How to Catch Crawfish Without Traps

How to Catch Crawfish Without TrapsCrawfish, also commonly called crawdads and crayfish, are freshwater crustaceans that typically grow to three inches long. Crawfish are found throughout many parts of the U.S. with the most species concentrated in the Southeast. Crawfish can be trapped and eaten, kept as pets or used for fishing bait. They can also be caught without using a trap.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

How to:

Things You’ll Need:
  • Flashlight
  • Large Tin Can
  • Pail
Step 1
Go at night to a shallow river or stream that has a rocky or gravelly bottom. This is where you will likely discover crawfish. Remember that crawfish are their most active when the sun is down as they look for insects, snails, algae and worms to eat.
Step 2
Use a flashlight to illuminate the bottom as you walk in the water parallel to the shoreline.
Step 3
Search around rocks, boulders, logs, and other structures that crawfish use for cover. Try to not disturb the water too much as you slowly overturn rocks that may conceal crawfish.
Step 4
When you find a crawfish, position your tin can behind it carefully so as not to alert it.
Step 5
Sweep your free hand toward the crawfish from the front once the can is in back of it. Crawfish will try to escape by swimming in bursts backwards, which will make it easy to catch with the can.
Step 6
Dump your captured crawfish into your pail and keep searching in the shallows for more.

Tips & Warnings

Avoid exposing your fingers to the sharp pincer claws of the crawfish.

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