Pro's and Con's of limb lines

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by Mac-b, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. Mac-b

    Mac-b Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    North Caro
    In February we had a debate about Paylakes, now let's have one about limb lines. The previous debate was civil and enlighten, so let's see if we can do the same about limb lines.

    I have seen a few in my lifetime and the only negative thing I have seen so far is that those who rig limb lines tend to leave them in the water after they get thru using them. A better pratice may be to cut them off and/or hang the hook on the limb. They are legal in my State, what about yours?
  2. rosscatman

    rosscatman Member

    SW Ohio
    I dont limb line but i would agree on what you said.Often and I mean quite often when me and one bro are fishing on his boat on the creeks that come off the ohio i see limb lines that you can tell havent been used in quite a while but just were left.

  3. CountryHart

    CountryHart New Member

    They are legal in missouri but must have owners name attached and ran daily. I agree with most here that un-run tackle should be cut down. It's very dangerous. Trotlines in the woods are the same way, folks fish em when the waters flooded but alot tend to leave them when they are finished. I carry a sharp knife.
  4. Treypd99

    Treypd99 New Member

    I agree with cutting down used lines. In arkansas you also have to tag your lines with name DL # or hunting license #.

    what kind bat are you guys using and how are you riging your lights
  5. Old Bill

    Old Bill New Member

    Oklahoma City
    I'd like to try to use limb lines, but the places I fish don't seem to have very many overhanging limbs to use. I've seen limb lines attached to cut Willow tree limbs that are stuck into the shoreline, but that seems to be a lot of stuff to take to the lake.

    The one time I tried limb line fishing (with only one line) was on the Illinois River below Tenkiller Lake in Oklahoma. Using trout for bait, I know that I caught a huge Striper!

    The reason I know I must have caught a huge Striper was because some SOB cut my single line and made off with my fish within an hour after I had tied it to the limb!:angry:

    Not all fishermen are as nice as those of the BOC!

  6. arkrivercatman

    arkrivercatman New Member

    They are legal here in KS but must have name ans address on them.I dont see a problem with them unless people leave them there.On one of the smaller rivers I seen people leave them and the river comes way up and they are hanging in the trees.I do have a problem with that.The hooks were all rusty so I know they hadnt been checked for a long time.When I find those I take them down myself and keep the sinkers.LOL.In my experience the people here that run lines have no knowledge of how to fish or the patience to catch a fish on rod and reel.The river is too polluted to eat the fish so if they are fishing for sport I dont see the logic.If they are run within the legal requirements,checked regularly and takin down when done I dont have a problem but unfortunately that rarely happens.
  7. justwannano

    justwannano Active Member

    SE Iowa
    Actually using limbs for poles is illegal in Iowa.
    Its OK to cut the limbs off the tree and use that as long as its stuck in the bank.
    I've begun to use 3/4' pvc as a "ditty" pole.
    Yes old bill it is a lot of stuff to take but that is how the big flats are caught around here.It kinda gets even when you catch something of some size.

    I don't mess with someone elses stuff even if it irritates me that its been unchecked for some time cause I sure don't want anybody messing with my stuff.
    Thats the DNRs job.

    have a good one
  8. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Little Rock, AR
    As Trey said, here in Arkansas, you are required to put your name & address, driver's license #, or the license plate # of your vehicle on every trotline, jugline, limbline, throwline, etc. that you put in the water. If a fisherman is going to put any of these into the water, it is his/her responsibility to make every effort possible to remove them; it's not only the right thing to do, it's the law. And it is the responsibility of the game wardens to enforce that law. If the game wardens would take the trouble to see that only the owners of these non-attended lines are 'attended' by only their owners, I would say that each one should be flagged with some type of highly visible marker. But they don't worry about such things, so we tend to hide and camouflage them. Personally, I'm too cheap to want to leave anything behind. Even a limb line can be reused, so abandoning a trotline that I spent a couple of hours and about $8.00 making is out of the question.
  9. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Four Oaks, NC
    Its a great scouting tool for rivers.
  10. john catfish young

    john catfish young New Member

    I haven't run any limbs in over 20 yrs now. But I can tell you if you get in a good spot and use the right bait, you can catch a monster or two. Me and a friend ran them all the time in the late 80's. We used bluegils for bait. We had one limb that never failed to catch a good flathead. We would bait them in the afternoon and check them in the morning. We would fish all night with rod&reels and in the morning we would check the limbs. We turned several in the 20's # loose. One morning the limb was had been cut with a saw. I don't know if someone helped there self to a monster flatty or someone was tired of us catching bigguns...we kinda lost interest after our favorite limb was gone.:angry:

    CATFISHERMAN001 New Member

    Mac, I used limb line fish when I was a kid and would camp on the river bank with my dad, uncles, brother and we would sit around a fire, tell jokes, fish and just basically hang out. I think the pro's of limb line fish is that you can fish in so many different locations at the same time and just need to check it periodically like you would trot lining. The con's of fishing like that is that you can only fish in locations where there are limb's hanging over the water which limits you to normally, fishing shallow waters and missing the main channel fish that may or may not come out of the channel to feed. I think though that limb line fishing is fun because it does give you an opportunity to hang out with the ones you love or love being around and shooting the breeze and maybe even catch some fish.
  12. oh no

    oh no New Member

    I used to limb line alot when I had my smaller boat in Ginger Bay. KY Lake has a lot of rocks close to shore so if your boat sits low, it's hard on props. lol

    I still set a few out each year we go down to KY Lake. Mine have red 2" x 4" metal tags on them. You can't miss them. I have had idiots rebait my lines and run them, even when my tag was on them.

    I like putting a 3"-5" bluegill on them and have it in about the top 6" of water. Boy will that bring in the cats and turtles. lol TN has good fishing regulations. KY is not bad either on limb lines. Indiana has a limit of 10 lines which is kinda wimpy.

    This year I will have my Indiana resident $17, KY non resident $50, and TN non resident 42 dollar license. I can't help myself, I love fishing KY Lake in the LBL. I hope to spend some serious time fishing there this year.

    To me running limb lines is a lot of fun. Boy it will get your blood boiling when you see a limb the size of your arm or bigger just a shaking and gitting it.

    Catalpa worms turned inside out will really get you a bunch of cats during the hot part of the summer. We use a lot of night crawlers, them you have to bait after dark as those bait stealing brim will clean the hooks off during the day.

    When pulling in your catch, be careful not to give the fish something real solid to pull against. A lot of times the fish just barely has the hook in it's mouth, and it can pull on a flexible limb all day long. But give it something to pull against that will not give and it's GONE. LOL Have your net ready to go under it.

    As long as your legal, have fun and catch some fish. Last year, the first time in my life, I caught a 5 pound bass on one. lol He hit a bunch of crawlers, right at dark. LOL
  13. arkrivercatman

    arkrivercatman New Member

    I wish our DNR people would regulate it more.I have fished this river for over 15 years and I have yet to see one.They are way too understaffed to do much of anything.Let me clarify, I remove old lines that were left that are rusty and dangerous.Hanging up 5 or 6 feet out of the water when we hadnt had a flood in 6 months.Thats not right.I do not mess with anything that is in the water only ones hanging in trees waiting to for someone to walk by and hook themselves, with a rusty hook.
  14. griz

    griz Well-Known Member

    Murray Ky.
    In Kentucky we are allowed 25 limblines, they must have your name and address on them. I enjoy running all types of lines but I guess limblines have always been my favorite.
    Just as with any other type of fishing there are going to be a few people that give all limbliners a bad rap, and with limblines it only takes a few. I can set out my 25 lines and run them, take them up when I'm done and unless you are cruising the banks looking for them you'll never know they are there or had ever been there. But if a person sets out 25 lines and leaves them then a couple weeks later set out 25 more and leaves them, over the course of the summer that can add up to a couple hundred lines or more.
    My two best catches on limblines were a 40lb Flathead and a 46lb Striper both were caught using Bullheads for bait. My advice to anyone wanting to try limblining would be to set your live bait shallow when your bait moves it should cause the water to splash and also Please remove your gear when done fishing. There is room for all methods of catfishing but we all must act responsibly or one day there will be room for none.
  15. dougc

    dougc Active Member

    I haven't ever seen anybody running limblines on the waters I fish, but like others have said I see the evidence that they were there all the time.
  16. river scum

    river scum New Member

    hooterville indiana
    i like to use them on new water to scout like mark said.

    i hate to see the ones left behind, especially with dead fish on them.

    Indiana allows them with name attached
  17. Bungarian

    Bungarian New Member

    It is all fun until you reach for a limb and grab a snake.
  18. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    South Carolina
    SC regs say that all limb lines must be labeled with name and adress and must be out of the water from sunrise to sunset. Problem is, I have NEVER seen one with a label on it, and it seems like a lot of folks just leave them there when the are done. That sort of thing ticks me off and gives the others a bad rep.

    I have thought about using them for scouting (and maybe some ploe lines or a short trotline even) but haven't done it so far.

    I'm glad to hear that others cut down unused lines. I have been doing it, but sometimes I felt a little guilty about it.
  19. justwannano

    justwannano Active Member

    SE Iowa
    25 lines would be a blast to run.
    Here in Iowa we're allowed only 5.
    Hell a trot line can only have 15 hooks unless you get the special boundry licence.
    That being said last summer I boated upriver and counted nearly 80 lines in 7 miles of river.
    Some of the guys leave their lines there so as to sort of claim that spot.
    A lot of them have the hook and sinker hooked to the top of the pole out of the water.
    Here in Iowa if they don't take them up by winter the ice will take them out.
    6" to a foot of ice does a pretty good job of scouring a riverbank.
  20. poisonpits

    poisonpits Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    havent used limb lines in years but i use to use cut pole bout 10 foot long and i would place them so that they ran parrele to the water.i used 2 short lines placed 3 foot apart and when a cat got on i could here the pole slaping the water.i baited with earth worms caue i was only after small channels for eating.i leave the big flats for rod and reel fishing and when i catch one its back into the water.