New to Trotline Fishing

Discussion in 'Alternative Methods of Catching Catfish' started by jkruer01, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. jkruer01

    jkruer01 New Member

    Messages:
    20
    State:
    Kentucky
    I went out and bought a trotline yesterday (150ft and 25 hooks) and I'm going to give it a try. I have a friend who lets me fish off of his private dock. I was planning on tying one end of the trotline to the dock and then taking the other end out into the lake.

    My question is, when using a trotline from the shore or from a dock, do you just stand on the shore/dock and start pulling the line towards you ("reel it in") when you want to check it or do you take a boat out pull up each line individually working your way out to the end of the line?

    Also does the main line of trotlines always float or just some of them? When I was at Wal-Mart shopping for them some said that they were floating and others didn't mention it.

    I know these are stupid questions but I haven't heard anything mention them in all the "how to" articles I have been reading about trotlining.

    Thanks!
    Jeremy
     
  2. 223reload

    223reload New Member

    Messages:
    10,798
    State:
    Oklahoma
    Jeremy,Welcome to the BOC. I allways tie each end of a trotline off to a stump or similar object. Then after hooking it and getting hold ,just pull the boat along and check each hook,rebait etc.

    Floating or not ,I allways used a window weight to hold mine as deep as possible. soup cans full of concrete with an eye work well also. I dont trotline anymore ,but its rewarding .
     

  3. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Welcome to the BOC, Jeremy. I'll try to answer your questions here, but be sure to read the trotlining articles in our library. You definitely want both ends of your trotine anchored; you may need additional rope or line to reach suitable anchoring spots. Tying between two solid objects such as stumps, trees, etc. is best, but there's not one always available where you need it, so you may have to use a big heavy rock or other weight (an old tire rim works great on mud or sand). You'll need to run your trotline from a boat, lifting the line as you go along it; drop it, and you'll have to start over. WATCH THOSE HOOKS! There are a number of things that can increase the possibility of getting a hook jerked into you...been there, done that, sunk the boat. One trick that you can sometimes use to keep from having to lift a heavy trotline anchor is to put an extra 50'-100' of line (with no hooks) between it and the end of the trotline; how much depends on how deep you're fishing. The extra line can allow enough play in the line to lift up that end of your trotline without having to lift the anchor.
    Whether or not a line floats depends on what it's made of. In some situations, a floating line can make it easier to set out your line. Also, depending on how deep you've set your line, the floating mainline can help keep the baits off the bottom; but there's a diagram in the library showing how to do this without having to have a floating line.
    Except for the safety aspect, the most important thing is where you set your lines; so, having your line running off your friend's dock may be convenient for you, but may not catch any fish. If you can stand on his dock and fish out that direction with rod & reel and catch catfish, then that's probably a good spot; if no one has ever caught a catfish off the dock, it's probably a terrible spot. Contrary to popular belief, it's harder to find a good spot to set a trotline that it is to find a good spot to rod & reel fish; in addition to finding a 'honeyhole', you've got to find a place to set 150' of line so that it seldom hangs up. Starting out, you'll probably be better off if you try to set your lines far enough away from structure that they definitely won't hang up; with experience, you'll find yourself setting them in snaggier and snaggier places. Where are good spots? Read up on structure fishing for bass; catfish generally like the same types of structure: channels, stumprows, points, etc.
     
  4. justwannano

    justwannano Active Member

    Messages:
    1,003
    State:
    SE Iowa
    Read up on your states regulations first.
    Here in Iowa a trot line must be tied up from shore so tying to a dock would not be legal. You also have to have your name on it so its easily readable.
    IMHO the reason for the easily readable name is so thiefs know who they are stealing from.
    have a good one
    just
     
  5. jkruer01

    jkruer01 New Member

    Messages:
    20
    State:
    Kentucky
    Thanks for the replies everyone. I have been fishing off of the dock and catching catfish with a pole so I think it will work good for a trotline.

    I read the state regulations and you have to have it labeled but it doesn't say anything about being anchored to land.

    I was planning on tying one end to the doc and the other end to a gallon milk jug filled with sand or concrete.

    I was hoping that I would just be able to "reel" in the trotline and not have to go out with a boat but I figured that probably wouldn't work.....oh well.

    I'm definitely going to read the trotlining articles in the library....I have already read 1 or 2.

    Thanks again for all the info!
    Jeremy
     
  6. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Sounds like what you need is a couple or three throwlines, rather than a trotline. A throwline has a weight on the end, with a couple or three hooks above it; the number depends on how far up the line you can hold and still throw it out. You definitely want all your hooks safely below the point where you hold the line, or you are likely to get snagged. The concept is simple. You simply throw out the line with its baited hooks, then pull in in later to check the bait and/or remove the fish on it.
     
  7. justwannano

    justwannano Active Member

    Messages:
    1,003
    State:
    SE Iowa
    Dad used to throw out a 15 hook line. He tied it off upstream pulled it tight and threw it as far across as he could. He pulled it in by walking along the river bank as it came in. Bait it up again and do it again.
    I'm guessing if he had a dock to throw from he'd have done it.
    have a good one
    just
     
  8. jkruer01

    jkruer01 New Member

    Messages:
    20
    State:
    Kentucky

    Yep! That sounds exactly like what I am looking for. I guess it is just a shorter trotline in reality huh?

    Thanks!
    Jeremy
     
  9. jkruer01

    jkruer01 New Member

    Messages:
    20
    State:
    Kentucky
    Thanks! I'll give it a try and let you know how it goes.

    Jeremy
     
  10. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Most of us think of a trotline as being anchored at both ends, and they usually are, but the state of Arkansas defines a trotline as a line with multiple hooks and anchored at one or both ends. Maybe that would make a throwline a subspecies of trotlines?
     
  11. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Bob, be careful throwing something like that from a dock. Take note of the fact that your dad did NOT have any of the hooks between himself and the weight he was throwing, or were they anywhere they could possibly snag him when flying around, because he had the line tight when he threw the weight. If you don't have the line tight, it can whip around and pull some hooks into you. If you only have a couple of hooks on the line, you can hold the line above the hooks to throw it, and not be in much danger of getting hooked. Or, if you have the room, you can do it like your dad did.
     
  12. justwannano

    justwannano Active Member

    Messages:
    1,003
    State:
    SE Iowa
    Good point Jerry
    There'd be times when it would get hooked up on a weed and he'd have to pull it in and throw it again.
    Ya gotta be careful out there.
    have a good one
    just
     
  13. seacatfish

    seacatfish New Member

    Messages:
    319
    State:
    Florida
    You may want to run a retrievable clothesline type gear. What you do is use a heavy weight with a stainless ring tied to it. Run your main line through the ring and set the weight out in the water where you want the end of your gear. Run both ends of the line back to the dock and around a post or through another stainless ring attached to a post with a line, perhaps so you can drop it into the water to hide the whole rig. Tape or lash the knot smooth, creating a continuous loop, so it will slide through the stainless rings without hanging up too bad. Then, use long line clips you can buy from a saltwater commercial supply house with heavy monofiliment drop lines and circle hooks. That way, you never have to have a boat, except to put the thing in the water the first time. With recreational number of hooks, 25, you can easily pull in and remove all of the gangions (drops), set them in a bucket, remove the catfish from some of them, rebait them, and pull the whole thing through again as you clip on the gangions. Happy fishing. You don't get wet this way. :big_smile::wink:
     
  14. Jaylake_21

    Jaylake_21 New Member

    Messages:
    111
    State:
    Texas
    Jeremy, from I have seen on here, no question is a stupid question. As you can see, if you ask a question, you get tons of replys. Thats what the BOC is all about. Hope all the tips and info given to you catches you a huge fish. Let us know when you catch something.