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crayfish for river smallies ?

Discussion in 'Bass Discussions' started by Banker, Jul 9, 2005.

  1. Banker

    Banker Banned

    I've been thinking about getting a small net and catching some crays...have a few ?'s.

    1. Are there certain sizes of crays above which you would not recommend?

    2. with the bigger crays do you cut off the pinchers?

    3. what's the best way to hook them?

    4. split shot or no? how far above the cray?

    5. what about fishing them below a bobber?

    6. night fishing with crays for channel cats?

    7. how will a bunch of crays in a minnow bucket fare in storing (in a body of water) for like a week or two?

    thanks for all your input!
  2. You will get a thousand different answers. When I used them I preffered 2"-3" ones. I would hook them in the tell with he hook up. I very seldom used split shot. I think most people prefer the soft shell over the hard. I always liked the hard, more active. Do not take the pintures off. Chanels love soft shell. I never fished them below a bobber.

  3. Fishing-Miller23

    Fishing-Miller23 It's Miller Time!

    I saw in a field & stream that a good way to hook crayfish is to get a small rubber band and put it around the crayfish and the hook so you don't lose your bait as much.
  4. Basskisser1

    Basskisser1 And A Kiss For Good Luck!

    They are easy to catch. During a full moon the hard craws turn soft. I like the big creek craws....We store them in a container with a damp papertowel. Keep them on ice in a cooler. They won't stay alive for a week. Maybe a day or two.Keep them on their belly's. Once they flip over onto their backs, they die. We use a very small split-shot. I've never used them with a :G . Do not keep casting them out, you have to let them sit.
    Catching them sure beats paying 5.75 a dozen.
  5. The only thing I would mention is to not use crayfish from another body of water (might even be illegal). There are certain varieties of foreign crayfish that will push out the native ones... although most of our waterways are already screwed by invasive species.
  6. jdoz80

    jdoz80 Slayer of the fish

    If you cant get live ones, Yum makes a good imitation it is called a crawbug, they come in a variety of different sizes and color the 3 inch pumkinseed works well. I use it on a texas rig on a slip-in jig head works well. Helped me produce some fish.
  7. WarEagle

    WarEagle FNG

    Also, instead of a net, they make a metal craw trap... exactly like a minnow trap but with bigger holes in the ends to allow craws to swin in it. I like to set it, wade up stream fishing for smallies/panfish turn around wade back after a while and when I get back to the trap, I always have some craws, and normally a few minnows.

    The Rebel Craw is my favorite if I am looking for a fake.

  8. big_fish

    big_fish the fish whisperer

    we use alot of craws I wouldn't use a bobber would you eat a hamburger if it was flouting a foot above your plate fish know that they should be on bottom as for hard or soft we use what ever we can catch we don't really see a preference for one or the other from the fish but a soft sheel will die faster as for size 2 or 3 in is in my opion the best but we have caught fish on every size if they are 4 or 5 in we might twist of the claws I cought a 4lb11oz smallie on a 1.5 in craw if your fishing deeper water you might want to use a shot about a foot above or so as for keeping them alive the earlier post of a damp towl in a container and keep in a cooler is good if you have use of a fridge put them in a container with NO water I have had them alive for weeks just put a few plain saltine crackers in with them other than that have fun and you will probably catch just as many freshwater drum as you will smallies my pb drum is 33.5 in 18.3 lbs on a 2 in craw :B tightlines big_fish
  9. WarEagle

    WarEagle FNG

    Waded a little creek West of Indianapolis for an hour and a half today with my fishin pal Alan. Started off throwing the Rebel Craw, tried both the deep diver and the regular lipped teeny wee. One in olive/orange belly and one chartreuse. These have been catching a lot of fish for the last month, but nothing big.

    I did switch to a Leverage Buzzbait (white) throwing it around stumps, rocks, any change in depth... creek was mostly 1-2 feet with some spots waist deep. I nailed 5 nice smallies, 15", 2-16", a 17" and a 19". They just tore the buzzbait up. I was kind of surprised. I could see the wake tear across the water from 6-8 feet away on the 17", he tracked that thing down and killed it. It was great. 6lb test was a good fight all around.

  10. I'm going to have to break ranks here. I love to fish craws under a float. The streams that I fish are just loaded with flat rocks. Those craws will go for the nearest rock if you don't keep him moving. I like to use a hook and a splitshot sometimes, but for the most part I like the float. Nothing like watching the float go under. I hooked a very large smallmouth on a hard craw under a float that I just didn't get in a couple of weeks ago. If you set the depth of the float so that the craw is just ticking the bottom, you will be in the strike zone. If the float stops drifting and then s-l-o-w-l-y starts moving, it is your craw getting traction. You got to pull on him or he will get under a rock. I like to use the smaller craws say 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches. Soft are always better than hard craws. It does't matter what the size is for a soft craw because everything in the river will hit it. I've caught 14 inch smallmouths on just a pincher from a soft craw under a float. I've also caught 4 inch sunnies on big soft craws. What I like about fishing craws under a float is that you just don't know what is going to hit. I've caught smallmouths, largemouths, catfish, rock bass, sunfish, and have hooked gar all on craws under a float.
  11. WINNER

    WINNER I hate Cleveland.

    I would use a circle hook and rubberband tie the craw to it. Be very careful to recognize the strike. Using live bait is a good way to gut hook these smallies ending up in death. Circle hooks are the most effective way to avoid the gut well as recognizing the strike.

    Note: When using circle hooks, you don't need to "set" the hook like normal. Simply reel in to you feel pressure for a few seconds and then give it a little tug...

    Catch...Photo...Release :D

    Good luck!