First time trotlining

Discussion in 'LOCAL OKLAHOMA TALK' started by okiecop, Jan 5, 2007.

  1. okiecop

    okiecop New Member

    Messages:
    265
    State:
    Grove, OK
    Me and a guy i work with are trotlineing for the very first time here on grand lake. I was wondering if anyone had any info on where the cats are at? i.e. water depth, bait to use and what depth to be setting the hooks. any and help will be appreciated.
     
  2. TDawgNOk

    TDawgNOk Gathering Monitor (Instigator)

    Messages:
    3,365
    State:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Ray, I'm not very familiar with Grand. However, I will suggest that you take and attatch to your person a very, very sharp, easily grabbed sheath knife.

    As for bait, cut shad heads are sposed to work good.
     

  3. bud1110

    bud1110 New Member

    Messages:
    1,096
    State:
    East Texas
    I don't know about Grand lake, but I like to set out several trot lines and I put them in different depths of water. This way I can tell where they are actively bitting, and move my other lines close to there.

    Since this is your first time of trot lining, remember that safety has to come first. Tony gave you a very IMPORTANT tip. When running lines you can get into a sticky situation quickly. Don't ever take anything for granted, as it can change in a heartbeat. (ie) wind,rain,etc.

    Always have a partner with you when running your lines, he may very well save you from serious injury....
     
  4. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    I like to wear bib overalls so that I could hang a knife on the front so that I could reach it with either hand.I found that the skin between your fingers will stretch a amazing amount before pulling you out of the boat.Also found out that a knife that you cain;t reach or open with either hand can get you killed.I am proud that I lived long enough to learn that I was stupid.Many die with out ever learning it.I love you brothers and sisters.peewee
     
  5. Larry Collier

    Larry Collier New Member

    Messages:
    149
    State:
    Wagoner, Oklahoma
    Hiya Okiecop -- Having a sharp knife handy is great advise and so is having a fishing buddy. I'm an ex-cop also and I'm sure you understand the importance of safety.

    I've never trotlined Grand but it has been my experience that asking local trotliners is worth the time. Usually they will be more than glad to tell you where their lines are so you won't be putting yours on top of their fishing spot. With that information, a depth locator/fish finder and a topo map you can locate your own honey hole. By spending a little time on the water the trotliners are easy to spot while running their lines. :cool2: You get the idea.

    A good tool is a long stretchy bungie cord (not the black rubber ones) attached to the boat where you will run the line and a snap of some sort to attach to the other end of the cord. Every once in a while I have found it necessary to snap the bungie to the trotline and let a fish wear itself out fighting the bungie. My upper body strength and grip aren't what they used to be and it can really be a big help.

    One of my favorite tools is a gaff with about a 3 foot handle. Lots of people think a gaff is illegal in Oklahoma but they are legal if the fish has already been hooked by legal means like trotline, jug or rod and line. I've had my share of dip nets destroyed over the years, but I've still got my original gaff. It's really handy for grabbing jugs too. The exception to the gaff is spoonbill which are illegal to use a gaff on reguardless of the means you actually caught the fish. Personally I use a gaff for the same reason I use the bungie.

    Stretchy bungie's and gaffs are not only a convience for me, they can be good safety tools. A cat doing the flippity floppity can send trotline hooks flying and that skeers me!:eek:oooh:


    Best to Ya
    Larry
     
  6. catdaddy007

    catdaddy007 Member

    Messages:
    406
    State:
    SE Arkansas
    I use a depth finder to locate deep holes.When I find one I move out of the hole a little ways into shallower water.Big cats lay up in deep holes during the day and come out to feed in the shallower water at night.I would use live bait myself.I've always caught bigger fish on live bait.I keep a knife on the front seat,and one on my belt,and one in my pocket.
     
  7. leadsinker

    leadsinker Member

    Messages:
    140
    State:
    Wichita, K
    I've done a little trotlining, but some questions that needs to be answered: When do you set your lines, bait your lines, and check your lines? Seems that I always end up with alot of empty hooks, and an occasional bent hook. How much difference does it make to run your lines before daylight or after? I usually set my lines during the day, bait just before dusk and run them every 2-3 hours. Am I spooking the fish? Should I leave them alone a little longer? It is usually daylight when I run them for the final time. Thanks,
     
  8. Larry Collier

    Larry Collier New Member

    Messages:
    149
    State:
    Wagoner, Oklahoma
    From what you've said it sounds like everything is okay but maybe needs a little tlc.

    If your loosing bait you may need to sharpen your hooks. If you are getting hooks straightened out thats a good sign, but maybe your hooks need to be a tougher steel. The positive thing is you are getting action on your trotline.

    How often to run a line depends on how often it needs ran. If you are catching fish the way your running them now I don't see any reason to change. I've had cats hit a fresh baited line before I got the last hook baited, but thats rare! I've ran mine as often as every hour but sometimes I only get to them a couple of times in 24hrs. At 2-3 hours between running the line you are not spooking the fish.

    You may get more activity after dark but daytime trotlining also gets fish so in my opinion just run them whenever you feel like checking the line. In Oklahoma the law says we must check the line at least once every 24 hours and lots of guys only run their lines once a day when they get off work.

    Hope this helps
    Best to Ya

    Larry
     
  9. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Check the BOC library.

    Alongside channels is often a good place, especially if there is other structure there too. Also off the end of rocky dikes.

    If you're having good strong hooks straightened, it means that the larger cats are able to get a real solid pull against the tie-off point. Rigging some slack line with a heavy bungee cord or inner tube is one way to solve that problem. Another is to rig the trotline with some slack line, then attach a 10# weight ten or fifteen feet from each tie-off point. These weights will keep the trotline tight, but have plenty of give to keep a big fish from straightening the hook. The mainline should run at a 30-45 degree angle from the tie-off point to the heavy weight. Only trial and error will teach you just how much slack to allow to have the trotline at the depth you want.
     
  10. okiecop

    okiecop New Member

    Messages:
    265
    State:
    Grove, OK
    I would like to start off by thanking everyone for thier help. After getting out and about and doing a little talking to other people. My co-worker and I are going to switch over to jug lines til the warmer weather gets here. Also found out that we really need to locate some shad. As for other info. We are only able to run the lines in the early mornings after we get off of work. tried useing liver, shad flavored catfish links and liver/blodd dough bait. only thing we have gotten so far is about a 10# drum.

    Hope this helps you all in helping us.And thank you once again for all the help and advice.
     
  11. Larry Collier

    Larry Collier New Member

    Messages:
    149
    State:
    Wagoner, Oklahoma
    okiecop the jugs are a good idea. The only drawback is having to find them when a bigun runs off with one - I hope you have to hunt for them every morning :big_smile: