14:58 PM
catman, don't forget the gizzards! and we always used chicken necks for bait. they are tough and the dads seem to like them and not let go. Just a string tied to the neck.. wait a while and pull in slowly Coyute there are tons of them in 11 mile.. even caught one on a tube jig.
 
ratraxinc.com, CO   3/19/2014 8:55:39 PM
They sell the traps at Alco. Also got one round one from Cabela's. Took em ice fishing caught a few at 11 mile. They are nice and big there. Also Bear Creek lake park at the inlet they are Huge there. like small lobster.
 
Dave Mauldin, TX   3/19/2014 9:32:38 PM
...some of the best bait you can use!
 
Lloyd Tackitt (Lloyd Tackitt), TX   3/20/2014 7:11:22 AM
Holy cow! You can catch them under ice? I never would have thought that. When I was a kid we used to catch them with a piece of bacon on a string. Bacon is what I'll probably try first and a recently killed small fish next. I've noticed with my kids and grandkids, and thinking back on my own childhood, that children love to catch crawfish and then play with them.
 
hookncook, CO   3/20/2014 3:14:21 PM
Is now a good time to go after them on colorado?
 
Mullet80, CO   3/21/2014 8:21:58 AM
At 11 Mile Reservoir, here in CO, I caught a 20" cutbow trout through the ice. Took it home for the smoker and inside of its belly was a live 4" crawdad...kept it in a fish bowl for a few weeks for my kids. The dog got up on the counter, knocked the fish bowl over and killed/ate the crawdad. Guess everybody likes to eat them.
 
Coyute, CO   3/21/2014 10:19:49 AM
Good dog. :)
 
Steelhead, CO   3/21/2014 10:22:04 AM
FYI- knew guy who did this regularly and he would put his catch in an aerated tank and run clean water thru it so the mudbugs would flush out the gunk in their system before eating them. good idea if your in a flood area right now.
 
Lloyd Tackitt (Lloyd Tackitt), TX   3/22/2014 10:27:29 AM
I wish those damn traps would get here, I'm getting anxious.
 
hookncook, CO   3/22/2014 12:54:03 PM
I put mine out last night. I'm hoping I get something out of it.
 
adrenaline_junkie_ff, CO   3/22/2014 4:37:20 PM
When we ran traps in Washington, we used canned cat food and poked holes in the cans. We also walked through the river facing up stream and turn over rick's and pick them up. For a few times, we would SCUBA dive for them in the high mountain lakes. We would fill coolers and eat our fill then sell them for steelhead bait. Love my craw dad's.
 
Lloyd Tackitt
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