Fish Trap History and Types of Fish Traps

Fish trap is a device used to catch fish. They are placed in water and left there until fish falls into a trap or until fisherman decides to move it. Traps are useful because fishermen don’t have to sit beside them and waste time if they have something better to do. They can just set the trap and check it back later.

Picture Of Fish Traps

Almost every civilization that fished invented a fish trap of its own. Fishing has two general forms: fixed and portable. Fixed are made in the form of a fishing weir. They are obstacles placed in the water that direct the passage of fish into a part where they will be trapped and from where they can’t escape. They are traditionally built from wood or stones and stay in water until disassembled. Portable traps are made in a bottle shape and can be taken out of the water. They have a narrow opening through which a fish can enter but cannot exit. They also sometimes have bait inside but can work without it.

Yaghan people, who inhabited the Tierra Del Fuego in prehistoric times, made fixed stone traps in shallow inlets. This kind of trap caught the fish when the tide retreats. Indigenous Australians also built stone traps which caught huge numbers of migratory fish. These consisted of system of canals on different level (some were more than 2 km long) which trapped eels when the water level rose and fell.

Different traps are in use, depending on a type of fish that fishermen tray to catch and local conditions.

Here are some of fish trap types:

Picture Of Fishing At Fischer Port
  • Basic bottle trap (or a “pot trap”) is a container shaped like a bottle with an inverted funnel at the entrance. It is a portable trap and is made of wire, glass or plastic or weaved from branches. It often has bait.
  • Crab traps are used catch crabs. It consists of a cage with openings through which crabs can enter but cannot escape, and bait.
  • Eel traps are similar to bottle traps but are much longer and made by weaving from stems of climbing plants.
  • Katiska trap is collapsible or rigid trap made from chicken wire and used in Finland. They are used in hobby fishing,
  • Lobster pot is made in two parts from wire and wood and used to catch lobsters and crayfish. First part contains the bait and second traps the lobster.
  • Octopus trap is basically just a clay pot but when it is left on the sea bottom they are inhabited by octopuses that treat it a house. No bait is needed. When a trap is lifted from the sea they usually stay inside and are caught like that. These traps are used in Japan, the Mediterranean, and other regions.
  • Soda bottle trap is a trap made from a standard soda bottle. Its inverted funnel is made by cutting off the top of the bottle, cutting vertical lines downward and then “inverting” top of the bottle.