Fishing With a Fish Trap or Fish Basket
Fish Traps or Fish Baskets
Many cultures use fish traps to harvest fish from both fresh and salt waters, commercially and recreationally. Variations are even used to trap shellfish from the ocean.
We are going to talk about how to make two styles of trap: a wire mesh trap and a slat-box trap. These traps are generally used to catch non-game fish such as catfish. You will need some type of bait to lure fish into your trap such as cottonseed meal or corn meal.
Making a Wire Mesh Fish Trap
There are a few methods for building these baskets. One is to create the entire trap using "chicken" wire fencing or other closely knit fencing materials.
A detailed diagram and description of how to do this is available as a PDF file from the State of Georgia's Department of Natural Resources.
You will cut out the following pieces of fencing:
- A flat rectangular piece of fencing, approximately 72" x 60"
- One or two baffles or cones. The point of the cone is cut off to leave an 4- to 6-inch opening. If more than one baffle is used, the interior baffle is slightly larger than the one in the end of the trap.
- A circular cut piece of wire to secure the end.
- A door to bait trap and remove fish.
Building a Wooden "Slat Box" Trap
To build a wooden trap you will need the following parts:
- (a) Five rectangular frames in the size of your trap approximately 12"x 16".
- (b) One rectangular frame approximately 8"x 12".
- (c) 28 strips of wood around 60" in length (shorter on this one because of the weight).
- (d) 8 strips of wood 12" in length.
- (e) 10 strips of wood 24" in length.
- (f) A hinge.
1. Build Your Baffle
1. On the inside of one of the 12" x 16" frames (a) attach all of the 24" strips (e).
2. Put the ends of the 24" strips (e) inside the 8" x 12" frame (b) and attach to (b) leaving a hole large enough to allow the fish you are seeking to swim through.
2. Build the Body
3. Attach all the 60" strips (c) to the perimeter of four of your 12" x 16" frames, including the one in your baffle.
Space these strips equal distances apart with one at the very end of the slat pieces.
4. Attach all the 12" strips (d) to the remaining 12" x 16" frame (a).
5. Attach the hinge (f) to the piece created in the last step and to the end of the box.
To Set a Fish Trap
Place bait in the end of the box in a manner that it will not easily become dislodged. A small coffee can with a hole in it, holding chicken liver or other "stink" type bait, will work.
Cotton seed meal (in large quantities), corn, or other bait is also efficient.
If you use cornmeal or another fragile or easily-depleted bait, try putting the bait inside of an old pair of panty hose to make it last longer.
A fish trap is a very efficient method of fishing. It will work in either still or running water.
Remember if you set a trap of this nature, either check it daily or remove it. Fish will become trapped even without bait in the trap. Failing to check a trap is wasteful and may be illegal.
Guy Checking Someone Else's Perch Trap
This guy is on shaky ground. When you touch another person's fish trap they will get a bit angry if they catch you doing it. This trap is smaller than the one that you are looking at on this page. The designs on this page are best for larger catfish.
Please leave your comments or suggestions here.