[Note: Parts of this entry were previously at crawfish.]
craw n2 chiefly IN, OH, wPA
= crawfish n B1—freq in comb soft craw one that has recently molted its shell.
1878 People (Indianapolis IN) 21 Sept 8/4, The fish take very kindly to soft craws just at this season of the year—but the trouble is that soft craws are very difficult to get hold of. 1885 NY Times (NY) 29 Nov 4/7 swOH, In fishing for other fish with the peeled tail of a hard crawfish or angleworm, the craws, as they are called out there, become a positive nuisance. They seize everything that comes near their hiding places. 1905 DN 3.76 nwAR, Craw, crawdad. . . Crawfish. 1921 Outers’–Recreation 64.54 OH, In the spring and summer crawfish in the soft-shelled state, or “soft-craws,” as they are commonly called, are found wherever crawfish are want [sic] to frequent. 1957 Rec.–Argus (Greenville PA) 2 Aug 9/1, [Advt:] Large minnows and soft craws. 1966 E. Liverpool Rev. (OH) 17 Sept 9/1, Once only a few deep holes are left and the creek is not very wide, many of the craws stop following the water and start digging into the sand and mud along the shore. 1968 DARE (Qu. P19, . . Small, freshwater crayfish) Inf IN18, Craws. 1984 Pharos–Tribune (Logansport IN) 27 July 3/2, “We keep a record of every craw that goes in and out,” Martin said. “We buy every craw we sell, so we have to know what’s going on.” 2000 Indiana Gaz. (PA) 16 July sec C 7/5, More so than any other state water I’m aware of, Yough Lake anglers relish a chance to fish craws that have molted into their soft-shell stage. 2010 Pharos–Tribune (Logansport IN) 4 Dec sec A 5/2, My Dad fished it often. The bait was always minnows or soft craws (softies), which we usually caught in little Deer Creek.