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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
????????? Just wondering, because I would like try some to catch some smallies. If you can, does anyone know what bait shops carry them?
 

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"Soft craws' refere to crayfish that have molted (shed their hard exo skeleton) and have not asorbed enough calcium to regrow it. In this state they are VERY vunerable to predation by almost everything, including bass, catfish, bluegills and even other crayfish. Also good for bait are 2"- 4" "hard' craws barely suspended up off the bottom and lightly hooked just above the outer corner of the tail missing the nerve bundle in the cener. I often use 1"- 2' crayfish on light wire #8- #10 hooksunder a slip bobber for panfish, but you might be amazed at how big a fish would bother to "GULP!" such a small "dad'.
 

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if you like using artifical bait in a craw patern,try a wee-craw.use with light line and a 6 1/2' med-lt rod.it's a blast.
 

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Whats the problem with a "soft craw"?
Problem is they work phenomenally well and are always in demand. So much so that bait shops often run out of them in the dog days of summer, even when they charge an arm-and-a-leg a dozen.

Other problem is bait shops (for whatever reason) usually don't stock hardcraws.
 

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Can't remember off the top of my head since I haven't bought them in years but there up there $$$$. Also keep in mind that when fishing them on the bottom you will loose half of them due to snags, so yea, a dozen is more like a 1/2 dozen.
 

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And if you're hell bent on using live bait i'd invest in a cast net then drift shiners/chubs/whatever weightless under a float - killer for smallmouth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I totally agree, but you know how some folks are....... They want to argue about everything.
 

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If you're gonna use livebait for bass, you should get yourself some circle hooks and learn how to use them. They will cut way down on hook mortality if you practice C+R.
 

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id say try to collect your own craws last time i picked some up was about 4 yrs ago. they were $5.25 a dozen we got 3 dozen to use for smallies on lake erie and caught all sheaphead and one perch. the perch was a hog at 12 and 3/4 inches but not worth 15 bucks if u ask me. definately used craws that i caught myself and have done very well with them. a small siene or even a minnow trap will work also. good luck and happy fishing.
 

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Collecting them is usually very easy with a crayfish/ minnow trap attached to a 10 hole brick to keep the trap in place. Bait with a hotdog. 1 word of caution- it IS ILLEGAL to transfere cratfish from 1 body of water to another to slow the spread of the rusty crayfish. Try to trap them from the same body of water you`re going to fish in to avoid this problem, OK? Just set the traps the night beforeyou fish, or use a seine. Good Luck!
 

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If you want the real experience you need soft crawfish, they must have a smell to them, sorry the other guy had a bad experience but they are killer. Once when I had the company paying for bait and charter, I ordered 16 doz soft craws, 4 doz each, once guy cancelled so 16 doz for 3 guys, we were out of bait in 3 hours, no sheepy nor perch but all Smallmouth and big. I still have that GPS mark. I have tried picking my own craws out of the creek and get hundreds with a seine. But the fish just don't care for hardshelled they are two different baits. Up they were 5.25 doz and must be ordered well before your fishing date, like a month. but that day was the best day of Smallmouth fishing of my life.
 
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