Crayfish, also known as crawfish, make excellent baits for freshwater fishing. Crayfish can be fished whole or as cut baits, depending on the situation. A variety of rigs are used for fishing crayfish.
One of the most common crayfish rigs is the Carolina style leader. A simple Carolina rig can be made by adding a sliding weight on the line above a small swivel.
To complete the rig, a leader and hook is attached below the swivel. Some anglers add a plastic bead above the weight to help protect the rod tip from being damaged by the weight.
A small bullet style weight is usually all that is needed with the rig. Heavier egg sinkers are used when fishing in strong currents.
Crayfish can also fished as cut baits, especially the tail section. Crayfish tails can be fished using a Carolina style rig, traditional leader, or with a jig-type hook.
Anglers should always check local regulations before fishing. In some areas, the use of whole live crayfish as bait is prohibited, in order to limit the spread of invasive crayfish species.