How to Dig Up Crawfish! Aka: Crawdads, Crayfish, Mudbugs, Crays, Freshwater Lobsters...




About: Just a former Biology Teacher that takes and makes opportunities to enjoy and learn outdoor skills. Have fun, respect nature, and if you've any ideas as to what you'd like me to demonstrate hit me up. Visi...

A step by step instructional guide on how to unconventionally catch crayfish.


Step 1: Locate a Crayfish Burrow

Crayfish will make burrows (underground tunnels) at various times depending upon the season as well as the water availability of their pond/lake/creek/river. You will find these burrows by looking for mud mounds along the banks of standing water.

Step 2: Remove the Visible "Mound"

The entrance to each burrow is usually adorned with a bumpy "mound" of mud that can protrude upwards of 1 ft. Simply lift the mound off of the tunnel to expose the burrow at surface level.

Step 3: Begin Digging and Get Dirty

Fight down the rational fear of extending your arm into a hole containing the unknown... and do it anyway. Begin digging and expanding the burrow hole. Most will extend downwards of 2 ft. The tunnel will probably take a turn at depth or open into a cavity where the crayfish will usually be found.

Step 4: Pull That Sucker Out!

Grab a hold of anything that feels rigid/solid or that grabs onto you... and pull it out while contemplating the questionable life choices that've brought you to this point. Once out of the hole you probably want to get a better grip on the crayfish by using your thumb and fore-finger to "pinch" the main body behind the eyes/claws.

Shout in triumph to let all in proximity know that you are all that is man!

Note: If there is another inhabitant of the burrow instead of a crayfish, perhaps a turtle or musk rat... try to come to terms with having the nick name "nubby" or some such. It could be worse, though I'm not sure how... Jesus, you just had your finger bitten off by something and it's eating away at it in a hole.

Step 5: Watch This Video to See How It's Done

Not a step, but if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video ought to be worth at least a thousand pictures. Click on the video above to see how it's done.

Check out my YouTube Channel to see more Videos like this one: HorseBackBob



    • Party Challenge

      Party Challenge
    • Arduino Contest 2019

      Arduino Contest 2019
    • IoT Challenge

      IoT Challenge

    8 Discussions


    Great instructable! Maybe you can answer the question why people eat them when they are only half grown.

    Around here they can grow to the size of a small lobster literally (>8" from tail to head).

    Do they start to taste bad if you let them grow to large perhaps?

    2 replies

    Must be those Australian crayfish? I would imagine that farmed crayfish are harvested after a certain amount of time rather than giving them more time to grow to maximum sizes.

    That'd be cool to find Aussie giants in Central Texas. I'm pretty sure they are not though, especially since they make the same borrows pictured above, but much bigger. The largest borrow chimney was about a foot tall.

    I did make a minor mistake, they're 8" long from tail to tip of large claw, not head. So they are more like 7" inches. tail to body.

    I've read that pollution in Hawaii's Ala Wai Canal is supposedly the reason why mantis ship grow to well over a foot long (see on google images) . If that is so, then maybe the polluted water they live in around here is having the same effect on the crawdads here.

    The one thing that really stood out when they were that large was their incredibly long main pincher arms. All crayfish sport them, but at that size I guess they become much more massive and much more apparent visually than they are on smaller crayfish.


    4 years ago

    Great instructable and written in the most bad ass way possible

    1 reply

    4 years ago on Introduction

    Easier to just tie a small piece of meat on a string and throw it in a canal or river, I've caught 10 of the buggers at one throw.

    1 reply

    4 years ago

    Awesome! You've got some great videos on YouTube. I'll be following you on both.