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night fishing crayfish for river channel cats?

Discussion in 'Catfish Discussion' started by Banker, Jul 9, 2005.

  1. Banker

    Banker Banned

    Couple ?'s(these would be ones I caught, not the softshells you get at bait stores...though the smaller ones do have kinda a "softer" shell anyways).

    1. Are they good bait?

    2. Weight? Do you recommend a really heavy weight(if so what wt?), light wt, or no weight? How would you recomend rigging. When night fishing for cats I typically just use a snelled hook (like a 1/0...the biggest ones (for the most part)in the river I fish are probably only about 7-8 lbs..and that's big..most are in the sub1 - 2 lb "channel kittens") with a couple split shots just below the tye-in loop.

    3. I'm gonna assume that no crayfish is too big for a channel cat, do you agree?

    4. On the bigger ones do you cut off the pinchers?

    5. How do you hook them?

    6. How do they store in a minnow bucket on a body of water (would probably be for a week or two)?

    7. Any other tips (like move it every minute or two in case it found a rock to hide under)?

  2. I don't think anything short of a lobster would be too big. I've caught big channels while flathead fishing with big bluegill.

    I rig them with about a 1oz. egg, around 15" of 20-30 flourocarb. leader and a circle hook.

    They will store well in a bucket of water, just change the water every couple days 'cuz it'll start to stink. Just keep the H2O in a cool place.

    Don't bother with the pinchers. If fishing is good at best, a craw won't last much longer than 10 minutes, if no hit. He's prob. under a rock. Just hook through the tail and make 'em sail :F

  3. katfish

    katfish Cats are where it's at!

    Crawdads are good bait for a variety of fish. In some instances they will outfish minnows and cut baits.

    The amount of weight and type of rig will be dictates by the fishing situation.
    Heavier current requires more weight to keep the bait in place. The more snags and rocks the shorter you will want to keep crawdads leaders.

    I agree but sometimes experimentation will lead to which bait your cats prefer.

    Catfish are not used to encountering crawdads without pinchers. It might make you feel better but I don't imagine it matters to the cats. :D

    Stick the point of the hook in at the tail and bring it out before the carapace of the crawdad. Have your hook point exposed unless snags make it impossible to fish that way.

    There are hundreds of species of crawdads in North America alone. The best way to store most is to keep in cool oxygenated water. A piece of any kind of meat will keep them fed.

    If fishing in rocks you may want to try a drift flaot rig to keep crawdads from getting under rocks.


    Crawdad traps can be easily made or bought and a fresh supply of bait is only as far as a trip to the trap :D

    For those who believe that fish favor soft shell crawdads I have the solution.
    You could wait till they grow and only use the newly molted (softshell) crawdads from your stored cache of crawdads.

    You can cause the crawdads to shed their skins in 3 days by adding a few tablespoons of salt into their water that is recirculated by an aerator pump.
    They will shed in a day to 1 1/2 days if you add epson salt to their water.
  4. Will fish take a hard craw?

    Thanks for that softening tip!
  5. Craw dads from like a creek are pretty good bait most of the time...hard crawls SUCK...Like the ones that you seen in the millions at lakes and what not they arent worth crap....Hook em thru the tail..I usually pull the pinchers off but I dont think its that big of a deal...