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Issues with catching minnows with trap

10 replies to this topic

#1 AndrewG0403

  • NANFA Guest
  • Latrobe, Pa

Posted 13 June 2017 - 08:36 AM

Hey all,
I'm having an issue that is actually really irritating. I purchased a minnow trap from Wal-Mart specifically the black trap. I have owned both this one and a silver gee when I was younger and I have never seen a real big difference in catching. But recently I have thrown out my trap to try and get some and the past dozen attempts I have gotten nothing at all. I have tried leaving the trap out over night, for several hours and down to 10 minutes and I have got nothing. And I have tried every bait under the sun in the traps from old grandpa's ideas to the local bait shop to with no luck. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated or what might be wrong.

Baits used:
- bread (white, wheat, potatoe)
- cat food, dog food, tuna
- cheese, Cheetos, chips
-liver, fish organs, shrimp

And I live in Pennsylvania specifically Westmoreland county

#2 Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe
  • Board of Directors
  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 13 June 2017 - 09:29 AM

The problem is W@/m@5t they are really the source of many problems. Trap likely made in China, coated with melamine and fish repellent.
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#3 JasonL

  • NANFA Member
  • Kentucky

Posted 13 June 2017 - 01:06 PM

I don't use traps much anymore because frankly seining or dipnetting is higher yield. That said, make sure the area you are trapping has visible minnows. Often just 10 or 20 yards can make a big difference in the creek setting in terms of fish concentration. Also make sure the trap opening is parallel to the current and that it is placed in fairly shallow water adjacent to structure or the bank. Deep water hasn't worked as well for me historically. The bait choices listed should all work in varying degrees so I doubt your choice of bait is the main factor here.

#4 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
  • Forum Staff
  • Ohio

Posted 13 June 2017 - 02:45 PM

They work best in mid to late summer in small creeks when fish get concentrated in small pools. But agree that nets are more productive and you can really target different habitat and different species. Josh Blaylock uses a trap to keep his Coosa bass fed. His biggest problem is thieves.

The member formerly known as Skipjack

#5 AndrewG0403

  • NANFA Guest
  • Latrobe, Pa

Posted 13 June 2017 - 09:21 PM

@Michael Wolfe- I was thinking the same thing, have any recommendations for trap brands that aren't junk?

@JasonL- how seinging I was thinking about doing that myself since it's alot faster. And of course haha these are dedicated streams I have used since I was a youngin I know there's fish in there.

@Matt DeLaVega- have any recommendations for nets such as length or would a net tied to 2 sticks do fine?

#6 Josh Blaylock

Josh Blaylock
  • Board of Directors
  • Central Kentucky

Posted 14 June 2017 - 07:27 AM

I use the same black trap from Micheal Wolfe's favorite store (The Walmart) :)   I usually use bread, or hotdogs, and don't have a problem catching fish.  Like Matt DLV said, people stealing mine is the biggest issue I have.


Buy a 6ft seine, either from Wally-World, or a local sportsman store...or if you want to invest in the good ones, try Memphis Net & Twine or, my personal favorite, Douglas Net Company.  6ft seems to be a good size for 1 person to use.  Once you have the net, but 2 broom handles from Lowes or similar store, drill holes to tie the net on, and you have a nice seine.

Josh Blaylock - Central KY
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#7 AndrewG0403

  • NANFA Guest
  • Latrobe, Pa

Posted 14 June 2017 - 11:33 PM

@josh- oh haha, when I was growin up my grandpa called that poonin' but hey thanks for the recommendation my net is getting pretty old And how'd you get so lucky with that trap. That thing is 10 minutes from becoming box full of sinker lol

#8 osburni

  • NANFA Member
  • Greenbrier Valley, West Virginia

Posted 28 June 2017 - 02:06 PM

Traps work good in the right spot. I got these yesterday in about 15 minutes, bait was a golfball size lump of day old chipotle burrito bowl.  The picture of the bucket is after I had taken out about 20 for home. About 3/4 Mountain red bellies and the rest Rosyside dace.


Nets work good too, while I was waiting for the trap to fill I caught a nice Torrent sucker. (No picture, he was hiding behind a rock.

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#9 taldridge0321

  • NANFA Member
  • Pigeon Watershed, North Carolina

Posted 29 June 2017 - 10:12 AM

Try Heinsohn's Country Store. They have some really great minnow/fish traps. I'm sure you are aware, but make sure to check local and state laws on the traps. 


I used a cheap minnow trap for years and they never worked anywhere in the Piedmont region of NC. However, I tried the mountains near our mountain cabin creek and caught a bunch in a matter or hours. I used dog food and bread as bait. It was full of E. Blacknose Dace, Rosyside Dace, Central Stonerollers and a few Warpaint Shiners believe it or not. 


Like the guys said above, a dip net is much more fun and will get you a lot more species. Personally, I use a dip net and cast net for collecting, but most people will use the dip net and seine. Either way you go, they are a lot more fun than leaving a trap out. 

#10 Moontanman

  • NANFA Member

Posted 24 August 2017 - 04:20 PM

I've had trouble with the black plastic coated traps, fish seem to run from them! The regular minnow traps, galvanised wire, usually work well for me but occasionally i am skunked in places with high fish populations... I usually use something white as bait, a fish fillet, or a cracked open can of sardines. The color does seem to matter sometimes.. 


Life is the poetry of the universe
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#11 don212

  • NANFA Member

Posted 05 November 2017 - 04:05 PM

i have 2 cheap chinese collapsible nylon traps, they are convenient, but the openings are way too big , killies just swim in and out,caught a lot of sunfish, sewed  in a 1 inch key ring making it legal  and hopefully more effective on small fish

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