Trotline - tips
Just wondering if any of ya'll have any little tips for running lines, especially alone... any boat modifications, etc.
One thing I have found real handy, and some of ya'll might already do this, but I use the boat cleat as an extra hand. When I am running the line I will pull the boat along using both hands, but if I have a decent fish, need to get something, etc., I flip the line behind the cleat on the rail of the boat. Keeps me from having to worry about droping the line and gives me two free hands to do whatever. I am thinking about putting a new one on the boat, or mounting something that may work even better, back a little closer to where I am normally positioned when I run the line. Not only does this help a lot when your a lone, I think it helps with the safety factor some too.
I would like to figure out a way, without knocking off my baits, to keep the weight of the line ran over something at all times, rather than me holding it. I am thing the right daimeter PVC positioned horizontally of the side of the boat may work?
At any rate, thought this might be of use to some of you and would like to hear if you guys have any tips, tricks or tools you use.
- Bob Durr
I'm trying to figure how the big time ocean fishermen do it.
Heck I can get a 15 hook line impossibly tangled. They run 1000s of hooks. Hundreds per line.
When I was running my lines on the Mississippi--200 hooks -- I ran 4 50 hook lines and used a jump box. Not very practical with 15 hooks but I felt it was necessary with those long lines.
Anyway I just pulled myself along with the line until I had a fish and struggled until I had him in the boat. I never felt i was as good at it as I should be. Sometimes I'd cut the drop and sometimes I'd just unhook the fish. Depended on how well he was hooked.
I would then go back and bait them. Not a very practical way of doing it.
The only modification I made was I built a shelf over the motor.
I'd place the jump box on the shelf and feed the hooks out with 1 hand while running the boat upstream against the current. Kind of dangerous but it worked ok for me.
Have a good 1
I very seldom run lines alone, the river I fish has enough current to make it dangerous in my opinion. I run mostly bankpoles but will set a trotline occasionally, we are only allowed 8 bankpoles or 1 trotline per person, so I usually like to spread the bait out more with the bankpoles. The biggest thing I will tell you for safety is always carry a knife, or better yet two. That way if you get tangled in a line, you will still have a knife other than the one you already left lying out of reach. I keep a sharp knife mounted by my seat in the rear of the boat and in the front by the anchor rope so you can reach one from anywhere in the boat. I also always have a multi-pliers and pocket knife. I work on a ranch and while roping and doctoring cattle I've learned the value of a sharp, easy to reach knife. Other things I've learned is you can stick a hook in an oarlock to hold the boat, just be sure to check the point after. Also always keep your hooks very sharp and check the point for scales after hooking a bait to make sure it is clean. Good luck with the fishing.
Bait clickers are the only alarm clock I LIKE waking up to
- Bud Still
Most important tip I know of is:
NEVER run Trot Lines ALONE...Not a wise idea at all. Too many things can happen and there you would be, all alone with no help.. JUST DON"T DO IT..
While I agree it isn't the safest of practices, I do my best to keep things in my favor. I have only done this in lakes, and usually fairly shallow water. Becasue of no current I also use multiple smaller weights rather that a couple real heavy ones. I almost always have 2 knives on me plus 1 or more in the boat, and again, using the cleat to hold the line greatly reduces the chances of me being pulled in.
Originally Posted by bud1110
I would agree, running lines in deeper water and/or current when using heavy weights on your line is not something to be taken lightly. Accidents can happen and you owe it to your family to be safe.
I would would still ike to hear any other tips,tools or tricks you guys use for setting lines - not neccesarily just for when running them alone.
I have been running trotlines for about 30 yrs. I don't put lines in heavy current. I do have several knives handy. I have one on my belt, one clipped on my pocket, one in my pocket, and one on the boat seat.(Yall reckon thats enough). I don't use real heavy weights, just enough to pull the line down. I've never had anything go wrong when running my lines, but I know it could in a split second. I just thank the good Lord nothing ever has. I try not to run lines alone but sometimes it just happens. Now, having said all that. Theres nothing special that I use when running lines. I make my own trotline, and as far as weights go a half a brick works just fine. I don't have any cleats on my boat (though I wish I did) so I have to just hang on to the line. Now that you got me to thinking about it I just might try putting a cleat on. Sounds like a real help. Thanks.:big_smile:
Ive used the oarlocks before to hold lines etc. Chunk of electric fence post stuck in it gives you a 3rd hand. Old window weights and 3 hole red bricks seem to be enough weight most of the time. We use looped drops, hard to explain, they run thru the eye of the hook and back thru themselves, same on the swivel on the mainline. We cut all of our bait before hand. 2 liter soda bottles work good for floats/line markers. We dont add our hooks n drops/loops until we are setting the lines. When we pull'em we take the drops/loops and hooks off seems to save on tangles and danger. If we're having trouble finding shad etc for cut bait we'll bait several hooks with worms for carp, white perch(drum) etc. and use the line to supply its own cutbait after we take the edible meat from the "trash/less desirable" fish. We bait the drops/loops before putting them on the mainline too, seems to be safer and quicker. NEVER let the line slap the water when setting/resetting as it will loosen it quick and leave alot of slack. We use an electric fence post with the top bent over and a chunk of broom handle stuck on it for grabbing the line and lowering it back, safer then grabbing blind for a trot with 25+ hooks swinging on it. We bent a V on the bottom of it, bout 6", its about 30" long. I cant think of anymore tips right now. Hope these helped.
Thanks for the replies guys.
I don't use real heavy weights either. In lakes I have some coke can weights which I filled with cement, also just got some freebie 3 hole bricks and also found some free 5lb and 10lb weights from a no longer used eight machine, hope to try those in a river soon.
I have a pole with a hook on it I made for jug fishing. I think it can pull double duty and use it for grabbing the trotline like suggested. Good tip.
I just picked up a eye bolt, with a nut a couple washers. I'm gonna put it back where I was thinknig about adding the other cleat, costs less than $1 and should do just what I am wanting. I know - I'm a cheap skate LOL.
- Curt Tollison
I'm trying to figure how the big time ocean fishermen do it.
Longliners use hydraulic driven reels to reel in the longline. Drops are stored in a rack, prebaited, and are clipped on the line as it is fed out or taken off and put in a tub as it is reeled in.
The stern of the boat has a 8" or larger PVC roller that the line and hooks feed over. The drops are usually 6' to 12' in length. Fish are gaffed and the drop unclipped as the reel hauls the line in. The fish are unhooked and put in fishbox later.
Long liners NEVER rely on their hands to pull in the line. The reel does it all.
I've thought about employing some of the longline methods, I used to use, into trotlining. Particularly the roller. The idea of using it on the side of the boat should work good. Two 4" or 6" rollers, one near the bow and one near the stern, would hold the line and keep the boat straight with the line. That would leave the hands free and safer. Fish could be netted and drop unclipped before the first roller. It might look funny mounted on the boat, but it would be functional.
A small light boat also would work better than a larger heavier boat. For trotlining I use a 12' plywood/epoxy boat that I made out of 3/16" marine plywood. It weighs about 600 pounds with me (250lbs) and all my gear. I use a 6 HP outboard motor. It works great with light winds, I don't fish in heavy winds.
I hope this helps with your question.
Curt :big_smile: :big_smile:
- Bob Durr
Thanks Curt. --and welcome to the BOC
I don't fish those 50 hook lines anymore but sure would give that method a try if I was. We are limited to 15 hooks with a regular fishing licence.
I was talking to a one time commercial fisherman this last weekend --fished the mississippi-- 100 hook lines -- maybe 1000 hooks --and he hand over handed his lines.
I'll tell you what. It will sure keep you from sipping barley pops before fishing if you just think for 1/2 second about what could happen and how quickly you could be in trouble.
Thanks for the info