How to Make a Fish Shocker

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A fish shocker was once a relatively popular way to harvest large numbers of fish from streams, rivers, ponds and lakes. Fishermen often used the magnetos from hand-crank telephones to provide the electrical power for the shocker, scooping up all the fish they wanted as the stunned fish floated to the surface. The practice is now illegal in many states except when done by licensed fish biologists, who use the shocker to estimate and evaluate fish populations under carefully controlled conditions. You can still find parts for making a fish shocker, though you must find a legal place to use it.


Step 1

Find the positive and negative posts on the rear of the magneto.

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Step 2

Cut the #10 stranded wire into two 15-foot lengths. Strip 2 inches of the insulation off one end of the two 15-foot lengths. Attach the stripped end of one wire to the magneto's negative post and the stripped end of the other wire to the magneto's positive post. Strip about 10 inches of insulation off each wire's trailing end.


Step 3

Row the boat to an area where fish are likely to school or hide. Drop one wire over one side of the boat and the other wire over the opposite side of the boat. It's best to have at least two people for successful "electrofishing" (taking fish with a fish shocker).


Step 4

Crank the magneto, being careful not to touch any area near the rear of the magneto, where electricity is generated. A telephone magneto can generate 8 to 110 volts of electricity, depending on the size of the magneto and how fast you crank. Stop cranking as soon as you see fish rising to the water's surface. Have your companion scoop them up with the net.




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