Fish Traps

All About Fish Traps and What They Can do For You.

Fish Traps Fish Traps Fish Traps

All About Fish Traps

From the beginning of time fish has been a very important food source for mankind.  With the exception of spear fishing and collection of shellfish by hand fish traps by far have been the primary method used by man to extract fish from their watery environment.  This has been the case from the earliest days all the way up to present times.

Early on it was discovered when water levels changed due to tidal movement fish would move with the changes in water depths.  With the use of barriers placed in waters that rose and fell it was discovered fish could be easily trapped and accessed.  

Experimentation verified the following deductions about trap fishing:

•    As the tide fell and water moved out fish could be captured in traps set up in the path of the moving fish.
•    Fish voluntary entered traps.
•    Colored objects in traps attracted fish
•    Fish food in the traps tended to attract more fish.

These revelations led to the genesis of fish traps.  Historical evidence points to the realization fish traps were universally used by mankind around the world down through the ages.

So, Exactly – What Are Fish Traps?

In the most basic terms a fish trap is an enclosure that allows a fish to willingly enter and then makes it difficult for them to depart.  The no escape feature can be achieved either by the inclusion of a closure capability or by incorporation of a funnel like entry that presents the fish with a situation beyond its ability to reason how to get out.

Trapping fish is a passive method as opposed to fishing with nets and trawling.  Fish traps vary in size from diminutive ones for catching small fish for bait or aquariums to very large traps or pots for high seas lobster and crab fishing.

One of the many advantages of trap fishing is the trap can be tailored to more readily present the type of fish seeking to be caught.  Such features as size and shape of the trap structure and most important the configuration of the entryway can be used to determine the type of fish most likely to be captured in the trap.


Often times both the terms “trap” and “pot” will be used when referring to the process of capturing fish.  Trap is generally used to describe a large structure fixed to the shore while the term pot refers to smaller traps that can be handled by hand and are dispatched from a boat.

Customary types of pots and traps are comprised by the following:

•    Basket shaped structures made of wood, plastic or wire with strong frames.
•    Dams, fences or walls that form watched chambers that can be closed by the operator.
•    Tubular traps for long fish like eel.
•    Mechanical traps that are closed by the fish upon entry.
•    Open corrals that can be closed to catch the fish.
•    Hiding place traps that deceive the fish into entering.
•    Flying fish traps.

Trapping fish is an age old pursuit that is still practiced by many today.