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See also   Edible Berries and fruits  Non Edible Berries   Poisonous Berries and fruits   Food Sources   Meat   Plants as food  Edible Plants  "How to Make A Crawdad trap "
  Making Fire   Obtaining Water   Making Soap  Sleeping Arrangements      Using a signal mirror     Making rope  Make a compass   First aid
 Making a primitive Shelter   Shelters -Manmade material

 Back to Survival Trips

Crawdad recipes

How to make a Crawdad Trap

Crawdads, also known as crawfish or crayfish, look like a small Maine Lobster. They are found in fresh or brackish water. These are a staple food for the people of Louisiana in the USA.
Below is a description with photos to assist you in making a trap to capture these delicious critters.

There are several way to make a crawdad trap including making it from woven sticks, reeds or basket weaving material. See our Survival section. However for this tutorial we will utilized readily available materials that can be purchased at any hardware store.

Materials required:
  • 1 -  2' X 5' Roll of 1/4" hardware cloth  (1/2 " could also be used.) (about 6 dollars)
    1 roll of stainless steel tie wire (nylon ties can also be used
    - black last longer) About $1.95.

  • In our constructed example we utilized a couple of different methods where possible to give you a choice. Note for safety reasons we recommend folding all cut edges over to help prevent injury on the wire ends. In some instances we refer to the number of 1/4 square grids as a measurement as it is a fairly simple method of measuring. It you are using an alternate type of material you can allow for 1/4'" for each grid.

  • Cut a piece of the hardware cloth 2' by 28" long.

  • Fold over and in the first 2-3 grid rows along the raw cut edge to prevent you from getting stuck by the sharp wire edges. Results in a cylinder about 8 1/2' in diameter.

  • Hold it in a cylinder shape with the 2 folded edges overlapping each other.

  • Weave the wire in and out of the grid squares to fasten the two edges together, or use your nylon ties.

  • Cut from the remaining cloth either a semicircle ( recommended) with a  9 1/2" radius - or 3 triangles 9"  by 7 1/2".

  • Gently fold the semicircle in half along the straight edge to create a funnel shape and connect the 2 halves of the straight edges together.  If you are using the triangles you will need to connect all 3 pieces together along the the long edges.

  • Cut the pointed end off off the resulted funnel shape to make a hole about the size off an old silver dollar or 2" in diameter.

  • Insert the funnel into the cylinder. and fasten. Don't be concerned it if seems to be a bit of a mismatch as you can trim off any excess or draw it up where you might be short.

  • Next choose a location on the side of the cylinder to place your door.  Count off a square of about 18 - 1/4 square grids by 18. Mark the corners, then using a marker draw a line crisscross from corner to corner.

  • Cut along the crisscross line, then fold the triangle flaps inside tightly and fasten to prevent them from dropping down. This will give you a nice clean hole to work through.

  • Cut a piece of cloth 30 squares wide by 54 long.  Fold this in half at the 27th grid. Then with it sandwiched fold 3 grids of both plies of the remaining raw edges. This will make your door.

  • Lay the door over the opening, overlapping it by about 3 grids all the way around, and using your tying material create 2 hinges.

  • At this point you can decide whether to create a fancy spring clasp or do as we did and  just use a tie as a door latch.

  • Commercial crawdad fishermen just drop the bait into the trap an allow the crawdads to feed on it until it is all gone or the trap is pulled. However you may choose to either suspend the bait just out of reach, or create a bait box which is fastened to the bottom of the trap, in a location that makes it easy to replenish the bait after you have emptied your catch. If you are making a bait box then cut a piece of hardware cloth in the shape of a cross. We used multiples of of 12 grids to create ours. You then fold and fasten the sides while leaving the top flap as a door.

    This is the same concept as is used in a bait minnow trap except the hole in the funnel is smaller. 
    Just so you know: We went out and bought a mass produced commercial Crawdad trap from a local tackle store and baited both our homemade and the commercial with the same bait (chicken) and placed them about 10 feet apart, to see how ours would fare against a seeming proven design.  We don't know why but night after night our homemade crawdad trap out did the store bought unit  15 to 1. We would have 60 to 75 after each night and the commercial unit had only about 4 to 5. Go figure. Maybe the vinyl coating deterred them or the size of the hole (which was larger) allowed them to crawl out come daylight. It would be interesting to see hppw it compares to one made out of primitive material and not the material we used. Keep watching.


  • Place you mouse cursor over the images below for a brief description then click  for a larger version

     Created a cylinder  
        1/2 circle funnel entrance cut out 
     1/2 cirle funnel entrance  redy for installation 

      3 section of funnel shaped entrance 

     1/3 sectional funnel entrance assembled and ready to be installed

    crisscross cut for opening 

      Bait box before folding. Fasten to bottom when finisihed.  

    See the results of 1 night about 60 keeper size crawdads and this is out of a seasonal creek about 7 feet wide.

     one night 's catch about 60 beautiful crawdads, note bait box with bait still in it.     cooked dads.JPG (62040 bytes)  
      
    See the recipes for crawdads

     

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