Any crawdad cooking experts out there?

Mildog

Well-Known Member
Not sure about expert. You know they say an Ex spurt is just a former drip under pressure LOL. But, I/we (family affair) have been enjoying crawfishing catching and Crawdad "boils" for a long time with lots of success and many positive reviews. Heading out shortly to get a batch and do a boil. Not to be confused with a Striper Boil LOL
 

ThunderJet

Member
Do you guy's trap them or use a line with bait?
Thank's
We use traps and leave them overnight is best. Kids use line with bait and roll over rocks to catch them.
I have tried many different traps and theses are the best. once in they do not get out. make sure that the end opens to dump them out into a bucket. the cheaper models like this don't open and you have to grab one at a time to remove it from the trap. they collapse to the size of a frisbee.20180923_171951.jpg
 

KYKevin

Well-Known Member
We use traps and leave them overnight is best. Kids use line with bait and roll over rocks to catch them.
I have tried many different traps and theses are the best. once in they do not get out. make sure that the end opens to dump them out into a bucket. the cheaper models like this don't open and you have to grab one at a time to remove it from the trap. they collapse to the size of a frisbee.View attachment 8844
Thank's
And where do you get this style of trap? I have caught them getting minnow's in a minnow trap, but this type has a bigger entrance. What do you bait it with, I like big chub minnow's.
 

Cliff

Well-Known Member
Taking it all in !!!!!! Learn something new every day!
There's a little lake that I know of that has lots of BIG crawdads that I'm going to play with soon.
 

KYKevin

Well-Known Member
Get you some trap's and put some fish in them and Crawdad up with some tater's and corn (y) Remember it don't take as many Crawdad's if you suck the gut out like the Cajun's :ROFLMAO:
 

Mildog

Well-Known Member
You will see lots of them in the fish's stomachs when filleting them and in your live-well when the fish spit them out.. I have played around with traps and caught a few, mostly smaller ones. Never caught enough to make it worth cooking them up for us. If you walk along shoreline with good rocky structure at night with a flashlight you will see a few. Many years ago we used to see more. I think the smallmouth keep them in check pretty good and if they don't stay well hidden they will end up in the belly of a fish LOL, Judging by how many do end up in the stomachs of fish there are plenty in the lake. I think it either the variety that is there of the pressure the fish put on them but the ones I see and have caught are small by comparison to other lakes we pursue them. Wayne can answer that I am sure.
 
Is it just me or do others find it ironic that there is such concern about non-native species getting into artificial bodies of water that are full of other non-native species?
 

wayne gustaveson

Moderator
Staff member
You will see lots of them in the fish's stomachs when filleting them and in your live-well when the fish spit them out.. I have played around with traps and caught a few, mostly smaller ones. Never caught enough to make it worth cooking them up for us. If you walk along shoreline with good rocky structure at night with a flashlight you will see a few. Many years ago we used to see more. I think the smallmouth keep them in check pretty good and if they don't stay well hidden they will end up in the belly of a fish LOL, Judging by how many do end up in the stomachs of fish there are plenty in the lake. I think it either the variety that is there of the pressure the fish put on them but the ones I see and have caught are small by comparison to other lakes we pursue them. Wayne can answer that I am sure.
I concur with Mildog. Right now crayfish are the number one target of bass, bluegill, crappie, walleye and catfish. With the great numbers of fish in Lake Powell these little guys are maintaining the food chain in the lake. There will not be many left to catch in a small net. Your nightly net results will be less than 10.

I tried it a long time ago. I baited the trap and put it in the water. A few hours later I checked it and found 2 crawdads. I thought I should be more patient so I put the trap back in water. The next morning I checked it again and found my results for a long night. Total count was zero. No more caught and the two already there must have figured out how to get out. Trapping for crawdads is very slow and not very productive.

Our LP crayfish species is Orconectes-virilis. Its a great species and has been the second most important food source for all LP fish with shad being number 1. '
440px-Young_Orconectes_virilis.jpg
 
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KYKevin

Well-Known Member
It might not be productive at lake Powell, but in the lake's that Thunder jet and mild dog are trapping it is very productive, and it is here in these lake's. I don't gut these lake Powell fish and see what there eating like I do trout, but trout eat a lot of Crayfish. I have never looked for them at Powell, but I'm sure you can find them if you look hard enough.
 

Cliff

Well-Known Member
I find it interesting that there are enough crawdads to feed a biomass as large as the fish numbers are in the lake yet there are not enough to catch in a trap. Could it be that they are here in large numbers but reluctant to come out of hiding to crawl to a trap to feed? How would THEY feed if they didn't leave the rocks? Obviously I'm no crawdad expert.
 
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fisheye

Well-Known Member
I want to tell you all the best crawdad bait for your traps I found quite by accident. It was the first Lake Trout I caught since moving to Co, some 35 yrs ago. We were camping for the weekend with half the town of Ridgway, at Mira Amonte Lake . Having never eaten a lake trout I took it with us. After filleting I had the carcass of backbones and skin. On a whim I broke it down and put it in 2 traps I had. When I retrieved the traps I was amazed because they were both stuffed and actually hanging on the outside of the trap. I found I wasn't to keen for the oily strong flavor of lake trout! But its the best crawdad bait I have ever found! Makes sense because its fatty and oily and milks well in the water. Try it..
 

Havalina

Well-Known Member
I grew up putting them in saltwater, and I would argue that it does clean them out. Of course, I am simply going off of the the veins when we have cooked them before and after salt water. I use 1 cup of salt to one gallon of water. The are dead by the time, I get them home. There is a big difference between brackish water and salt water. The argument between if they were dead or not goes into the whole spirt of the law and letter of the law. If someone wanted to transplant them they would not bother with the salt water they would simply transport them. Of course, it also depends on when you were checked. Like I said, I would take that to a jury. I don’t know anyone, who twist the tails off of them alive before transporting them.
 
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Cliff

Well-Known Member
Questions
How fast do they deteriorate after they die?
Can you "kill" them with salt water, put them in heavy ice (in the salt water?) and have them last an hour before cooking?
Or do you have to dunk them in boiling water alive for them to be any good to eat?
I have an hour to drive to get home, do I put salt in the water and wait a bit for them to die and then drive an hour and then cook them? Will they last or deteriorate in that time?
 

Havalina

Well-Known Member
They go down hill pretty quick. Yes salt water will kill them, as long as it as strong as sea water. Especially, a saltwater ice slurry. A friend, who is a microbiologist said that if you have well water you need to and salt to help them purge. If you use tap water, it is the chlorine that causes the purge.
He also said that a 10 minute purge will not do much for the hind gut. He suggested 12 hrs in a ice saltwater slurry.

You could probably throw them in an ice saltwater slurry, and you would get the gills and external debris cleared out. It wouldn’t do much for the hind gut. That way they would either be dead, or incapacitated by the time the you got them home.
 
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Cliff

Well-Known Member
12 hr purge tells me they live for 12 hrs in the salt water Not good for taking home on the highway.
So I guess at the lake a couple of buckets to wash them in lake water and salt maybe and then cook then twist the center tail fin and pull the gut out may be the only way to really clean them legally.
Takes a lot of heat to boil 2 gallons of water in a stock pot at the lake. I'd have t bring gallons of potable water to cook them in also. Hmmmm
 
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