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Sunfish vs Bluegill : How to Identify Different Species

bluegill vs sunfish

Oftentimes, people confuse Sunfish and Bluegill as the same type of species because of their similar resemblance. Even though there are similarities between these two species, there are also very clear distinctive features between them.

From their natural habitats to their respective sizes, there are lots of subtle yet distinct differences between Sunfish and Bluegill.

In this article we will see a Sunfish vs. Bluegill comparison. By the end of this article, you will be able to properly differentiate between the two species. The subtle contrast between them will become evident to you.

Reason for Confusion

As mentioned before, one of the prime reasons why people confuse Sunfish and Bluegill as the same is down to their similar appearances. Even though there are differences between them, the differences are quite subtle and difficult to notice at first.

Sunfish Habitat

Besides their noticeable similarities, these two fish also come from the same family.

The term “Sunfish” is usually used to refer to a lineage of fish that live in freshwaters and are ray finned. The Latin name used to refer to this family is Centrarchidae.

Under this Centrarchidae, there are eight distinct genera. One of these eight is Lepomis or Sunfish. Many of these species carry the name “sunfish” with them, even though they might be classified in a different manner.

In colloquial terms, there are, in total, thirteen different species that people refer to when they use the term “Sunfish”. One of these thirteen species is the Bluegill. There are lots of similarities in the appearances of these subspecies, and that is why people use their names interchangeably.

From this, we can say that: all Bluegills are Sunfish, but not all Sunfish are Bluegills.

Characteristics of Sunfish

The term Sunfish is used to define a rather large family of species. The most commonly referred to Sunfish is the Mola Mola or Ocean Sunfish. Here are some characteristics of the Ocean Sunfish:

Habitat

The adult ocean sunfish like to live in the open ocean. They are saltwater species. They are found in various temperate and tropical water bodies all around the world.

Sunfish

Occasionally, these fish venture into coral reefs to be cleansed off parasites that might be living on their bodies.

Lifespan

The exact longevity of ocean sunfish is yet to be determined. Certain species of this genus might live from eighty two to one hundred and five years.

Behavior

The Ocean Sunfish is a creature of solitude. They lie roaming about on their own. Sometimes they do travel in schools, but that only happens when they are being cleaned by other fish.

Appearance

They have a large body that is both compressed and oval shaped. Their body is devoid of scales and their skin is very thick, and rubbery. Their body is ectothermic and is bilaterally symmetrical.

They have a small mouth that has teeth that form a structure similar to a beak.

Size and Weight

They can grow up to 3.1 meters, about 4.26 meters in height. They can, at maximum, weigh up to 2235 kilograms.

Reproduction

Very little is known about their reproductive behavior. They usually breed in the ocean as they live in salt waters.

The eggs of female Ocean Sunfish are rather miniature in size. They have a diameter of approximately 0.13 centimeters. The females can produce up to three hundred million eggs in each mating season.

Food Habits

Ocean Sunfish are carnivores. They feed on jellyfish, zooplankton. They often travel to places of higher altitude where zooplankton usually migrate to during the seasons of summer and spring.

Sunfish Food Habits

They also consume aquatic plants such as macroalgae.

Characteristics of Bluegills

Bluegills are a subspecies of the Sunfish family. Here are some characteristics or traits of Bluegills:

Habitat

Bluegills live in temperate freshwater. That includes places such as lakes and rivers. They prefer to live in water bodies where the stream is rocky and moves in a relaxed manner. Bluegills are freshwater fish and can only tolerate salinity upto eighteen percent. They are often found in very deep beds of weeds.

Lifespan

Bluegills generally live from four to six years in open spaces. But under captivity, this longevity can extend from eight to eleven years.

Appearance

The body of Bluegills is yellow, with yellowish-green, deep green, or greenish brown at the top of their body. They have a very small mouth on a short head and this gives them a rather distinctive look. 

They have either a dark purple,or blue colored material on their cheeks. They get their name “Bluegills” from the flashy material that is present on their cheeks.

The adults are typically between ten to fifteen centimeters in length. Sometimes they could even grow as much as forty-one centimeters.

They are ectothermic, and their body is bilaterally symmetrical. The younger Bluegills are a rather paler version of their adults. They might have very faded, vague purple sheen.

Reproduction

The breeding season of Bluegills usually occurs between the months of May to September. The females carry upto fifty thousand eggs at a time. It takes a few days, on average three, for the eggs to hatch. After the eggs hatch, the offspring leave the nest after seven days. Usually, the optimum temperature for spawning is between seventeen to thirty-one degrees.

Characteristics of Sunfish

The males guard the nests both before and after the females have laid their eggs. Parental care also involves chasing away predators. Both the male and female reach sexual maturity at between one and two years of living.

Females lay eggs in several nests, whilst the eggs built by one male can be used by multiple females.

The mating system is polygynandrous.One female will mate with multiple females, whilst one male will also mate with multiple females.

Food Habits

Bluegills have a very small mouth. They are carnivores and they consume different types of aquatic insects, worms, snails etc. They also feed on aquatic plants such as algae.

Younglings eat worms and zooplanktons. They consume their food in a clandestine manner, whilst the adults feed out in the open. 

Sometimes, when there is a shortage of food, they often consume their own eggs.

Bluegills play an important role in the ecosystem, as they consume smaller animals. Many times, they are the food of other larger animals.

Comparison: Sunfish vs. Bluegill

Reason for Confusion

The differences between the two can be spotted across a variety of categories. Below, we will see the differences between them under individual aspects:

Habitat

One of the distinctive differences between the two is their place of living or accommodation. Bluegills are found in freshwaters, whilst Sunfish are found in saltwater areas, such as the sea.

Usually, Bluegills make their homes in rivers and lakes, whilst Sunfish make their homes in tropical water.

Food

As expected, they both feed on aquatic organisms. Sunfish are mostly carnivores. They consume saltwater animals that they find, such as jellyfish. Bluegills, on the other hand, most feed on aquatic insects. Sometimes, they might even consume their own eggs. This happens when there is a shortage of food. They also eat algae.

Scientific Names

Bluegills are a part of the Sunfish family. As mentioned before,all Bluegills are Sunfish, but not all sunfish are Bluegills. They are both a part of the Centrarchidae family. The scientific name of Sunfish is Lepomis, and the scientific name of Bluegill is Lepomis Macrochirus. 

Some other names that the Bluegill is called by: Bream, Sunshine, Copper Nose.

Appearance

Even though Bluegills are from the Sunfish family, there are a lot of notable differences in their appearances from other species of the family. 

Bluegills have a yellow body, with yellowish-green, deep green, or at times greenish brown at the top of their body. Their mouth is very small, and this gives them a rather distinctive look. They have either a dark purple,or blue colored material on their cheeks. The mouth of Sunfish is much larger than that of Bluegills.

Hybridization occurs in other sunfish species. But it does not occur in Bluegills.

Reproductive male Sunfish are generally white, silver-grey or brown in color. On the other hand, reproductive male Bluegills have deep purple or dark colored tones on the upper part of their body.

Size and Weight

Bluegills usually grow up to be six to ten inches in length, and can weigh a maximum of four pounds. On the contrary, sunfish can grow up to be ten feet in length. They can weigh up to 2000 pounds.

Sunfish are considered to be the largest bone marine fish that are found in saltwater. 

The small size of bluegills helps them to workout very easily in the aquatic environment. They can also move faster than sunfish because of their smaller stature.

Behavior

Bluegills move around in groups. They are reliant on density. In other words, their size decreases if their number increases. 

Sunfish, on the other hand, are rather solitary beings. They only move about in groups when they are cleaned by other fish.

Conclusion

People use the terms Sunfish and Bluegills quite interchangeably. They assume both the terms represent the same type of fish. But as we have seen from this Sunfish vs. Bluegills article, there are a lot of distinctive characteristics between them. 

Starting from appearances to their preferred habitats and to their reproductive mechanisms, there is a lot of distinction between them.

In order to properly differentiate you must first learn their individual features, and then know their subtle distinctions.

Otherwise, whether for fishing or for consuming purposes, you might end up catching the wrong type of fish. For spawning purposes, do proper research on the type of environment that is conducive to their living and reproductive habitat.

4 Easy Ways – How to Clean and Cook Live Crab at Home

How to Clean and Cook Live Crab

Boiled, grilled, or baked no matter how you cook crabs, it is a delicacy enjoyed by people of all ages everywhere. You do not have to visit an expensive restaurant and clean out your pocket to enjoy this delicacy. Indulge yourself in this scrumptious food by cooking it at home.

Do not worry if you have never tried this at home. Join us as we talk about how to cook a live crab, starting with the basics.

The Preparations for Cooking a Live Crab

Cooking a Live Crab

If you are living in the coastal areas, it must be very common to bring in wild-caught crabs. Baiting and catching crabs is rather a fun activity. But whether you are living in the coastal areas or elsewhere, you can visit your local supermarket for the freshest crabs.

Some of the tastiest species of crabs would be Blue Crab, Soft Shell Crab, Dungeness Crab, and Snow crab. Catch it live or purchase, do not compromise with the quality of it. Purchase the crabs and choose the recipe you like. Enjoy this home-cooked delicacy with your friends and family over beer.

If you want to know the basics of how to cook a live crab, you must start from the very beginning. Cooking a live crab is a three-step process and all three steps are equally important.

So, without further delay, let us start with the basics.

Killing a Live Crab

So, it is important that you kill them first to get along in the next step. Before we get into the process, you should know that you must keep the crabs alive until you are about to cook them. It means that you should not kill them until you are prepared to cook for the day.

Why should you do that? Well, crabs contain toxins in their digestive organs which are released as soon as they die. Their stomach releases these toxins to jump-start the crab’s decomposition. It spreads to the entire body shortly after that making the meat of the crab toxic.

Now we do not want that, do we? So, to keep the meat as fresh as possible, start the process shortly before you cook them.

In case you purchase or catch your crabs alive hours before you are going to cook, you can store it in the fridge. It will help you in the cleaning process later apart from keeping the crabs alive and fresh. Keeping them in the fridge renders them immobile due to freezing.

Now onto the killing process. There are quite a few ways to kill the crab. However, the most common methods removing the shell and spiking.

Shell Removal

The process of removing shells of live crab can seem a bit ghastly to you if it is your first time doing this. But this is a very effective way to kill crabs within seconds and it fast-tracks the whole process.

Now there are different variations of how you can do this. But it starts with keeping the crab in the fridge to render it immobile. Or else, there is a high chance you may hurt yourself in the process.

  • Once you immobilize the crab by chilling them, you can use kitchen shears to cut behind the eyes of the crab. This will kill the crab almost instantly. Then you must pull out the gills from the top shell on each side.

Next, you must turn over the crab. Then you pull out the bottom shell which is known as the apron.

  • Another way is to pull by the legs and then separate the shell.
  • The last method would be cracking the shell open. You can separate the legs and the shell by cracking the crab’s shell against a hardened surface.

Spiking

Spiking means penetrating the nerves of the crab to kill it. So, crabs have two main nerves- one lying at the front and the other lying at the back. If you pierce these two nerves, you can kill them almost immediately.

Crab Spiking

The process can be a bit tricky and takes practice to do it right. But make sure the crabs have been immobilized by chilling them in the fridge.

  1. Take out the crab from the fridge and keep it on a sturdy surface.
  2. Flip the crab so that the bottom side is facing towards you and hold the crab accordingly.
  3. The nerves are situated in the abdomen under the shell which is known as the apron. You can remove the apron by lifting it slightly towards the front.
  4. You will then notice a tiny hole. Take a sharp knife and place it on the hole towards the entire nerve center.
  5. The front nerve is situated at the front area of the crab where you will notice a shallow depression. With the help of the knife, place it horizontally over that shallow depression to pierce the front nerve.

This is how you complete the spiking process in the minimum amount of time. It will take practice to identify those nerve points and do it smoothly.

Once you are done, with the killing process of the live crab, it is now time to clean the crab. The cleaning process is quite easy and takes a few minutes if you do it right.

Killing Methods You Should Avoid

It is important that you kill the crab as humanely as possible. Some methods can cause crabs unbearable pain and may cause them to suffer to death. That is something you do not want to do. So, avoid using such methods.

  • Do not put them to boil before killing them. Even if they have been rendered immobile, avoid boiling them before they are killed.
  • Do not drop them in fresh water. This will cause them to go into shock and suffer.
  • Do not cut or severe them from the abdomen or any other parts before piercing the nerves.

Cleaning the Crab – A Crucial Step

Cleaning the Crab

Onto the next and most important step. In case you are a beginner, do not be hasty when cleaning the crab. You can either clean the crab step by step or half-back it, so it takes less time.

Whichever method you use, please take your time, and follow this process of cleaning the crabs from beginning to end.

  1. Turn the crab so that its underside is facing towards you. Now pull the apron of the crab from the rear end to the front to remove it.
  2. After you have removed the apron, you will need to remove the top shell also known as the carapace.
  3. To remove the carapace, look for the small hole in between the crab’s body and the carapace. Once you have identified it, grab the crab, and pull off the carapace from the place where the small hole is.
  4. Fatty liquids may come out after that, remove that from the shell. This fatty liquid is also known as crab butter.
  5. A lot of people prefer to keep this liquid to use it later in a sauce or other cooking purposes. You can store it if you want to.
  6. To store the fatty liquid, you should hold the crab in a manner so that when you pull the crab up, the liquid pours down. You can then collect it.
  7. If you want, you can also clean the top shell and keep it for garnish purposes.
  8. Now that you have removed the shells, it is time to clean the inside of the crab. Once you remove the carapace, the inside of the crab will be very visible.
  9. Remove the two rows of gills and any reddish membrane that you can see.
  10. Now wash the crab with some cold water.
  11. To remove the legs and claws of the crab, use a wooden mallet to crack the shell from each of the section.
  12. After that discard any other shells that are still there and remove the meat with your fingers.
  13. You can give them a wash one more time to make sure it is clean thoroughly.

Half Backing

Half-Backing means cutting the crabs in halves so that it is easier to clean and cook them. Most often people use this process to clean and cook crabs that are very big in size. It allows placing all the parts in the pan while cooking without any hassle.

The process starts with killing the crab by cutting in the middle. You put a sharp knife between its eyes and the backside. Once that is done you can put the halved crabs in the water and thoroughly rinse it.

You should remove the top shell so that the guts and gills can be cleaned. After scooping out all the necessary parts, rinse the crabs one more time.

If you want you can cut the halved crabs in quarters too by cutting the claws and legs.

Once you are done cleaning and giving them a final rinse, it is time for you to decide how to cook live crab.

How to Cook a Live Crab

How to Cook a Live Crab

When you search the internet for recipes to turn your crabs into delicacies, you will see that there are 4 ways to cook them into the scrumptious meal you can serve to everyone. Crabs can be cooked in 4 ways and there is no right or wrong way among these four.

  • Grilled Crabs
  • Baked Crabs
  • Boiled Crabs
  • Steamed Crabs

Before you start the cooking process, make sure the guts and gills of the crabs have been taken out. Check that they have been cleaned and rinsed properly.

Grilled Crabs

Grilled crabs are such a delicacy when done right. No matter which crabs you choose, you can never go wrong with grilling them. Now it is up to you to decide whether you want to grill crab legs or the whole crab.

You can choose from several ways to grill your crab legs. People usually purchase frozen crab legs, which are cooked from before. You can check whether it is cooked by seeing the color of the crab legs. If the color is red, you can be sure it is cooked.

Before we get to the grilling process, remember to defrost the crab legs. If you are preparing for the next day, leave it in the refrigerator overnight. It may take around 8-10 hours for the crab legs to thaw.

If it is a last-minute plan, then you can just put them in a bowl of cold water in your sink. This process may take around 4-6 hours to have the crabs properly thawed.

When you are done thawing out the crab legs, you can grill them in one of these two ways:

Charcoal grilled crab legs

Whether you are going to use a gas grill, or a charcoal grill make sure it is hot enough before you put the crab legs on it.

  • Get the grill heated to a medium high. To check whether it is heated enough, put your hand over the grill. If you can keep it for 3 seconds, then the temperature is right.
  • If you want, you can split the crab legs using kitchen shears. It allows the seasoning to get inside the meat.
  • You can use any seasoning of your choice- olive oil, butter, and spices of your choice.
  • Apply the seasoning on the crab legs and put it on the grill.
  • Make sure to keep the meat side up and the shell side on the grill grate.
  • Keep it like that for 4-6 minutes until you see a bit of charring on the shell.
  • Flip it on the meat side and cook it for about 5-7 minutes.
  • Remove them once they are done.

You can now serve them with your choice of dipping sauce and any sides you prefer. You can also serve a side of grilled lemon wedges to add to the overall taste.

Smoked Crab Legs

To make smoked crab legs, you can either use a charcoal grill or an electric smoker.

  • In case you are using a charcoal grill, use an aluminum foiled pan to place the water inside.
  • This will start steaming when the grill gets heated.
  • Now take some heavy-duty aluminum foil and wrap the crab legs in it.
  • Pour a seasoning mixture of your choice and make sure it is applied on both sides.
  • Now put them on the grill in medium high heat for about 10 minutes. Turn them over every 4-5 minutes.
  • If you are using a smoker, instead of the grill, place the foiled pan inside the smoker. Close the lid and let them heat for about 30 minutes.
  • You can open the lids every 10 minutes to check on them. And they should be done in 30 minutes.

If you want to grill the crabs as a whole, this is how you should do it:

  • Once you crack the crabs and clean them, use a sharp knife to open the shell of each leg joint. Then place the crabs in a large bowl.
  • Make a seasoning of your choice. You can use green onions, parsley, chili flakes and other spices to create the mixture of your seasoning.
  • Pour the seasoning on the bowl and mix them properly.
  • Keep the seasoned crabs inside the refrigerator for about an hour so they can be marinated properly.
  • Now get the grill started. Once it is hot enough, put the crabs on the grill with the help of tongs.
  • Turn over the crabs every 3-5 minutes so that they are grilled evenly.
  • When you see the shell getting a bit charred, you can take them off from the grill. Put them on a plate and serve it with a dipping sauce.

Baked Crabs

Baking crab is easier compared to grilling it. You do not have to take the hassle of using a grill or a smoker. You can just stay indoors and use the oven to bake crabs with a recipe of your liking.

  • At first you should preheat the oven at 400˚.
  • Take a large pan to create your mixture.
  • At first melt some butter in it along with olive oil in medium heat.
  • Now add spices of your choice along with garlic, onions, salt, and any hot sauce you like.  Stir it properly to create the mixture right.
  • Now take a large baking dish and put the crabs on it.
  • Next, you should take the mixture and pour it on the crabs. Make sure the mixture is spread out evenly.
  • You can bake them for around 25 minutes. Once they are done you can serve them with a dipping sauce or some warm pieces of breads.

In case you want to bake crab legs instead of the whole crab, you can follow the same process. You can also split the crab legs in half to get the seasoning inside.

To put a twist to this baking process, you can create a heavier mixture. Fill the crab shells with this and bake it in the same process.

Boiled Crabs

Boiling is one of the most common and preferred methods of cooking the crab. Now for this process, you will need a large pot and a set of tongs. Usually, people boil the live crabs as a whole instead of going to the hassle of half-backing them.

Boiled Crabs
  • Get the water boiling in the large pot. Pour enough water to cover up the number of crabs you will put while keeping space so that water does not overflow when you put them.
  • Mix half a cup of salt with per gallon of water poured.
  • Add some wine, garlic, lemon to season the crabs.
  • Put vegetables of your choice and any type of seafood seasoning you like into the pot.
  • Cook them for 25-30 minutes until they are boiled properly.
  • Now bring out the crabs from the fridge. With the help of the tongs, put the crabs in the boiling water. Make sure it is covered properly with water.
  • You should let it boil for around 20 minutes. Do not forget to put the lid on the pot.
  • Once it is boiled properly, take it out of the pot and put it in ice-cold water. This helps to avoid the sticking of the meat to the shell.
  • Then you can garnish it with butter or any other sauce you like.

Steamed Crabs

Now the steaming process is similar to the boiling process with a twist in the appliances used. Now for this, you will need a large pot with a steamer basket. Most cooking pots do not come with a steamer basket. So, it is best to buy one separately suitable for the size of your cooking pot.

  • Much like the boiling process, fill up the pot with water. Mix salt to it with similar measurements.
  • Get the water to boil and insert the steamer basket.
  • You can add wine, vinegar, and soya sauce as well.
  • Now with the help of the tongs, put the crabs on the steamer basket.
  • Now add garlic, onions, spices, and any seafood seasoning.
  • Allow the crabs to steam for 15-20 minutes.
  • Check the color of the crabs after 20 minutes. If it is bright red, then the crabs are cooked properly and ready to be served.

Steamed crabs are more preferred over boiled crab recipes because it is said that steamed crab meat absorbs the juice and makes it tastier.

Mistakes You Should Avoid

Cooking seafood can be a bit tricky. But if you can prepare it correctly, the end results will be mouthwatering. So, there are some things you should avoid while you are going to prepare to cook the crab.

  • Do not use the microwave to defrost the crabs.
  • Never use hot water to defrost the crabs.
  • Do not be hasty if you are defrosting it by keeping in the refrigerator.
  • Do not start cooking right after you get it out of the fridge. Let it rest in the room temperature for at least 25-30 minutes.
  • Start the defrosting process the night before you cook or hours before. Leaving the defrosted crabs out for too long, will cause bacteria to infect the meat.
  • Never choose small pans when you will cook crabs. If you use small pans, you may risk undercooking the crabs.
  • Do not overheat the cooking pans or the grills.
  • Avoid choosing the wrong ingredients for seasoning.
  • Do not overcook the crabs as it may make them taste bland.
  • Lastly, do not stir too much while cooking them. Check up on them but do not move them around while they are being cooked.

While practicing different recipes, keep these in mind. And you will be able to enjoy a delicious home-cooked crab delicacy.

Conclusion

Now that you know how to cook a live crab, get yourself some fresh crabs and start the process. Invite your family for a dinner or a nice picnic in the backyard. Grab some beers and enjoy this scrumptious meal.

The entire process starting from killing the crab to cooking it can be very hassle free once you get used to it. It may seem hard at the beginning, but this is not something you cannot master. So, bake the crab or grill it, add your twist to it and make the recipe your own.

A Bushel of Crabs? | How Many Crabs Are In A Bushel?

How Many Crabs Are In A Bushel

Crabs are one of the most delicious kinds of seafood you can eat. A bushel is a wooden bucket that is used to store, carry and measure crabs. It’s not always possible to measure crabs by quantity or weight, that is why a bushel is used.

Bushels are also the measure that people use to buy and sell crabs. Many people still don’t know how many crabs are in a bushel. So, in this article, we will figure out everything about crab bushels.

A Bushel of Crabs

A Bushel of Crabs

Crabs are one of the premium kinds of seafood, preferred by many people. They are a must for any high-level parties or office functions. A big reason for the popularity of crabs is the sheer variety of food that can be prepared with just crabs.

If you are throwing a party, crabs might be one of your main food choices. It is the go-to dish for many people. But if you don’t know how crabs are measured, it may be difficult for you to arrange. There are a few different things you should know before buying crabs.

Crabbers use bushels to store crabs after catching them. That is why bushels are also used by people to buy crabs. A bushel can hold a set number of crabs in them. You can buy a bushel or half a bushel of crabs according to your needs.

It is not efficient for buyers and sellers to measure crabs by their weight or quantity. That is why a bushel is used because it is more convenient. A bushel may contain various amounts of crabs.

You should first know how crabs are measured in a bushel.

How to Measure Crabs in a Bushel

The wooden bucket or a basket that is used to measure, store and carry crabs is called a bushel.

The number of crabs inside a bushel is actually not a fixed amount. That is why a lot of people tend to get confused about it. There are various factors that influence the number of crabs in a bushel.

Sometimes it is not just one factor that alters the number of crabs in a bushel. Often, many factors can work together to change the number of crabs in a bushel. Generally, blue crabs are sold in bushels in the United States.

How to Measure Crabs in a Bushel

The different factors and their influence on the number of crabs in a bushel are discussed in this section.

The Size of the Bushel

A bushel is typically 8 gallons in size. But depending on the region, the crabbers may use bushels of different sizes. The size of the bushel obviously plays an important part in determining the number of crabs.

In some places, only half a bushel is allowed to be bought. So, keep that fact in mind. One bushel of crabs is generally enough to feed a squad of 20-25 people.

Different Varieties of Crabs

There are different varieties of crabs found in the sea. Generally, blue crabs are sold in bushels. Some crabs may be larger than others and take up more space inside the bushel. The male crabs are known as “Jimmies” and the female crabs are called “Sooks”.

Male “Jimmy” crabs are the ones used to cook food because of their larger size. Female “Sook” crabs are usually not prepared as food. They are used to make packaged products.

Crab Molt Cycle

Crabs have an outer layer of a shell that we take off to reveal the meat inside. When crabs grow in size, this outer shell cannot grow with them. So, this layer is shed by crabs and this process of shedding is called molting.

Molting is a natural process. A crab that has molted will have more meat than a crab that has not molted yet. This happens because of the unique biology of crabs and similar animals.

The molting cycle is the process of the shedding of the outer layer of crabs. After molting occurs, crabs become much fatter than before. These fatter crabs have more crab meat and they are larger in size.

If the bushel has more crabs in its molting cycles, the crabs will be larger. So, the number of crabs will be decreased. But if the crabs are not molting, then there will be smaller crabs in more numbers.

Different Sizes of Crabs

There are some different sizes of crabs in the sea. The age of a crab is also a factor in its size. Mature crabs are used to prepare food. Immature female crabs have to be put back in the water. These are the general rules.

Different Sizes of Crabs

The different crab sizes are small, medium, large, jumbo, and colossal. A healthy crab dinner consists of 0.23 kilograms of crab meat. 10-12 crabs of medium to large size can provide this amount. Small and immature crabs are not considered for cooking.

The sizes of small crabs are 4.5 to 5 inches. Medium crabs are 5 to 5.5 inches. Large crabs are about 5.5 to 6 inches. Jumbo crabs are 6 to 6.5 inches and colossal crabs are around or over 7 inches in size.

Usually, in a bushel, jumbo crabs are found. Jumbo crabs are better than large crabs. These jumbo crabs are best for cooking. They provide the perfect balance between size and quantity.

Crab Amount According to Size

If you are wondering how many crabs you may find in a bushel, you should first know the different sizes of crabs. The number of crabs in a bushel differs according to their size. The number of crabs of different size in a bushel is given below.

  • Small crabs (4 to 4.5 inches) – Not used to cook food.
  • Medium crabs (5 to 5.5 inches) – 6 to 7 dozen or 72 to 84 crabs in a bushel.
  • Large crabs (5.5 to 6 inches) – Not usually used in a bushel.
  • Jumbo crabs (6 to 6.5 inches) – 5 to 6 dozen or 60 to 72 crabs in a bushel.
  • Colossal crabs (6.5 to 7 inches) – 4 to 5 dozen or 40 to 60 crabs in a bushel.

These are the numbers of crabs inside a bushel. The numbers given are fairly accurate. From the list, you can get an estimation of the average range of crabs found in a bushel.

Large crabs are not used in a bushel because jumbo crabs are a better option. Whether you go crabbing or throw a sea food-themed party, you will always need to know about crabs in a bushel.

A Few Things to Remember

You should know that different varieties of crabs have different sizes. The sizes and amounts we discussed in this article were for blue crabs found from the East Coast to the Gulf of Mexico. It is possible that a different variety may have different sizes and may slightly differ in the amount in a bushel.

In some regions, you can only buy half of a bushel. So, you have to figure out the number of crabs in half a bushel by dividing the number of crabs by two. For example, if you buy half a bushel of jumbo crabs, you will get 30 to 36 crabs inside it.

The size of the bushel is typically 8 gallons. Some crabbers may use bushels of different sizes. So before buying a bushel, be sure to find out the exact size. A smaller bushel will hold fewer crabs and a larger bushel will hold more.

If you plan on going crabbing somewhere, make sure to buy a bushel from that specific place. The allowed bushel size may vary from region to region. Also, make sure to follow the related rules and regulations.

These are some of the things you have to keep in mind while buying a bushel of crabs.

Why are Bushels So Important

The wooden buckets used to carry, store and measure the number of crabs is called a bushel. When it comes to buying, selling, or catching crabs, there is no other object as important as a bushel.

Now, some people may wonder, why would a simple wooden bucket be this important. Some even might say, why don’t we just measure and sell crabs by the number or by weight. Let’s discuss that.

Why are Bushels So Important

Bushels have been used by people for a long time. It is just a very convenient object to store the crabs in. Without using a bushel, you would still need a storage drum or something similar to store crabs in.

If people wanted to buy and sell crabs by their weight, they wouldn’t be able to get an exact count of how many crabs they are buying. The weight of crabs differs drastically.

Buying and selling crabs by their number isn’t convenient. Because while that may solve one problem, others will arise. It is just more efficient to buy and sell crabs with a pre-determined scale which is also a storage for the crabs, like a bushel.

For these simple reasons, bushels are an integral part of crabbing. You should learn about crab bushels if you want to take your crabbing or crab-cooking expertise to the next level.

How Many Bushels Needed for a Party

Crabs are a very healthy and tasty kind of food. At parties and programs, a crab dinner is a sign of a premium experience. Whether you go to your local restaurant for a family dinner or in a five-star hotel, a crab item is one of the finest dishes you can order.

If you want to throw a party and plan to serve crab, then you have to know how many bushels you may need. Generally speaking, 0.23 kilograms of crab meat is required per person.

The amount of crab needed may vary depending on the person. If the person really likes crab meat, they may end up consuming more than the optimum amount. Or they may eat less if they dislike it. So, you have to keep that in mind.

A bushel of medium-sized blue crab contains about 60 to 72 crabs. Each person may eat around 3 to 4 crabs. So, a bushel of crabs should be enough for a party of 20 to 25 people.

This estimate is measured considering that you will have other food at the party as well. If you serve plenty of other party foods such as hot dogs, nachos, chicken, then you may need less than a bushel. But if you serve only the crab-based food items, then you may need a bushel and a half.

By following these tips and guidelines, you can make sure to have the best seafood-themed party ever.

Bushels for Crabbing

If you plan to go for a fun crabbing weekend with your friends, you have to know how many bushels of crab you can bring home. There are rules for this, so don’t go on a trip without knowing them.

As we have mentioned before, a typical bushel is 8 gallons in size. But the thing is that the size of bushels differs according to the state or region you are in. So, in some places, it can be 9 gallons or 7.5 gallons in size.

The general rule is that you can bring home one bushel of crabs. But the difference in size in different places may cause confusion. Also, some people may just fill the bushel so much that it overflows.

To avoid these confusions, you should always follow the guidelines. Check the bushel size allowed by the authorities in that area. The bushel size may be different from that of other areas, but you can be sure that you aren’t breaking any rules.

Do not bring your own bushel to a new region. The bushel size of your state may not be the same as the bushel size of the region you’re going to. It’s always better to buy a new bushel from the place before you go crabbing.

While filling the bushel with crabs, don’t just fill it up too much. Make sure to leave enough space for the lid to fit. Also, make sure not to change the shape of the bushel by overfilling. If you want more crabs, you can always come back another day.

Bushel vs. Cooler

Those little baskets that have a cooling system built-in are called coolers. Coolers are another object to store crabs in. The cooling provided by the cooler basket helps to keep the crabs fresh and protects them from rotting away.

Bushel vs. Cooler

There are some people who prefer coolers to bushels. Their argument is that bushels cannot provide the cooling to keep the crabs fresh. In long drives, while transporting the crabs from one place to another, cooling is a necessary function.

Cooling truly is necessary for keeping crabs in optimum condition. But bushels are the universal scale of buying and selling the crabs. You certainly can’t go to a market and buy “a cooler of crabs”. You will always be buying a bushel of crabs.

Coolers also cost more money to be bought than a regular bushel. So, it is safe to say that bushels are better storage than coolers, even though bushels can’t cool the crabs.

How to Keep Crabs Fresh in a Bushel

Bushels are more convenient storage than coolers. But bushels do lack the cooling function. But is this simple problem going to prevent us from using bushels? Of course not. Here we will discuss how to keep crabs fresh in a bushel.

Crabs, or any other seafood in general, like to stay cool and hydrated. A bushel is just a regular wooden basket. So, it cannot provide any sort of cooling or hydration.

To keep the crabs fresh, you need a towel and a bag of ice. You have to cover the top of the bushel with a towel. Then put the bag of ice on top of it. Use a toothpick or a needle to poke holes in the bag of ice.

The ice will slowly melt and keep the bushel cool and the crabs will be hydrated from the water. It’s better to keep the bushes in a cool place, under a shade. The ice from the bag should provide similar or better cooling than a cooler.

The iced bushel should keep the crabs cool and fresh for 2 to 3 hours. If you plan on traveling a long distance with the crabs this cooling method will be very helpful for you.

If you plan on staying on the road for more than 3 hours, then you should make sure to have more than one ice bag. Change the ice bag on the top every 2 hours or so. You can also sprinkle some ice cubes inside the bushel.

This method of cooling crabs with ice is not uncommon at all. Thousands of people use ice to keep crabs fresh in a bushel. So, you do not have to worry about buying an extra accessory for crabbing. By following this method, you can keep your crabs cool inside a bushel.

Conclusion

Crabs are a delicacy in almost every part of the world. They are the favorite seafood to many people around the world. Whether in a family get-together or a friendly party at home, crabs will always be a good choice for a dish.

Many people have often been confused about how many crabs there can be in a bushel. If you have also wondered about this question, hopefully, this article has helped you learn a bit more about our little crustacean friends.

Male Crab Vs Female Crab: How to Identify

Female Crab Vs Male Crab

Do you relish eating seafood? If the answer is a yes, then chances are, you love crabs. I most certainly do.

These delicious crustaceans are loved all over the world for their savory flavors and high nutritional value. From crab cakes to fried crabs, there are a whole lot of ways you can enjoy them.

However, while purchasing crab at the farmer’s market or superstore, many people have distinct preferences for male or female crab.

You may like the meatier body of male crabs or the sweeter taste of female crabs. Or if you are stocking up your store, you might need to cater to customer demands.

It is perhaps wise to leave the debate on male crab vs. female crab on culinary experts and individuals. This article will guide you on ways to identify male and female crabs and separate them effectively without fault.

A Study in Crabs

Study in Crabs

Before you learn about differentiating factors of male and female crabs, perhaps it would be informative to delve into crabs as a species.

Crabs are crustaceans also classified as decapods. They bear a close physical resemblance to lobsters and crawfish. Like other crustaceans, their bodies are covered with a hard exoskeleton. They come in various shapes and sizes.

The hard exoskeleton covers the part of the crab that is actually edible. However, in the case of some varieties such as soft shell crabs, people eat the crab whole.

Crabs are found basically all around the world. They are found in oceans, rivers, lakes and water bodies and even on land. Due to their wide availability, you can almost always find crab at your local superstore or farmer’s bazaar barring a shortage.

Male Vs Female Crab: What’s The Difference?

If you haven’t tasted or cooked crab before, you may have this very valid question. How does a male crab differ from a female crab? And more importantly, which one is better? The answers to these questions are not quite so simple. Here’s a quick overview.

It is quite often stated that while male and female crabs boast similar properties, female crabs boast denser meat. Male crabs have flakier meat, although in higher amounts. There is also an argument that female crabs have a sweeter flavor.

In stores, people often have a distinct preference for one or the other. Many people like to buy male crabs only simply because it offers male meat. There is also the argument that female crabs should not be consumed to enhance reproduction.

Male Vs Female Crab: How to Identify?

As you already know by now, there could be a few valid reasons you may want to pick either male or female crab over the other.

Male Crab Vs Female Crab

While knowing your preference is an important first step, it is also essential to know how to differentiate. Thankfully, it is actually quite simple to identify male and female crabs based on their physical traits, if you just know-how.

Here are a few effective ways you can tell a male crab from a female one:

Identifying by The Claws

One of the first ways of telling which one’s which is by taking a look at their claws.

The male crabs, also called Jimmy, have physical features distinct from that of female crabs, also known as Jenny. Some of them are apparent instantly, while others may require closer observation

In the case of the blue crabs, the males have blue claws. However, females have red-tipped claws instead. This difference is almost immediately apparent.

The bright vivid blue claws of male crabs give away their gender easily. In the case of females, the red is a bit less vivid, as only the tip of their claws is colored.

However, in the case of some species like fiddler crabs, one claw is significantly larger than the other in males. This is a bit harder to spot than the obvious difference in color.

Identifying by Observing The Apron

The apron in crabs is a shell underneath their body. It protects the bottom portion of the crabs.

The apron not only protects the crab from external forces but more crucially bears the mark of its gender. You can easily identify a crab’s gender by taking a close look at the apron.

To do that, gently pick up the crab and turn it upside down. Avoid the claws or having too much movement.

Look closely at the underside, especially the shape. If there is a triangular shape in the underside of the shell, the crab is most certainly a male. A triangular marking, also resembling the shape of a candle, bears the mark of a male crab.

On the other hand, you may notice that the crab does not have a triangular shape on the underside. Instead, you will notice a wide, round shape resembling a ball. In that case, it is definitely a female crab.

To sum up in short, male crabs have triangular aprons, while females have round aprons.

Identifying by Size

Identifying by Size

Lastly, even other than different physical features, there is one good way of telling apart male crabs from female ones. That is by their size.

As a general rule of thumb, male crabs are noticeably larger than female ones. They are larger in almost all dimensions with a bigger body, longer claws, etc.

For instance, an average male crab (known as Jimmy) is about five and a half to six and a half inches in length. In comparison, female crabs range between 4 and a half to six inches, gravitating towards the smaller size.

Size plays a key role in differentiating crabs. People often gravitate towards male crabs because of their larger size. The larger size means they offer more meat than a female counterpart.

Size is not as stellar a differentiating factor as the color of claws or apron shape, but it can still give you an idea about the gender of a crab. Especially at a quick glance.

Picking One of The Two…

Now that you are aware of the differentiating factors between male and female crabs, you should be able to correctly identify the gender. It will help you in any case whether you’re buying or catching.

Then comes another choice; which one should you really get? Well depending on your wants and preferences the answer will be very different.

Let us attempt to look at the pros and cons of each gender of crab and find the best pick for you!

Advantages of Male Crab

Male crabs, or ‘Jimmies’, are the most in-demand crabs. These are the most commonly sold or stocked in most stores.

Some of the key advantages of male crabs are:

  • They offer more meat per crab.
  • They have a more neutral, less sweet taste to them for those who prefer that.
  • Catching them does not hamper crab reproduction nearly as much in case anyone is concerned about that.
  • They are more available. Many stores sell exclusively male crabs due to their higher demand. You are more likely to find it at your regular supermarket.

Disadvantages of Male Crab

Despite their popularity, there are a couple of reasons you may not want to opt for a male crab. Some of them are stated as such:

  • Male crabs typically cost more than female crabs. Due to their size and demand, male crabs have a premium added to their price. On average, male crabs can cost up to $25 more on average than female ones by the dozen.
  • Male crabs have flakier, less dense meat. The meat is also not as sweet and less flavorsome to some.

Advantages of Female Crab

Advantages of Female Crab

There are some who vouch for female crab despite them being less popular.

Let us take a look at why you may prefer to opt for female crabs over male ones:

  • They cost noticeably less. By the dozen, female crabs can cost between 51 to 85 cents to one dollar when compared to male crabs. That may not seem like a lot, but this makes a huge difference when you are buying a lot.
  • They offer sweeter, more dense meat. A lot of culinary experts prefer this quality of female crab meat, as it adds a unique flavor to dishes.

Disadvantages of Female Crab

Here are a few of the downsides of female crabs:

  • Catching too many female crabs may hamper reproduction of crabs, leading to lower supply. Some states even have laws regarding this.
  • They offer less meat. As a whole, you’ll get less meat from female crabs, leading to lower nutritional value.

Last Words…

Whether you are a chef looking for the perfect crab for your kitchen or a storekeeper looking to find out what crabs are in demand and how to identify them. This article should act as an elaborate guide. Reading this article should have helped you separate Male Crab vs. Female Crab.

Besides that, we also went over why you may want to pick one over the other with the aim to help you make the right call. We hope you can use your new know-how in practice. And may your crab dishes taste better than ever!

Best Crawfish Baits To Make Fishing More Fun!

best crawfish baits

It’s frustrating, isn’t it?

Waiting around for hours in your crawfish trap. Yet, you have no fortune whatsoever. Well, what should you blame here? Is it the lack of skill or a better bait for the crawfish?

Whatever the case is, the best‌ ‌crawfish‌ ‌bait‌ will make things easier than anything. But, when it comes to crawfish baits, many people wonder if it’s better to go for natural or artificial bait.

It depends actually. Even though fish is the best option for crawfish bait, we’ve included artificial ones here. It’s because they’re easy to maintain and less expensive.

And, we’ve researched for a whole month in bringing the best crawfish baits out there. Enough chit chat, time to begin the review section-

Product Reviews of The Best‌ Crawfish‌ Bait‌

1. Rebel Lures Crawfish Crankbait Fishing Lure

Rebel Lures Crawfish Crankbait Fishing Lure

Product Description

Introducing the best crawfish bait in our eyes- Rebel Lures Crawfish Crankbait. If you’re looking for an affordable yet effective crawfish bait then check this one out.

Apart from having a realistic design, this bait comes with a durable plastic finish. And, perhaps the hard plastic body is the main selling point of this product. More on that below-

Highlighted Features

First things first, how does this bait attract crawfish towards it? Well, the realistic design helps the bait mimic a crawfish. Now, by mimicking a real fish, it’ll attract the fishes to it.

Here, the realistic design of the baits creates a strong rhythm in the water. As a result, fishes get attracted to this rhythm and they trigger a response to it. So, it lures and falls into the crawfish nets.

On the other hand, the bait is 1 1/2 inches long. Now, this isn’t the longest bait in the list or in the market. But, the compact size makes it easier to fit into the fishing net and holes too.

Plus, it has hooks in the jig head too. So, it’s quite easier to crank the bait inside the water body or to pull it out.

Moving on, you can easily troll or cast the bait on any freshwater. But, it works the absolute best around the rocks. And, why is that?

Well, the bait bounces off the rocks. And, this will provoke other fishes to cause a strike on this bait. By doing this, the fishes will fall into the trap and you can easily catch them.

And the best part about this bait is that you won’t have to worry about any sort of damages. Because of the hard plastic body, this bait will remain durable for a long time.

This also means that you can use the bait even after using it for a long time. The further toughness makes this product stand out in the market.

To summarize, the bait works perfectly and it’ll provide a lot of benefits. But, it’ll remain durable and tough throughout its operation too. So, you might want to give this affordable option a go.

2. XFISHMAN Soft Plastic Crawfish

XFISHMAN Soft Plastic Crawfish

Product Description

Say hello to the first soft plastic crawfish bait on our list. This one stood 2nd in our eyes. However, you might end up loving it more. So, let’s dive in with its features-

Highlighted Features

Now, before beginning proceedings, what actually attracts the crawfish? Is it the design or an odor? Well, good news for you, this product provides both in one place.

So, firstly, the design of this bait. Here, it comes with flexible swinging action. And, the hands swing in such a way that it gives off a strong pattern of going through the water.

And, the baits maintain a natural swimming pattern inside the water due to this swinging action. As a result, it flows through the water well enough.

What this does is provoke a response from the crawfish. Here, the fishes observe the living action of the bait. As a result of this living action, the crawfish triggers a response. And, they fall into the traps.

In accordance with that, there’s fish attractant with this bait. The manufacturers have added highly concentrated natural oils. And all of these oils have been extracted from living baits into this one.

As a result, the attractant brings in more fish to the bait. When compared to the hooksets, the attractant does a phenomenal job at attracting fish. So, you can use this to your advantage.

Apart from that, colors don’t really come into your favor when the bait is put underwater. But, the manufacturers still put proven colors on the baits that provide some options for you to work with.

In the end, they come with high-pitched legs. So, the bait will give off a lively vibe and a realistic design as it’ll tremble with the reversed legs. Besides, you can easily use them as jig trailers too if you want.

So, the bait provides a lot of benefits and is termed as one of the best bait for crawfish.

3. Lixada Soft Fishing Lure Crawfish Bait

Lixada Soft Fishing Lure Crawfish Bait

Product Description

Introducing one of the best bait for crawfish traps from the brand- Lixada. Now, this bait is made out of PVC. So, it’s different from the other products on this list. But, there are other notable features. So, let’s check them-

Highlighted Features

First off, let’s discuss the design of this bait. Now, let me clear out one thing ahead, a realistic design will attract the crawfish to your bait at all times.

That said, this bait does come with a similar shaped design. Here, the product does come with realistic legs and claws. Moreover, it even has a realistic body to follow up.

As a result, the bait has a realistic moving action. And, the crawfish get attracted to this and step inside the trap.

This is why the bait is perfect to be put inside the crawfish cages. As if that’s not it, the body of the bait has a crawfish-shaped texture as well. Plus, there’s even added holographic in the texture.

All of this combined provides an excellent yet realistic image for the bait. And, the crawfish always fall in for the trap as they frequently move towards the bait.

Once the crawfish falls for the bait, you’re in for business. Another best part about this bait is the PVC material in the construction. And, what benefits does it bring?

Well, the PVC material of the bait ensures that it lasts longer compared to the other options in the market. Plus, it even ensures durability. So, the bait resists damages. 

Speaking of durability, the jig head lure has a higher hook ratio for the red drum and bass. Here, the premium hook at the top makes way for excellent use. And, it’s perfect for both fresh and saltwater.

In the end, this flexible yet durable bait is perfect for attracting crawfish due to its realistic design. And, the overall solid construction contributes to the toughness all the time.

As it’s made for both fresh and saltwater, you have options in your hand. So, step in with this and have a successful hunting session.

4. RUNCL Probite Creature Craw Baits

RUNCL Probite Creature Craw Baits

Product Description

Say hello to another best crayfish trap. This one is from the brand RUNCL. Now, this one does arrive with a compact design. So, let’s head-on with the other notable features below-

Highlighted Features

Now, first things first, let’s find out how this bait attracts predators to it. Similar to the previous product, this bait provides realistic movements as well.

Here, the design has a unique presentation to it. Mainly, it portrays a craw-style texture where you’ll find 2 separate pinchers and appendages.

Using this design, the bait flaps with fluent action that looks and feels quite life-like. As a result, the crawfish feel assumes to swim around and have a breathing action as well.

Now, the crawfish will give off a trigger response to this bait as it’ll assume it to be living. And, here’s where the bait will cause the crawfish to fall inside the trap.

That’s not all about the benefit of this design. Here, there are slots for double hooks inside the belly of the bait. Also, the design makes it easy for attaching better hooksets.

So, you can easily bury it in the hook points of it. Overall, the design will make it easier to bury in hook points. And, providing an overall effortless fishing experience.

By now, we’ve spoken about the pinchers. Even though the design of this bait is small, the pinchers are a bit oversized. Now, this is actually an advantage. But, why?

Well, the huge pinchers make it easy at creating attention-grabbing actions by displacing more water. As a result, the crawfish will get attracted and will fall into the trap.

Apart from this, the bait is perfect for lethargic fishes too. Because there’s high-salt content inside that makes it tempting for the fishes to bite into it.

Lastly, the slim body can slide in through smaller holes easily. And, you can hook it up or use it easily as jig trailers.

5. Soft Fishing Lures, Bass Fishing Lures

Soft Fishing Lures, Bass Fishing Lures

Product Description

Now, the last product brings an absolute deal with it. Here, you’ll get almost 70 pcs of accessories with the product itself. So, be it a sinker or a jig head hook- this product has it all.

And, even though it’s the last one in our eyes, it’s still one of the best crawdad bait in the market. So, let’s begin with the highlighted features-

Highlighted Features

Well, we’ve already mentioned that you’ll get 70pcs of baits from this product. So, let’s take a look at them firstly-

Starting off, there is a separate fishing lure box kit. Here, you’ll find 20 different crawfish inside with four colors. Also, there are 10 different 3-sized sinkers.

Moreover, there are 10-night beads and ten rolling connectors. And, if you thought that’s it, you’re wrong. There are 10 hooks and ten jig heads too with 3 types of sizes. So, overall, you have tons of options to work with.

Similar to the previous product, you’ll have shrimp odor attached to the bait. By having this flavor on the baits, you can trigger and attract the crawfish.

Now, the best part about this is that you can attract them even in dull visibility conditions. So, the crawfish will be attracted to your bait regardless of the poor water condition. And, the odor will trigger a response from them.

Moving on, the bait itself is made out of plastic. Even though the construction is strong and durable, the plastic is a bit softer. This is better as the softer plastic allows the crawfish to hold on more.

As a result, you can leave your baits in the water for a while. Speaking of the strong durability, even the fishing hooks are tough. Here, they’re made of carbon steel that provides all the toughness in the world.

In fact, the jig head is made of a durable design. So, when it comes to resisting damages, this bait is right up there.

In the end, the bait will make your life easy. And, even if it’s below in the list, it’ll still provide a great run to the competition.

Crawfish Bait Buying Guide

Crawfish Bait Buying Guide

We’ve made things loud and clear! Yes, the review section is made to provide all the answers to your question. But, that isn’t the end, by any means.

And, why is that?

You see, reading through a sea of information is never an easy task, is it? Trust me, the review section was a lot to go through. And, it can create subtle confusions quite easily.

Now, the only way to solve this issue is to provide a section where we discuss the important considerations. So, we went on ahead and did just that.

Here, in the buying guide, you’ll find all your answers. So, grab a cup of coffee as we’re about to dive in deep-

Design & Shape

Yes, a realistic design matters when looking for a crawfish bait. At times, the crawfish trigger a response when they encounter bait with living action. This is why a realistic design is necessary.

On top of that, some baits have hooks on their belly. Whereas, other baits have their hook situated on the head. Whatever the case is, having a hook situated on both these positions will make it easier for you.

This is because you can attach the hookset to the hooks of the bait. As a result, you can pull the bait out in time.

Other than that, the shape of the bait depends on the fish you’re intending to catch. Usually, for bass and larger fishes, a larger bait is needed.

But, you should always get baits that can mimic the prey. By doing this, the crawfish will trigger a response and you can easily lure them to the traps.

Size

Well, size matters!

However, the size of the baits will depend on the type of fish you’re trying to catch. Here, if you’re going for a larger fish then go for larger bait. But, if you’re going for a smaller fish then go for smaller bait.

Usually, smaller fish don’t have a larger mouth. So, by having a smaller bait, you can easily lure them in.

Durability Factor

Since all the baits will be underwater for some time, they’ll require some sort of toughness. And, don’t forget they’ll be under pressure from the prey. So, they’ll need to be a bit durable in order to survive for a long time.

Hence, our advice is to settle for hard and soft plastic materials for the construction of these baits. They won’t get damaged easily and you can use them for a long time as well.

On the other hand, PVC materials can be used too for the baits. So, when you’re buying these baits, take a look at the materials too.

Jig Heads & Pinchers

Pinchers in the baits create an attractive swimming rhythm. Having these in the bait will definitely grab the attention of the other fishes. And, this attractive swimming will portray a living-like environment.

As a result, other fishes will trigger a response and will fall into the trap. This will come into your favor. So, look for pinchers when buying crawfish baits.

FAQs

Which one is the best bait for catching crawfish?

Answer: Well, it depends. Some people use sunfish and other oily fishes as bait. Whereas, others use salmon heads. In the end, it depends on which region you’re from and how you catch these fish.

What things will attract a crawfish?

Answer: Generally, crawfish are attracted to fish-based foods. In fact, they can even get attracted to hot dogs. Here, the only thing that’ll matter is whether the bait is fresh or not. So, if you’re thinking about putting smelly, spoiled meat then it won’t work.

Which is the season to catch crawfish?

Answer: Normally, crawfish seasons start from early November to late July. But, when it comes to reliability, these fishes can be caught around early summer and spring. And, that is from late February to early May.

Can you purge a crawfish?

Answer: Yes, it’s possible to purge a crawfish. And, the overall process would take around 10-15 minutes.

What is the best place to set a crawfish trap?

Answer: Normally, crawfish nest on shallow water bodies. So, you can place traps around ponds, lakes, and other streams of rivers. Besides, you can place traps on the water pools around the bedrocks.

Parting Words

Well, hunting season is almost here! So, pack on up and begin the journey. With all the key information provided in this article, you can easily purchase the best crawfish bait.

Before ending the article, we’d like to inform you that all of the products discussed in this list are the absolute best on the market. However, you can read the buying guide in order to know what suits you. In the end, it’ll matter on the factors that you love the most. Good luck with your hunting!