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Catching Crayfish In Jamaica (How To)
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catching_crayfish_in_jamaicaThe Crayfish Haul | Catching Cray Fish In Jamaica

So what do you know about catching crayfish In Jamaica? Have you ever done it? Can you do it? Will you ever do it?

In this fun article, not only will I share one proven technique with you, I'll share highlights of my recent crayfish (crawfish) catching adventure from the hills of Hanover with you.

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You might remember Ms James (Maxine) from the article (and video) that I did on Hunting Sea Moss In Jamaica.

Anyway, we were at it again!

And she brought her family along - kids, grandkids, nieces and all, up into the Hawker river!

Apparently that's where the best and fattest crayfish were :-)

crayfish_in_rivers_in_jamaicaCatching Crayfish In Jamaica | Ms James In River

So how exactly do you catch crayfish in the river?

She mentioned two popular approaches

  1. Lifting the rocks from the floor of the river (when the river is clear)
  2. Using a basket to 'sift' the crayfish from the sediments, debris and water

The latter, certainly from my observation, was the most efficient approach.

So how is it done?

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How To Catch A Crayfish With A Basket In The River

First up, you must ensure that the water is relatively clear enough, for your general safety but also to ensure you can see what you are doing, then.

  1. Get a wicker basket, or plastic one if unable to find one.

  2. Identify the areas where silt, sediments and build up are in the river.
    This may also include the banks of the river where grass and ferns are usually growing

  3. As discretely and gently as you can, place the basket under the area, with no more than a couple inches between the basket and the grass/buildup.

  4. Gently but firmly shake the area for about 2-3 seconds at maximum

  5. Then remove and raise the basket out of the water.
    The water will then drain leaving the debris inside the basket, along with the crayfish

  6. Carefully remove the debris, stems and leaves from the basket to see the crayfish.
    Note that while some may jump around, others may remain still, so look carefully before throwing the rest of the items in the basket.

  7. Carefully hold each shrimp by the head area (with the claws) to prevent it from pinching you.

  8. Put each in a holding bucket, bag or container and close.

Notes and Cautions

  • Be mindful of other water-based creatures which may include eels, crabs and frogs

  • If yours is a bamboo area, do note that crayfish tend to reside inside broken pieces of bamboo as well - in fact any item that has a hollow opening where they can hide. Some of the larger crayfish we caught were actually taken from old bamboo logs.

  • You might be lucky, as in our case, to catch fish as well, consider that your bonus!

That's it, ready to try? Please do and tell me how it went. I'm waiting :-)

And yes, these are all valuable lessons I learned from the experts, Ms James and her family, during our little crayfish hunting excursion. I do have a few pics!

crayfish_catching_in_river_jamaicaCatching Crayfish In Jamaica | Ms James demonstrates how to
ms_james_catching_crayfish_in_jamaicaCray Fish Hunting | Ms James and niece examines the catch
hand_catching_crayfish_in_jamaicaA Single CrayFish
crayfish_haul_in_jamaicaOur Crayfish Haul

BONUS | Cooking The Crayfish

Well this was never on the cards but Ms James pressed me to take it home. I did, and this (below) is how I did. 

cooking_crayfish_in_jamaicaCooking Crayfish
cooked_crayfish_in_jamaicaReady To Eat Cooked Crayfish!

No bad (looking) after all!

And according to Aliana, my daughter, it tasted 'wonderful'.
And would you believe it was my first shot at cooking crayfish? 

Oh yeah.

This (below) was my recipe!

Recipe For Cooking Crayfish In Jamaica


crayfish dish in jamaica
  • 2 dozen medium sized crayfish
  • 1 medium size onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 pack of coconut milk powder
  • 1 medium size sweet pepper
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 stalks escallion
  • 2 sprigs thyme


  1. Gently wash crayfish in water, rinse in vinegar and drain
  2. Pour oil in frying pan and allow to heat
  3. Cut all seasonings togethers together and pour in hot oil
  4. Allow to sauté for a few minutes
  5. Add the crayfish, add salt then stir to ensure seasoning and crayfish is evenly distributed
  6. Cover and allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes
  7. Sprinkle coconut milk over, stir again, add a 1/4 cup of water then cover and allow to cook for another 4 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat, cool and serve!

By the way, even better, I made a full (fun) video of both the catching and cooking of the crayfish!

Watch Video! Full HD
Catching Crayfish In Jamaica (Catch n Cook)

Below, embedded, is the YouTube video. Please enjoy - and share!

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