Homemade Small Bait Fish Traps

Written by keith dooley
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Homemade Small Bait Fish Traps
Make a homemade bait fish trap from a 2-L soda bottle. (fish image by Einar Bog from Fotolia.com)

Bait fish are commonly used by many anglers when attracting both fresh and saltwater game fish species. Minnows -- including mud minnows and fingerling herring -- are two popular bait fish that can prove effective when soft plastic, hard plastic, jigs, crank baits or spinner baits are not producing a strike. Catching bait fish can be accomplished with a small, baitfish trap. This small trap suitable for attracting and catching smaller baits; it can be made with a few common items.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 2 L soda bottle
  • Sharp knife
  • Small diameter cord
  • Rock
  • Bait
  • Waterproof marine tape
  • Finish nail

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  1. 1

    Rinse a 2-L soda bottle to remove any remaining beverage. Leave the screwcap on top off of the bottle.

  2. 2

    Measure 4 inches from the open end of the bottle. Cut the 2-L bottle with a sharp knife to remove the top. Lay the bottle on a work surface, and cut straight around with the knife.

  3. 3

    Measure 1/2 inch up the side of the bottle from the bottom. Cut a slit with a knife to create a opening large enough so that a small diameter cord can be inserted. Turn the bottle, and cut a second slit 1/2 inch up the side from the bottom; it should be opposite the first hole.

  4. 4

    Cut a 3-foot length of 1/8-inch diameter cord. Feed the cord through one hole and out the other. Tie the ends of the cord together to form a handle. The cord will double as a means of anchoring the trap.

  5. 5

    Punch small holes around the sides of the 2-L bottle with a finish nail. Space the holes 1-to-2 inches apart around the side of the bottle. Punch enough holes to to allow water to flow through the trap, and carry the scent of the bait that will be placed inside.

  6. 6

    Hold the section of bottle top removed previously. Turn it so that the small opening is toward the body of the bottle.

  7. 7

    Place a rock in the bottle as a weight, along with corn or other bait for the minnows.

  8. 8

    Insert the top of the bottle into the body of the bottle. Align the cut edge of the bottle top with the edge of the bottle body. Tear a length of waterproof marine tape, and secure the two edges together.

Tips and warnings

  • Place the trap in the water where minnows are thought to be located.
  • Attach the cord to a limb, stump or other object so the trap can be easily retrieved.

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