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How to Set up a Minnow Trap in the Water

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DIY minnow trap.

DIY minnow trap.

How to Catch Minnows for Bait

Buying minnows to use as bait is always an option, but catching your own minnows is so much more satisfying. If you want to catch minnows and don't want to use a minnow net, you can always try a minnow trap.

Minnow traps catch minnows with little effort. The hardest part about a minnow trap is setting it up so it sits in the water properly. I'll show you how to set up a minnow trap and put it in the water.

This method works best for the side of a dock or on a bank. There are a few different methods, but hopefully, you like this one.

Step 1

Get a long piece of string. Any tough string will do. Make sure the string is thin enough to fit through one of the minnow trap mesh holes. I use the kind of string that you would hang a crab trap or crab pot off of. Crab trap string is resistant to water wear, thin, and super strong for this sort of job.

Tie the string as shown in the picture below. Here I have the minnow trap standing upright and I tie the string to the top right.

Step 2

Step 2

Step 2

Take another string and tie it to the bottom part of the minnow trap. Be sure to tie to the bottom part of the minnow trap on the SAME side that you tied the first line.

Step 3

Step 3

Step 3

Take the other end of the string you tied in step 1 and tie it to anything nearby that is strong enough to hold the minnow trap. In the photo below I used a dock cleat but if you don't have something like this handy, look around and improvise. You'll find something.

Be sure to leave plenty of slack in the line that will allow the minnow trap to sink below the water when you throw it in. Don't throw the trap in yet though.

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Step 4

Do the same thing for the line you tied in Step 2. Remember to keep plenty of slack so you can ultimately toss the minnow trap in the water.

Secure the minnow trap to the dock

Secure the minnow trap to the dock

Step 5

Make sure you have a little bait in there to draw the minnows in. Then throw the trap into ideally a body of water about two feet deep. You can put a rock in there or attach a weight if it won't hold to the bottom.

I actually made a mistake and did not leave enough line slack for it to reach the water (duh). But, fortunately, it left a good picture for me to add one more step to this minnow tie-up.

In the picture below, can you see one more string tied to the left side being pulled to the right? I actually tie one more string on this side and pull the string all the way across the trap in the opposite direction. You can see this third string in the picture below running over the top of the minnow trap. I tie this string off to the same cleat in step 4. Tie it so that it lifts one side of the trap up slightly. You can see the lift a little in the picture.

This third string helps keep the trap from flopping all around in the water during a strong current. I especially like the third string for redundancy. Even if two strings somehow untie, I have the third on my trap so I don't lose it.

Have fun!

Lower trap into water

Lower trap into water


askpowers on June 29, 2010:

:) thanks for sharing, nice hub

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