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What Are Fish Traps and What Uses Do They Have?

A fish trap is a fishing tackle used to catch the specimens by making them enter, by various methods , a closed or semi-closed enclosure from which it is really difficult or, in fact, impossible to escape.

Obviously, its main use is the capture of aquatic animals without the use of a rod, but being the same ones that enter the previously designed enclosure.

These gear is used when we want to fish differently , in areas where we know that, directly, they are more successful than rod, when we do not want the specimens to be injured, if we only want to observe them for a short time, to get hold of many pieces (always depending on the size, of course) …

Types of fishing traps Which is the most recommended to choose?

We can make a different classification of this rig according to various points such as the waters where it is used, its manufacture or consider how the FAO considers them. So, we have.

Depending on the water where we use them:

Sea traps

As the type itself indicates, they are tangles that are used in seas and oceans, that is, in large bodies of salt water. For this reason, its main characteristics include:

  • Big size.
  • Materials resistant to saline corrosion.
  • Designs designed so that the traps are moved deep in the water and are also floated and often submerged again.

River traps

In the case of river traps, we have to say that these are used in fresh water, of course, but they are also sometimes suitable for use on shore:

  • Smaller rig sizes.
  • Simpler materials.
  • Fixed trap designs, which usually remain stationary for hours.

Considering its manufacture we have:

Trade traps

They are those that have been manufactured by companies, considering a design made by professionals as well as an optimal manufacturing process that includes specific machinery and materials to obtain the best results. There are very varied (and increasingly) but the user is always conditioned by existing models.

Homemade traps

The homemade trap has as a positive point that the fisherman makes it completely to his liking in terms of size, weight, materials, number of openings, bait areas and others.

By cons, we have that the quality cannot be as high as if its manufacture is commercial because we have both materials to be at home as well as manual techniques or domestic machines.

The FAO, which is the part of the UN that deals with aspects related to agriculture and food, offers us the following classification of fishing traps:

The fishing pot is a trap net with a structure similar to the typical mosquito trap that we do with a bottleneck, with a wide entrance and a path that narrows to go to die in a wide area but from which, because of the narrowing of the neck, you cannot get out.

  • It is used in inland waters, including reservoirs, swamps, river backwaters or lagoons.
  • The common thing is to use it on a boat.
  • Hanging bait is included in the widest area.
  • It is left at the bottom of the water, with ballast.
  • This will be tied to the boat or to a fixed point on the shore.
  • It is very easy to build.
  • It offers good performance.
  • It is economical.
  • There are different types: pleasure, Jamaican and high.
  • They are not at all aggressive to the environment.


It consists of a cone-shaped structure whose circle or base is usually made of wood or metal and which also has a body with metal, boards or vegetables such as bamboo.

  • This is a specific lure to find shrimp.
  • It is used with great success in stream waters of rivers.
  • It is fixed at the bottom of the river with stones or stakes.
  • The mouth is oriented against the current, so that the shrimp are dragged to the narrowest part of the cone.
  • No negative effect in relation to the environment.


It is a fence-shaped rig with a structure of wood or bamboo that is joined by vegetable fibers and that include rope drop doors.

  • It is placed in the backwaters of rivers and on their banks as well as in river mouths.
  • Its uncontrolled use interferes with the migratory movements of the species.
  • The doors are closed at the discretion of the fisherman, so the catch volume is random and depends on visibility and chance.


It consists of an artificial shelter formed by shrubs or branches. The attraction of this rig is that it appears to be a shelter for the animal.

  • They can be bottom or floating.
  • It will be used in still waters, especially in the lower areas of rivers and in lagoons.
  • Baits that are attractive in a safe environment are used, so stinking bait is not the best option. Instead, seaweed would be a great alternative.
  • The vegetables are tied to each other and / or hug some type of net, so that, really, the trap is the resting area for the animal but the catch depends on the extra elements that we use.


Tamponade is shaped curtain of a connective pipe two zones using water gill net and the atarraya , where copies will fall when jump.

  • It will occur in meandering channels that connect swamps with rivers.
  • Ideal in moments of migration, when we ensure the passage of a species through that particular area.
  • The success is total because it is a rig that works as a complete cross cap.
  • Banned in many countries for not being able to discriminate sizes.

Steering traps

Stone structures result that form difficult and impossible paths to dodge or undo.

  • They are those that guide the path of the animal, which is left in a complex or in front of a more aggressive trap.
  • They are used in waters with some current.
  • More successful in the migratory season because the number of specimens means that, if there was the slightest opportunity to retract, this prevents it.


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