How to Make a Basket Fish Trap

It’s great to diversify your skills when you’re trying to be as self-sufficient as possible. Even better is that skill set includes food-gathering techniques that won’t take your entire day. Although traditional line fishing can be great fun, it also consumes a ton of time. Instead, make an easy basket of fish nets to free up your time.

What is a basket fish net?

Have you ever seen a rabri bin or laundry basket woven from wicker or rattan? Okay, the picture, taped at one end only to look like a cone. Then another small cone is installed inside it which is big enough to swim with a fish.

The fish swim in the net, tempted by tasty bait that you toss into the back end. Once there, they get confused and don’t know how to get back again.

When you make your net, be sure to make the secondary cone just large enough for your desired species to float comfortably.

For example, one of the most common species around my area is the small bass (Micropterous dolomieu) Belongs to. These will be 16 weigh to 20 ″ in length when fully grown and weigh five or six pounds. They will be about 5 ″ in height, so if I want to catch them in my net, I will make the initial 6 ″ diameter.

It is also a good size for brook trout and muskelunge. Perches will be able to swim in and out, but you will need a dozen to cook a good meal, hence the Bone Voyage, Perchie.

what you’ll need

To make your fish net, you will need the following equipment and materials:

  • Coping saws (or other small saw blades)
  • pruning shears
  • sharp knife
  • Bamboo sticks, cutail stalks, very small plants, or other pole-type shafts
  • A variety of weaving materials (known as “weavers”) such as willow sticks, split tree bark, cutel leaves, etc.
  • Cordage (rope, basically)
  • Fodder

Use a saw or scissors to cut a large number of rods and weavers. It is cruel to stay in the middle of a project and get out of the content of the work. This significantly reduces production time and makes the whole process more complex. Gathering together about 1/3 as much as you think you will need, just in case.

How to make your own basket

Gather your rods together at one end and attach them with a rough cord. I like using sinew or skin strips as they tighten well once dried and can be waterproof with a pine pitch.

Once you are tied together, set a tennis ball-shaped rock in the middle of them to spread the rods evenly. Then, take those weavers mentioned above and start weaving with them (drumroll, please…)! You will use a standard over / under / over / under repetition to create the desired effect.

If you are using a willow, you can leave the ends and tuck them in later. Alternatively, if you are using cattail gel or cordage, you can tie these rods according to your work. Try to weave tightly with no gaps larger than about 1 about. This will allow minarets like small fishes to escape, but will keep larger prey inside.

When you have woven a good few inches, you can remove the rock. This was that the rods should be kept separate when you set up the weave. Then, keep going. This process will take some time, so you can stand up and do some yogasana every 20 minutes. Or if you really like your butt to go numb while working, that’s cool – your call.

Create internal support

Once you make about 1/3, you will need to make a circular support. Take a look at the diameter of the basket where you have stayed, and make a circle that will fit neatly into it. Try to use something fairly strong, such as a slightly thicker willow rod, or a very small tree sprout.

To keep its shape firm, tie a circle around it, and then secure it inside the basket. Once it is tied in place, continue weaving as you did before. Repeat this process at the 2/3 mark, and what will be the opening of the fish net again. Use an extra strong support for that one, as you will attach the inner basket to it.

Tie all the woven ends in place, tie your cordage, and start on the secondary basket.

Basket # 2

This one will need to be neatly fitted in the first basket. It will be a very shallow one, though: the target for this should be just about 1/4 of the way up.

Build it in the same way as you did before; Only use a big rock when you start taking out the sticks. Also, make a circle that will fit the opening of the first basket, and at regular intervals, attach the rods using twine, sinew, or cordage.

At this time start knitting upside down, starting at the mouth (big opening) and doing your work downwards. When you have reached the desired diameter (such as the aforementioned 6 diameter for my bass), create another circular support. Secure this space, and then use your knife or pruning scissors to cut the extra length.

Put this secondary basket in the first one, ensuring that there is very little space between the two mouths. They should basically lock the small ones together to hold a space. Then secure them in position by placing a few thick sticks between their weaves, just below the surface level. This should not inhibit the entry of fish, but should hold two baskets simultaneously.

Remember the teachers to trap

It will be heartbreaking for you for many hours of work to make this trap, only when you put it in water it will get away from the fun with you.

Whether you are using homemade cordage or standard rope, make sure to securely tie the tether (s). I recommend weaving a length of rope around the mesh at the midpoint. Then secure it on top with a strong knot of your choice. I recommend a tight knot, but you choose the one that suits you best.

Just one side note: If you are going to set up your net in a high current, tie the other wire. Honestly, caution is better than caution here. Do the same at the back end of your mesh as you did in midsection, and tie it to a different tree if possible.

Time to add bait!

I think if you ask 20 people what kind of bait they use for their fish nets, you will get 20 different answers. I will tell you what works best for me, but it is a good idea to try different types and see where you are most successful.

Some people like to hang a piece of bait behind the trap. This will attract fish to it, but it is not always the most effective. Also, it can be a bit gross, as the best bait to use is usually smelly. For example, you will usually get better results with a half-eaten raw chicken wing than some fresh worms.

One of the easiest things is to get some cheap cans of beef, or chicken dogs, or cat food. Poke several holes in the can with a hammer and nail, and then toss it into the bottom of the trap. Alternatively, you can spoon some of this food into one of those metal tea eggs and throw it instead. These perforated containers are ideal because you can eliminate them many times.

Stinky mud will attract attention inside like you wouldn’t believe.

Where to place your fish net

Would you start screaming if I said my net “where there are so many fish”? Okay then.

Look at your local waterway to see where the fish seem most active. If there is a natural weir nearby, this is a good place to position your trap. Otherwise, aim for an area that is close enough to the coast for you, so that you can easily reach the net, but in deep water that the larger fish will still travel.

Tie some rocks to the mouth of the trap so that it stays in place. Then, you first lick the teether and attach it to a nearby tree. Oh, and remember that when you position your fish trap instead of upstream you will encounter its initial drift.

When you look down at it, it looks like the water is flowing. This may seem counterproductive at first, but the fish prefer to follow odor trails. By positioning your net in this way, you ensure strong, healthy fishing. Otherwise, those who are already dead may be washed downstream into your trap.

Nobody wants to deal with it, eat alone, fish that have been dead for a few days. This is just not right.

Once you do this, you can do your work for several hours. Just make sure to check on the trap at the end of the day to see if you caught anything. If you have it, awesome! Simply pull out the secure rods so that you can remove the inner basket and put the fish in the bucket.

Do not close to water in this way. The fish can just jump back there and then laugh at you as they swam away.

care and maintenance

I recommend making at least two nets so that you can alternate between them. Additionally, being around an additional two (or three) is great in case one of them breaks down or gets washed down. Or was stolen. you get the idea.

After each use check the nets thoroughly to see if they require any repair work. Larger fishes can move around a lot in the net, so you may have to re-weave parts of the basket. Additionally, since these nets are woven with natural materials, you can expect them to eventually break down due to exposure to water.

Be sure to dry them completely on a regular basis to extend their longevity. Additionally, keep a spray bottle of full-strength apple cider vinegar. Weekly lay down traps weekly to eliminate algae growth or bacterial build-up.

This should probably go without saying that you need to remove the bait after each use. The last thing you want to deal with is the smell of forgotten bait on the bottom of a trap that took you half a day to make.

Hopefully, if all goes well, you will grab a delicious dinner from your local river or lake in no time. Oh, and be sure to use the leftover bits for homemade fish emulsion fertilizer!

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