The best baits for crayfish
Crayfish are omnivores, but 90% of their diet consists of plant food (algae, leaves, water lilies), the rest – various aquatic animals and insects. They do not disdain carrion either, that’s why they are called pond scavengers. To interest crayfish, the bait should be as close to their natural diet as possible, but with a strong aroma, because they have an excellent sense of smell.
Overview of popular baits
Catch in closed-type crayfish traps is best on meat or fish, as they do not get soaked in water and can be left overnight. If the fish is small, it is cut along the backbone to facilitate access to the meat, you can even turn it out. Make sure to pierce the bubble or remove it completely so that the fish does not float. Large fish should be cut into pieces. If you remove the scales, the smell from the bait will be stronger and more enticing. Crayfish like roach, bream and crucian carp. But not predatory fish, especially perch and pike.
Meat is preferably taken fresh. A little smothering is allowed. Though crayfish are scavengers, but stale meat will stink so bad that it will scare away the prey rather than attract it. A special treat for crayfish is a frog. But not every fisherman will dare to bother with it. It is necessary not only to catch it, but also to remove the skin.
Shrimp can be used as bait. Do not be surprised about this – crayfish often fight among themselves and can snack on the fellow, eat small crayfish.
Chicken giblets or beef liver can be used as bait. It is recommended to fry them lightly beforehand, and then add a flavoring agent – smelling sunflower oil or chopped shrimp. The peculiarity of this bait is that it can be used until it is completely rotten.
Of vegetable baits, garlic stands out. Most often it is added to rye bread – pre-shredded and stuffed into a loaf. You can also use whole cloves, but be sure to crush them to release the fragrant juice. Naturally, the bread will quickly become soggy and can be scattered by small fish. To avoid this, the bait should be wrapped in a sack of fine mesh, gauze or capron stocking. Make small holes in the bag itself.
Another popular plant bait is canned peas. The can is shaken out into the bag and attached to the fish trap. Chopped dill, either fresh or dried, can be added to enhance the smell. As an option, you can prepare pea porridge with the addition of unrefined sunflower or linseed oil. Some anglers recommend trying to catch crayfish on canned corn.
If you don’t want the bait to get soaked quickly, you should put sunflower oilcake (makukhu) in the crayfish trap. This is a pressed product, which remains after pressing the vegetable oil. Cake in the form of pancakes soaks longer, can be used repeatedly. It is allowed to put leftovers into crayfish traps as well, as long as they have a distinct flavor, such as smoked lard. Taste preferences crayfish often depend on the habitat, and you can never guess which bait will be most effective.
What is the best?
Of all the above baits it is difficult to single out a single leader. Depending on the season, the diet of crayfish may vary. For example, in spring the individuals wake up after hibernation and are not active enough. Fish bait will be more to their taste. In summer, there is always food in reservoirs, a lot of vegetation, insects fall into the water, fry grow up. It is possible to interest the crayfish with fresh meat and giblets. By the way, the tastiest meat has crayfish caught in late summer and early fall. By that time they have enough growth and time to grow fat.
In autumn crayfish begin to reproduce actively, so they need much more food. It’s best to use bait with a strong aroma, such as garlic. But in winter, plant food is preferable. The best bait during this period is peas.
Since the water is cold and the crayfish begin to lack food, they respond well to meat and fish with a little flavor.
Crayfish are most active at night. If you do not want to check open crayfish traps every half an hour, you can use closed-type traps. Bait for them should be chosen one that will not get wet quickly enough. These are cake, meat and fish. Otherwise, the bait lasts up to 3 hours, after which it is recommended to replace it with a fresh one.
In addition to the season, the choice of bait is influenced by the bottom of the reservoir:
- muddy – fish or puffer meat is recommended, as they are more familiar to this environment;
- vegetable bottom – peas, oilcake;
- shore with a deep cliff, underwater caves – baits with a strong aroma, in particular garlic;
- warm shallow water – peas, earthworms, grasshoppers, honeybees and other insects.
Crayfish prefer to hunt close to their holes, although in hunger they can travel up to 200 m. Therefore, it is better to have crayfish traps at a distance of 10 m from each other. Sack with bait should be sewn to the crayfish trap, tied or fixed with wire. Pieces of meat and fish can be put on a small carabiner. Small pieces or insects are better to target on special hooks. If they are not available, fishing #14-16 or small tees will do.
The main thing is to place the bait so that the crawfish could not drag it away and he had to climb into the trap for food. From open crayfish traps the prey can escape, so they should be checked more often. Raise such a trap smoothly and carefully, so that the crayfish does not fall off. Knowing the basic types of baits, nevertheless, it can be difficult to guess which of them the crayfish will react more readily.
It is recommended to use several kinds at once and observe, on which crayfish will gather the most.
The following video shows you the best and most effective baits for catching crayfish.
Crayfish fishing with crayfish traps
Without catching crayfish, it is difficult for fishing enthusiasts to imagine fishing. This is quite a fascinating activity that requires stamina and perseverance. Very tasty and unique meat is tasted by all.
Fishing itself does not require the purchase of expensive devices and other equipment. It will be enough to prepare a crayfish trap and crayfish bait.
Crayfish fishing with the use of crayfish traps is considered the most common and convenient way. It is not poaching, but quite legal.
The number of traps per fisherman depends on the fishing area. In each area, the limit of traps used is different (usually from 3 to 10 pieces).
In order to catch crayfish was successful, and the fishing itself brought only pleasure, you should heed to some recommendations.
What to catch crayfish on?
Crayfish are found only in sufficiently clear water bodies and it will be impossible to catch them in muddy and dirty water. The main habitats are lakes and rivers without strong currents. It prefers reservoirs with a rocky bottom, as it will be easy for it to hide.
Crayfish are carnivorous animals, which is why they use meat as bait. He is also a scavenger, which means that he himself does not like to hunt, and prefers the bodies of dead inhabitants of reservoirs. But using rotten meat as bait will not result in a good catch. To lure him into the trap, it will be enough to feel him a strong smell of food. You can cut the bait to spread the smell.
What kind of bait to catch crayfish on?
It is impossible to name exactly the type of bait, thanks to which the catch will be great. At different reservoirs and at different times, the crayfish do not react to the bait in the same way.
When choosing the type of bait, the following should be taken into account:
- The smell of the bait. The stronger it is, the greater the number of crayfish will crawl to the trap.
- Its freshness. The bait should not be missing. On products with a pungent smell, crayfish will go only if they are hungry. So, in water bodies rich in food, this bait will not work.
But as practice shows, effective bait is meat, small fish, dried frogs or even grasshoppers, because it is his natural food.
Not bad crayfish are also caught on various food scraps, expired food, but only at the time when they are still hungry.
Distribution of bait by periods of fishing
At different times of the year, crayfish react differently to the type of bait:
- Spring crayfish bait. Bait at this time of year is well suited small fish, fish fillets. And it is not necessary to catch it yourself, you can buy it in the store. So that the smell of fish crayfish felt faster, before fishing, the carcasses can be incised.
- Bait for crayfish in the summer. In the summer, when there is enough food in water bodies, a good bait will be animal meat or by-products. They can be bought in advance in any store or market.
- Bait for crayfish in the fall and winter. Their catch during this period of time will be good, since the amount of food in the reservoirs decreases and the bait can be bread with garlic. So that during fishing the bread does not quickly melt, it is recommended to wrap it with garlic in gauze or cloth. It is better not to peel the garlic, and shove it into the bread with the rind. Many anglers during this period are advised to use not fresh meat and fish.
Features of baits when catching crayfish on crayfish traps
To get a good catch of crayfish, the type of bait is very important. Crayfish should be lured into the trap, it will not go into it by itself.
Often used and effective baits are considered:
- fish (preferably fresh);
- mollusks that live in the body of water, where the fishing will be.
Fish is most often used as bait, it should be firm. A good catch will be if the bait will be roach, bream or perch.
This, of course, is not all types of bait. Experienced fishermen also use their own, time-tested baits, but in any case, they must be fresh. To crayfish crawl into the crayfish trap faster from the bait must go a strong smell. For example, to intensify the smell, it is better to make a cut in the fish along the vertebrae, and turn the meat outward.
It will be enough to put one fish into one trap for the night. The second most popular baits are mollusks (mussels and river shells). The bait can be live. You can find a snail or shell in a body of water and put it in a trap.
Bait with your own hands
Bait for catching crayfish can easily be made by yourself.
Here are some fairly simple tips:
- On a meat grinder, twist a loaf of black bread and a small head of garlic. From the resulting mixture roll small balls and place them in gauze or cloth bags. When fishing, put these balls in a crayfish trap.
- Garlic can only be rubbed on slices of bread, without turning it on the meat grinder.
- Not a bad addition to the bait is cake. It is added to the bread and twisted, or small pieces of cake pushed into the bread and placed in cloth bags.
- Crayfish lovers take canned fish for bait. Several holes are made in the can on both sides, and it is placed in the trap.
- Freshly caught fish will also do. But first it should be sun-dried for a while, and then placed in the trap.
How to catch crayfish on a crayfish trap?
Open crayfish trap
Using such traps is the easiest and cheapest way to catch crayfish.
These traps consist of a wire circle with a diameter of about 70 cm (the wire can be replaced by a wooden circle), on which the delta is put so that it sags a little in the middle.
If the trap will be used at depth, then four ropes are tied to it, which are then tied in a knot, from which goes the long end for lifting or descending with a homemade float.
If catching crayfish will be in the coastal area, the role of tackle trap will be performed by a long pole. It is securely fixed in the ground. It is necessary to check the content of the crayfish trap every 15-20 minutes. It is necessary to lift the trap quickly with sharp movement. If lifted slowly, the crayfish may crawl out.
Trap of the closed type
Its use will give the best result. The advantage is that it does not need to check it often (usually 2-3 times in one night). Their disadvantage is the volume.
They are used to extract crayfish on one body of water, and, in order not to float, a weight is placed on its bottom. They are convenient because the crayfish, having fallen into such a trap, will not be able to crawl back.
Fixing the bait
Bait, used to catch crayfish to the bottom of the crayfish trap is attached in different ways. For its attachment a pin, an elastic band, a mesh bag are well suited.
Many anglers attach a small homemade pocket to the trap to place the bait in it. To fasten it to the bottom of the trap should be good, so that during the installation in the pond it did not fly off, and also so that the crayfish began to eat it in the crayfish trap, but did not rip it off.
What time to catch crayfish with crayfish traps?
Crayfish are caught in different ways throughout the year.
To have a great catch, you should take into account the peculiarities of fishing for them:
- January and February – crayfish sits in their holes at this time and is not caught;
- March, April – begins to awaken from hibernation and come out of their holes, and catches very poorly;
- May – in this month the crayfish molts and starts laying eggs and catches poorly as well;
- June – catching is weak because molting is still in progress;
- from July to October – the best period for catching, crayfish became active after molting, they eat well and gain weight;
- November and December – the biggest crayfish are caught in this period, and the females will have caviar under their shells.
Crayfish catch on these dates can not be called exact, everything will depend on the region and climatic conditions in it. Night time is considered the best time to catch crayfish, because they are active at this time of the day, and crawl out of their holes mostly at night in search of food. Traps for them are usually put in the evening until early morning.
It is very difficult to approach a place on a water body where there are crayfish freely because their shoreline is overgrown with reeds. Experienced fishermen advise to set crayfish traps from boats.
In order not to search for traps for a long time on the entire bottom of the reservoir, and it was easy to find and lift, a homemade float made of foam is tied to the top of the cord. It will indicate the location of the trap.
It is possible to set the trap from the shore, following a certain sequence:
- find a stick with a slingshot at its end;
- take the cord from the trap in one hand and the stick in the other;
- lift the trap by hooking its cord;
- slowly lower it into the water;
- tie the cord from the trap to a tree or stick.
It is recommended to install traps at a distance of 10-30 m from each other and at different depths. The best time to test it is once in 3 hours. Having lifted it out of the water by the cord, the catch is taken out and the empty fish trap is lowered back into the water.
Applying all these tips, you can be sure that fishing for crayfish will bring only positive emotions and a sense of satisfaction.