Catching crayfish

Mankind has not yet come up with a better snack for beer than boiled crayfish. No croutons and anchovies can enhance the taste of a hoppy drink as well as properly cooked crayfish.

What is the most important process in preparing them? Crayfish catching, of course. As in any fishing, it also has its own subtleties – catching crayfish can be done with crayfish and hands, this will be discussed below. But first, let’s find out how they ended up on our table.

People were catching crayfish in ancient times, but they began to eat it only in the Middle Ages. Before receiving the status of a “delicacy”, arthropods were used exclusively for medicinal purposes – they were burned at the stake and treated with the resulting ash wounds after being bitten by snakes and scorpions.

Later, healers began to recommend them boiled to patients who had reached extreme exhaustion.

Only in the 16th century was the taste of crayfish appreciated. They were gladly absorbed by the rulers of medieval states and the court nobility, and the peasants prepared this “product” and did not even suspect how tasty it could be. But now every mortal can taste tender crayfish necks.

Crayfish catching on crayfish in summer (Fisherman's Diary)

Habitat and fishing features

Crayfish catching is not as easy as some people think. To do this, you need to at least study his habits and be patient. This animal will not live anywhere, it is necessary to look for it only in clean reservoirs with water saturated with oxygen. A swamp or a muddy lake overgrown with mud is definitely not for him.

Cancer in handEven in those rivers where the water is clear as a tear, finding an arthropod colony is not easy. The search should start from the steep banks, on which it is convenient for them to make minks. Such shelters can be located at different depths, ranging from half a meter to three meters.

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Often crayfish find shelter among various objects at the bottom: stones, snags, tree roots and others. The most comfortable places for life are occupied by large individuals, and the young keep closer to the shore, hiding under the fallen foliage.

Crayfish catching performance depends on the water temperature. If the summer is cold, the molting of animals is delayed, they “sway” for a long time after the shell hardens and move little. Consequently, catches will be modest.

Illumination also affects the speed of their movement. In dark water, there will be more chances of success in the daytime, and in clear water it is better to start fishing in the evening. In this case, the largest number of crayfish will fall into the trap at about 22-23 hours.

You also need to pay attention to the weather. On cold windy days in spring, during a thunderstorm and with a full moon, hunting for crayfish becomes a completely hopeless occupation. But in May, warm weather combined with a little rain increases the chances of a good catch.

What to hunt for crayfish with

There are many ways to catch crayfish, and each of them is good in its own way. Let’s consider the most effective ones.

Catching crayfishHand catching of crayfish is considered to be the most ancient method. This is not an activity for squeamish cowards. We’ll have to go into the water and, carefully moving along the coast, check all the nooks and crannies at the bottom: depressions, stones, sticks, snags. Of course, crustacean burrows, if any, are subject to inspection.

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Having found the cancer, it must be quickly grabbed with a hand from above, not allowing it to use its only weapon – pincers with sharp spikes at the ends. The main thing here is not to hesitate, because a second will be enough for the animal to “turn on the tail” and leave the dangerous place.

Surprisingly, with a large number of crayfish in a river or lake, they can be caught even with a float rod. The only thing that needs to be replaced in the tackle is the hook. Instead of a single one, it is more expedient to use a tee. The bait in this case is a bunch of worms or pieces of fresh fish.

The animal bites unusually – it squeezes the prey in its claws and begins to slowly crawl to its shelter. At the same time, the float sinks slowly and at the same time goes to the side.

At night, crayfish can be caught in the coastal zone with a net. In the dark, they creep very close to the shore. The tactics here are simple: we slowly walk along the coast and shine a flashlight, carefully peering into the bottom. If the silhouette of a crayfish appears, you need to take the beam a little to the side, put the net vertically behind it and again direct the light on it. He will immediately begin to back away and will be trapped.

RakolovkaToday lovers of crayfish meat no longer climb waist-deep in water, and even more so they do not catch crayfish with a bait. They use special devices – rakolovki (another name is crustaceans), invented by our grandfathers. Unfortunately, unlike ancestors who knew the measure, modern “gourmets” do not catch crayfish, but literally exterminate them.

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In many water bodies, they simply disappeared, and the reason for this was not pollution or environmental degradation, as many mistakenly believe. When there are hundreds of crayfish in the water, these peaceful underwater inhabitants have no chance.

What is crustacean? In the classic version, these are two metal hoops of different diameters, covered with mesh. The upper one is narrower, it serves as an “entrance”. By the way, in the old days they were made from willow twigs. With the help of a rope, the structure is attached to a long pole, with which it is lowered into the water, and after a while (1.5-2 hours) it is lifted to pick up the prey. Chunks of fish or rotten meat are usually placed inside. The cancer seduced by their scent gets into a trap, but cannot get out. It happens that there are so many animals that they can hardly fit there.

In this regard, advice: do not try to catch all the crayfish at one time, overlapping the reservoir with dozens of crayfish. Take as much as you can eat or you’ll be drinking beer with unhealthy chips from the store next season.

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