August 9, 2021 by CC Staff

A Quick Guide to Finding, Catching, and Cooking Crawfish

Crawfish is one of the many tasty animals under the crustacean family, just like crabs and lobsters. However, some people confuse crawfish with lobsters, but the former dwell in freshwaters like rivers, streams, and ponds, while the latter live in saltwater like oceans and seas. Crawfish are also known by many different names like yabbies, crawdads, crayfish, and even mountain lobsters and are often three to six inches long.

The great thing about crawfish is that they’re full of nutrients like protein, biotin, calcium, iron, niacin, and vitamins A, B6, and B12. They’re also incredibly delicious to eat, just like their big sibling, lobster. Here’s what you need to know about finding, catching, and cooking crawfish to enjoy a hearty crawfish meal of your own:

Finding Crawfish

You can find crawfish in shallow, slow-moving freshwater like streams, lakes, rivers, and ponds. They typically swim at the bottom, often covered by plants and rocks. Their diet consists of the tiny fish and vegetation that surrounds them.

They also love warm, rainy environments, which is why they’re a famous find in Louisiana. However, there are plenty of good crawfish places in Houston with some of the juiciest fish you’ll ever find, so you don’t have to worry about straying too far just to catch some of the tasty fish. 

Catching Crawfish

Now that you know where to find crawfish, it’s time to learn how to catch them. Bear in mind that you’ll need the appropriate license to fish in Texas public waters, which means you’ll need a freshwater endorsement to catch crawfish in inland waters. 

You can use three methods to catch crawfish: by hand, by trap, and by bait and string. Crawfish swim backward, which means it’s easy to catch them from behind by standing downstream from a current, lifting rocks, and scooping or grabbing them from behind their head.

If you want to try trapping them with bait, you can keep the traps open for hours with a collapsible net or closed overnight with a cone-shaped funnel. Keep your bait in a nylon stocking, and the trap should eventually nudge the crawfish into a small opening, keeping them snug and secure.

Lastly, you can use a string with bait like a raw chicken leg. Tie the bait to the nylon string, then dip and soak it in the stream for a couple of minutes. Wait for the crawfish to attach itself to the bait, then quickly scoop it in a dip net before it breaks the water’s surface.

Cooking Crawfish

Here’s something that may surprise you: you can’t actually ‘cook’ crawfish, but boil them! It’s the best and easiest way to enjoy the savory crustacean while ensuring every section is evenly cooked. 

If you weren’t able to catch your own, you could easily get a few pounds from crawfish places in Houston. You’ll need around three to five pounds per person if crawfish is the main protein of the meal. Clean the crawfish by rinsing them in fresh, cool water. Prepare an ice chest, which will hold your crawfish.

Then, take a pot that holds at least two quarts of liquid for each pound of crawfish you intend to boil. Fill it halfway with water, add a seasoning of your choice, like dry and liquid crab boil seasonings, or make your own with lemon, celery, garlic, onions, and bay leaves. Light your burner and wait for the water to start boiling. Add the seasoning, squeeze the lemons, then add your crawfish. Cover the pot with a lid and wait for the water to boil again for three minutes. Then, take the crawfish out, add another layer of seasoning to the ice chest, then put your crawfish in it. Close your ice chest and shake it to mix everything, and you’ll have your tasty crawfish!


Crawfish is one of the most delicious seafood around, especially when prepared the right way. With our guide, you’ll know the basics of finding, catching, and cooking crawfish, allowing you to enjoy the scrumptious crustacean whenever you want!

If you’re craving some good crawfish near you, check us out at Crawfish Cafe! We have the best crawfish in Houston in nine unforgettable flavors. We serve Viet-Cajun crawfish and seafood like gulf blue crabs, littleneck clams, snow crab legs, shrimp, and more. Check out our menu today!

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