There are a lot of people who love to eat craw fish, or crayfish, but don’t want to have to pay for these freshwater delicacies, especially while many people such as farmers consider them to be a nuisance. These little guys can be found in rice fields, lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, even creeks and ditches. Whether you are looking for a bunch of mud bugs for a crawdad boil, cooking up a bisque, or even just using them as fishing bait, it’s pretty easy to just go and catch them. But what are the best ways to go about catching a bunch of mud bugs? Well, there are quite a few different ways and sometimes all it may require is a little ingenuity. I have seen homemade traps as well as people catching them with just a fishing line or twine with a piece of meat at the end of it, carefully dragging them onto the bank. Here are a few different more common methods people use:
1. Craw fish rakes or even garden rakes: This is a method best used where there could be a lot of them in the same area. Ditches are good for this technique as they provide them with good hiding spots in the weeds or grass and allow you to rake them up fairly easily. Just pull the rake all the way up on the bank and get ready to start throwing them in the bucket.
2. Minnow/craw fish seines: These are intended for use in creeks and streams mainly and require two people to use. A minnow seine is a big net that you drag through the water with a person on each side. Push through the water as hard as you can and then raise up the net from the bottom to lift it out of the water. From there you can take it to the bank and pour them out in a bucket or cooler. You may also catch turtles, fish or even snakes, so be careful not to tear up your seine or get bit by unwanted visitors!
3. Minnow/craw fish traps: These are cages with a ramp for the craw fish to climb up on and then fall off into the main part of, thereby restricting them from getting out. Just put some meat in the middle and tie it down so it does not float out of the cage. You can use a variety of meats but I recommend using something cheap and bloody. Fish scraps work well. Craw fish have antennae and once they sense blood in the area they are compelled to go check out what kind of meal there could be waiting for them.