This Tech Article will show you how to make an inexpensive bream trap out of materials you can buy at most hardware stores. It works very well for catching small bluegills,bullheads,chubs,etc,etc. The design is similar to a minnow trap, the bream are attracted to the bait and follow the outside contour of the cage trying to get at the bait. When the bream comes towards the entrance they are funneled into the opening and forced to turn either left or right. After entering the bream feed on the bait but cannot make the turn between the bait holder and exit. This works very well in small creeks and ponds for collecting and holding live bait.
Below is a list of tools/materials you will need to make this.
1. 36" x 5ft roll of 1/2" square hardware cloth
2. 50 count bag of small zip ties or you can use wire clips and pliers
3. tin snips
4. Magic Marker
5. Tape Measure
6. Bailing wire for latches
7. 6ft 3/16" anchor rope
First off we are going to cut TWO 16" X 16" Squares from the hardware cloth. These will make the top and bottom of the trap.
Next cut four strips 8" wide X 22" long. These will make the sides of the trap. Mark the center and 6" from both ends of all four strips with a marker.
Bend each strip in the middle using the mark as a guide. This bend will be where the bream enter the trap so keep about a 1" gap at the bend. Next bend both ends of the strips the opposite way to form the sides of the trap as shown.
We used zipties to build this trap to show how easy and cheap this is to build but using the wire clips makes it more sturdy . You can get the wire clips and pliers at almost any pet supply or hardware store.
Take one of the side strips and line up the corner with one of the corners of the bottom section. Put one ziptie there and one at the other corner, then ziptie the middle and the funnel section to the bottom every couple of inches. Complete all four sides connecting each side at the corners.
With tin snips cut the entrance holes in the very back of the funnels 1" X 3" . If you want to catch bigger bait you can cut these another 1/2" to 1" taller but no wider. The width of the entrance is what keeps the bream in the trap, so try to keep it narrow.
For the bait holder, cut a piece of hardware cloth 8" X 18" and roll it up into a 2 1/2" diameter tube. Ziptie the end of the piece so it will not unroll.
Centering the bait holder in the trap so it is equal distance from each entrance, ziptie it into place.
Now ziptie the top square onto the trap.
Cut a hole in the top section for the bait holder 2 1/2" square.
Cut another hole in the top section in a corner to remove the bream from the trap. Make the hole 4" X 4" and 1/2" from the sides of the trap.
Using scrap pieces of hardware cloth, make a door for each of the holes in the trap. Make the bait door 4" x 4" and the other 5 1/2" X 6 1/2".
Align the doors up with the holes so they overlap 1/2" on all sides,,, ziptie one edge. The exit door should be bent over the side of the trap to accommodate the latch.
To make the latches just take a heavy rubber band and run it through the edge of the door. Using the bailing wire, form a hook as shown so it pulls the door down tight and hooks to the cage. You can also use a small coil spring bought from a hardware store to make the latches, this should last a lot longer than the rubber band latches.
Tie the anchor rope to the trap as shown and your ready to go get some bait.
I use dry dog food in my traps and it seems to work very good but you can use just about anything that will attract bait fish. Fill the bait holder 2/3 of the way full then stuff a couple shop rags in to fill it the rest of the way full. This keeps the dog food from floating to the top of the bait holder and allowing the bream to feed on the outside of the cage. Find a small creek or pond that you know hold the type bait your after. Throw the trap in about three to four feet of water and come back later to get your bait. You will be suprised at what all these traps can catch.