The Prepper Journal

Survival Fishing: Making A Primitive Fish Trap

Survival Fishing: Making A Primitive Fish Trap - The Prepper Journal

Editor’s Note: Thank you Brenda from , much appreciated. 

If you ever find yourself in a survival situation, it is important to try and use as little energy as possible. It may happen that you get stranded in an area near a water body that has fish. Well, you can eat the edible fruits or plants and also top up your meal with some fish.

In survival fishing, there are many ways in which you can catch fish, be it by noodling, traps or improvisation. However, most of these activities require you to move around and consume energy. What if you have a lot to do and catching fish to make a meal out of it is one of them?

Here, you will learn how to make a traditional fish trap or otherwise known as Weir.

How to make a Fish Trap

Catching fish using traps has been in practice for a long time now. Though, this fishing method is illegal in many areas and thus intended for survival situations. During the ancient days, traps were made from stone or sticks and so is a traditional fish trap.

There are different designs and styles of fish traps:

1.      Woven Funnel Trap

This trap may be a little bit more complicated to make. However, in a survival situation, one settles for what works. It has a V-shape opening to allow fish in, but make it difficult for the fish to get out. The trap is made of two parts, the main body and what looks like an inverted cap of a cone.

  • Main Body

You only need to have a knife and several sticks, preferably an odd number of sticks. Hold the sticks together and wrap the bark of a tree around it, near the end of the trap. The bark should keep the pieces of sticks together.

Take a flexible sapling and form a hoop using it, and tie it to the part where the trap is to be open. Once the lower end of the trap is tightly tied; use any extra bark to weave around the sticks. Weaving is pretty simple, you only pass the leaves or the strips of bark over and under the sticks to form a mesh-like pattern.

If you run out of pieces of bark, you can use leaves or any other material nearby. It doesn’t have to be a consistent use of weaving components. Ensure that your weaving material holds the different sticks together and that you leave little room for the fish to escape from the trap.

When you get to the hoop that you fastened at the opening, remove it as you continue weaving. At the end of the main body of the trap, trim the protruding ends of the stick and use a sapling to tie a few of the top most loops together.

  • Cone Cap

The cone cap is made similarly as the main body of the trap. Use an odd number of sticks. Now, instead of tying the ends shut as we did previously, you will leave a narrow opening at the ends.

This space should be enough to fit the size of fish that you are targeting. You can stick the ends of the cap on the ground to guide you in weaving. Weave the sides of the cap and trim the ends of any protruding sticks.

The top part of the cap should be the slightly smaller than the opening of the main body of the trap. Place the cone inside the main trap while inverted. For bait, you can use bread and also the inner and inedible parts of the fish you catch.

You can tie the bait with a string, inside the trap. Also, remember to tie the cone cap to the main body of the trap. You don’t want it to come loose.

2.      Funnel Wall Trap

This technique is suitable for those who may not have the time or energy for weaving. All you have to do is to collect several pieces of sticks and stick them on the floor of the water in the shape of a wall with small openings between the saplings.

You will, however, need to leave a funnel-like opening where the fish can get into the trap. Place or drop your bait inside the trap. Its smell will draw fish into the trap. It is suitable for catching small fish from the banks.

Position the opening of the trap in the downstream position, that is, the water should be flowing towards it. It is easier to make than the other type of trap. However, fish can still find its way out.

3.      Bottle Trap

It is the simplest trap that you can make, especially, when you are targeting small fish. You only need to cut the top part of the bottle, invert it and place it inside the bottom part of the bottle. If it doesn’t fit, cut the sides of the lower section of the bottle and push the top part through it.

For water to flow through the bottle, you will need to poke a few holes at the bottom of your bottle trap. Tie a string to the trap and drop it in the water. Place some stones inside it, to let the trap sink.

Advantages of Traps

Making fish traps is advantageous:

  • They are easy to make
  • You can work on other things as you leave the trap to do its “work.”
  • They consume less energy as compared to other survival fishing techniques, the only energy consuming part is making the trap itself.


When you find yourself in a survival situation, you can still have a meal as you wait for help. If there is a water body near you, you can catch fish to add to your meal. There are many fishing methods suited for a survival scenario.

If you are looking to conserve or use your energy elsewhere, you should consider the passive fishing methods of building a trap and putting it in the water as you engage in other activities that require your attention.

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