What are catfish traps?

What are catfish traps? Are they legal?

You can catch tons of catfish using a trap with a minimum of effort, but they are illegal in most states. Definitely check with your local authorities to see before you go out to trap catfish. The most common type of catfish traps are called “slat traps.” These are long wooden traps that have hooks inside, and cats wander into them looking for food and get stuck. There is also a type of wire catfish trap. These traps are made of galvanized steel wire, made into a kind of net. You put the bait inside and they go in for it and get stuck. These wire traps have a variety of sizes and features that make it easy for you to remove fish, adjust for different sizes and hook your bait. The best bait to use is old stinky cheese, although regular catfish baits work well too. It’s pretty easy to make your own trap. You can just lay a long box that is open on one end in the shallows, around an area where you have foliage, and cats will wander in. Catfish are always looking for a cozy little den to hang out in, and a long box like that is just what they are looking for. Then, you can just reach in and grab them (“noodling” as it’s called). This way you don’t even particularly need bait. You can also make your own wire catfish trap with a little ingenuity. Catfish traps seem to work best in ponds and areas where there isn’t much current.

Dan Eggertsen is a fellow catfish fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on catfish fishing since 2004.

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