How to Make a Florida Shrimp Trap

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There are two primary methods for catching shrimp in Florida: buy a shrimping boat or use a casting net. Both processes can be expensive, laborious and time-consuming. There are other ways, however, to catch shrimp that are much easier and practical than the methods used by professional shrimpers. You can build your own trap to get those shrimp out of the water and onto your plate.

Rinse the plastic soda bottle with hot water to clean it. Refrain from using soap or cleaners. Place several pin holes in the side of the bottle, preferably throughout the lower half of the bottle. Remove the cap from the bottle and discard it.

An empty plastic 2-liter soda bottle can be transformed into a shrimp trap.
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Cut the bottle, removing approximately 1/3 from the top of the bottle. Save the top, though, you will use it later.

Place two holes in the top of the larger section of the bottle to attach the nylon rope. Glue the lead weights to the outside of the bottom of the bottle. Place a thin layer of glue around the inside rim of the larger section of the bottle. Invert the smaller section of the bottle and place it inside the larger section, securing it with the glue inside the larger section of the bottle. Allow the glue to dry for 24 hours before using the trap.

Place shrimp food or bait in the bottom of the trap. Place the trap in the the water and allow it to sink to the bottom. Tie the rope to a fixed structure, such as the side of a fishing boat or a dock. Check the trap every one to two hours. After the shrimp are retrieved, place more bait in the bottom of the trap and recast.


  • Be patient. Catching shrimp can be a time-consuming process. It takes time for the shrimp to smell the bait, find the trap and swim inside.
  • Leave the trap submerged at least two hours. Always re-bait the trap each time you remove it from the water.


About the Author

Barry Melton has been writing since 1996. He is a former Marine Corps combat correspondent and staff writer for the "Hawaii Marine" newspaper, and has also been published in "Marines Magazine" and "Leatherneck." Melton is a graduate of the Defense Information School at Ft. Meade, Md.

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