Build Your Fish Traps
For about one thousand dollars, you can build yourself a fishtrap, which
may yield three to four thousand dollars during one season. This all depends
on the location , how hard you work your trap and of course your "good luck".
First get all your building materials to erect a brand new fish trap.
a. 1 roll chicken wire - 4 feet wide for tail
b. I roll chicken wire - 6 feet wide for heart
c. 200 poles about 7 & 8 feet in length
d. 2 or 3 rolls tying wire.
e. A pair of pliers. (cutting and tying)
Now select a good
location for your trap. The entire length of the island is marked by small
basins called "Ensenadas" in Spanish. Do not build at the basin but rather
at the "points" because it allows for your trap to shoot farther out into
the sea. Then you mark the area where the trap will be built. It takes the
shape of a heart with a single or double entrance plus a long tail.
It takes this shape more or less:
Poles are stuck into the ground and then the
wire is rolled
out against the poles. Next you stick another set of poles alongside the
inner poles and you fasten them together with the tying wire.
Fish moving along the coast will meet with the tail of the trap. They will
swim along the tail and enter the heart-shaped part or body of the trap.
The heart shape
is very important according to expert fishermen. Fish will swim along the
wire and pass by the mouth or entrance without a thought of turning around
A fisherman should check his trap everyday. During the snapper season, September
and October you may reap as much as 5 to 8 hundred pounds of snap- per. You
are liable to catch large barracudas, large groupers, grunts, shads, mullet,
jacks or even turtles. Fish traps on good spots have been known lo catch
a quantity of lobsters. And do not be surprise~; when you visit your trap
and you find one or two dolphins jumping in and out of your trap as they
too enjoy a special treat of fresh fish.
Building a wire fish trap is an art. Checking them every morning is an exciting
experience. Reaping them is a profitable business. But do check them everyday,
or another will.
Hats off and congratulations to our remaining fish trap artists like Wil
Alamilla, Joe Alamilla, Fred Alamilla, Florencio Sansorez, Wilber Marin,
Aldo Marin, Polo Nuffez and Francisco Arceo. Fish traps work well in front
or in the lagoon area or the back side of the island.
John William Boston: In 1977 circular fish traps were most common.
Sharks caught within them were butchered for their meat rather than released (as I understand is now the practice)
I gather - having served in Africa (chasing elephant poachers) I was a start in the animal conservation business.
With Berlioz at my side.. I’d jump from his boat ‘CREDTURA’
(fins and mask in hand) into the centre of these fish traps. Foaming with shark activity.. catch them by the tail (never let go.. they will bite, ha)
I’d race the short distance to the surface and toss ‘em over the wire back to freedom.
One shark a little under the weather I nursed (pun intended) by moving sea water through its gills and to my delight swam away. Just another San Pedro Sunday (I’d do this when San Pedrano’s were at Church attendance)