How to Make Live-Bait Cages for Ponds

by Clayton Yuetter

A bait cage is useful for storing minnows and other small bait fish until they are needed on the hook. They are kept alive longer than in buckets, making for fresher, more useful bait. You can also store the fish you catch in the bait cage if you want to save them to show someone later or keep them alive longer until cleaning them. A simple bait cage is made with sheets of vinyl-covered wire mesh.

Items you will need

  • 19-gauge vinyl-covered wire mesh
  • Plastic spiral wire binders
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • String or rope
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Step 1

Use the needle-nose pliers to cut four equal pieces of 19-gauge vinyl-covered wire mesh the length you want your cage. Cut two equal pieces the size you wish for the width and height of the cage.

Step 2

Cut the plastic spiral wire binders to match the length of the sides. There should be four pieces matching the height of the cage, four strands matching the width and four pieces matching the length.

Step 3

Lay the bottom sheet flat and hold a side sheet next to it at a right angle. Feed the spiral binder around the junction where the two ends meet, using the pliers as necessary. Bend the end of binder back to make sure it doesn't come unwound, and so there are no sharp edges sticking out. Join the other sheets together in the same way. This will create a box shape.

Step 4

Cut a square opening at the top of the cage big enough to comfortably stick in your hand to retrieve bait. Reattach one side of the cutout piece with the opening from where it was taken with a binder. The binder will act as a hinge for the "door" you just made.

Step 5

Tie a string or rope to a central location on the top of the cage that is not the door. You can use this to lower the cage into the water and retrieve it easily.