Trap More Mink With A Pocket Set

mink swimming in water top view

On day two of the season I walked up to my first mink pocket set and I knew it was going to be a good harvest. But one day before, I was just as certain I’d be lucky to trap a single fur all season.

As I approached my set, a two trap drowning natural pocket set on the bank of the Cranberry Creek, I saw both my traps were hits.

I was stunned.

Opening day came and I did everything a man could do wrong.

Work and home life was busy so I couldn’t do my customary scouting and went into opening day blind. I relied on my past seasons for guidance on where to place my mink sets but that’s just not enough.

My gear was a tangled mess.

And all this meant I set fewer traps. I had a bad feeling about my prospects.

But thanks to the pocket set I ended up pulling a more than respectable harvest in spite of my own failings in preparation.

And as sure as I’m standing here today, the key to avoiding a disastrous season was utilizing the pocket set.

Pocket Sets For Mink

A pocket set is merely a hole in the ground, either horizontal or vertical where some bait is placed, with a trap next to or inside it. The hole can be natural or dug by you. Most of my mink pockets are manually dug because location is the key to successfully trapping mink.

Look for signs of mink such as tracks, a feed pile, or droppings and set your trap near by. A mink is not likely to travel far from their usual path to investigate your pocket set. So don’t get cutesy with your placement.

Pick a place by the signs along the bank of the creek. A low spot is ideal, just not so low that the hole will be flooded out if the water level rises.

Placing your pocket like this ensures a mink running through will see your hole or catch a whiff of your bait and investigate.

Dig your pocket horizontally into the bank of the creek (I use my old tile shovel) at a 45 degree angle. Your hole should be right up to the edge of the water and needs to be about eight inches in diameter.

Your hole needs to be deep enough so that about two inches of water seeps into the bottom. Generally speaking, a hole about fifteen inches deep works best, but depending on conditions you may go shallower or deeper. But do not go shallower than a foot deep.

Gather up some local grass and roll it up into a ball and add some mink bait. Toss it in the back of the hole.

Now set your trap just outside of the pocket entrance with a hair trigger.

Better yet, set two traps. One in front and one off to the side about six inches.

Traps should be pressed down so they are firmly set in the sand or mud.

Your traps need to be anchored and I prefer a stake set in deep enough water to drown the mink. Attach some wire from the stake to trap and give yourself about sixteen to eighteen inches and you won’t lose any mink.


Over the generations the pocket set has reined as the best mink set ever thought up. And it is still the case today. Getting a well placed pocket will produce a ton of mink as long as you set them where the mink are already roaming. Learn to use it yourself and get good at finding the signs of activity and you won’t have any trouble doing the same.

For more mink trapping tips check out these articles

Written by Fred

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