Fisher Trapping Tips, Tricks and Techniques

Photoby adwsocial / CC BY / CC BY

The Fisher is one of the more difficult furbearers to trap in North America. The reasons for why are myriad; they are semi-arboreal, they are excellent swimmers, they are omnivorous and can feed on carrion, they are quite trap-wary and they are not exactly married to their trails. Therefore, it only stands to reason that trapping them consistently would be quite the reputation booster in the trapping community.

This article aims to provide you with pointers that could well save you several months of experience with failed traps. For more detailed information on the various aspects of Fisher Trapping please read our articles on [How to Trap a Fisher], [Fisher Trapping Sets] and [Best Bait for Trapping Fishers].

So let’s get started with the Top 8 Fisher Trapping Tips, in no particular order:

During winters with heavy snowfall, the leaning pole set would be your best bet for catching a fisher, especially if there isn’t much carrion around for it to feed on. The fisher is not fond of trudging through the snow, so it will take any opportunity to take to the trees…and into your trap.
On the other hand, during summer it is usually best to go for the wooden box-conibear combo set that has been detailed in our [Fisher Trapping Sets] page. The wooden box serves to funnel the fisher quite well, not to mention dispel its suspicions regarding the metal conibear trap waiting inside.
When using conibear traps, the general rule of thumb is that bigger is not always better. Given the aggressive predatory nature of the fisher cat, it is actually preferable to use a smaller gauge conibear trap to ensure that the fisher is securely trapped. Several veteran trappers swear by the 160 model for the male fisher and the 120 for the female.
A consensus when it comes to the best bait for any kind of trap or prey is a very rare thing in the trapping community; the closest you’ll get is that beaver meat is the best bait available for trapping fishers. So go with the flow and try your best to procure some beaver meat.
If you use beaver meat, make sure to leave it whole and not just use the innards or parts of the animal. For born predators like the fisher cat, a whole beaver is best, either skinned or otherwise.
Should beaver meat be unavailable to you for some reason, then you could try to make do with smaller animals like hare, mice, voles and squirrels. You might even consider using live bait if you can manage it.
Despite the near complete absence of fish in their diet, fishers are strangely intrigued by fishy odors. So get a few drops of skunk oil or fish oil and use that to compliment the bait in your fisher trap.
When attempting to locate fisher dens, be on the lookout for hollowed-out tree trunks, inside isolated crevices and under logs and bushes.
Obviously some of these tips will vary from trapper to trapper, but maybe a few of these tips will be helpful.