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The Differences Fishing for Crawfish and Shrimp

Before you understand how to fish for crawfish and shrimp, you need to understand the difference between the two decapods. Crawfish can only be found in freshwater whereas shrimp can be found in both salt and freshwater, but mainly is saltwater. Shrimps are generally larger than crawfish, but this is not always the case, the main distinction is that crawfish have a pair of front claws.


Crawfish are sometimes called spiny lobsters and there are roughly two hundred different species that can be found around the world. In America, they can be fished for in the swamps, wetlands, rivers, lakes and canals all over the country. And as they are nocturnal creatures often the best time to catch them is at night.

Catching Crawfish

As crawfish love to hide under rocks and only really come out at night, the best way to catch them is by using traps or by hand. Some fishermen try using a rod and line, but this is not a really effective method. Catching large numbers of these creatures is best done by either open or closed traps, and for extremely keen crawfish catchers this is the best option.

Cooking Crawfish

Cooking Crawfish
Cooking Crawfish

Most cooks normally prepare crawfish by simply boiling them, and in certain parts of the south of America such as New Orleans, Cajun Crawfish is a regional specialty. Each restaurant is insanely jealous of their spice mix, and normally the crawfish are just served in a large bowl and devoured including their shells. One of the most prized delights is sucking the juices out of the head.


Shrimp are mostly caught in saltwater environments, but this is not always the case. These crustaceans are identifiable by a long fish-like double tail. There are over two thousand species of shrimp, and many of them can be found around the coast of America.

Catching Shrimp

There are actually four ways to catch shrimp, which include a casting net and a shrimp pot. A casting net is often used when you want to catch large numbers of shrimp, whereas a shrimp pot is not often chosen as it takes a large amount of time to lure the shrimp into the trap.

Cooking Shrimp

Cooking Shrimp
Cooking Shrimp

Depending on the size of the shrimp, they can be prepared in many different ways. Including boiling, pan frying and even grilled. Shrimps are so versatile as there are so many sauces can be used once they have been cooked. They can also be perfect in salads, put in curries and jambalaya, and included in turf and surf style meals. This is their big advantage over their cousin the crawfish, but really it is just a matter of personal taste. Whether you prefer to go fishing for shrimp or crawfish rather depends on your location and which you prefer to eat. Neither variety are particularly challenging to a keen angler as there is not a great deal of skill catching crawfish or shrimp. But still it is highly satisfying to return from your fishing expedition with a sack full of fresh crustaceans.  

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