How to Store Live Crawfish
It is always best to boil live crawfish on the day that you receive them. But if you need to store live crawfish. Keep them cool (36-41 deg F) and moist at all times prior to boiling. Never submerge them in water as this can kill them. Never store them in direct sun light.
Your crawfish will arrive cradled inside an insulated container kept cool by gel packs. The gel packs will likely be thawed upon arrival. Your crawfish will be bundled inside a mesh sack and cushioned by a burlap cloth. Keep the crawfish in the sack until you are ready to boil. Remove the mesh sack from the container and check to make sure that the crawfish are still alive. Rinse the sack in cool water until the runoff is clear. It is normal for the water to be dirty at first. After rinsing, place the sack into a draining ice chest. Also be sure that the ice chest drain plug is open and the chest is angled so that water can drain.
The insulated shipping container can be used in place of an ice chest. Just poke holes in the lower corners of the container so that the water can drain. Place the burlap cloth on top of the crawfish and place a bag of ice on top of the cloth. Poke several holes in the bag of ice so that the cool melt water will drip over the crawfish. You will need approximately one 8lbs bag of ice for every 15lbs or crawfish held overnight. Keep the ice chest in a cool shady place, such as a garage or shed so that it is not in direct sunlight.
For best results, store live crawfish for no longer than 24 hours. If crawfish are kept cool but a few look dead or have straight tails, cook ALL of the crawfish and then throw away straight tails! If the meat falls apart after cooking, this means that the crawfish is no good!