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November 28, 2023 •iSportsman Staff
Crawfish are a popular crustacean found across the United States. Sharing a similar appearance and flavor palette to lobster, crab and shrimp, crawfish are a delectable choice for any dish. If you want to add these shelled delights to your recipe repertoire, you need to know where to find them first. Here’s some tips for catching crawfish.
Crawfish are a freshwater species that tend to like slow-moving or stagnant water over fast-moving sources. Commonly preferring small bodies of water over larger ones, you should look for crawfish in slow and small bodies of freshwater, like streams, creeks, swamps, and wetlands .
Not all the fishing must be done in the wilderness though—if you live in a city or other urban environment you might be in luck. Crawfish can also be found in drainage ditches or storm water ponds, locations which can often be overlooked by people in search of crawfish. It might not be as lucrative as some other locations, but it can be a fun way to explore your city.
Those are the general locations to catch crawfish and can apply across most of the country, but if you’re a serious angler looking for a big haul, some areas are clear winners over the others. Here are the top five states and locations to find Crawfish in the United States:
No other state could be number one on a crawfish list other than Louisiana. It’s home to many crawfish farms and fisheries, and its numerous swamps and bayous make the perfect habitat for crawfish. They are abundant throughout the state, but one small city is particularly famous for its crawfish industry: Beaux Bridge. Originally dubbed “La Capitale Mondiale de l’Écrevisse”, it is officially known today as the Crawfish Capital of the World.
Texas comes in at number two, thanks to the diverse aquatic habitats for crawfish in the state, primarily focused on east Texas and near the Gulf Coast. Some popular spots to find crawfish are in the Guadalupe River, San Marcos River, and the Trinity River. The state even holds some crawfish festivals, celebrating this culinary delight. While some locals have switched to crawfish farming due to changing weather conditions, there’s still plenty of opportunity for anglers to go crawfishing.
Mississippi shares many of the same traits that make Louisiana popular for crawfish. It has some of the greatest crawfish species diversity in the world, with many kinds unique only to Mississippi—this makes it one of the most sought-after places to go crawfishing. Some of the best spots to fish for them in Mississippi include Pearl River, Honey Island Swamp, and in the Mississippi River Delta. Mississippi is perfect for people who want to avoid the potentially overcrowded competition of neighboring Louisiana, without sacrificing quality or compromising on opportunity.
Tennessee is yet another great location for catching crawfish. It’s home to many popular crawfish lakes and rivers, such as the Cumberland River and Tennessee River, as well as throughout the Tennessee Basin. One great place for catching crawfish (as well as just enjoying the great outdoors) is Tennessee’s Land Between the Lakes recreation area. This place has everything an outdoorsman could ask for, like hunting, camping and more—but most importantly plenty of crawfish to go around.
While it may not technically be the fifth best state for crawfish in the country, I’m going to cheat a bit here to help out any crawfish enthusiasts in the northwest. Despite not being as famous as the south for its crawfish, Oregon is still home to plenty of crawfish for anyone interested in looking. For the best results, try catching crawfish around the Willamette Valley, and in the Rogue River, Columbia River, or Siuslaw River.
Crawfish have exploded in popularity across the last 20 years, quickly going from a local Louisiana delicacy to a national sensation. Throw your hat into the ring and try catching some of these freshwater crustaceans the next time you’re savoring a fun challenge; just make sure you’re looking in the right spot.