How To Make a Minnow Trap

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What You'll Need
A large piece of screen wire or hardware cloth
Some thin cord or wire
An ice pick
A few fishing sinkers
3-liter (or 2-liter) soda bottles (2)
Large nail (1)
Some string or twine
Scissors and locking pliers such as vise grips
Your kitchen stove
A marker
A bowl of cold water

If you are ever in the mood to go fishing but do not want to pay for minnows, you can make a minnow trap quickly and easily. Below are 2 different ways you can make simple yet effective minnow traps.

Type 1

First, roll the hardware cloth into a cone shape and cut it to the size you want. Then use the thin cord or wire to tie it closed down the side. You may have to use your ice pick to enlarge the holes to get the cord through the screen. Next, weigh down the pointed end of the cone with a few fishing sinkers. Now tie a piece of durable string or cord to each side of the open end of the trap, then you can fasten a line to that cord for throwing and dragging the trap through the water to collect minnows.

Type 2

This minnow trap will be made from two plastic bottles. To follow the instructions easier, you will need to mark one bottle with an ‘X’ and the other with a ‘Y’. Cut the bottom third portion off of the X bottle but leave the cap on. Then cut off the top third portion of the Y bottle and take its cap off (leaving about a half inch lip underneath the part before the Y bottle curves). We will be keeping the top portions of both bottles and throwing the other parts away. Now place bottle Y inside of bottle X with both cap parts pointing in the same direction. After doing this you will be able to see how the minnows will be able to swim into the trap but then have a tough time finding their way out.

Now we need to fasten the bottles together at the bottom. Go to your kitchen stove and turn on a burner. Take hold of the nail with the pliers and heat it over the burner until it is very hot. Hold the two bottles firmly and with the hot nail still in the pliers, poke about a dozen holes around the bottom part of your trap where both bottles are touching. When finished, drop the hot nail into the bowl of cold water. Next, take your string and sew through the holes – or make little ties of cord – around the bottom to secure the bottles together. Now reheat the nail and poke more holes around the outside of bottle X to allow water to get in the trap when you throw it into the lake.

For minnow bait, you can add crunched up crackers or bread to your trap, or even dog or cat food. Fasten a line to it and throw it in your favorite lake and wait overnight for the minnows to fill it up. The next morning you can simply open the cap on top of the trap and dump the minnows into a bucket and then you will be ready for fishing.

And there you have two simple and easy to make minnow traps that will be effective for providing you with all the bait you need for your next fishing venture.

Be aware that in some places, fish traps of any kind are illegal. Check the fishing regulations in your area before using any minnow or fish traps.