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How to Set Up a Lobster Trap

Updated February 21, 2017

There is nothing better than a fresh, boiled lobster served with drawn butter. The sweet taste of the meat can be heavenly on a summer day. But before you can enjoy the lobster, you have to catch it. Lobster fishing hasn't changed much through the years. It is performed by baiting a simple lobster trap made of wood and wire mesh.

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  1. Open the bait bag that is contained in the lobster trap. A basic lobster trap usually has two compartments for trapping lobster. There is a funnel-shaped opening that leads to a broader compartment. The bait bag is kept in the broader compartment. Once the lobster has eaten the bait, it can't get through the funnel shape.

  2. Fill the bait bag with dead herring until the bait bag is full (usually three to five). Mackerel, white fish or chicken necks also can be used as bait.

  3. Tie the rope to the lobster trap. There is usually a ring or a rope loop on the lobster trap.

  4. Take a boat to the location where you want to trap your lobster. It's best to go out near high tide so that the line will have enough slack in it. In low tide, the lobster pot might lift off the bottom of the ocean, making it ineffective in catching lobster.

  5. Lower the lobster pot slowly until it reaches the ground. Tie a lobster-trap buoy to the other end of the line and toss the buoy in the water.

  6. Tip

    Some fisherman have started to replace traditional bait with a piece of soy. Chemical scents are added to the soy. This saves the hassle of having to catch or purchase baitfish--smaller fish eaten by larger, predatory fish.


    Many states and towns require a license to trap lobsters. Check with your state's gaming board.

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Things You'll Need

  • Lobster trap
  • Mooring rope, at least a half inch in thickness
  • Lobster trap buoy
  • Bait (herring)
  • Boat

About the Author

Scott Damon is a Web content specialist who has written for a multitude of websites dating back to 2007. Damon covers a variety of topics including personal finance, small business, sports, food and travel, among many others.

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