How to make a minnow trap out of a Wine Bottle

This site contains Affiliate Links, which means that I may earn commissions through links you make purchases through.  For more information Click Here!


In this video, I am going to show you how to make and use one of the most amazing minnow traps you have ever seen. Best of all, it is made out of something you gave been throwing away most of your life. The technique I demonstrate in this video is one a learned while living in the jungles of Guatemala.  I have used this minnow trap all over the world.  This trap is easy use and very effective.

I not only show you how to make this minnow bottle trap, but I also take it to a river here in Texas and show you a live video of just how well it works.  I submerge the minnow trap in the Brazos river and use an underwater action camera to show first-hand footage of the effectiveness of this bottle trap.  You can see with your own eyes as dozens of Red-Horse Minnows (Red Shiner – Cyprinella lutrensis) swarm around the bottle trying to get in.  Then, once the first minnow finds the hole, you will see as the rest just follow until the bottle is holding dozens of minnows in just a few short minutes.

All it takes to make this trap is a common wine or champagne that has a deep Punt (concave in the bottom), and a common mill file, metal hole punch, or any other long pointy object with a hardened tip. Using the tip of the file or metal punch, begin to tap around the center of the deepest part of the Punt in the bottom of the bottle in about a half-inch circle.  Tap only hard enough to barely chip the glass.  Workaround the circle until a visible line starts to appear.  Continue this pattern until the centerpiece falls out.

The next step is to make a stopper for the bottle.  It is very important to not make a stopper that will completely seal off the throat of the bottle.  The stopper needs to allow water to flow into the bottle so that the smell of the bait can flow out the bottom which will attract the minnows to enter the bottle through the bottom.  A common tree branch about the same size as the spout of the bottle works fine.  Just make sure to flatten one side so that the current can flow past it.

This trap works best in areas that have some current, like a river.  Always point the throat of the bottle upstream or against the direction of the current. This will cause water to flow through the bottle carrying the scent of the bait downstream, which will attract the minnows to the trap.

One of the best things about this trap is how easy it is to get the minnows out.  Unlike other, minnow traps that are difficult to get the minnows out of, once you have caught some minnows in this bottle trap, you simply need to remove the stopper and pour the minnows out like pouring yourself a glass of wine.  It is as easy as that!  It takes all one second to complete and you are ready to reset the trap and catch more minnows.

How many wine and champagne bottles have you thrown away in your life?  Each one could have been a free minnow trap!