How to Make a Rudimentary Fish Corral

How to Make a Rudimentary Fish Corral

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A fish corral is ideal for small rivers or streams, and it can serve as both a trap as well as a way to contain the fish until they are ready to be eaten.  Putting a corral in the right place can save you time and effort while providing you with a steady supply of fish.  Look at the steps below and see how you can easily improvise your own in order to reap the benefits of this simple, yet effective fishing technique.

Getting Started


Building the corral is very simple.  The first step is to take three branches that are just a little bit taller than the depth of the water.  They should be at least an inch in diameter in order to provide enough strength to resist the current and contain the fish.  Whittle or break off one of the ends of each stick into a point.  Drive them into the bed where you will place your barrier.  Space another branch about a foot or two away and repeat for the third. 

The next step is to braid reeds, cattails or thinner sticks through the three posts you’ve set.  You want to choose material that is long enough to cross the three branches, with enough left over to tie off if necessary.   You want to collect enough material to create a fence-like barrier that fish will swim into and get trapped.  The spacing of the material that will be weaved should be adjusted to be small enough so fish won’t escape while providing space for smaller fish and water to pass through.

All you need to do is repeat the process of fashioning three-branch segments until you have enough material to create an effective barrier.  However, the trick is to place the segments in the right location along the side or across a narrow part of the stream. 



It is crucial that you set the corral in the right location for maximum effect.  One good recommendation is to establish a barrier that starts from one side of the river or stream.  Place it along an area that is adjacent to an area of brush and outcroppings or other locations that tend to attract fish.  Once you reach the middle, start to position the segments so they run parallel to the side of the stream and taper it to create a barrier that will force fish closer to the shore.  Create a back wall with one or two segments that connects the side line to the shore. 

You want the run to be long enough to avoid spooking the fish while making it difficult and tiresome for them to swim back upstream and escape the corral.  Once you’ve trapped enough fish, the next step is to close off the upstream end of the corral.  Do this by removing segments on the other side of the stream that you used to channel the fish.  Place them so they attach to the sideline and shore and close off the entrance to the corral.   Keep moving the segments toward the downstream end in order to keep the fish confined to a smaller area.   

All you need to do now is grab the fish that you want to eat and leave the rest until later. You can also release the trapped fish by opening up one of the segments on the far end of the trap and reinstalling once you’re ready to catch more.

This could be a great trick to try out in the field under the right conditions, and it’s a skill that is easy to remember.  Experiment with different variations of the process outlined here, and see how you can improve on this rudimentary way to catch fish with out fishing.  You never know when this will come in handy during a survival situation, and practicing is the best way to learn how to make the perfect corral. 

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