Summer Fun at the Creek: How to Catch a Crawdad!
Posted by Devin
This Arizona summer has been a hot one so far. Nothing out of the ordinary there. And until last weekend, our little family had yet to escape the heat. Thank goodness for Jake's parents' cabin in the mountains! Hello cooler weather, evening rains, and the lovely smell of pines!
Whenever we head up north, one of the top things on our kids to-do list is crawdad "fishin." We have attempted to actually fish for FISH with our boys in the past, but it always ended in sorely dissapointed kiddos... Zero fish and broken poles. Jake and I are, sadly, not fisherman. We don't have a clue. (My cousin Hannah, who is a great fisherwoman, will be hanging her head and sighing about now. When we were kids she would grab my pole and stick a baby frog on the hook for bait while I would whimper and try not to puke.)
Thankfully, one year I invited my good friend Jodi to take a trip to the family cabin with us and she taught us the easiest and funnest way to catch a bizillion crawdads! You simply can't go wrong with this method and the kids get such a kick out of it.
Every time we go to the creek we have people approach us and say "How did you catch all those crawdads?!!" We frequently make extra poles for other kids hanging out at the creek and we have even had a group of people who came with crawdad traps ask if they could BUY our crawdads from us!!! Their traps weren't catching anything. (By the way, Caden was quite excited about this offer and was ready to go into business. He was a bit dissapointed when we said they could have our crawdads for free. We never eat them, we just catch them for fun and then put them back in the water at the end of the day.)
So if you're looking for something fun to do the next time you head to the creek, here is my how-to on crawdad fishing!
What You Need:
- fishing line
- panty hose
- small pebble or rock
- bucket (to collect your crawdads in once you catch them)
Assembling Your Pole:
Cut off a small piece of panty hose, about 3-4" long. Tie a knot in one end of the panty hose and then put half a piece of bacon and your small rock inside the panty hose. Now tie the other end of the panty hose in a knot to close the pouch. Tie your fishing line onto your bacon pouch just under the knot so it doesn't slip off and then tie the other end of your fishing line to any stick you see lying around. We usually make our fishing lines 3-4 feet long.
- Squeeze the bacon pouch to get the fatty juices oozing through the panty hose before you drop it in the water. Nasty, I know. Somehow this is always MY job. But those greedy crawdads won't be able to resist it.
- Leave the pouch at the bottom of the water for a little while. If you're patient, you can sometimes catch 3 at a time.
- Don't pull the crawdads out of the water too fast or they'll often let go when they hit the surface of the water.
- The big ones are harder to catch at times. You really have to let them latch on before you pull them out. They're the biggest ones for a reason!
- To pick up a crawdad, push down on its back just behind the head and then pick it up on either side of it's body, right behind the head and claws. It can't "get ya" like this. Picking them up will probably require the bravest of your kiddos to do the task. (And if you word it just like that, some of the kids are bound to want to do it.)
- Crawdads like to hide under and around large rocks. Here's Caden, our master crawdad-er, fishing on his favorite rock.
Once again, this is seriously the easiest kind of "fishing" around. Even if you didn't follow my tips, you are bound to catch some crawdads if there are crawdads to be caught. All ages of kids can participate and everyone has a blast!
Here's our group from the weekend proudly displaying their spoils. Good times!