#1
Old 10-06-2007, 07:41 PM
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Location: England
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I ate crayfish eggs.

I went on another crayfish foray today - this time to the Basingstoke canal at Odiham - we had absolutely no luck dipping bait for them, but we found a few shallow spots where we could actually see the crustaceans walking about on the bottom - even here, they just weren't interested in the bait (bacon) when it was dropped right in front of them - I think it's too cold for them now.

Anyway, so we caught some with the net - I had to lash a long pole (cut from the hedgerow) to the handle and catching them wasn't easy because they swim backwards rapidly when alarmed - the best technique seemed to be to trap them against the ground with the net right over them - not being able then to swim away, they attack with their claws and the net can be flipped over without losing them.

We only caught 11 of them this time though - including one really huge one with fearsome claws, plus another with clusters of dark olive coloured eggs under its tail.

We headed home where I cooked a big pan of paella and we ate this with the crayfish (shelling them as we ate at the table - this works better than doing it all in advance - which takes forever and always seems a bit disappointing when you see how little meat you've actually got in total).
Anyway, the crayfish eggs turned bright orange on cooking - the same as the animals themselves - everyone seemed to just expect that I would taste them - I didn't really want to. but it seemed impolite to let them all down, so I ate a couple of the eggs - they're only about 2 to 3 mm in diameter.

They popped in my mouth like fresh garden peas. They taste of absolutely nothing at all. Oh well, the crayfish was nice anyway.

Last edited by Mangetout; 10-06-2007 at 07:43 PM.
#2
Old 10-06-2007, 08:33 PM
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Mmmm crawdads. Me and my brouther used to lay ascreen across a ditch and bate with rotten chicken. Come back latter and pick up the screen to harvest. Never ate the eggs though.
#3
Old 10-06-2007, 09:47 PM
Graphite is a great
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangetout
We only caught 11 of them this time though - including one really huge one with fearsome claws, plus another with clusters of dark olive coloured eggs under its tail.
How long is "huge?"
#4
Old 10-06-2007, 10:08 PM
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When I was a kid, I found a crayfish in a stream and kept it as a pet. When it died, we held a solemn burial session in a vacant lot. Unfortunately, the local bullies dug up the ex-crayfish and attacked us with it.
#5
Old 10-07-2007, 01:08 PM
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My pet crawdads, Major, Snowball, and Napolean, were good pets. Their penchant for eating half a goldfish face for a snake did not endear them to me emotionally, however. I did respect their ability to escape but still believe the Old Major had solicited help from Stubbie, the Manx, to reach his final destinaiton behind the umbrella stand by the front door downstairs.

Consuming crawdads by the basketful in New Orleans drinking cold beer at Jazz Fest in the mid 90's remain my favorite Cambaridae experience.
#6
Old 10-07-2007, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangetout
They popped in my mouth like fresh garden peas. They taste of absolutely nothing at all. Oh well, the crayfish was nice anyway.
'Eat me if you must, but spare my children!'
#7
Old 10-07-2007, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuboydal
Consuming crawdads by the basketful in New Orleans drinking cold beer at Jazz Fest in the mid 90's remain my favorite Cambaridae experience.
When I have access to the "way back machine" I'm currently building, I plan to take your place that year.
#8
Old 10-07-2007, 01:53 PM
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Wow, that's courageous. I noticed their resemblance to caviar, or that orange fish-egg stuff you get on sushi, when you came to Oxford, but don't think I'd have had the nerve to try them.

Worrying that they're in the Basingstoke Canal too now.
#9
Old 10-07-2007, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangetout

Anyway, the crayfish eggs turned bright orange on cooking - the same as the animals themselves - everyone seemed to just expect that I would taste them - I didn't really want to.
They can also be that color when you catch them. They can also be kind of grayish-green. I think crayfish are cute, but when I see gravid females, I want to puke.

But baby crayfish? Talk about CUTE!!!
#10
Old 10-07-2007, 02:46 PM
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So, you've earned your Dopername for another year, eh?
#11
Old 10-07-2007, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem
How long is "huge?"
This particular specimen must have been about 7 inches long from nose to tail and with the largest claws I've seen on any specimen I've caught (OK, I haven't been at this long though) - the animal couldn't lift its own claws when it was out of the water - usually they wave them about quite beligerently.
#12
Old 10-07-2007, 06:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhyNot
So, you've earned your Dopername for another year, eh?
The 'hey, something weird - let's get Mangetout to eat it' meme has taken on a life of its own now - when we caught the specimen with eggs, the first thing anyone said was "so you're going to try eating them, right?". I'll admit to being curious, but I wouldn't have indulged that curiosity without the peer pressure on this occasion.
#13
Old 10-07-2007, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjimm
Wow, that's courageous. I noticed their resemblance to caviar, or that orange fish-egg stuff you get on sushi, when you came to Oxford, but don't think I'd have had the nerve to try them.

Worrying that they're in the Basingstoke Canal too now.
I think they've been there for quite a while - there seems to be a fair bit of discussion about it on various fishing messages boards - this location is quite convenient for me, as parts of the canal are only half an hour away from me. It's inevitable that they will eventually spread everywhere, I think.

BTW, if you do find yourself catching some more (although I don't think you'll get any more this year, as it seems they're not actively feeding now), I do heartily recommend just piling them up in the middle of the table and letting the guests peel them for themselves - we only caught 11 this time, which would have been a scant handful of meat if peeled in advance, but shelling them for ourselves around a table, eating and drinking at the same time, seemed to make them go a lot further. A bit like eating mussels, I suppose - you feel like you've had a big meal when in fact you've consumed only a few ounces of meat.
#14
Old 10-07-2007, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangetout

BTW, if you do find yourself catching some more (although I don't think you'll get any more this year, as it seems they're not actively feeding now), I do heartily recommend just piling them up in the middle of the table and letting the guests peel them for themselves - we only caught 11 this time, which would have been a scant handful of meat if peeled in advance, but shelling them for ourselves around a table, eating and drinking at the same time, seemed to make them go a lot further. A bit like eating mussels, I suppose - you feel like you've had a big meal when in fact you've consumed only a few ounces of meat.
When I lived in Louisiana, our house was next to a coulee and we had mudbug houses right in our front lawn. However crawfish was so cheap that we never bothered catching any.

Our annual ACM party was at one student's uncles place right on the Atchafalaya, where hundreds of pounds were cooked and dumped on tables. Competing against Cajuns made me fast. If you're ever down that way, there is a place called Richard's in Abbeville that specialized in boiled crawfish. When we lived in Lafayette they served them on beer trays, but when we went back with our kids they had invented a special tray with a moving divider, so you had more space to put shells as their numbers increased and the uneaten crawfish numbers decreased.
#15
Old 10-08-2007, 04:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager
When I lived in Louisiana, our house was next to a coulee and we had mudbug houses right in our front lawn. However crawfish was so cheap that we never bothered catching any.
This boggled my mind for a while - a bit like the idea that people buy blackberries in season in supermarkets here.

But then, I was in the supermarket the other day and the guy in front of me had a pack of crayfish tails that must have contained at least twice the number it took me and jjimm to catch in a whole day - and the price on the pack was 2.99 - three quid for a day's fishing. Except of course the ones in the supermarket are precooked and chilled - so it's not the same as cooking them and eating fresh.
They can't legally be sold alive here - because of the risk of them escaping and naturalising in more of our waterways (although I think the war is lost there - even if the battle continues).
#16
Old 10-08-2007, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangetout
This boggled my mind for a while - a bit like the idea that people buy blackberries in season in supermarkets here.

But then, I was in the supermarket the other day and the guy in front of me had a pack of crayfish tails that must have contained at least twice the number it took me and jjimm to catch in a whole day - and the price on the pack was 2.99 - three quid for a day's fishing.
I like Dungeness crabs, and the best crab I've had I caught myself right here. But a shellfish license is like $50, it costs $5 to put the boat in the water, a few dollars for bait, I burn a couple of gallons of gas, and it takes a couple of hours to make two trips -- one to set the traps and one to get them -- and sometimes it's raining. On the other hand I could just fish off the pier free except for the license. (And likely get mostly red rock crabs, which I don't like. They have an Attitude.) And I can use the license for oysters and clams. But since I haven't been oyster gathering and I haven't been able to get the grit out of the little clams I've dug up the dungies I've caught were rather expensive.
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