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Thread: Creek Trapping crawfish, minnows, sunfish

  1. #1
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    Default Creek Trapping crawfish, minnows, sunfish

    I live in North Alabama and have a nice little creek that defines a short section of my property line. The creek at my place is about 30 ft wide and averages about 3-4 ft deep with some slower deeper holes and faster, shallow areas over the rockier areas. Overall it has a slow steady current. I have lived here for about 2.5 years now and have caught small bluegill and bass using rod and reel from the creek and there are actually a pretty good number in there. I decided to try my hand at trapping live bait this past week and have had very little luck. I have a cylindrical wire mesh minnow trap with 1" holes and a small box type wire mesh crawfish trap with the 2" square opening. I managed to get 5 creek chubs in the crawfish trap but so far no crawfish or sunfish using dry dog food as bait. I'm still experimenting different locations but would appreciate any advice or bait alternatives. My goal is to keep some sort of trap baited down there most all of the time that I dont expect the creek to rise due to rain. I plan to construct an aerated minnow bait tank to house minnows and sunfish and hopefully a few crawfish to help keep it clean. I fish for most all species so I can make use of all 3 as bait. Also, if I want to trap sunfish I will likely need another more appropriate trap for them so could use a recommendation there.

  2. #2
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    My best crawdad catches come from creeks with sandy bottoms.I set the traps just upstream of shallow sandy pools,my go to bait is a couple pieces of raw bacon tied inside the trap.Im not sure what size bluegill you are after,but the round 1” opening in a cylindrical trap is not ideal.
    In my opinion,the clover leaf style traps are the way to go,providing your state allows them.Dog food is very good for attracting minnows,bacon for crawdads..IMHO.I personally do not fish with crawdads,I trap them for eating,after trial and error,bacon has put more crawdads im my belly than any other baits I’ve tried.....that is not an opinion,that is a fact....fish on!
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yaker View Post
    My best crawdad catches come from creeks with sandy bottoms.I set the traps just upstream of shallow sandy pools,my go to bait is a couple pieces of raw bacon tied inside the trap.Im not sure what size bluegill you are after,but the round 1” opening in a cylindrical trap is not ideal.
    In my opinion,the clover leaf style traps are the way to go,providing your state allows them.Dog food is very good for attracting minnows,bacon for crawdads..IMHO.I personally do not fish with crawdads,I trap them for eating,after trial and error,bacon has put more crawdads im my belly than any other baits I’ve tried.....that is not an opinion,that is a fact....fish on!
    Thanks! I agree, I need to add another trap better suited for the bluegill. I'm after 3-4" ones to use for live flathead bait. I also want the crawfish for live bait as well, although I'm game for eating them if I can get enough at one time.

    I have had my traps in a sandy bottom area so far but moved them just upstream of the rocks and a small shoal to try out. I'm about to go check them and see how they fared at this new location.

    Regarding trapping regulations, I need to do some more digging on the laws. I believe this creek is considered private property vs public water since I would argue it is not a "navigable waterway" which is what I believe Alabama uses to define this. If it is private, there are no regulations, but if it is indeed public, I may have to release the bluegill and look into the type trap you mentioned.

  4. #4
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    Skunked again. Here are a couple pics of the location. Its a little shallower than usual in this spot due to erosion from the bank dropping a bunch of sand there. But it gets a couple feet deeper from the tree to those rocks.



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  5. #5
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    It may be possible there arent many crawfish in that area,flipping a few rocks should indicate,though the smaller ones use rocks more than larger ones.Also a stroll up and down the stream could offer clues of crawdad abundance,coon leave behind leftover claws and bits indicating good crab environment ,fish on!
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  6. #6
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    to catch craws, use meat as bait. I forgot about my minnow trap when I was a kid for 3 weeks. When I found it, there was the skeleton of a 5 inch chub and 30 crayfish inside. use raw meat lie chicken or fish as bait.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric_Rybak View Post
    to catch craws, use meat as bait. I forgot about my minnow trap when I was a kid for 3 weeks. When I found it, there was the skeleton of a 5 inch chub and 30 crayfish inside. use raw meat lie chicken or fish as bait.
    I kind of thought that may be the case. I don't have any in the freezer at the moment, but would frozen skipjack be a good option? I try to keep stocked up on them for catfishing. I know they are kind of oily which helps the scent.

  8. #8
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    I go to Dollar General or Family Dollar and buy $1 packs of hot dogs. I cut a slit lengthwise in the dog and bait my minnow baskets. I have success catching minnows, chubs, crawfish and small bluegill in my baskets. I keep them in the freezer as they thaw quickly. I have also used 33 cent packs of wet cat or dog food zip ties to the basket which works pretty well, if you don’t zip tie the plastic container it will float around in the basket which I suppose doesn’t matter, it’s just my preference to secure it. Happy trapping!
    “If your too busy to fish, you’re too busy!” Buddy Ebsen
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  9. #9
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    Keep the fresh heads, guts, tails, etc. when you clean your fish, put them in a zip lock bag and freeze them for when you want to trap crawfish. Put them in a bait holder in the crawfish trap and put out the traps. Crawfish like fresh dead fish (preferably oily), not rotten. Don’t leave the parts loose in the trap but make them work at it. Don’t put the bait where they can get to it from the outside of the trap. Hopefully this helps you.
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  10. #10
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    that creek is such a blessing on edge of your property. enjoy.

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