Crayfish Fishing

Discussion in 'Northwest Fishing' started by CountryGent, Jan 12, 2019 at 10:43 PM.

  1. CountryGent

    CountryGent
    Southern Oregon
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    I remember back in youthful days we would catch crayfish. By we, I mainly mean the children, but also sometimes with mother and father.* My father showed us how to do so with a trap and some inedible fish parts (usually the head) for bait. With this method, would catch a bunch, and my mother would cook them up.

    I have not done so in over 30 years, but something today reminded me of said. Maybe my children would like to do so when they are a little bigger. And I wouldn't mind cooking some up.

    Anyone catching crayfish and, if so, how do you do so? Any recipes to share?

    * A funny memory: on one summer day me, one of my brothers, and my sister caught a great many. My mother cooked them up in a big pot, with rice, and cut up corn on the cob. She put out a spread on the floor and the whole family gathered around the pot and enjoyed the dish. I remarked that they tasted very good. My father, who was and still is a deeply religious person, responded that they were good, but wished they were not so small. Then a concerned look crossed his face, he looked heavenward, and said "Sorry Lord, I should not criticizing your creation."
     
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  2. Flymph

    Flymph
    Oregon
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    I usually fish them out by hand or lay traps down, and use tuna as bait. I don't think gamefish can be used as bait in fresh water, or else I'd probably do that. They thrive in clean streams or gradual gradient, and are abundant in wadable areas. Deep pools are good for laying traps, but it takes them a while to get to the bait in streams. It's a great activity for kids!

    I don't eat them, but I imagine cooking them like crab would work well. Pour in some wine, lemon juice and season to liking. Serve just like your mother did, and pan seared garlic with clearified butter.
    It's more fun chasing them around for me. ;)
     
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  3. Mister Bisley

    Mister Bisley
    Wilsonville, OR
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    In October, we had rented a house on the Siuslaw River near Mapleton. They were everywhere. I was able to catch a bunch by scooping them up or making them swim backwards into a handheld colander and then toss them into a pot. They are pretty good Nawlins’ Crawfish Boil style.
     
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  4. Mistman

    Mistman
    Mist, Or
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    Used to catch them a lot when I was a kid. Loved eating them and would catch them anytime I was out fishing, they're pretty much everywhere. My dad, brother and I would turn rocks in the Nehalem just wading around and catch them by hand. We'd have an old fishing net attached to the belt to put them in. In deeper water we'd throw traps w/liver, old fish, cat food cans w/holes punched in them, hot dogs, bacon, whatever was handy. My cousin even put a dead snake in a trap one time, seemed to work alright.

    We'd boil them in a big pot and dip them in melted butter or Mayo, never boiled them w/other things, just the crawdad's. We would dump them out on the table and pretty much have a free for all. If I only got a few I'd just boil them up and eat 'em myself. They're good fishing bait also, peeled tails can be used like sand shrimp for steelhead, trout love 'em also.

    I haven't eaten any in years, seems like it was sort of a kid thing. I know they get them commercially out of some of the lakes w/a license. One of my best buds is an Adventist, crawdads aren't considered edible to them, they call them mud bugs but there's a lot of good food they won't eat, ........ mmmmm ..... bacon :p (I give him heck all the time).
     
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  5. powermad

    powermad
    Gresham
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    Used to all the time.
    5 gallon bucket with a can of tuna in the bottom and a screen funnel type lid.
    Couple hrs and it would be nearly full.
    Boil em in a big pot outside and a bowl of butter.

    If you go west on HWY 30 just past Deer Island mile marker 36, there is a dirt road off to the right. Follow it for about 100 yds to the train bridge over the creek.
    There is a fish ladder here and it's packed with them.
     
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  6. The Heretic

    The Heretic
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    When we moved to Salem there was a little creek that ran from Fairview along past our house. We called them 'crawdads' and would use bacon attached to a string - with a little skill you could catch them by pulling the string just right to put them in a container. Never got around to cooking them - didn't know how and a half dozen really wasn't worth the effort.

    Crawfish is popular in Cajun food but they usually have much larger crawfish than I have seen in the PNW. I will have to try it sometime.
     
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  7. No_Regerts

    No_Regerts
    Warshington
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    The Columbia and its tributaries have huge crayfish.

    1ACD244C-F921-40AC-B17E-F92EF196E90A.jpeg
     
  8. Mikej

    Mikej
    Portland
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    When I moved to PDX in '83 I'd fish with a group of guys at the sea wall in downtown for sturgeon. I used to trap them there and eat 'em. I know, I know. I lived though. Heck, commercial guys used to trap craw dads in the Willamette up in OC. I know for a fact because a time or two we snagged their trap line bass fishing.

    Timothy lake was lousy with them years ago. I buddy and I had gone camping/fishing up there and trapped a butt-load. We were also drinking heavily at the time dinner came around. Only thing I remember well is eating those little bastid's tails until my fingers were bleeding! Musta' been around 1989-90. Haven't had the urge since.
     
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  9. Mikej

    Mikej
    Portland
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    Dayum! If I could find 'em that size I'd eat some again!
     
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  10. nwslopoke

    nwslopoke
    forest grove
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    Jeez, is that near a nuclear plant? They were never that big when we found them in California.
     
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  11. No_Regerts

    No_Regerts
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    It was near the mouth of the Washougal River. The Snake River is lousy with them too.
     
  12. Mister Bisley

    Mister Bisley
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    If you’re catching Red Swamp Crayfish, then they’re actually the same species that they get in Louisiana and taste better than what you would get in the Southeast. Because the water is much cleaner here and they’ve got some muddy water, the meat is a little sweeter.
     
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  13. Mikej

    Mikej
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    Hmm, down stream Washugal, or upstream? There been some weird in that water in the last 70-80 years I bet? "Crawzilla"?
     
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  14. No_Regerts

    No_Regerts
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    There is a local species, name escapes me, that is better tasting than the Louisiana species IMO. They are bigger too.
     
  15. No_Regerts

    No_Regerts
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  16. Mikej

    Mikej
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  17. MannyGlocks

    MannyGlocks
    Texas
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    You need to purge them before you boil em up.

    How do you purge them: Let them sit in a cooler with a lot of salted water for an hour so...drain, ringse repeat. I usually purge twice. A load of crap will come of them and the water will be muddy.

    Now boil em up.

    They used to be very inexpensive in my part of the world, but a few years back they started costing what fresh shrimp costs per pound.

    What to do?

    Buy shrimp.
     
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  18. Bealzybub

    Bealzybub
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    I have a secret bait, that no one would ever guess that just KILLS em !!!!!!!!
     
  19. KKG

    KKG
    Western Washington
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    There is an ad for the Seattle Crawfish House. It looks like they serve the Crawfish pretty much the same way the OP mentioned. It does look good. I hate Seattle but that might be a good reason to go for a short visit.:):):)
     
  20. DuneHopper

    DuneHopper
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    I recall back as a kid , great fun. Good eats... miss Channel Cats tooo
     
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