How do Survival Fish Traps Work in RUST

Survival Fish Traps, the Fast Track to Easy Protein

Perfect for the RUST pescatarians, or when meat sources fail you, and you’re running low on vegetables, the Fish Trap is the tool for you. The Survival Fish Trap is a low-risk yet high yield venture that can transform your meager food supplies into a far more significant portion for caloric intake.

Fishing excels beyond all other food sources and is the safest method of getting food and essential early game resources. From fish, you can acquire:

  • High Caloric Food Source
  • Good Hydration Source
  • Bone Fragments
  • Animal Fat
  • Scrap

Hunting can be problematic in the early game when you only have a bow and spear. Your wood shack might not be much, but it’s home. What will give you the edge over other players in the early-game wood phase is full hunger, thirst, and health.

With these stats maxed, you’ll have better health regeneration and be more prepared for when PVP kicks off. You’ll also find yourself in the fortunate position of having animal fat and bone fragments earlier than your competitors, giving you access to the small furnaces and bone knives, armor, and weapons.

5 significant steps to working your survival fish traps in RUST

  1. Craft and Place Your Fish Trap
  2. Bait Your Fish Traps
  3. Manage Your Fish Traps
  4. Repair the Fish Traps
  5. Put Your Fish to Work

How to craft a survival fish trap 

A survival fish trap, or simply fish trap, is a default blueprint and costs 200 wood and 5 cloth to craft. Press the Q key to bring up your craft menu, providing you have the materials, the fish trap should be on screen. If it doesn’t appear, type fish trap search bar, and it will come up instantly.

Crafting Survival Fish Traps in RUST

Once you have crafted the fish trap, select it on your hot bar and head out to the body of water you plan to fish in. Make sure the water source is very close to your base, as the trap will trigger frequently, and with no way to lock the trap, any passing player can readily loot it.

The water must be deep enough to submerge the trap about a third of its height. You can’t place traps on too steep a surface, so you’ll have to look around for the right spot. When you find a good location, you’ll want to place multiple traps. If your base has an indoor area sufficiently submerged, you can place them indoors as well.

Baiting survival fish traps

Baiting the trap is relatively easy. Simply look at the trap and press the E key, and you’ll see spaces in the trap that you can leave bait. Bait is anything in RUST that you can eat. That includes processed, cooked, and raw foods. The exception to this is seeds and other fish. Once harvested, fish meat can be bait, but if you toss a whole trout back in, the other trout won’t go all cannibal on it.

In short, any item that can improve your hunger, even if it diminishes other stats, can be placed in a trap as bait. Considering how dehydrating human meat is to eat, the fish trap is the best place for it. So far as has been researched, there is no added benefit to placing your bait in separate slots, unlike cooking at a campfire.

Baiting Survival Fish Traps in RUST

The best kind of bait is food that is less useful for you. The negative hydration of human meat, the risk of sickness from pickles, the low return of health from chicken, horse, and stag meat, makes all these proteins ideal for fish bait. A trout caught will yield more calories than a singular piece of bear meat in the long run. 

The question is whether or not you want to risk your bear meat out in the traps. As passing players are prone to clearing out whatever they find in the traps. You can mix and match your bait in the same trap if you like. There are no added benefits to using just one type of bait. 

Managing your survival fish traps

Once you bait your traps, they will trigger every three minutes. A triggered trap makes a splashing noise and shoots a burst of water out the top of the trap. Once triggered, depending upon the calorie input as bait, the trap will catch a group of 2-8 minnows or 1-2 trouts.

Which bait you use determines what type of fish you catch, depending on the caloric input of the bait you’ve provided. So when baiting the trap, remember that more calories equal greater yield. Therefore, it’s always worth cooking meat you intend to use as bait as this bumps the baits caloric intake considerably.

Managing Survival Fish Traps in RUST

Low caloric bait adding up 11 will only catch minnows, whereas if you want trout, you’ll need at least 50 calories per trigger. If there are up to 50 calories available for the larger fish, they will consume that first. Keep an eye on your remaining bait as you empty the traps every few minutes if you’re looking to avoid minnows. 

Fish caught in the trap will stay there until you come to collect them. While once upon a time, trout used to eat minnows, that is no longer the case, and both types of fish will remain in the trap alongside each other. 

Repairing your survival fish traps

Each time the trap triggers, the fish trap will lose 10 health. Starting at 100 health, that means you have 9 uses of the trap before it requires repair. Fail to keep an eye on this, and at its 10th trigger, the trap will break, losing all fish inside. It is a good idea to keep your traps empty of fish and keep an eye on your remaining bait. 

Repairing Survival Fish Traps in RUST

If you are confident that players won’t empty your traps, then it’s ok to leave enough bait in a trap to trigger 9 times. Remember, though, that even a trigger that only catches minnow counts as a full trigger, costing 10 health. If your maths is off, you risk losing the trap and everything inside.

The best practice is to empty the traps frequently, and when uncertain of how long it will be before you can check again, repair your traps using the building hammer and wood and cloth. It will always be cheaper to repair instead of re-crafting, so stay on top of repairs when you can.

What to do with your fish

Minnows are relatively useless, yielding similar calories to what you put in the trap. However, eating minnows will give you extra bone fragments. The trout’s real prize—a gutted trout yields 8 animal fat, 5 bone fragments, and 4 pieces of Raw Fish. Once cooked, a single piece of cooked fish gives 60 calories, 15 hydration, and 5 health over time.

In contrast, a slice of cooked bear meat will give you 100 calories and 1 Hydration. So even if your 1 piece of cooked bear meat used as bait only catches 1 fish, that trout cooks out to 240 calories. Remember, there’s always the chance to see 2 trout, netting 480 calories.

Working with Survival Fish Traps in RUST

The ideal exchange rate is a food item that gives as close to >50 calories as possible, making cooked fish, cooked wolf meat, and granola bars the most efficient use of calories in/out ratio.

If you want scrap badly enough, you can trade in trout at the bandit camp for 5 scrap. It is, therefore, possible to create a fish-based scrap farm. However, such a project’s value compared to size and maintenance is negligible. Nothing is stopping you, though.

You just got schooled!

So get out there and get your fish traps to work. Once you have a few trout, the cooked fish meat from just one will keep your traps rolling indefinitely, provided you stay on top of repairs and maintenance. If you want to get even more involved in the fishy business, be sure to check out our RUST Fishing System guide, which is sure to help you get the most out of every cast.

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About Digital Ghost

Dg is the founder and co-owner of Corrosion Hour, a niche gaming community established in 2016 focusing on the survival game RUST. He is an active and contributing member of numerous other RUST communities. As a community leader and server owner for over 15 years, he spends much of his time researching and writing guides about survival games, covering topics such as server administration, game mechanics, and community growth.

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