Making Crawfish Oil or Crawfish Based Lure
Folks do it different ways, and I’m not a professional or commercial lure maker, but here is what works for me:
I go ahead and cook my crawdads, and eat them. They turn a nice red, and are highly visible as bait. I grind up the leavings from the tails and some of the bodies.
I leave some of the heads and larger claws for visual attraction. Mix a cup of sodium benzoate (SB) to a gallon of the ground crawfish and crawfish pieces at this time if you like the smell. If not strong enough to suit you, wait to add the (SB) until the sun rendering process (see below), Cover the whole batch with either propylene glycol, or straight olive oil. I would think that you could add some commercial crawfish oil, but I have never done this for two reasons: (1) the idea is to make your own, and (2) most commercial crawfish oil has a rather mild smell and no visual attraction.
Set this mixture in the sun for the summer in a wide mouth glass jar, and let it render. The process is similar to "sun tea". When the sun rendered taint suits you, add 1 cup of sodium benzoate to each gallon of the crawfish mixture.
If you have a problem with gas, get a 4 inch, soft, black rubber plastic pipe cover and a screw clamp, and use this for your lid with a wide mouth glass gallon jar.
Before you install the plastic pipe cover as your lid, drill a 1/2" hole in the cover, line this hole with a half-inch rubber grommet, and put a wine maker's vapor lock in to the grommet.
You can use a dry cotton ball in the vapor lock, or you can wet the cotton ball down with propylene glycol ( PG). This will evaporate very slowly, keeping a good seal on the contents. You can use this rig on your fish oil too. If you have maggots, you left a way for the flies to get into the mixture. That's the only way you get maggots.
As you use the crawfish mixture, you can add more sun rendered crawfish parts and either PG, olive oil, whatever you are using, and keep it working almost forever. Be sure and add 3 or 4 tablespoons of new (SB) for every new quart of sun rendered crawfish parts you add as replacement.
I like this mix better than some other ways of making crawfish “oil”, and the commercial stuff, because you have the bright red pieces, claws, a few heads, and flakes of body shell for visual attraction, and the smell of the cooked crawfish is stronger than the small of uncooked ones.
I have never made a crawfish paste, but if I were to try, I think I would do it like this:
After eating the tails (Man, they are too fine to throw away or grind up.), grind all the remaining parts, not leaving any heads, claws or other large pieces as visual attractors (see above).
Add the correct amount of sodium benzoate, and sun render this mixture as above. When the mixture has been in the sun for a summer, I would strain any liquid off the ground crawfish.
Where ever you are sun rendering, make sure it is a place your dogs and house cats cannot reach.
I would mix the ground and rendered crawfish with plain petroleum jelly, lanolin, or maybe a little rendered skunk fat until I reached the consistency I wanted. If the paste was too thick, I would thin it a tad with the some sun rendered oil poured off the ground crawfish.
Hope that this helps you out.