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How to Open and Close a Minnow Trap for Catching Minnows



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

Hopefully this article on will take some of the guesswork out of it and show you how to open and close a minnow 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'll go together just fine.


Step 2

Then turn the minnow trap around so that the latch holes are 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 trap so that the minnow trap latch holes line up as shown below.


Step 4

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


Step 5

The picture below 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 have trouble.


Step 6

With the minnow trap latch 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 a safety pin .... only harder :-).

Do yourself a favor, after you've locked the latch 1) double check the hinges in the back to make sure you put them together properly and 2) Try opening the trap to be sure you've latched it right.

Then get out there and catch some minnows for bait! 


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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

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