View Full Version : cray fish

10-10-2013, 05:56 PM
I watched river cottage a few years back and hugh wss trapping cray fish, then I was lucky enough to try some which a chef I was talking to once had trapped.

They were so tasty and I wished I could trap them myself.

Well tomorrow im going out around southampton to see if I can see any likely areas where I could trap my own.

Going to do the relevant research and get permission before I start.
Just wandering if anyone on here had success in trapping


10-10-2013, 06:44 PM
Be careful you need a licence to catch them plus you cant keep the native ones.

10-10-2013, 06:54 PM
Yeah I relise that scott.

I just meant going to find them or atleast signs of them before applying for licence. As I want to make sure I get licence for a good area


10-10-2013, 07:56 PM
I think they tell you where you can trap them when you apply for the licence.

10-10-2013, 08:17 PM
It says on application I need to give them exact areas I want to trap and they say yes or no


10-10-2013, 08:20 PM

I tried to send u a pm but it says you have to many

10-10-2013, 08:21 PM
I think they tell you where you can trap them when you apply for the licence...

10-10-2013, 09:13 PM
use a string and bacon to test for areas, once found go on google earth to get an exact location to enter on the application form, its easier if you ask for drop nets rather than traps, you can have up to 10 nets, and no limit on size, mine are homemade from 28" cycle wheels, and I have a 2 mile stretch of river in a top secret location,

be warned, catching crayfish gets addictive


10-10-2013, 09:19 PM

I tried to send u a pm but it says you have to many
In box now M/T.

10-10-2013, 09:49 PM
Ratcatcher. Do you mean as if crabbing. Just to see if they are there?

10-10-2013, 09:59 PM
In box now M/T.

Pm sent

10-10-2013, 10:22 PM
yup, or use an actual crab drop net as they only cost a few quid, I did some research, try googling local rivers near you, local lakes/ponds/private fishing clubs etc, you may find old news reports on crays in a certain pond, if so, look for the nearest stream river, as when mating they walk across land quite a distance to find mates, there's quite a huge population of them near tony's doorstep, they must of come from somewhere
if you need pictures of homemade nets, let me know and I'll post a few up
river caught crays taste better than pond caught

10-10-2013, 10:31 PM
When u get time a picture would be great



11-10-2013, 06:53 AM
Good thread, so where do you get your netting for you drop nets? That is to ratcatcher who sounds like done a bit of this.

11-10-2013, 08:14 AM
dunno if you see these before http://www.naturalbushcraft.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?6243-signal-cray-fish-i-think&highlight=crayfish
http://www.naturalbushcraft.co.uk/wild-food/signal-crayfish-trapping-and-catching.html, may be of some help, i caught mine in such away that you would only need land owners permission as we did not use a cray fish trap, more of a humane spear, lots more fun that chucking a trap out and waiting

11-10-2013, 08:40 AM
Good thread, so where do you get your netting for you drop nets? That is to ratcatcher who sounds like done a bit of this.

my netting is actually sparrow proof netting, as Im a pest controller, but you could use debri netting (green stuff on scaffolding) or old net curtain even

, lots more fun that chucking a trap out and waiting

in our spot, we have 8 drop nets on the go at once, walking the length of them, as they get spaced around 8ft apart, we lift them every couple of minutes, and on good days each lift will catch between 8 to 15 crayfish, belive me, there is NO WAITING,
it makes for a fun day, have invited friends along with kids that moan constant that they have been dragged away from tv/playstation/xbox/computer etc within minutes of seeing how we pull them up, and have a great few hours of fun, they are constantly asking, when they can come again

11-10-2013, 09:19 AM
When u get time a picture would be great



ok, e bay is a good place to start, I picked up 8 x 28" bike wheels for around 10, get them home and cut all the spokes out, you only want the rims, steel are better than ali as they sink better

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y29/eastlondonbiker/IMAG0112.jpg (http://s2.photobucket.com/user/eastlondonbiker/media/IMAG0112.jpg.html)

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y29/eastlondonbiker/IMAG0085.jpg (http://s2.photobucket.com/user/eastlondonbiker/media/IMAG0085.jpg.html)

then get down the pound store and find these in the bird feeder section, they are for bits of bread etc, we are using them as bait holders
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y29/eastlondonbiker/IMAG0113.jpg (http://s2.photobucket.com/user/eastlondonbiker/media/IMAG0113.jpg.html)

if you have a dustbin lid then great, if not pile some squares of wood or books to make similar, you then place the netting over first, then the bike rim, then cut the net slightly bigger than the wheel, this gives you a concave in the net once its the right way up
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y29/eastlondonbiker/IMAG0087.jpg (http://s2.photobucket.com/user/eastlondonbiker/media/IMAG0087.jpg.html)

secure the netting to rim using plastic tie wraps every 40mm or so, I then secured 4 wires from each rim, you can use anything,string/rope/chain/wire, whatever you have to hand
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y29/eastlondonbiker/IMAG0089.jpg (http://s2.photobucket.com/user/eastlondonbiker/media/IMAG0089.jpg.html)

I then fix around 8" x 3/4" wooden dowel to tops of these wires that are joined together in a loop like a pyramid, this keeps the wires upright and off the net once submerged in the water, you DONT WANT the lines laying on the net, because if a crayfish is on the net with a wire laying flat, as you pull up, you WILL THROW the crayfish off

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y29/eastlondonbiker/IMAG0091.jpg (http://s2.photobucket.com/user/eastlondonbiker/media/IMAG0091.jpg.html)

the bird feeder cage is fixed in the middle of net with plastic ties, I then fix my environmental tags to the cages, easily seen by busy bodies that stop to talk

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y29/eastlondonbiker/IMAG0115.jpg (http://s2.photobucket.com/user/eastlondonbiker/media/IMAG0115.jpg.html)

most people will tell you to use bacon, or any old meat you have in the fridge, my top tip here is to use whole unskinned rabbit, blood,guts and all, I take a couple of shot rabbits, freeze them solid, take an axe and chop,chop,chop then place in a bag, I belive the meat thats tainted with blood and gutz gives off a good smell underwater, I have tried lots of meat baits and rabbit is the best

this is from just one hour using rabbit

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y29/eastlondonbiker/IMAG0080.jpg (http://s2.photobucket.com/user/eastlondonbiker/media/IMAG0080.jpg.html)

average size
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y29/eastlondonbiker/IMAG0124.jpg (http://s2.photobucket.com/user/eastlondonbiker/media/IMAG0124.jpg.html)

remember, once caught, its illegal to throw back, so dont think, o its a baby,lets put it back, when filling out forms say they are for your own consumption, that way your license covers you for transporting them from place of capture to home for cooking, the EA normally gives me tags on a 3 yearly status, rather than a need to apply each year

put net in as close to the bank your standing on, as crayfish burrow into the banks, its a good idea to get small fishing nets for the kids, they then stand either side of you, as when you pull the net up, the crays will try to launch themselves backwards off the net, having extra hands always helps

I then use around 15ft of rope with a dog clip type fitting on one end to attach to my drop net, on the other end I have a piece of 2x2 timber around 8" this is for two reasons, one it makes it easy to see laying in long grass, plus if it ever falls in, it will float rather than sink, so easier to grab back

11-10-2013, 09:30 AM
Many thanks

Very good information


11-10-2013, 09:48 AM

this was my first time a couple of years ago, 99 in the first hour using rabbit,

once you get home with your crayfish, if you dont want to cook straight away, do not store in buckets of water, as THEY WILL DIE, crays use up the oxygen quickly and thus die, so use old pillow cases,damp the crays will survive in damp sacks for up to a week, longer if kept in a fridge, you can freeze them, but it makes the meat go a little mushy
crays caught from moving water (streams/rivers) normally taste better and dont need to be purged before eating, a quick swish around in a bucket of salted water does the trick, crays from ponds/lakes etc I would purge for a couple of days before salting and boiling

you see lots of stuff on PURGING, I belive this is more for our foriegn friends who tend to eat all of the crayfish, when you snap the tail off, you'll see the body section has a yellow substance inside, this is called the "crayfish butter " and by all accounts is the best bit when sucked out:ashamed:
Im sorry, Im british and wont do that thank you very much

therefore as we only eat the tails and claws, I feel purging is not so important, just remember the black line in tail needs removing, as thats his you know what for number two's

lastly, theres something else I was going to mention, but have forgotten it,lol, its old age catching up with me.....

11-10-2013, 10:21 AM
Very good

13-02-2014, 07:53 PM
There's tonnes of huge crayfish here in NZ, spiny little buggers shred your gloves

13-02-2014, 10:31 PM
I've caught them on wire mesh trays.n cooked n eaten them at the riverside.
But our local IKEA has regular Crayfish Parties.Complete with trimmings n ABBA Tribute Band.
And yes I'm not squeemish,I suck there "brains out".(crayfishi butter.)
Had some good ones in OZ,specially Morton bay Bugs.