Perch Trap - Pinfish Trap Battle - Cloverleaf Vs Z-Trap!

Perch Trap - Pinfish Trap Battle - Cloverleaf Vs Z-Trap!

bream trap sunfish trap perch trap vs blog
Customer: "Hi Mike, can you tell me which trap is better between the cloverleaf and the z-trap? I'm looking to catch XXX (baitfish) and I want to get the best one for my needs." 
If only I had a dollar for every time I have answered this question, haha! Seriously though, I get this question a lot and I have absolutely zero clue as to why it has taken me so long to simply write a post about it (here) that I can direct folks to... instead of having to type out an email response each time. Bad planning on my part. 
Anyhow, in this blog post, I will outline some of the pros and cons of each trap, and explain which trap I would use in certain situations. I hope that this info will help you decide on the right trap style for you but as always... please feel free to contact me if you have additional questions. 
Let's get started....  oh if you're not a reader (I'm not) then feel free to skip all this and jump ahead to the video at the end. =) 

Cloverleaf Style Perch Trap - Pinfish Trap


This trap is tried and true. It's been around forever (my grandfather's grandfather probably had one, haha). This trap will catch you a ton of bait if it's built correctly and is a solid choice for almost all fishing environments.

 Pros List:

  • Solid design that has stood the test of time. 
  • Easy to bait with the central compartment.
  • Better at drawing fish in from distances as it's easy to bait.
  • Good in slower-moving currents.  
  • Catches and holds plenty of bream / sunfish / perch / pinfish. There is lots of space for fish inside the trap. 
  • Can leave it in the water for extended periods of time due to there being more room inside the trap. 

Cons List:

  • Can be messy with slimy bread or wet dog food spilling out. 
  • Funnels cannot be made as deep, so it tends to catch just a little slower than the z-trap. 

 Z-Trap Style - Perch Trap - Pinfish Trap


This is the "new hot design" going around for the last 2-3 years. The z-style pinfish trap/bream trap has not been around as long as the cloverleaf, but it's an amazing design that works very well. Its long funnels help you catch your baitfish very quickly. You can check out a video of it in action linked below:

Pros List:

  • Catches bait fish FAST! 
  • Bait is not required, but you can bait it up.  
  • No bait = less mess in your boat/truck. 
  • Long funnels equate to catching fish more quickly. 

Cons List:

  • Harder to bait as it does not have a set bait compartment.  
  • Not as good for drawing in fish from longer "distances". 
  • Needs to be checked more often as there's not as much room inside the trap. 

Summary: When Would I Use These? 

I realize the pros and cons list may not help you make a decision, so here's how I would personally use these two traps. 

Cloverleaf Trap - I would use this trap in areas where I am "fishing" and searching out the baitfish. A public lake or waterway that I am not as familiar with and having to "look" for the baitfish would be a good example of this. The central bait compartment will make it easier to draw in fish from longer distances, and the bait will stay centralized in the trap longer allowing it to continue catching. 

Z-Trap - I would use this trap in areas where I know there are baitfish. This trap catches quickly, so I would also use it in instances where I need to catch my bait quickly. If I am familiar with the spot I am fishing in a lake, or even a private pond, then the z-trap would be my go-to trap. 

Summary - If I know there are fish and I want to catch them fast... z trap. If I am looking for the fish and fishing in an unfamiliar area... cloverleaf. 

Please understand, there's no perfect trap for 100% of the conditions you will face. However, both the cloverleaf and z-trap are solid designs and you will not be disappointed with owning either trap. They both work excellent and will catch you a ton of bait. This post was just to outline how I would personally use them, and to offer some guidance for anyone just getting into trapping their own bait. 

I sincerely hope that this information helps some, and please be sure to drop me a comment below or shoot me an email at if you have any additional questions. 

Thanks for taking the time to read the blog. See you next time, and God bless! 


Reel Texas Outdoors


Video Overview: 

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.