Building A Cheap Fish Trap (DIY) For catching fish in the wild.

I had read books and websites on how to build a fish trap using soda bottle(s) with many different variations and I had personally tested a few designs and most works but not perfect. I am designing one just for those fishing in canal or just for fun. I will put those designs that does not work that well in a canal and those works.

This design works well in an aquarium tank and you can trap the fish safely without using the fish net and risk stressing out the fishes. However you cannot choose which fish that you want to trap and it does take some time for the fish to find it’s way into the bottle by using bait.

This design also not good enough for catching wild fishes in the sea or fresh water fishes as they will swim back out quickly.

I read the book on SAS Survival Guide on the fish trap section did show the above design but I soon realized it’s not good enough in catching fishes in the wild. I search deeper into the internet world and found Soda-Bottle-Fish-Trap at but it’s basically the same concept but with different method of building it.

Here’s how I created my version of a relatively cheap fish trap using a bigger plastic bottle and a small stainless steel wire mesh for water drainage.

Firstly, I got a bigger plastic bottle from the supermarket. This is the bigger version then ordinary soda bottles for bigger fishes.

Then I use a scissors to poke an hole and cut around the bottle head, do not spoil the head as you need it for the trap to work.

This looks like the original design but it’s not complete yet! There are more things to add to this design to make it more effective to catch fishes in the wild! :)

The idea is to make a water drainage at the bottom side of the fish trap where the head is the inverted bottle neck and the bottom drains the water out when you pull the trap out of the water/Sea.

Cut out the stainless steel wire mesh for washing vegetables and fit the wire mesh inside the bottom of the fish trap and use some fishing lines to tie it up nicely and securely.

(WARNING! The wire mesh edges IS VERY SHARP! Wear a glove or handle it with extreme care!)

Then on the top side use stapler to stapler the fish trap plus drill two small hole to put the fishing line through for holding it upright when lowering down to the water. Put some weight at the bottom to let it sink down faster. Since the water can pass through easily, it will sink like a stone. Put some of your favorite fish bait in and watch the fish go blindly into the trap.

When hoisting up the fish trap, the water goes out from the bottom hence making it light weight and harder for the fish to swim out as the water pressure is pressing downwards while the trap are pulled out of the water.

You will be surprised how easy to catch fish using this. I had tested a smaller version of this with great success. I will test out this later this week and hope to get video for you to see how it works. Pray that it won’t rain on Saturday or Sunday! :)

Now you can see more detailed instruction to build this trap at

  • Fisherman

    So it’s standing vertically, with the opening up? Interesting, I thought these kinds of trap had to be horizontal.

  • Renjishraj

    great i am going to do it ahanx friend


    At the top there, you spelled wrongly. Should be aquatic and not aquartic.

  • Anonymous

    Hey thanks for the heads up! :D just amended it :3

  • Yhvhisking

    Hi, thanks for this awesome post! It really got me excited to try this out. I’ve actually been going “longkang fishing” with my family by using pails, handheld nets, and fishing rod, but with very little success. I’d love to try making what you have here :) however I notice that all the pics are missing, would you be so kind to upload them again? Thank you so much :)

  • Anonymous

    So sorry for the missing images! :( I had uploaded to another site too at I will try to replace my photos here asap as well :D

  • Scott Junner

    Little bit costly on the mesh there. I get the same effect by getting a piece of wire and heating it over a flame, then poking it (red hot) through the plastic many times. Then you’ve still got something to drain your rice with. No need for the amount of drainage you have. 

    When I was a kid we just used a big glass jar. Lay in the shallows with goggles on… watching for the fish to swim in to get white bread. Then put our hand over the opening to trap them in. More fish than dad knew what to do with in about half an hour. 

  • Scott Junner

    Either. I don’t think the fish are saying to themselves…”Oh no, sorry, I’m not going in there, it’s horizontal. I only go in vertical traps”.

  • simontay78

    It’s fun to catch small fishes, I had once use this to catch larger fish like Tilapia and that fish actually squeezed into the bottle! LOL too bad i haven’t find any bigger bottle to try this out again…thinking of those super big water cooler types LOL