Primitive Fish Trap – Survival Skills

Primitive Fish Trap – Survival Skills

- in Survival Skills

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This video is about making a fully functional primitive survival fish and minnow trap using a digging stick and the shore of a lake.

I mentioned this fish trap in a video I did on a major flood that a beaver dam was making, the video is here:

I figured it would be a good idea to actually show the trap being made, how to set it, and hopefully let you see some minnows swimming into the trap.

Generally speaking, this trap can be made, set, and triggered in a hurry and shouldn’t require a great expenditure of calories or resources to create. In a survival situation those are all things worth considering.

If you want to catch bigger fish, make the trap bigger. If you place some cover over the trap it will provide shade and draw in crawfish and other critters as well, like frogs for example.

An old board, some spruce bows, cattails, reeds, grass, rocks will all serve as good cover. This is not required for simply catching minnows and such though.

Steps to make the trap:

Dig a hole in a couple feet from shore
Dig a channel out into the water from the hole
Push some dirt or rocks up near the entrance to serve as a trigger to close the trap off once the fish or crawdads are inside.

That’s all there is to it! This trap actually works quite well, the minnows can be left in the trap to be gathered at leisure. they will remain alive indefinitely.

The design of the body of this trap is quite similar to a primitive survival water filter which is dug into the shore or bank of a swamp, pond, or lake that uses the ground to crudely filter sediment from potentially stagnant and unsafe water. Of course the channel would be left off if you were making a filter. 🙂

These types of filters still require treating the water by boiling, solar or chemical means as the filter itself only removes sediment, it does nothing to remove bacteria, odors, and microorganisms from the water.

Also, it’s important to realize that many animals, such as geese, ducks, and raccoon defecate along the shoreline. So, making a filter of this type would likely introduce microorganisms into water that may have not been there to begin with.

Knowing that this lake in particular is spring fed I personally would just drink the water as is and not filter it, although, I don’t recommend anyone else drink the water.

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  1. Rohbinson Samuel

    good idea ! thanks

  2. I figured this one out as a kid as well. Apparently not many people know about it. Do you know if this thing has a name? I just think of it as my way to catch minnows.

  3. Cool but it would be more convincing if you actually showed that you caught some fishes.

  4. That's awesome :), i always thought i needed a real minnow trap, but this makes me think of everything differently.

  5. TheIronBow Norsk Gaming

    Cool trap

  6. WeeoneProductions

    Sure yt name is miwilderness if by mi do u mean Michigan?

  7. Minnows like the shade…

  8. So, where is the FISH? 

  9. BlackLocustMusic

    its not an idea.  It has always worked.  For thousands of years.  Proof :   YOU ARE HERE.

  10. dalton rodriguez

    good idea! this is more practical compared to the native fish traps, less calories wasted, no bait needed. 

  11. Ardiansyah ikhlash

    good trap!

  12. good idea

  13. this works

  14. Catch microbes ???

  15. I dont think the minnows would/could get out even IF you scared them.

    Low energy is the key too, in a survival situation.  Great video. much learned.

  16. BeaverTailOutdoors

    This may sound a bit odd but also if you have no bait for the minnows I found minnows love bugers, they will run (so to speak) to eat it. They love them. I told yall it was strange but hey it's natural bait for them.

  17. Christian Bjerke


  18. oo random stream oh crap trap oo a hook

  19. I have tried this MiWilderness and it does work. I usually add sticks around it to act as a wall and I put a stick in the middle with bait on it. Good post!!!

  20. Does it catch a fish?? With that small of trap, I think its only catch a small fish.

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