Koi Rescue
Phoenix Arizona

Minnow Trap From Soda Bottle

In the process of researching some pond stuff, I tripped across a few references to a "soda pop bottle minnow trap", and then located a set of plans for one. Like all things on the internet, I wonder if it would work in the real world.

So I built a couple of them, basically it is just a soda bottle with the bottom cut off. Then you cut the top off another and attach it so it makes a funnel into the first one. You stick bait in it, and the theory is that the fish will swim into the bottle, forget how to swim out and be stuck. I have seen numerous minnow traps made from wire that look just like this, but they are bigger.

To attach the bottle parts together, I used a soldering iron to poke a hole in both, then used small zip ties to lace them together. I also attached a string with a float on it, and rocks to make sure the bottle would sink incase some air was trapped in there.

I have additional holes along the sides to let the air out and the water to flow thru.

Guess what !?!?

My girls and I went fishing with our regular fishing poles, and I brought along a trap with me. On the way I found a cozy little spot that looked good for the trap, put some bread in the trap and stuck it down there. We fished for an hour or so and didn't catch a thing, not even a bite. On the way out, picked up the trap and sure enough, it had a baby bluegill (sunfish) in it.

After using the soda bottle trap a few times, I noticed a few things that could use improvements - so I made this improved trap.

Filling Up Quickly With Water The soda bottle trap didn't have enough holes around it, so I put a lot more holes to both let the water in, and the air out.

Sinking Horizontally I used rocks as the ballast to make the bottle sink, but what would happen is that the rocks would slide to one side and make the bottle stand up on one end. Also when I removed the minnows, the rocks would slide to the opening and out with the fish. To fix that, I am using a couple of wheel weights that are zip tied in. Works a lot better.

Doubles as Live Minnow Keeper I wanted this to double like a live bait keeper, incase I am out camping on the boat. This way I can catch a fish, and keep them in the lake water till ready to leave. If I immediately stick them in my bucket, they might run out of oxygen by the next day when I am heading home. To get this capability, I switched to a peanut butter jar, so I can reach in there and put a cap on the funnel end to make sure the minnows won't escape.

Here is my fishing bucket. I have 2 identical buckets which are in the 2 gallon range. One of the buckets was cut in half to make a tray, you can see it on the left. There is a block of wood in there to divide it, so my cast net lives in half and the tackle box in the other half.

In the main bucket, I used marine goop to glue sticks of wood to keep the tray from going to the bottom. Makes the perfect size cavity to carry my minnow trap, and to bring back fish.

I had a problem with the regular screw on lid, it kept getting stuck or cross threaded. So I made a plywood cover as a seat.

The minnow trap inspired me to make a roach trap