75' trotline, 25 hooks - seem to only catch 3-4 fish max

Discussion in 'Alternative Methods of Catching Catfish' started by ra8643, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. ra8643

    ra8643 New Member

    Messages:
    34
    State:
    texas
    All,
    I have a slight problem that I was hoping someone could help me with. I have been setting out a "V" shaped trotline with 25 hooks spaced 3' apart.

    I always check my line every 3-4 hours (except at night), and seem to always catch somthing, and almost always a max of 3-4 fish. I have never run the line and had more. I always use fresh or dead shad (small - usually 2"). When I check my line the shad are almost always all gone. The fish I catch are always in random spots along the line (some deep, some shallow). This is in about 14' of water.

    Does anyone know what might cause this? I thought of a couple of things:

    1.) Maybe turtles or other things are stealing my shad? That would make sense, but it doesn't make sense that they are nice enough to always leave me 3 for bait.....:crazy:
    2.) Maybe once 3 or so fish get on the line, they start slinging it around so much that they shake off the remaining shad. (this explanation would seem to make the most sense).

    Is this the sort of percentage to expect? I figured I would catch more some times and less others. However, there seems to be some sort of flaw with my trotline design or something that is limiting the number I catch.

    Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Joseph
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2009
  2. oahegw

    oahegw Member

    Messages:
    132
    State:
    So. Dakota
    ****
    I like my drops about 4 to 5 feet apart. But this may be only personal choice.

    In the past I've tried different baits and find that here in So. Dakota, worms or shrimp are my best choice. I've had cut bait and liver still on the hook, while the worms and shrimp either produced a fish or was eaten off.

    Consider correct hook size and perhaps even circle hooks.

    Are you on the bottom with your bait, or held up a bit by using a float jug??

    There are some pretty smart trotliners on this site, so someone should be able to smooth out your problems.

    Good Luck!
     

  3. ra8643

    ra8643 New Member

    Messages:
    34
    State:
    texas
    Thanks for the reply. The circle hooks are a good idea. Maybe some are getting off of my regular hooks. Just seems odd that I almost always have 3-4 keepers. Sometimes I have a couple more, but just very small 8-10" fish.

    Any other ideas would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Joseph
     
  4. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    Just wondering if your hooking the shad similar to how you'd hook a minnow for crappie fishing. I have found that it is best to thread a minnow or small shad on a hook like its a worm... start at its mouth and bend the body around the hook. I always try to bring the hook out of the body just in front of the tail. It takes quite a bit of effort to throw a bait off in that fashion. And yes, turtles can be cleaning your line and 3 or 4 fish get t some bait before the turtles.
     
  5. ra8643

    ra8643 New Member

    Messages:
    34
    State:
    texas
    Thanks for the tip about hooking the shad. Yes, I was just hooking it under the dorsal fin. I will make sure to thread it on like a worm next time.

    Joseph
     
  6. kyredneck

    kyredneck New Member

    Messages:
    1,021
    State:
    Kentucky
    IMO, if you're catching 3-4 keepers every 3-4 hrs on 25 hooks I wouldn't be complaining too much (at least not in the waters I fish).

    If your hooks are laying on the bottom raise them off the bottom at least 12-36", and higher up into the thermocline when/if stratification occurs.

    I like circle hooks for my trotline.