What Bait Do You Use to Catch Crawfish? Best Baits For Successful Catches!

Crawfish are also known as crawdads, crayfish, and mudbugs, which are one of the best baits to use against big catfish, bass, and trouts! Not only that, but they taste great and a good dish to present to family and friends. That’s why a lot of anglers aim to “fish” for them, too.

But what bait do you use to catch crawfish and how can you get more of them? Read on as I show you the ways to catch crawfish successfully here.

What Bait Do You Use to Catch Crawfish?

catch crawfish

Crawfish are small and ten-legged crustaceans you can find in different bodies of water. There are a ton of ways you can catch them, whether you’re using fishing poles, traps, or even using your bare hands! You can use various methods, though if you want even more success, you need the right bait!

So what can you do to entice crawfish to your trap? Here are two main baits to try:

1. Fish

Fish make the best pair for crawfish! Traditionally, crawfish traps from all around the world actually use fish as bait.

In Sweden, people use sunfish, herring, or shiners, while Lousiana entices crawfish using ponies or gizzard shad. Commercial fishermen in West Coast would use salmon heads or oily fish.

I would recommend that you use either of the following fish or seafood:

  • Salmon
  • Herring
  • Perch
  • Walleye
  • Carp
  • Trout

However, not all types of fish would work. For instance, sardines, clams, sole, eel, or squid won’t entice crawfish as much as the other fish mentioned above.

Using fresh fish is best when the water temperature drops and they are less likely to spoil.

2. Other Meats

There are also other types of meats you can try to entice crawfish with. Anglers also use chicken necks and wings, having success using fresh chicken meats. Chicken backs and legs can also work just as well, as long as they are of good quality and cut correctly.

Crawfish are also attracted to hotdog pieces and fish-based cat food. However, I don’t like to use cat food, though you can try a bit of it to see its effectivity. Cat food only works best during the summer if live and fresh bait spoils quicker. BUT, this bait won’t be best for water temperatures lower than 70 degrees F.

There are anglers from Finland that also use meats such as squirrels and raw meats like pork. They even mention a “stealthily shot neighbor’s cat” works, but I do NOT recommend that you use cats at all!

Read More: How to Keep Fiddler Crabs Alive For Bait: 10 Tips to Follow

3. Meat Quality

Just because you have the correct meats ready doesn’t mean crawfish will begin heading towards them immediately. You have to look into the meat quality and ensure that the meat is FRESH.

Some anglers claim that crawfish like spoiled or sour bait, either fish or meat. However, that is NOT the case.

Crawfish, like all fish, won’t be attracted to spoiled, old, and/or smelly meats or baits. Sure, they will have stronger scents, but the spoiling smell won’t be as enticing compared to using fresher meats.

So make sure that you use fresh meats and store the baits in a good area until it’s time to use it. Also, make sure that you bring a lot of bait, so the more crawfish you’re bound to get.

Don’t be limited to just one type of fish and experiment which type of bait works best in that area and trap type so you know what to bring next time!

Do you want to learn more about catching crawfish? Here is a great video to show you more:

Wrapping It Up

Crawfish are pretty easy to catch as long as you have the right equipment and traps for your area. And when you match it with enticing bait, you can take home envelope more crawfish for your next meal OR for baiting bigger fish! Experiment with any of these baits and traps, and you’ll be able to reap successful results from it.

I hope that this article answers your question, “what bait do you use to catch crawfish?” Now that you know the answer, start following these methods and see which bait works best for you.

3 thoughts on “What Bait Do You Use to Catch Crawfish? Best Baits For Successful Catches!”

  1. As for me and my house, we are beginners in a new adventure. What a way to occupy our time, and catch dinner at the same time. I’m really interested in the best, so I’d like to know if there is a super trap. One that can produce the most crayfish in one catch in the least amount of time. Also, what would be the best bait? Wait, I just scrolled up and read, it’s fish. So i need to catch fish, to catch crayfish, to catch fish… Oh. Been living on a nice size lake for some time , was wondering if there’s a market for these little gift from God? We also have sizable gators in these parts, could this be a danger to my family starting this? Is there a depth in which we need to set the trap? TY for this post!

    • Hi Matt, you may want to try using a wire trap. And yes, fish is the best bait. You can either catch small fish or purchase them from your local fishing store, if the waters are deemed unsafe for you and your family. Lower the bait into the water about 1-2 inches from the bottom of the water.


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