Available in a range of sizes and colors, anglers avidly use soft plastic crawfish lures for fishing trout, crappie, bass or walleye. Soft plastic replicas are closest to the real thing due to their ability to dance backwards along a stony bottom or shallow surf -- a movement sure to catch the eye of a game fish or panfish. No special tackle is needed, although hook, weight and line sizes should be adjusted according to which species of fish is -- hopefully -- on the menu. Soft plastic crawfish lures can be purchased at bait shops and sporting goods stores.
Thread a bullet sinker nose-first onto the fishing line about 3 to 4 inches from the end of the line.
Thread one to three glass or plastic beads onto the line below the sinker, then tie and securely knot the hook onto the end of the fishing line.
Insert the hook into a soft plastic crawfish through the tail near the body, burying the hook entirely in the bait until only the barb is poking through the underside of the tail.
Cast the rig into the water with as little splashing as possible. Keep the line slightly slack while watching the line for movement. If a fish doesn't bite immediately, allow the bait to lay on the bottom for a minute or so before reeling it in slowly while jerking the line slightly. Set the hook when a fish bites with a quick jerk of the wrist.
Keep live crawfish handy to use as alternates for artificial lures. Place them in a bucket of fresh, wet aquatic weeds or seaweed and change out the weeds occasionally. Run a hook up through the center of the tail to bait live crawfish.
Tips & Warnings
- Cut the tails off any dead crawfish and thread the fish hook through the center of the tail, allowing the barbed end to emerge near the end of the tail.
- Do not jerk the line too hard when reeling in a plastic lure; it may rip the hook out of the soft material.
- Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images