How to Make a River Cane Fish Trap

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A mutual relationship exists between fishing and bushcrafting – the two activities go hand in hand. 

Seasoned anglers will confirm that one secret to successful survival fishing is getting the right equipment. 

While it might be daunting to carry all your fishing gear from home to the wild, you can still make DIY fishing equipment and find some fish to eat. I bet that’s why you’re here. 

Let’s learn how to make a river cane fish trap for survival fishing. It will come in handy when  SHTF!

Step 1: Assemble the Materials Needed

River canes have various diameters and lengths, from thumb-size to pencil-size, and greater than 6 feet long. Despite your preferred size, some of the basic materials you’ll need freshly cut canes, cordage, bank line, jute twine, bank line, and pruning shears. 

Note: And, of course, you’ll need to spare your time and have some patience to wait and see the outcome. 

Step 2: Build Three Hoops

Take flexible branches like freshly cut canes and cut them into your preferred lengths and diameters. Next, overlap the lash and the ends together. You can start the lashing process using a bowline knot and terminate it with your clove hitch. Use gentle pressure on the hoops and make round supports where the river cane ribs will attach to. 

Note: Dry canes will not be useful as they will not bend when making the hoops.

Step 3:  Remove the Leaves

Harvesting river canes comes with inherent risks, and you’re likely to meet chiggers, snakes, or ticks. There are two types of river canes, branch leaves and clum leaves. Either way, you’ll need to remove these leaves to continue making your river cane fish trap. Remove the leaves by gripping and twisting them off at the nodes. Alternatively, you can trim the leaves to avoid accidental punctures.

Note: If you don’t have the time to remove all these leaves, you can go ahead with them. The only issue with this is that the leaves may protrude from the nodes and disrupt your project.

Step 4: Attach Some Cane Ribs

Use four robust canes to begin the framing process. While doing so, you can use any type of lashings or knots. Only be sure to hold the cane ribs to the hoops tightly and securely. A square lashing that has a bank line on the ribs would do the trick. Get creative with your knots but maintain a uniform lashing. The space between the canes at the trap’s opening should naturally be broader than those at the tip end. If you need a more rigid trap, weave cordage between the cane ribs to lessen the chances of smaller fish escaping. 

Note: The more canes you add to the frame, the more space you fill, which gives a sturdier river cane fish trap. 

Step 5: Build an Inner Funnel 

The interior funnel should have a slightly smaller diameter than the outer funnel. Put the outer funnel aside and build a smaller funnel with the same process. While doing this second funnel, be sure to attach smaller diameter cans to the opening end while allowing the ends to run past the inside hoop.

Note: Though this is an optional step, it comes in handy in creating a more flexible river cane fish trap.

Step 6: Connect the 2 Funnels 

You now have two different funnels. Insert the interior funnel into the opening of the larger funnel.  Lash the hoops together to make the internal funnel straight and intact with the larger funnel. Remember to secure the rings at diverse points around the circumferences. 

You’re almost done!

Step 7: Close the River Cane Fish Trap  

Gather the fish trap at its tip with some inches of the cane remaining. Lash the top part with a secure knot, but make it easy to untie. You’ll be untieing this end to empty the fish trap after your harvest. 

Congratulations! You’ve just made your river cane fish trap. 

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