Crayfish are a Cajun delicacy and also make excellent fishing bait. Whether you’re getting ready for dinner or your next fishing excursion, the quickest way to catch these little crustaceans is with a crayfish trap. Follow the instructions below to build your own crayfish traps, using a few basic materials you can find at your local hardware store.
Things You’ll Need:
- 1/4 inch hardware cloth
- 16-gauge wire
- Wire cutters
Build Your Crayfish Trap
Cut a 20 by 24-inch piece of hardware cloth using wire-cutters. Roll the hardware cloth into a cylinder that is roughly 8 inches in diameter. Connect the edges of the hardware cloth by twist-tying them together with small pieces of 16-gauge wire.
Cut a semi-circle out of the hardware cloth that is approximately 12 inches in diameter. Fold the semi-circle so that it forms a funnel shape, and join the ends together with wire, like you did with the cylinder you created in step one. Cut the end off the narrow end of the funnel so there is a 2-inch-wide opening. Repeat to make a second funnel.
Attach one of the funnels to one end of your cylinder, so that the wide end of the funnel is flush with the opening of the cylinder and the narrow end is pointing into the cylinder. Wire the funnel to the cylinder once it is in place. Crayfish will be able to enter the trap through the inward-facing funnel, but will not be able to get back out. Repeat this step on the other end of the cylinder with your second funnel.
Using your wire cutters, cut a 4-inch by 4-inch opening in the cylinder. Cut a piece of hardware cloth to cover the opening; this will serve as a door. Fasten the door on one side with two wire loops that are loose enough to function as hinges. Use a piece of string to tie the door closed on the other side.
Set the trap in any creek, river, lake or pond where you know there are crayfish. Bait the trap with fresh chunks of fish or pieces of hot dog. Tie your trap to the bank with a rope; this will keep you from losing it and will make it is easier to retrieve the trap when you are ready to check it.
Tips & Warnings
- Wear gloves when working with hardware cloth, because the cut ends can be sharp.
- Fresh fish works better than rotten fish for bait.
- Before cutting the hardware cloth semi-circles for your funnels, you may want to cut different sizes of half-circles out of paper, which you can use to test and see how well they fit in the cylinder.
- Working with hardware cloth can be hard on your hands so wear gloves when you make your trap.