The 8 Best Baits to Catch Crawfish

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It can be difficult to decide which bait is the best for crawfish catching because there are many options. Many individuals have trouble deciding which bait to use; however, there are eight main types of bait work well while you are catching crawfish.

There are many different baits that can be used while catching crawfish, but the eight best ones are listed below for your convenience. To discover which ones are the best to use, keep reading!

1. Herring

The best bait that you can use to catch crawfish is herring. Herring is a very common fish, so you will be able to find them nearly anywhere, including bait shops. You can even catch herring while fishing for crawfish so you don’t have to pay for it. Herring can be found in both freshwater and saltwater, so you will be able to find them no matter where you are fishing. If you use herring as bait while you are fishing for crawfish, your fishing efforts will be successful.

2. Perch

The second best bait that you can use to catch crawfish is perch. You can use perch as bait when they are dead or alive. Crawfish will be attracted to them regardless of the perch’s life status.

Perch are easy prey for crawfish, so using them as bait is highly recommended. Perch are commonly found in freshwater, so if you are looking for some to use as bait and don’t want to go to a bait store to purchase some, head to your nearest lake or river. Here, you will find many perch that you will be able to use to catch some crawfish.

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3. Salmon

The third type of bait that you should use to catch crawfish is salmon. If you are looking for young salmon to use as bait, go fishing in freshwater. As salmon mature, they move to saltwater. Because they can be found in both fresh and saltwater, you have double the chance of catching salmon to use for catching crawfish.

Crawfish love salmon, so if you want to ensure that you have a successful crawfishing trip, use salmon as the bait.

4. Carp

The fourth bait that you should use to catch crawfish is carp. These omnivores are excellent bait for crawfish, and when you use them, you will be pleased with the result. They are easy to bait and are often successful at luring in crawfish so you can catch them.

Carp are strictly freshwater fish and are commonly found in warm bodies of water that don’t move too fast. While they can survive in harsher waters, they prefer to not live in them. If you are looking for some carp to use as bait, you will want to head to a large, calm body of water.

5. Sunfish

The fifth bait that you can use to catch crawfish is sunfish. Sunfish are best to use as bait when you are fishing in clear waters. If you are in muddy waters, then sunfish may not give you the best result.

Before using sunfish as your bait, ensure that you are legally allowed to use them as bait. There are some locations that do not allow sunfish to be used as bait for environmental reasons. However, if there are no restrictions on using sunfish as bait, then you can certainly use sunfish as bait while fishing for crawfish.

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6. Shiners

The sixth bait that you can use to catch crawfish is shiners. Shiners is a term for all small baitfish that are silver in color. Their silver hue causes them to shine while they are in the water, thus attracting crawfish. Shiners are some of the most common baitfish used by fishermen, and fishermen that use shiners as bait while fishing for crawfish are usually successful.

They are prominent throughout the country and can also be found in abundance in Canada. Shiners are freshwater fish and can be found in lakes and ponds, but you can also purchase them at bait shops.

7. Trout

The seventh bait that you can use to catch crawfish is trout. Trout are related to salmon, so it is no surprise that crawfish enjoy both these types of fish. Trout are found in freshwater with lakes being one of their most common habitats.

Trout vary greatly in size. There are some accounts of trout weighing fifty pounds. However, they often weigh closer to ten pounds. Smaller trout are easier to use as bait, so you will want to aim for one that weighs less than ten pounds. If you use smaller trout as bait your crawfishing trip will be successful.

8. Walleye

The last bait that you can use to catch crawfish is walleye. Although this is the last bait on this list, it is a great option. Once you use walleye to catch crawfish, you will understand why so many people use it.

The walleye is a freshwater fish and is most commonly found in Canada. If you are looking for this fish to use as bait, then you will want to go to a large body of cool water.

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Ways to Catch Crawfish

As you may have noticed, fish are the most common bait for crawfish. Fish instantly appeal to crawfish due to their size, movement, and smell. However, you may be wondering exactly how to use this bait to catch crawfish. Below are just two examples of ways you can catch crawfish.


One method of catching crawfish is by using a net. These are easy to find and are also pretty inexpensive. For example, the Portable Bait Traps Fishing Nets can be purchased on for only $12.93. This net is rated five stars, making customer satisfaction clear.


A second method of catching crawfish is by using a cage. If you do not want to deal with the bait yourself, then you can purchase Willapa’s PRE-BAITED Crawfish Trap for $49.99. It is has a perfect five star rating, which makes it clear that it is an effective way of catching crawfish.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>