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How to Open and Close a Minnow Trap in 7 Easy Steps

I'm a blogger in my free time, who loves the outdoors and sharing articles regarding my interests.


Minnow Traps Can Be Tricky

The first time I tried to open a minnow trap it took a little time to figure out. I felt like I was playing with one of those steel puzzles where you have to pull the oversized ring through the triangle (or something like that).

Hopefully, this article will take some of the guesswork out of it for you and demonstrate how to open and close a trap for catching minnows.


Step 1

You'll notice that the minnow trap (at least the style that I have shown below) comes in two halves. Apart they look like two wire baskets. Locate the hinge on the back as shown and connect the top basket hinges to the bottom. This is easy to do. Just put the 'male' portion of the hinge into the 'female' portion and they should go together just fine.


Step 2

Then turn the minnow trap around so that the latch holes are now in front of you. They'll look like the two wire triangles sticking out of the side of the trap below.


Step 3

Close the two portions of the device so that the minnow trap latch holes line up as shown above.


Step 4

Now pick up the latch. It looks sort of like a big safety pin and works pretty much the same way. The picture above shows the latch in the OPEN position.


Step 5

Now, the picture above shows the minnow trap latch in the CLOSED position. To open and close the latch, you basically have to squeeze it exactly you would a safety pin. Some minnow trap latches, like the one shown, do take some effort to squeeze. Try pliers if you really are having trouble.


Step 6

With the minnow trap latch now in the OPEN position, hook it through both of the lined up latch holes (as shown below.)


Step 7

Then squeeze the latch shut (again, like you are using a safety pin... only harder.)

Do yourself two favors after you've locked the latch:

1: Double check the hinges in the back to make sure you put them together properly

2: Try opening the trap to be sure you've latched it right.

If both look alright, then get out there and catch some minnows for bait!

Set Up a Minnow Trap

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Daniel Jacob on May 23, 2020:

Thank you so much!! I just couldn't figure it out and you made it clear and simple.

Ashlee on January 12, 2020:

Lifesaver - I never would have figured out that darn pin on my own

Sanah on July 07, 2019:

Thank you Turtle Dog without you I would have never figured out how to open and close the trap.

TurtleDog (author) on June 05, 2012:

Thanks BG! Glad that helped you to get that trap door open.

BG on June 01, 2012:

Thank you for this explanation. Had been trying to figure that pin out for half hour. haha