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AaronM

crawfish

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I was wondering if anyone knows the best way to store crawfish and the best trap to catch them. I would catch them barehanded but I dont have enough time. Thanks for any replies.

fishinfrenzy

[This message has been edited by fishingfrenzy (edited 05-13-2002).]

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Fishingfrenzy,

Before you use crawfish for bait, check the MN fishing regs. I've never done it in MN and I don't want to steer you in the wrong direction. That aside, here's what I know.

Crawfish like weeds and rocks. You can catch them a couple of ways. If you live near a stream, irrigation ditch or river, you can use a long-handled minnow dip net in heavy cover areas to scoop them. Concentrate on heavily weeded areas along the bank and work the net along the bottom, moving upstream and through the vegetation. Move fairly quickly as they will scoot out ahead of the net once they realize it's coming. I've never tried this in rocky areas, but it may work to a lesser extent. Crawfish tend to bunch up in the weeds more than in rocky areas.

Another way to catch them is with a traditional double funneled metal minnow trap. I would think this would be a great method for rocky rivers or lakes (also works in weedy areas, too). Place a fish head, steak bone, roast bone....anything with meat and odor on it in the trap and TIE IT in the middle. You've got to tie it, otherwise the crawfish will just pull it to the side of the trap and feed on it from the outside. Drop the trap off the dock or throw it off shore on a line overnight. Check it in the morning....if you don't have much, give it another night, they may come to the scent.

As far as storing them.....I had the liberty of an artesian well to keep them year round, but here are some suggestions. Keep them in a 5 gallon bucket with a small amount of water in the bottom (1"-2"). Place PLENTY of aquatic vegetation in the bottom, several inches of coontail works well. Change this water once a day and keep in a cool place. It is important that they can get out of the water, which is why the vegetation is important. If they don't get too warm, they should keep for a week at most.

Again, check the MN regs and good luck.

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Fishingfrenzy,

Before you use crawfish for bait, check the MN fishing regs. I've never done it in MN and I don't want to steer you in the wrong direction. That aside, here's what I know.

Crawfish like weeds and rocks. You can catch them a couple of ways. If you live near a stream, irrigation ditch or river, you can use a long-handled minnow dip net in heavy cover areas to scoop them. Concentrate on heavily weeded areas along the bank and work the net along the bottom, moving upstream and through the vegetation. Move fairly quickly as they will scoot out ahead of the net once they realize it's coming. I've never tried this in rocky areas, but it may work to a lesser extent. Crawfish tend to bunch up in the weeds more than in rocky areas.

Another way to catch them is with a traditional double funneled metal minnow trap. I would think this would be a great method for rocky rivers or lakes (also works in weedy areas, too). Place a fish head, steak bone, roast bone....anything with meat and odor on it in the trap and TIE IT in the middle. You've got to tie it, otherwise the crawfish will just pull it to the side of the trap and feed on it from the outside. Drop the trap off the dock or throw it off shore on a line overnight. Check it in the morning....if you don't have much, give it another night, they may come to the scent.

As far as storing them.....I had the liberty of an artesian well to keep them year round, but here are some suggestions. Keep them in a 5 gallon bucket with a small amount of water in the bottom (1"-2"). Place PLENTY of aquatic vegetation in the bottom, several inches of coontail works well. Change this water once a day and keep in a cool place. It is important that they can get out of the water, which is why the vegetation is important. If they don't get too warm, they should keep for a week at most.

Again, check the MN regs and good luck.

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In Minnesota, you can only use crayfish for bait on the waters you catch them. You cannot transport them from a stream and use them in a lake nor can you catch them in lake x and use them in lake z.
Good luck

------------------
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Gull Guide Service
fishingminnesota.com/gullguide
Brainerd-Mille Lacs-Willmar
Bemidji-Ottertail

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FishingFrenzy,

I would go with Huskminn's idea to use the double funnel minnow traps. You can catch a few of them a night in each net usually.

Good Luck,
Rusty

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Thanks for all the replies. I would be fishing with them on the same lake so I hope that takes care of that. For the traps, whats better, the square ones or the round ones?? Thanks again for the replies and keep them coming!

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I've only used the round ones and I'm not familiar with the square ones. I suppose they both function the same way.

One more thing to mention: break off their big pinchers before you fish with them. Fish are more apt to hit them when the crawdad has lost his main defensive weapon.

Good luck.

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I used to put a bunch of small pieces of PVC pipe (1 1/2 dia 9 inches long)in the water that were linked together. Each morning I would go down to the lake and empty out all my crawfish. They like the tube, just like they like rocks. Gives them protection from all sides and they can escape out either end.

Hint, put them in shallow enough water that you can reach them with your hands, you need to cover each side when you are lifting them. They are quick!ScottS

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