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In addition to traps, stakes, and swivels, you will need a few other key items to trap along a stream, marsh, or lake.

  • Hip boots or chest waders. These are important for warmth and comfort. They'll allow you to reach good set locations along a stream or marsh. Make sure they are not leaky. Wet feet on a trapline can be miserable.
  • Packbasket or burlap sack. Use a packbasket or sack to carry traps and other equipment. A packbasket is ideal. It is easy to keep clean by rinsing with stream water. In addition, it leaves your hands free to handle traps and make sets.
  • Trapping stick. Use a trapping stick with a hook on the end to retrieve traps from deep water. The stick also may be used to test stream depth when wading. If a stick is the right weight and strength, it may be used to dispatch animals caught in live traps.
  • Trap tags. All traps should be tagged with your name and address. Carry extra tags for any traps that lose their tag.
  • Trowel. Use a 12" trowel to dig trap beds.
  • Stakes. Stakes for water trapping can be cut from lumber or can be green limbs sharpened on one end. They can be cut along the stream when you set your traps.
  • Wire or aircraft cable. You'll need wire to attach traps to stakes anchored in deep water. Be sure to use high-quality wire. Fourteen-gauge is recommended. Aircraft cable (3/32"or 1/8") is another option.
  • Pliers and cable cutters. Use pliers to cut wire and adjust traps. If you use aircraft cable or cable devices, you'll need cable cutters also.
  • Hatchet. Use a hatchet to cut and drive stakes, chop through ice, and make certain types of sets.
  • Knife. Use a knife to cut guide sticks and bait. A folding lock back knife is recommended.
  • Trapping clothes. Trapping around water can be a very cold job. Be sure to wear a warm coat and hat, long rubber gloves, and wool socks. Wool clothing is a good choice for insulation. Dress in layers, and carry lightweight raingear. Wear hunter orange to make sure you will be visible to any hunters in the area. In addition, consider wearing a float coat or inflatable life jacket to keep you afloat in case you fall into deep water.
  • Other accessories. Carry your hunting license and trapping permit in a sturdy holder. Always carry a flashlight, ice picks, waterproof matches, fire starters, a map, and a compass.
Equipment for water trapping