Crawdad Questions

Discussion in 'LOCAL TENNESSEE TALK' started by festus, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. festus

    festus New Member

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    7,660
    Exactly how big of a crawdad have you ever seen? When I was a teenager I caught the biggest one I've seen in my life. It was at least 6" or 7" long, and I caught it in a little branch that's no bigger than 3' wide and 1' deep. It was crawling on the bank. I kept it as a pet in an old aquarium with several rocks in creek water. It disappeared one day, I imagine a raccoon got it. This crawdad's color was different than any other I've ever seen, it was red. All the other crawdads around here have always been dark brown, olive, or a blueish color, and not over 4" long.

    Has anybody seen a 6" crawdad in Tennessee, or is this fairly common. And is it common to see red crawdads?

    I understand there is an invasive species of crawdad that is illegal to bring into Tennessee and several other states, but I don't remember the name right off the bat. I'll look into that. That's one reason I'm reluctant to buy crawdads from bait shops.
     
  2. flatheadslayer

    flatheadslayer New Member

    Messages:
    5,834
    State:
    Thomaston, Geor
    i dont no about in tenn. but down here in ga.6 to 7 inches arent uncommon.i've never seen a red one till its cooked when you boil them they turn red.i've just never seen a live one red.all i've seen around here are black,bluish color.
     

  3. festus

    festus New Member

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    7,660
    This little stream I caught the crawdad from usually dries up during the summer. It drains a bass pond which is about 1/2 mile upstream. I suspect it was washed downstream. I also used to catch good sized shiners out of this branch that were stranded in little pools with a minnow trap. And I checked it out this past summer and caught several crawdads in there that were a 2" to 4" with bluish and brown color, but no more reds.

     
  4. lforet2002

    lforet2002 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,534
    State:
    Tennessee
    Now you've touched on a subject that I know a little about.Being from Louisiana crawdads are a delicacy.The main species that we eat is the red swamp crawfish and yes it is red and yes they commonly get 6-7 " easily..These craws are native pretty much only to southern swamps, they are sometimes considered to be an invasive species in some areas.If you haven't eaten boiled crawdads from Louisiana you are missing out..Is this what he looked like???
     

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    Last edited: Oct 25, 2009
  5. festus

    festus New Member

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    7,660
    That looks like it, Les. It's been so long ago I don't remember the exact length, it could have been more like 5" or 6". I found another photo here. As I mentioned about a pond this little steam drains, a dentist owned this property and he always raised exotic amimals. He kept ostriches, llamas, longhorn cattle, peacocks, and who knows what else. He could have stocked his pond with these red crawdads. I used to fish the pond with his grandson and never really saw any of the red crawfish up there, but I wasn't really looking.

    Yeah, the ones I see already pre-cooked at Walmart and Food City are red...


     
  6. tbird

    tbird Member

    Messages:
    266
    State:
    IN
  7. festus

    festus New Member

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    7,660
    That looks like it, TBird, I read the article and it says they are native to Tennessee. But I've only seen a red one once during my life. I get chimney crayfish on the creekbank in my backyard, but they have either a gray, brown, or green color. Sometimes I'll drop a piece of raw bacon or some other type of meat down their hole on a fish hook and pull them out and save them for bait. But they only get about 4" long. I see where's some animal has shelled them out on the creekbank. I suspect it was mink or raccoon.
     
  8. crappietime

    crappietime New Member

    Messages:
    126
    State:
    Murfreesboro Tennessee
    :embarassed:Talking about these crawfish is making me hungry...I just introduced my best friend to oysters today...Think I will have to have a crawfish boil sometime and share with him.....
     
  9. lforet2002

    lforet2002 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,534
    State:
    Tennessee
    I'd like to know where you get em from or better yet just invite me over for the boil I'll help ya'll put em down..
     
  10. festus

    festus New Member

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    7,660
    I haven't tried crawdad yet. Do they taste anything like shrimp or lobster? I love shrimp, clams, and oysters, but don't care much for lobster or scallops. Most of the seafood markets in East Tennessee don't really offer fresh seafood as they claim, or at least I haven't had any luck with them. The last couple of times I've eaten at Red Lobster has turned me against them. We have a good seafood joint in Jefferson County called "Cowboys" near Douglas Dam. That establishment has been around since the early 1970's, and the owner has his own fishery and nets.

    Reckon if a feller was to get enough Tennessee crawdads would they be good to eat? There used to be a fellow about 4 or 5 miles up the road from me who had a pond full of freshwater shrimp (are they prawns)?, but he went out of business and drained it. Those crawdads I see at Food City or Walmart don't appeal to me. :embarassed:
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2009
  11. JEFFRODAMIS

    JEFFRODAMIS New Member

    Messages:
    2,537
    State:
    TEXAS
    ive caught some up to 6 inches long around here..never ate any that ive caught but ive tore up some in louisianna..mmm mm cajun cookin is where its at brotha:wink:
     
  12. lforet2002

    lforet2002 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,534
    State:
    Tennessee
    No I don't think you could get enough..A typical cajun like myself can eat 5lbs+ easily and thats with sucking the heads and eating potatoes,corn,onions,garlic,sausage and mushrooms that I like to boil along with my crawfish..A typical family gathering we would boil 2-3 sacks with a sack weighting from 40-50 lbs a piece..Its hard to explain how they taste..First it is very important to properly season and cook them..Overcook them and it will ruin them.The taste is pretty unique..I would say it has a similar texture as shrimp but not as rubbery and crawdads hold the seasoning way better than shrimp..Taste nothing like lobster..
     
  13. festus

    festus New Member

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    7,660
    I'll try them sometimes. As I said, I love shrimp but I ain't crazy about lobster. Les, do you like shrimp or crawdad best? I imagine if Tennessee was a good place to raise crawdads, it would have been done already. The only time I hear of them around here is for bait.

     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2009
  14. lforet2002

    lforet2002 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,534
    State:
    Tennessee
    I like crawfish better than shrimp..They probably could raise them up here..There are lots of crawfish farm ponds down in Louisiana its just no one really eats them up here so theres no market value.Perhaps if I talked the rest of my family to move up here there may be a market then..:smile2:
     
  15. festus

    festus New Member

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    7,660
    Jed Clampett and his clan used to eat crawdad before they moved to Beverly Hills. Jed lived in Bugtussle, right up the road from you in Macon, County, you know.:wink:
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2009
  16. crappietime

    crappietime New Member

    Messages:
    126
    State:
    Murfreesboro Tennessee
    I should been cajun myself I love the little pinchy boogers.I been through Bugtussle a few times going to Thompkinsville Ky also....How did you ever hear of that place Festus...that is just a spot in the road there.:smile2:
     
  17. festus

    festus New Member

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    7,660
    I lived in Hartsville and Carthage for a while, crappietime. One day I took my Nova to Lafayette for a front end alignment, and decided to head on up to see what Bugtussle was all about. I don't think either Kentucky or Tennessee want to really claim it. :eek:oooh:

     
  18. JEFFRODAMIS

    JEFFRODAMIS New Member

    Messages:
    2,537
    State:
    TEXAS
    they were more rich in the country then
     
  19. ammo warrior

    ammo warrior Member

    Messages:
    868
    State:
    Columbia, MO
    OMG...I miss eatin a whole messa cajun style crawdads...mmmm good! :cool2:
     
  20. festus

    festus New Member

    Messages:
    7,660

    Jed: Do you think I oughta move?

    Pearl: Jed, how can you even ask? You're 8 miles from your nearest neighbor. You're overrun with skunks, possums, coyotes, bobcats. You use kerosene lamps for light. You cook on a wood stove summer and winter. You're drinking homemade moonshine, washing with homemade lye soap. Your bathroom is 50 feet from the house, and you ask should you move?

    Jed: Yeah, I reckon you're right. A man would be a danged fool to leave all this.



     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2009