How to Make Catfish Traps

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The size and shape of catfish make them ideal to catch in traps. There are many different types of traps you can build, but the easiest one that you can put together is one that uses wire mesh. It is rather inexpensive and can be built quickly. Instead of making one, you can make several catfish traps and increase your chances of catching more catfish. Visit your local home improvement store and pick up the materials to build yourself an effective and easy catfish trap.

Items you will need

  • Mesh wire

  • Wire cutters

  • Wire or twine

  • Gloves

Find mesh wire that you can use to fashion some form of box. The kind of wire you want is one that has holes in it small enough so the catfish will not be able to escape--no more than 1 inch. Chicken wire will work if the holes and spaces in the wire are small enough. If not, try to get your hands on another kind of metal mesh wire.

Determine how big you want your trap to be. Obviously if the water is shallow, you will not want to make a large trap. The best way to do this would be to cut 6 pieces of the wire into equal sized squares and then construct a box trap of sorts. Use some wire or strong twine to hold the box trap together.

Fashion the ends of the wire to form a box, but before you do, make sure that you have cut a small square on one of the pieces so you can get the catfish out. Fasten the cut piece back into place with some of the wire or twine so that it can be moved, but is not loose enough to allow the catfish to escape.

Use wire cutters or side cutters to cut two slits into the wire to make a "+" shape. Cut it just a few inches tall and wide, just big enough for a catfish. Once you have done that, push the wire inward so that the cuts open inside of the trap. This will allow the catfish to wiggle into the trap, but the cut pieces on the inside will be so sharp and jagged, the catfish will not be able to escape.

Place some bait inside of the trap and place the trap inside of the water. You can consult your local fishing shop to ask what kind of bait works best to catch catfish. You can leave the trap for a few hours or leave it overnight, as long as it is in a safe place where no one else will try to steal your traps. When you pull your traps out of the water, you can remove the small cut-out square and remove the catfish from the trap.


  • Use gloves when cutting the wire to avoid injury.
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