Examples of muskrat bait include parsnips, potatoes, apples, carrots and oil of anise. While they are considered omnivores, muskrats tend to prefer plants. Generally speaking, the best baits for a muskrat trap are starchy root vegetables and pungent oils.
To bait the trap, place the majority of the bait within the trap itself. Typically, trappers stick the bait on the end of a stick that is stuck in the ground and rises up through the bottom of the cage. Next, leave a trail with the same bait that leads the muskrat to the trap's entrance. Consider wearing gloves when placing the bait and the bait trail, as any hint of human scent can deter muskrats from approaching the bait.