How to Build Homemade Crawfish Traps

Updated February 21, 2017

Crayfish, freshwater crustaceans that resemble tiny lobsters, are prized for their delicious taste. Catching these little creatures is not too difficult with the proper trap. You can make at home a simple crayfish trap, called a pillow trap, consisting of a wire cage with funnel-shaped corner entrances that crayfish can enter freely but not exit. Construct it with wire mesh and basic tools. With a little effort and a nearby pond or lake, you can have your trap complete, baited and set all in an afternoon.

Fold the wire mesh in half. Bend the loose wires along the edges of the wire mesh inward with the pliers to join the side edges, leaving the top edge open. Pull the sides of the wire mesh outward to form a pillow shape.

Use the wire cutters to cut off the two joined corners at a diagonal about one inch from each corner. Fold the cut corners of the wire pillow inward to form funnels. Ensure each entrance is large enough for a crayfish to crawl through, about 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide. At this point, you will have a pillow-shaped wire cage with two turned-in corner entrances and the top edge still open.

Tie a retrieval cord, about 6 to 10 feet long, to the side of the pillow trap. Your trap is now complete.

Open the top edge of the trap and load it with dead fish or other appropriate bait. Close the top edge of the trap with spring-type clothes pins and sink the trap in a pond, lake or slow moving river. Tie off the trap to a stake or tree. Check later for any crayfish.


Before you begin, check with your local fish and game authority concerning laws regarding trapping crayfish in your area.

Things You'll Need

  • 3-by-3 foot section of 3/4-inch hexagonal wire mesh
  • Wire cutters
  • Pliers
  • Medium-weight cord
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