Pocket sets are a versatile trap setup that you can use to target species like raccoon, mink, and muskrat. First, pick a location with animal tracks near a cut bank and shallow moving water that won’t freeze.
Start by digging the pocket into the bank about 14 inches deep. The back of the pocket should be above the water but far enough back that whatever animal is going to check out the bait really needs to spend some time to get in there and investigate. For bait, you can use anything from frozen whitefish to dog food—the stinkier the better.
Once the pocket is baited, set the trap on a level surface in the shallow water. Press down firmly when bedding the trap; you want it to be secure but still able to spring. Use a finger or two to move mud and debris from under the pad to ensure it can move freely. Next, alter your chain length as needed so your drowning weights land in the deepest part of the pool.
Finish off the pocket set with a spritz of shellfish oil, or something similar. The strong scent is sure to bring curious critters into your set.