View Full Version : Trap Crawfish, Crayfish, Bud-Bugs

03-26-2007, 12:09 PM
On a recent trip New Orleans, I stopped off at a local pub and enjoyed a large plate of boiled crawfish, potatoes, and corn-on-the-cob.

Iíd like to boil my own mud-bugs here in Warren Ohio, but Iíll need to figure out how and where to trap them. In the past, Iíve been able to rake them out of ditches to be used for bait. The time itís different though. Iíll need to find a clean creek, river, or swamp (if there is such a thing around here) and set some cage traps. Iíll need to trap enough (75+ decent size) to make a meal for two or three people.

So does anyone know what time of year? Or where? Or how I should approach this task? Iím not asking for speculation here. Iím asking for proven techniques and expertise. Please adviseÖ.

03-26-2007, 12:32 PM
I grew up in SW Louisiana where crawfish is an industry. The crawfish ponds grow with the rice crop so the farmers get a duel crop. You can have them shipped from La. but it isn't cheap. The crawfish season starts in late Dec. and can go into May/June. The Breaux Bridge, La. Crawfish festival is usually held in May and that's where you want to be. You can also buy whole frozen Chinese crawfish at Walmart as well as frozen crawfish tails. I use the tails in gumbo and other dishes but I drain the water and rinse them good before using (Chinese water). I've never heard of raising crawfish in Ohio (?). If you do catch some Ohio crawfish, put them live in a tub of water before cooking and add salt to the water (10 minutes before you put them in the pot). The salt will cause the crawfish to burp out dirt in their system. Rinse them off good and add live to a hot pot of boiling water with the appropriate seasonings (Zataran Crab Boil) and whatever else you put in the pot. While I'm sure that New Orleans crawfish was good but the best crawfish comes from Acadiana (Cajun Country), Central and SW. La.

03-26-2007, 12:49 PM
minnow trps baited with liver or bluegill work well but it all depends on the body of water. usually if you can get permission to go on private land and get way away from people there are more, the creeks that hold a ton of them also usually dont have many gamefish. i have also seen crawfish traps that are similar to minnow traps but are just a flat rectangular wooden box with a mesh entrance tube on either side, throw it into a deeper pool and wait for a night and there filled. i have never tried to get them out of marshy areas but thats how they farm them so you could always try a trap in a swamp

03-26-2007, 01:01 PM
Would there be any concerns about the quality of the waters that you harvest them from? Getting them for bait...and getting them for human consumption seems very different.

03-26-2007, 01:27 PM
For those who trap Ohio crawfish, are there any restrictions, licensing, etc? Do Ohio crawfish have any size to them? I thought I had read somewhere that you are limited on how many you can possess?

03-26-2007, 01:42 PM
Willard Reservoir has some monster Crawdads and plenty of them. The water is clean as this is water supply for the area. I don't what the regs. are if any. You may wante to do a little research on the ODNR website or give them a call.

03-26-2007, 01:51 PM
Good luck w/this venture. I usually have 40# bags shipped up from LA every year for a boil. Prices are really starting to get steep.

03-26-2007, 01:52 PM
When we were kids, our folks would take us night fishing on the 422 causeway at LaDue. In the early spring we'd walk the rocks with a flashlight and a frog spear, and we'd gig a whole bucket of them in an evening no problem.
I'm not sure about the legality of crawfish giggin' though...
They sure boiled up tasty fer sure.

03-26-2007, 01:58 PM
Each person may possess up to 100 crayfish or up to 500 in the aggregate of crayfish and bait fish including minnows, suckers no longer than 10 inches, brook silversides, brook sticklebacks, gizzard shad, trout-perch, sculpins, darters, topminnows and mudminnows.

Other bait, including night crawlers, red worms, leeches, wax worms, mousies, hellgrammites, and other larval aquatic insects, may be possessed in any amount.


03-26-2007, 02:03 PM
If I was going to eat them I think I would order them.


They ain't cheap but surely not the most expensive meat around.

On one of our Cherokee trips a guy put on a boil for us. I swear he said there was someplace in Ohio to buy them live. But, you had to buy a 40 lb bag.

03-26-2007, 02:24 PM
I think the "culinary" crawfish are a different species from our stream crayfish.

03-26-2007, 02:28 PM
Has anyone seen the Dirty Jobs where Mike goes out with the crawdad guy? Looks like an....interesting....job. Gotta love one of the work hazards being alligators huh?:D

03-26-2007, 02:54 PM
A couple years ago we went camping at Camp Creek in West Virginia, and the neighbors were having a hay day eating crawfish they were catching out of the creek there. It was very clean water though. I couldn't figure out what they were doing out in the creek behind our tents, but then I started observing a little closer, and noticed them catching crawfish, carrying them up to the fire where a pot of water was boiling, and drop them in, then a short time later, eat em up. Looked like a pretty good time, although I didn't partake in the fun.

03-27-2007, 09:15 AM
So has anyone actually tried to trap these things around Warren? I think the creeks that run off Mosquito might hold some.

03-27-2007, 09:38 AM
To get quantities of crawfish it's best to catch them on a summer evening out of a lake. I set up a few catfish rods and put a lantern down very close to the water's edge. The lantern attracts bugs and the crawfish climb the rocks and catch and eat the bugs. I take a 4"x6" aquarium net and just swoop down on them and throw them in a 5 gallon bucket.
You can fill up half a 5 gallon bucket pretty easily. It also helps pass the time waiting for the fish to bite.