Recreational Crawfishing? | TigerDroppings.com
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Mako
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Nov 2011
273 posts

Recreational Crawfishing?

I have always wanted to do a little crawfishing on my own. I know that you can catch crawfish in the basin with hand nets. I have access to a large track of land in the basin and would like to try crawfishing one weekend this year.

I understand crawfish live in holes and come out when its warm. I have always been curious as to when farmers crawfish in pounds/rice fields are there already crawfish there or do they 'stock' the area?

Question - What do you look for in places to crawfish? Any tips or recommendations on types of nets/traps to use/bait/set time.
This post was edited on 1/14 at 9:23 am



TJG210
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Aug 2006
23289 posts

re: Recreational Crawfishing?
I would like more information on this as well. I've been a handful of times in the Spillway (New Orleans) and Honey Island Swamp, but have never had any great success.

A few things I've learned,
- Equipment depends on where you are crawfishing, if you are crawfishing in water that is less than 16" deep you want to use triangle set nets which are commonly called puddle nets.
- If its deeper than that you would want to use "deepwater nets".....essentially a crab net with smaller mesh.


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TigerPimpNationTrank
LSU Fan
NOLA Raised / Northshore Livin'
Member since Nov 2005
2214 posts

re: Recreational Crawfishing?
Best bait to use is beef melt - basically it is neck tissue from a cow. Go to your local butcher and ask for it.

It's thick, lots of tendons lnd very bloody so it sticks on the nets very well and doesn't come off very easy at all.



hardhead
LSU Fan
stinky bayou
Member since Jun 2009
5207 posts

re: Recreational Crawfishing?
quote:

beef melt


spleen

and yes its the best bait


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yellowfin
Illinois Fan
Coastal Bar
Member since May 2006
77346 posts

re: Recreational Crawfishing?
Most pond farming in done in fields that have had rice grown the prior year, yes we stock with crawfish in June for the following year


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2indapink
Member since Mar 2012
392 posts

re: Recreational Crawfishing?
Pillow traps in deeper water. Set trap on the bottom and hang from a tree. Tupelo and Cypress swamp are a good start. Stagnant water doesn't do as well as water that might fluctuate in depth. Gives the crawfish oxygen in warmer temps. Water temperature is the key in when they come out in fishable numbers. Cut bait (pogies or shad) in the trap until the water temps warm. Then pelletized bait (looks like a light colored turd). When water gets warm/low make sure the top portion of the trap sticks out of the water to allow the crawfish a way to get oxygen. A table to sort is essential. Throw out all dead/crushed ones and any bait left over can be re-used or tossed. Make sure to pack your sacks as full as possible and put a good knot in the string. Be gentle when stacking or loading/un loading your catch. Don't intrude on any already established lines. I think you have to have a commercial license for anything over 25 traps. Check LDWF.


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Mako
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Nov 2011
273 posts

re: Recreational Crawfishing?
So am I just looking for moving water in the basin?

How long do I leave thr trap for? And how long can crawfish live in a trap?


wickowick
LSU Fan
Head of Island
Member since Dec 2006
27545 posts

re: Recreational Crawfishing?
I have used set traps along the levees, south of Ramah, in high water in the grass. 2 dozen traps and I got no rest running continuously...


Mako
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Nov 2011
273 posts

re: Recreational Crawfishing?
What is the most affordable traps? Where can I get some traps?


Boats n Hose
LSU Fan
NOLA
Member since Apr 2011
37140 posts

re: Recreational Crawfishing?
Cheap ones can be had at academy. They won't last very long if you use them a good but though


jimbeam
USA Fan
University of LSU
Member since Oct 2011
37605 posts

re: Recreational Crawfishing?
Can get small rice field style traps for a couple bucks well made


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RATeamWannabe
USA Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Sep 2009
17436 posts

re: Recreational Crawfishing?
I think its a lot more fun to get the nets and make a day out of it once it gets warmed up. Used to have a whole lot of fun as a kid stomping around the swamp in boots and jeans lifting those nets with a forked stick that doubled as a snake pole


faxis
LSU Fan
La.
Member since Oct 2007
7773 posts

re: Recreational Crawfishing?
Not to mention snakes make good bait as well. We'd kill the water snakes we'd run across and then ran out of bait so we started cutting them into pieces. Crawfish loved it.


fishfighter
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Apr 2008
21206 posts

re: Recreational Crawfishing?
Set nets if you are just looking for a couple sacks. Google "South Farm" just north of I-10 west of BR about 20 miles. It is a WMA and one will need a fishing lic along with a WMA stamp.

Limited to 100lbs per group per day.


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2indapink
Member since Mar 2012
392 posts

re: Recreational Crawfishing?
Not necessarily moving water but water that rises/falls at a few diff times of the year. Not just stagnant water. If the water is too hot, one day maybe two at the most. Alot of dead ones (15-20 per trap) means water is too hot. Cooler water or after a good rain (feb-april) 2-3 day sets.

Look on la sportsman or CL for used pillow traps. If looking to do it for the long haul and make money buy a roll of 3x coated wire and make your own. Pierre Part store or Net Company in Jonesville. Need good coated string (trot line string), flagging, and good clothes pins.


Mako
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Nov 2011
273 posts

re: Recreational Crawfishing?
Really just looking to do it two or three times a year. I know it will be hard work. But, If I can make it payoff (catch two sacks worth 60 to 80lbs), thats worth the time to me.

I have never been on south farm, but I am familar with the area. We hunt on the property north of there.

Is there anythign besides moving water - like flooded timber, that would make a good spot. Our property floods every winter, at least a few thousand acres of it. Should I be in new water or next to places that hold water year around - bayous or ponds?


OldSouth
LSU Fan
Folsom, LA
Member since Oct 2011
8363 posts
Online

re: Recreational Crawfishing?
quote:

Best bait to use is beef melt - basically it is neck tissue from a cow.




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TJG210
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Aug 2006
23289 posts

re: Recreational Crawfishing?
quote:

Look on la sportsman or CL for used pillow traps.


This is what I was going to recommend......got all of my pillow traps from CL.


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thekid
LSU Fan
McKinney, TX
Member since May 2006
2566 posts

re: Recreational Crawfishing?
I from Morgan City and my dad took me crawfish ing every year.
We would go to different areas of the atchafalaya basin sometimes in wooded sleus, sometimes more open areas...
We always were in shallow water (no more than 3ft deep) and we used pirogues...
We used double-hooped nets with a shower hook in the middle to hold the bait. We run 20-30 nets each, we used a paddle to make sure the nets rested on the bottom...
My dad would freeze the remains of the fish we cleaned all year and that is what we used for bait...
We would run the nets every 30-40 minutes or so...it's important to keep moving the unproductive nets and keep your bait fresh...a lot of times by the time your done with a run, it would be time go again...
We would catch 2-5 sacks most trips...


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Spankum
LSU Fan
Miss-sippi
Member since Jan 2007
35861 posts

re: Recreational Crawfishing?
I haven't crawfished in a long time...don't overdo it with the preperations or planning...

basically just get yourself a couple of dozen nets, about a 15' piece of wooden dowel rod with a nail driven in the end, and some bait like beef melt or fish heads...you basically want something that is bloody but durable...

find a good sized road ditch, rice field, slough, or whatever with some pretty muddy water in it and when it starts to get hot, try your luck...


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