Crawfish is a kind of crustacean that is edible, and looks like a smaller version of a lobster. It is actually a freshwater crustacean, although it is also found in many seas. Crawfish is also known as crayfish, yabbies, or mudbugs.
Dishes made from these crustaceans are essential in Cajun and Creole cooking, and are much-loved in the southern states of United States. Crawfish are not found all yearlong, and as such are considered a delicacy. Although they do resemble a lobster to a great extent, they are not related to lobsters.
When is the Crawfish Season
Crawfish is considered a treat, as it is not very hardy and cannot survive extreme cold and frost. These crustaceans grow to an average length of about 7 inches, although you can find some that are much larger. The season starts from somewhere in mid-November, peaking in March, and ending in mid-June. Crawfish tastes the best during spring, as the meat is the juiciest and sweetest. During summers it is not as tasty and fatty. These crustaceans tend to burrow deep into the river and sea bed, and hence, good rainfall brings them out. But if the winter months are very severe with freezing water bodies, there is a possibility of them freezing.
How to Catch Crawfish
To catch these crustaceans you will need bait and trap. These can be bought from any fishing store. For bait you can use any fresh fish parts, like herring, cod head, or salmon guts. Make sure that the bait is fresh, otherwise you won't be able to catch any. Also do not use any cat food or dog food as bait. Once you have your bait and trap ready, go to a pond, stream, lake, or river that you know is full of crawfish. Listening to other anglers will help you to determine the exact place where you can trap crawfish.
Next, secure the bait inside the trap with a bit of string. Place the traps in a place where the water level is shallow and muddy or place them near rocks and pebbles. Crawfish love to hide under the rocks and so this is a great place to set up the traps. You can come to check the traps after two to three hours, although it is best to leave them undisturbed. After a few hours, remove traps from water, and if you are lucky, you will find some crawfish in your traps. The number you catch will depend on the season as well as the kind of bait and trap you use.
Crawfish can be made into seafood bisque, gumbo, or simply enjoyed boiled. Once you get the taste of these crustaceans, you are sure to crave for more.