How To Catch Crawfish?

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There are a lot of ways to catch a crawfish or crawdads. The most common ways are by using fishing poles, nets, traps or even bare hands.

We’ll list down the best ways on How to catch crawfish as well as discuss their advantages and disadvantages.

how to catch crawfish


If you want to catch a significant amount of crawfish using the least amount of effort, traps are the way to go.

There are two kinds of traps: open traps and closed traps.

Open traps are a net with an opening on one end. Closed traps, however, have a unique design that lets the crayfish in but keeps them from going out of the net.

Closed traps can be left in the water longer than open traps. They are most expensive though so it depends on your budget.

Tips for the traps

You should look for non-squared-shaped traps since they tend to get caught on the rocks at the bottom of the water. The best traps are cylindrical and cone-shaped traps. These are better at not being caught on the rocks at the bottom.

Place bait inside the traps before you place them in the water. Most traps have bait hooks inside where you can put the bait. Others have jars or boxes for the bait.

Just don’t forget to bait the trap before setting them up. You would not want to come back the next day only to find out that you forgot to place bait in your trap.

Catching Using Fishing Poles

You can catch crawfish using fishing poles. It is the simplest way to catch crawfish and also the most fun.

You would need a fishing pole, a fishing line, and the proper bait. We will discuss the best bait for crayfish later in the article.

First, you attach the bait to the string using a fish hook or a safety pin. Connecting the bait securely is very important so that the crayfish won’t get away.

Next, put the bait in the water and wiggle it close to the bottom until you feel resistance on the string. Pull the line slowly towards you until the crawfish is at arms reach. Gently take out the crawfish out of the water and place it in your bucket.

You could also prepare a fishnet so you can get the crawfish out of the water once it is near enough to the shore.

Simply Catching Crayfish by Hand

The least expensive way to catch a crawfish is by hand. You don’t need any specialized equipment for this task. However, catching crawfish by hand is tedious and will require much effort. It also isn’t very fun.

Regardless of the downsides, we will still teach you how to catch crayfish by hand.

First, find yourself a nice body of water known for a large crawfish population. You can usually find crawfish hiding under rocks and underwater plants near the shallows.

Next, go into the shallow part of the water and carefully look under rocks and plants for any crawfish. Do not make any sudden movements as you might scare the crayfish hiding under the rocks. You will also kick up mud and sand if you move too hastily.

When you see a crawfish under the rock, gentle pick it up by cupping your hands and lifting it out of the water. If the crayfish is too big for that method, pick it up by pinching it with your thumb and index finger. Be very careful when handling crawfish as they pinch you expertly.

Place the newly caught crawfish inside your bucket or net. Rinse and repeat, and soon you will have a crawfish feast!

What is the Best Bait for Crawfish?

Using the correct bait for crawfish is very important so you can effectively and efficiently catch them.

You can use parts of oily fish such as the head, guts, and tails for salmon, carp, walleye, herring, perch and trout.

Raw meat such as pork and chicken can also be used. You can even use cat food and pieces of hot dog to bait crayfish.

Make sure the meat for the bait is fresh. Otherwise, crawfish won’t be attracted to old or rotten meat.

What is the Best Time to Catch Crawfish?

The best months to look for crawfish is between April and October. They are most active during the warmest months of the year. Check your calendar though as the months may differ.

You can still catch crawfish during the colder months, but they won’t be as many.

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