How to Trap Crawfish

How To Catch Crawfish
4 Min Read
Tyger Leader is reader-supported and may earn a commission when you book or purchase using our links. Learn more about our affiliate disclaimer here.

Crawfish are tasty to both fish and humans and are used by a lot of anglers when fishing for catfish, Largemouth bass, perch, and pike just to name a few.

In this guide, you will learn everything that you need to know about how to trap Crawfish including how to set up the traps that will be used to catch them as this is the most effective way. 

But first, you will have to find them hand luckily there is no shortage of crawfish – you just need to know the right places to look, and you will have buckets full in no time.

What Is a Crawfish?

Crawfish are also known as freshwater lobsters because of how they are related and look very similar to one another, but crawfish are much smaller, reaching just three inches long.

Crawfish are usually dark brown, red, yellow, or green in color and have a head that tapers down into a point and eyes that can move in different directions on the end of stalks. 

They have five pairs of legs and two sharp pincers at the front which may be small but can give you a nasty nip. Their exoskeleton is also quite thin but still offers them good protection against predators. 

Where Can You Find Crawfish?

You can typically how to trap Crawfish in rivers that are fast-flowing and amongst the rocks in busy streams, crawfish prefer fast-flowing water because they cannot live very long in a polluted habitat.

They also like to live in vegetation, mud, and other foliage that is underwater so that they have good cover and can wait for food to sink to the bottom as they are not strong swimmers. 

In southeastern North America, there is the largest gathering of how to trap Crawfish which consists of 300 different species all belonging to the same crawfish family. Where the water is rich in calcium and oxygen such as in the lowlands also makes for great crawfish hot spots. 

Crawfish are mainly inactive during the day and prefer to lurk at the bottom of their aquatic environment, under rocks, foliage, and other cover.

They are nocturnal predators which makes them become much more active at night to hunt and search for food. This is why, if you shine a torch into a crawfish-infested lake or pond, you might see their eyes glow back at you with their reflecting lenses which help them see in low-light. 

What Do Crawfish Eat?

What Do Crawfish Eat?

Tyger Leader is reader-supported and may earn a commission when you book or purchase using our links. Learn more about our affiliate disclaimer here.

Crawfish are omnivores and like to eat on leaves, eggs, worms, fish, and small insects, but they are also known for eating their own kind as well as humans. The biggest portion of the crawfish diet comes from detritus which is the term given to any kind of waste or debris. 

They use their pincers to pick up and pull apart their food, diligently sucking in the particles through their mouthparts. This technique is why trap crawfish are also known as filter-feeders, swallowing down particles they find suspended in and lying on the bottom of the water.

Crawfish eat by using their pincers to pick up and tear apart the food before sucking it through their mouth. This is why crawfish are also identified as being filter-feeders as they swallow a lot of the particles that are found floating around the bottom of the water.

How Do You Trap Crawfish?

There are three main ways that you can trap crawfish, one of them is more fun, but it is likely you won’t be able to catch as many. This method involves you finding the right area of flowing water and just going ahead and wading into it.

Start lifting stones, and you should be able to find the crawfish hiding underneath them. Remember how to trap Crawfish from the rear because crawfish swim backward. You can either use a net or just your hands but as long as you are quick, you should be able to catch a good amount. 

You can also use string and a bucket, but you will also need to get your hands on some bait as well such as chicken or cat food. Attach this bait to the string and gently move it around the area until you feel a crawfish bite and feed on the bait.

Slowly move the string with the crawfish still on the other end slowly towards the shore and place the crawfish in the bucket. This technique is quite time-consuming, and you must be patient, but it doesn’t require you to set up a lot of equipment. 

If you are looking to catch a lot of crawfish either for meals or for collecting a lot of bait, you will need to use traps as they don’t require a lot of effort, and you will get a lot more crayfish at the same time. 

There are two types of trap crawfish that you can get, closed and open. Closed traps have a funnel on one of the ends that lets the crayfish enter but open traps use a collapsible net instead that is only open on one end which makes it impossible for the crawfish to get out. 

The trap that you use should not measure more than three feet in length, width, and height, and a cylindrical or conical-shaped trap works best. You must put bait in these traps before you lower them into the water and if your trap doesn’t have a hook for bait, you can use bait boxes and bait jars instead. 

If you are using a how to trap Crawfish, leave it in the water overnight but if you are using an open trap, a few hours in the water will be sufficient. 


Crawfish are popular as bait for fish and meals for humans, so it’s fortunate that there are a lot of them out there, and they are not hard a challenge to catch, in fact, they are quite fun! 

They eat almost anything and there are three common methods that you can try when you are catching them but if you use trap crawfish, you are guaranteed to pull up a lot of them if you put them in the right location. 

© 2024 Tyger Leader. All Rights Reserved.

Get the Latest Fishing Tips & Guides

Popup Newsletter

No spam. Never. Not ever. Just fun and interesting blog posts delivered straight to your inbox.