How to Build a Crab Trap With a 5 Gallon Bucket

by Bryan Clark
Catch your own crab with a 5 gallon bucket.

Catch your own crab with a 5 gallon bucket.

Going crabbing is a low cost, easy and fun activity to do with everyone from friends to kids. There are plenty of places to go crabbing, such as any marshy lagoon or canal that is not private property. Crabbing is done in salt and fresh water, depending on the type of crab you are after, and is commonly done with traps or lien. Traps are better around deep water and currents. There are plenty of traps on the market but making your own is a cheap and easy solution.

Take the handle off the bucket. Most handles just pop in place. Removing them involves pulling upward while pushing the two attached ends away from one another.

Saw off the top half of the bucket. Saw about 6-inches off the top, or just below the ridges if your bucket has them. Make sure you do not saw off too much or the crab will escape.

Dig a hole underwater, ideally near logs or rocks. The hole should be just big enough to accommodate the bucket. Try to dig deep enough to keep the top of the bucket from protruding from the hole.

Put the bucket in the hole. Make sure there is not too much plastic sticking out. The idea is for the crab to walk into the bucket looking for food, and not be able to escape. If the bucket sticks out too much, the crab will not be able to get in.

Put bait inside the bucket and wait. Check the bucket every 12 to 24 hours.

Items you will need

  • 5 gallon bucket
  • Saw
  • Shovel
  • Bait


About the Author

Bryan Clark has been a freelance writer since 2002. His work has appeared in "The New York Times," "USA Today" and the U.K.'s biggest paper—"The Guardian," amongst other, smaller publications.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/ Images