November 24, 2021 by CC Staff

Hook, Line, and Sinker: How Are Crawfish Actually Caught?

Whether you call them crawfish or crayfish, one thing is true: these little critters are absolutely delicious. With the right recipe and some tender loving care, you could have a filling meal that is hard to forget. And to pay homage to the animals that bring us our favorite dishes at our favorite crawfish bars, we will talk about how they are caught and prepared.

Where Can You Find Crawfish?

Before you get around to catching them, you have to know about their habitat. Crawfish prefer shallow and gentle fresh bodies of water, like lakes, rivers, ponds, and streams. They hide under rocks and plants and feed on a mix of water plants and small aquatic animals. 

They thrive in warm and rainy places, which is why it is a staple in the South. Many Southern places, like Louisiana, have the perfect conditions for crawfish to thrive and breed. However, you can find different varieties of this crustacean in other areas, both in the USA and worldwide. 

Common Methods of Catching These Crustaceans

Long before they end up in the kitchens of crawfish bars, they pass through the hands of fishermen and trappers first. These culinary heroes catch these sea creatures mostly through three methods:

  • By Hand

One strange thing about crawfish is that they swim backward, making it fairly easy to catch them by hand. Anglers often stand facing against the current, lifting rocks and catching the crawfish as they attempt to swim away. More often than not, they use special gloves or a net to do so. 

This could be an incredibly fun activity to try, especially with family and kids. 

  • With Bait

Like with any form of catching live animals, you might do better with a bit of bait. You can tie some meat to a string, let it float along with the water’s flow, and catch the little crawfish that come close. 

You can also dangle the meat near their habitats—the little rocks and plants they call home. When they attach themselves to the bait, you could pull it up slowly and catch the crawfish with a net. 

  • Using Traps

The beauty of traps is that you can leave them behind for a few hours. You could spend time doing other things while the trap does the work for you. Usually, this involves a collapsible net or a cone-shaped funnel trap of some kind. Bait is stored in a nylon stocking at the end of the funnel.

Over time, the crawfish may eventually find themselves swimming into the cone and the stocking. If you make the trap well, the crawfish will not escape. 

Boiling Crawfish

The most fun part of crawfish is eating them. Boiling and preparing them, however, follows closely behind. It is pretty easy despite being exquisitely delicious. 

You need to fill a pot halfway with water to match the amount of crawfish you have. Add one bag of seafood boil and stir. Ignite your stove, and once it is bubbling rapidly, add your crawfish and cover the lid. 

Wait for the water to return to a boil, and boil them for no longer than three minutes. Once three minutes have passed, remove the crawfish from the water and throw them into a clean ice chest sprinkled with seasoning and seafood boil. You can also season on top to your taste. As a good rule of thumb, you generally need one pound of spice for every fifteen pounds of crawfish.

After mixing, keep the ice chest closed. Once enough time passes, you can finally enjoy your delicious meals. 


Catching them, boiling them, eating them, or even keeping them as pets—crawfish are fun no matter what you like to do with them. They are a bountiful gift from nature packed with unique flavors that you can make into a variety of dishes. There truly is nothing like a good platter of well-made crawfish. 

If you’re craving some seafood, you could try making the best crawfish recipes or skip all these steps and just go out to eat at a crawfish bar in Houston instead. Crawfish Cafe has some of the most delicious crawfish dishes in the area. Satisfy your crawfish craving with us today!

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments