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zdmiller

crawfish trapping through the ice

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Have some crab traps, but I am in minnesota and hunting season is over for me... I got to thinking, I would really like to catch some crawfish, but is it possible through the ice? Are they still swimmin around down there after the freeze? How deep would they be. I live in highland park, pretty close to the mississippi. I was thinkin about minnehaha creek, or up on clear lake. Let me know if it's a good idea or a waste of time.

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Found this on the net:

"What do crayfish do in winter? It's thought that they become much less active, but they do not go dormant or hibernate. Adult crayfish move to deeper water for the winter to avoid possible freeze-outs."

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Thanks for the response, now I have to problems...I have to figure out how deep the critters go, I can play around with traps to figure that out, and I need to figure out How to mark my lines without gathering unwanted attention from would-be trap thieves, I was thinking a traffic cone but I think that would draw a little too much attention. Any ideas guys?

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I had one come in one day on the camera it was about 25 ft of water, with a sandy bottom. I had a sweedish pimple with a minnow head that I dropped to the bottom and bounced around on the sand the crawfish attacked my lure and I reeled it in about five feet from the surface and it let go. Kinda weird watching it attack my lure.

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Last winter on my camera, I watched a group of 4 smallmouth bass diving head first into the muck bottom in about 15 feet of water. They did this repeatedly. I assume they were after crawfish, but I suppose it could have been something else. (There are crawfish in the lake and they are one of my most productive lures on that lake in the summer, so I know that they are a food source for the smallies in that body of water.) The show went on for approx 15 min. They'd hover near the spot, occasionally adjusting thier position, then plunge in and they'd come out chewing. Not sure if they were watching or hearing them. Was interesting to see, however. They eventually moved off too far for the camera to see. Given that, I can only assume that the crawfish are somewhat active in the winter. A lot of assumptions I know, take it for what it is. grin

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I thought they found a muddy area and holed up for the winter. I did get a huge on once on a mud flat in sucker bay on leech lake. It was moving in slow motion, really not sure how it got on the end of my line. You might have to do some prospecting with a camera to see where they are at otherwise you will end up with a basket full of bullheads.

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They have a closed season...only reason I know this is a couple of years ago, a couple of buddies and myself caught about 15 of them ice fishing in 24 ft of water over gravel. Our bobbers would go down about 6 inches, and then just hover. We would set the hook, but nothing. We finally brought them up very slowly, and in most cases, the crayfish would stay on until they hit the top of the hole. They would then drop...we had 10-15 of them running around the house entertaining our drunk arses until we kicked them down the holes. After that trip, I did some checking, and found this in the fishing regs....

from the DNR fishing Regs...

Crayfish: From April 1-Nov. 30 licensed anglers and children under 16 may take and possess up to 25 pounds of crayfish longer than 1 inch for personal use.

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