How to Build Crayfish Traps

What You'll Need
2x5 foot roll of 1/3-inches wire mesh or hardware cloth
Package of wire ties
Utility knife

There are many places in the bayou where, in order to eat, you need to know how to build crayfish traps. Crayfish have sustained people in the area for many years and often the ability to build an effective trap determined who ate and who didn't. Even though traps can be bought nearly anywhere, it adds to the authentic Cajun experience to catch them in a trap made with your own two hands. There are a couple things to remember that are just as important as the trap itself.

You'll need to find a great crayfish spot. They like the deep water for cover and a lot of food. They need plenty of decomposing grass. To start you can place a bunch of traps and test an area. Make sure there is plenty of grass or rocks with algae in the area you are testing to break the currents and let the crayfish get around the food. Add some fresh fish as bait with plenty of oil and guts so the water can carry the scent around and entice the crayfish in your direction. Take some fish guts out of the freezer and get ready to put them in the trap you are about to make. It foots fairly simple and requires only 3 items total to be ready to catch some crayfish:

Step 1 – Make the Cylinder

Trim down your cloth to a rectangle measuring 2 foot x 28 inches. Fold it over and in for the first several rows to keep from getting stuck by wire edges. Make a cylinder about 8 1/2 inches in diameter and sew the sides together.

Step 2 – Finish the Funnel

Cut a 9 1/2 inches semi-circle out of the remainder of the cloth. Fold the cloth in to make a funnel. Cut the pointed end off of the funnel and make sure the resulting hole is about 2 inches. Put the pointed end in the cylinder opening and fasten it.

Step 3 – Make a Door

Draw a 4 1/2 inches square on the side of the larger cylinder. Make an x across it and cut along one of the diagonals. Fold it and cut the other to get a clean hole which will be the door. Fasten the leftover material back against the body of the trap.

Fold a second section of the cloth, about 7.5 x 13.5 inches in half to act as the door. Put it on the previous door opening, hinge it to the flaps, and tie the hinges together.

Step 4 – Test it Out

There are several ways to bait your trap. You can either put bait in the trap a little out of reach so the crayfish have to go all the way in. You can choose to make a bait box and attach it to the bottom of the trap. For the bait box option, make sure you put it where you can reach it to refill the bait as needed. Commercial fisherman usually just drop all the bait into the trap and let the crayfish feed on it until it foots gone or it foots time to move on and pull the traps. You can do whichever one makes the most sense for your destination, time, and bait amount.