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Crawfish trapping in lakes in southern California?

MariotheBarber

Well-known member
Anyone here do this? I bought some crawfish traps and was thinking about baiting them with some fish, and cat or dog food and seeing if I can't get some fresh lake lobsters.. Anyone got any experiance/tips on this?
 

dthome

Well-known member
Yup. It's a load of fun. I use chicken livers. Keep out overnight, and check in the morning.

It's important to purge crawfish with saltwater, then boil them. Youtube it - it's easy. Don't undercook them. They have parasites.
 

dthome

Well-known member
Many likely have parasites. That's why you boil em good. Nothing to worry about. Just no crayfish sushi.
 

MariotheBarber

Well-known member
Ahh okay. I just don't wanna end up on a episode of Monsters Inside Me haha.. Im just a bit paranoid lately cause I pulled three catfish out of a local popular lake, and all three of them had some parasites inside. Their meat was covered in this tan-ish colored dots or spots, it almost looked like specks of fish fry batter.. Didn't look too healthy..
 

mischief209

Well-known member
I've been useing beef liver lately and haven't found anything to beat it. I've tried everything. The beef liver is alot tougher and will send a scent out for a long time and the bait lasts longer. I've purged mine before but there are alot of people that now say purging doesn't do anything. Best to put them in a cooler with an ice block for 2 days and no food and it cleans them out better I've found. Virtually zero mud vain. The saltwater purge I used to do never fully cleaned the vain and felt like I would eat a few grains of sand.
 
Raw chicken. Drumbsticks are cheap. Chicken or Beef liver. Something oily that will not break down. Never done the saltwater purge but have done a freshwater purge with lettuce. Gets the muddy sh!t taste out well. Found creeks leading to and from lakes held the most concentrated populations. Sometimes end up with a full trap in just a few hours. Last time I left them over night in what I thought was a out of the way location, they were stolen.
 

MariotheBarber

Well-known member
Thanks for the tips guys, it never occured to me to use beef or chicken liver. Unfortunately I don't know a place yet that I feel comfortable leaving them overnight. I was planning on putting them in a couple local lakes, and just having them out all day while I fish.. How do you purge them with lettuce? I've yet to hear about that method..
 
Thanks for the tips guys, it never occured to me to use beef or chicken liver. Unfortunately I don't know a place yet that I feel comfortable leaving them overnight. I was planning on putting them in a couple local lakes, and just having them out all day while I fish.. How do you purge them with lettuce? I've yet to hear about that method..
Fill up a cooler an inch or two with cold water. Throw in crawdads and a few leaves of iceberg or romaine lettuce. They eat the lettuce which purges the mud, liver and other junk they've been eating. Let them sit for 24 to 48 hours. Keep the cooler shaded and change the water once to twice a day. Remove any rotting lettuce. The cleaner the water, the cleaner you crawdads will taste
 

mischief209

Well-known member
I try and get the trap to land on some rocks,either river rocks or concrete reinforced banks. Most of the time it's only a few feet off the bank and maybe 3 ft of water. I guess it will depend but I haven't had much luck in deeper then 8ft, nor the middle of the river. I look for eddys, or slow moving current,preferably under a tree that shades the water. If it's a new place I'm trying, I'll throw out the traps for 3 or 4 hrs and come back and see how it looks. If I have 4 or 5 in there then it's a decent spot and I'll leave it, sometimes there are none so I'll move the trap. They typically feed at night but you will catch them in the day just not in numbers. I've learned early on to check them after a few hrs in a new place,nothing like leaving over night with high hopes only to come back with none in the trap.
 

MariotheBarber

Well-known member
Thanks for the response. What times of the year do you have the most success? I dont know if its more of a summer or fall or winter thing, I'd imagine spring and summer would be best
 

mischief209

Well-known member
I've never tried in winter, but July is around when they breed and there seem to be more out and about, I'm sure right now would be great, I assume when the water gets colder they just move slower but are still there. Spring and summer the best times for me.
 

MariotheBarber

Well-known member
Thanks for the advice everyone, this is why I come here. I'm anxious to throw my traps out and get some crawfish, theres two lakes around me that have crawfish to some extants, although I wouldn't be able to leave my traps out overnight.
 


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