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basser89

Crawfish question???

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For some reason, this has been "buggin" me for quite a few days now.

Does anyone know if crawfish hibernate???? If so what type of area do they typically look for?

Any input would be greatly appreciated!!!!!!

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that is a good question ive never really thought about it but i do know there is a time when they are out of season   im just glad you said crawfish it really bugs me when someone says crawdads

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Being a Yankee, I always thought "crawfish" were fish bait, and "crawdads" were people food.....helps me rationalize when I'm pigging out on something I'd normally be buying with a dozen nightcrawlers......

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Being a Yankee, I always thought "crawfish" were fish bait, and "crawdads" were people food.....helps me rationalize when I'm pigging out on something I'd normally be buying with a dozen nightcrawlers......

Buying? Man, nothing like a night on the creek, cheap pole with a chunk of chicken liver on the end. Just raise it up and drop the crawfish into the bucket. The case of beer helps alot between the catches.

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I'm not sure if the they truely hibernate, but the kinds around here do burrow durring droughts and may not surface until water returns. I think these holes can go down pretty far, and I have heard some kinds may tunnel down about 6' deep. They will make mounds out of mud that resemble an mud ant hill or an inverted cone with about a 1" or so hole running through it, they also often burrow into clay banks anound here. In some places there maybe 100's of these holes. I have seen holes quite a ways from water in moist ground. We have found mounds in pastures that were at least 100 yrds from a creek or water. It seems like we have found crayfish in the winter months, but it also doesn't normally stay that cold here for long periods of time. Gathering crawfish in cold water isn't something I do a lot of anymore. There are also a lot of different varieties though out the country. So some may in other areas. There are some good sites online about them. You can do a search for crawfish or crayfish.

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What do I know and what do I think can be 2 different things.

I KNOW

I know that within a week of ice out, we were putting in at the back cove. water was about 2 ft deep and gravelly.

Crays were EVERYWHERE!!

I'm talking like there could be 4 or 5 in a 2 ft square.

We fished the 3-4ft deep cove around the corner and absolutely slammed biggy after biggy. One of my favorite days last year for sure. !/8 oz jig/craw worked any way you wanted.

I THINK

My point is that the immediate gut thought I had was that these just came out of hibernation all triggered by some environmental alarm clock.

Not science, just what I have to share.

Yankee- I hope they are all the same cause I ate about 25 of them from my lake when it was lowered to fix the dam years ago. Used a friends cajun recipe and they were delicious. Found them just as mudpuppy described and also will add that when you look in those holes in the evening or night with a light, the eyes glow bright red.

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Muddpuppy and LBH, thanks for your insights!!! Awesome info!

I've heard of them borrowing too which is why the question surfaced. I've never heard of them borrowing that far, I thought they would have done it along the soft mud along the banks. I also thought that water temp probably would play a factor in it too.

Yankee and LBH, was camping years ago with my family near a stream in PA and we hit the "crawdad/crayfish/crawfish" jackpot! I had more than my share that evening! Hey, here's a interesting view, maybe its just the size that determines what they are called. Crawfish are the little ones and crawdads are the big ones. Just something to think about.....

Any other insight is also greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance!

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Guest avid

I'm not sure if they hibernate or not, sorry but I can't help you with that.  Your post did get me thinking about how I used to catch crayfish up in the catskill mts. in NY.  It was a two man operation.  My buddy and I would walk down downstream.  I would kick up rocks and he would be a few feet below me with a big net.  The crayfish and an occasional helgramite would get kicked up and caught in the netting.  We would then use them to fish for smallies.  The live natural crayfish were a killer bait, but the helgramites were dynamite.  You were virtually guaranteed to get bit by a big smallmouth with one of those.  I have never seen an imitation helgramite that comes close to imitating the real thing.  A few fly patterns can capture the look, but nothing can match the movement.  They sort of curl and uncurl as they drift down stream. Hang on 'cause a biggun is a comin'

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Mudbugs are like other insects in the since that they move rather slow when it gets cold. If they didn't dig themselves in a hole they would not make it because they couldn't get away from a bass even if they wanted to. (no they are not a bug or a fish) They hibernate in a hole in the mud and crawl out when it is warm enough. Simi hard mud, clay bottom areas or in creeks or undercut banks they will dig right into the sides of them.

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Chris is right they just move slower. Two days ago while at work, I work for a RR,ugh...but we had gotten a light snow the night before & by that afternoon I saw crawfish moving around. It could have been because of high water, beavers dammed a couple of culverts. Also a word of warning, I stepped on a cottonmouth & saw several more. It opened my eyes.. literally!

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Avid, your memory brought back one of my own and made me laugh out loud....when I was 12 or so, my buddy and I would ride our bikes to fish a reclaimed trout pond that was once a gravel pit. A fast moving stream ran right behind it. From reading a Sports Afield, we got the idea to kick rocks over in the stream, looking for Hellgramites. We soon realized that we could be much more successful with a really fine mesh net barrier placed downstream, but, no money, and no real clue what to buy if we'd had the money.........mom had two sets of curtain "sheers" that hung under the drapes, one for Spring, and one for Fall.....I helped her put up the Spring sheers, and got a brainstorm......to this day, my mother still can't figure out why one of her sheers was missing the next Fall......

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