Which Trap Is Right For Your Area
And What Equipment Do I Need?
This is a question that I am asked all the time!
It is a tough one for me to answer because each of the three crawfish traps
excel in certain aspects in trapping wild crawfish. All three crawfish traps ARE
commercial crayfish traps without exception, all three traps are built tough
to withstand years of use with commercial winch boats, all three crawfish traps WILL
catch more crayfish then any other trap in the world in any body of freshwater
and I have had hundreds of trap buyers write back to confirm my claims plus they
actually tested them over other traps, grin. I really hate to tell someone that
you need this and this and this, because to me it seems like I would be
pressuring someone to spend their hard earned cash. So, I avoid recommendations
even though I really do know what you need, grin. Just recently I had a customer
that I believe got upset with me because I wouldn't make a recommendation, he
wasn't the first over the years but he was the final straw which pushed me into
writing the software to help create this section of the web site.
Below are links for each state that I have sold crawfish traps to which contain the totals of all the different traps and accessories since Jan. 1, 2006. The state totals are generated from my database in static form offline and then manually uploaded to my website. The reason I do it this way is 1, I don't have a server, and 2, it is 100% secure. So, this means the state web pages are not updated every time you view the page. The totals are Sportsman sales only and no commercial sales are included in the totals.
Every state is different in regard to trapping environments and it is my hope that by knowing what other people in your area are buying, it will set a guideline of sorts and aid you in making a decision on what equipment is best suited for your area. Personally, I was quite pleased with the results of the software and found it to be more then accurate for the areas I personally know about.
A question I'm sure which enters everybody's mind is why do I have three different crayfish traps if all three traps catch large amounts of crayfish in any water body, why not have only one size trap?
The first thing to remember is that I did not design these traps to sell to anyone, I designed these traps for me to catch the maximum amount of crawfish in all environments as a means of making a living selling crawfish. Not once during the decades of trapping wild crawfish did I ever consider that one day I would actually sell a single crawfish trap. Well, sometimes things happen in life which seem unfair but that is the way it is. My commercial trapping days are over but I can still build crawfish traps and enjoy the feedback I receive from people who use them.
Table of links for state totals
Sportsman Pro Crayfish Trap:
This crawfish trap is more popular by 2:1 over the other two trap styles combined in most states. I designed this trap as a multi-use trap; Perfect for rivers that have medium to fast currents with large amounts of heavy duty riff-raff along the shoreline where normal traps get hung up on the bottom and this one won't; Perfect for shallow lakes (less than 100' depth) and ponds where the water bottoms are shallow at a distance from the shoreline, and not to mention creeks; The few areas where the crawfish populations are low; For catching crayfish FAST due to limited set times, meaning the trap will produce great results for sets of less then 24 hours. The above is the highlights why the trap was designed for my use. For other people the trap is best for those who want bait only and those who are interested in trapping a few meals of crayfish at a shot (people unlike me who can eat 20 lbs. at a single setting, grin). I have also found that I have underestimated this trap because I have got back reports of catches from all over the nation which have astounded me in the amount of crayfish this trap will catch in a short period of time. One which really sticks in my mind is a fellow who trapped 115 pounds of crayfish in 8 hours with only one of these traps and it was from a narrow 4 foot wide creek only 16 inches deep. Another is a picture on the front page of the site showing a kids swimming pool filled with crawfish from only 6 of these traps, and the reports go on and on. I just find it so amazing how these traps turned out which far exceeded what I expected and I am really proud of this trap! This trap is hell for tough as all my traps are and no other trap in this world can make that claim.
If your area is like any of the above mentioned conditions or you are unsure where to start then this is the trap I recommend. A bait box is a must too!
Sportsman Plus Crayfish Trap:
This crawfish trap is my favorite but one has to take into consideration the areas I use it in. I'll use this trap in slow to medium current rivers with light riff-raft, the Pro trap can go in areas where concrete slabs with rebar but this trap should have a little more caution exercised for hang-ups. Like the Pro trap the plus trap is ideal for shallow lakes, ponds, and creeks, but the crayfish populations should be a bit higher plus the set time (depending upon the season and area) should be 24 hours.
This trap is number 2 in line for popularity and should be considered as a trap used for food crayfish and not bait crayfish.
I designed this trap for shallow from high to fair productive lakes for commercial harvest. The trap size allowed me to transport larger volume of traps in my boat to more distant trapping locations in comparison to the much larger commercial trap which actually increased my catch in a lower population area which held a much larger crawfish then the average catch. It would be a toss up on which trap would be best for your area between the Pro Trap and the Plus Trap. The main difference between the two, other then price, is the fact the Plus Trap will hold more crayfish then the Pro Trap in very high populated crawfish areas. Basically, you need a little experience in knowing the area you plan on trapping to choose this trap over the Pro Trap and keeping in mind that even two lakes right next door to each other will have different trapping environments. Bait boxes are must!
Commercial Crayfish Trap:
This trap is as big as a crawfish trap can get! In the past I have build several dozen different sizes bigger but anything bigger then this does not catch crayfish well and the catch is actually reduced several times. The reason a larger trap will catch less is because the conductivity of the trap cannot be set for freshwater correctly and this puts up a flag to the crayfish to stay away. Crawfish, crabs, shrimp, and prawns, are highly sensitive to chemical changes in the water or else they would have a hard time finding food, grin. Crawfish are also effected or sense electrical fields as well and a big old hot trap generator just doesn't turn them on, it is one big stop sign. So, this trap is as big as they can get and successfully trap crayfish.
You want this trap for high crawfish production areas, this bad boy will load them up and keep them coming. If you are unsure of the crawfish population or in an area where the population is not high then the Sportsman Pro or the Sportsman Plus are the traps for you. Remember all three trap styles ARE commercial traps, the names have been changed simply to separate the style of traps. The Commercial trap can be set from shore but is best set and picked by boat, often I've had traps so loaded that one trap in a single set will fill a 5 gallon bucket to the rim with crayfish. I had the record on the most crawfish caught in a single trap during a single set until a first timer on his first time out in Texas, using my trap this one, haul in 28 pounds of crawfish.
I hope that the above information helps you decide which trap is best for your area. Nearly every county of every state has high populations of crayfish, in many the mud puddles are infested with them, grin. Over half the states now show large populations of an invasive crawfish commonly called the Rusty Crayfish. The Rusty crayfish are a trappers delight, they are big with large front claws, never go dormant during winter months, and taste fantastic. But, they are also a danger to game fish, plant life, and have ate up entire water bodies of all life before moving on. Once they are trapped they should never ever be returned to any water body and in many states it is illegal to return even the undersized Rusty crayfish back to the water body they were caught in. I sell traps to both State and Federal agencies to help reduce the Rusty population. The agencies have just started to try and do something about them and trapping them is the only way. Please do your part if you live in an area where Rusty crayfish have taken over, plus you will be having fun while you are doing so.
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