Trot Line Modification---will this work?

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by Old Bill, Sep 9, 2007.

  1. Old Bill

    Old Bill New Member

    Messages:
    448
    State:
    Oklahoma City
    First, let me confess that I know nothing about fishing with a trot line! So your comments will be appreciated,

    I'm thinking about droping a trot line in a 30 foot old river channel in a large lake. But, being the lazy weak critter that I am...I don't what to have to pull up a heavy weight each time I run the line.

    So I have come up with this marvelous idea! (of course it's possible I long ago saw something like it) What I'm thinking about doing is using two snap hoops to attach the actual trot line to the weigh/jug lines. A second line (marked in red in the drawing) would be also atached to the snap hook and would lead back to the Jug.

    This second line would be used to set the depth for the start and end of the trot line, but would be used mainly to pull the actual trot line to the surface so I could remove the many fish! Take a look at the drawing:

    http://oomur.pair.com/wwpotter/images/Trot Line-Deep001.jpg

    What do you think? Would it work or would I have a big mess on my hands?

    All comments will be greatly appreciated...but, hurry because I'm heading for the lake this coming Tuesday!

    Old Bill
     
  2. bud1110

    bud1110 New Member

    Messages:
    1,096
    State:
    East Texas
    Bill,

    I like your idea about the line coming up easier,(but), the problem I see is whats going to hold the line down? Thats what the weights are for.
     

  3. BAM

    BAM New Member

    Messages:
    827
    State:
    Tennessee
    Bill, use some bungee cord at each end, about 10 foot should do it. The bungee chord will stretch and let you pull up the line without having to pull up the weights or pulling the weights toward one another. You may want to use a little longer bungee at each end if fishing 30 foot of water.
     
  4. Malichi1970

    Malichi1970 New Member

    Messages:
    1,334
    State:
    Fenton, Missouri
    Not sure what size the fish are in your area, but unless you tie those jugs to something on each bank I could see you ending up with a large tangled up mess on your hands. I see your 15lbs weights on each end at the bottom, but you get a load of fish on there and they will do some pulling and if you catch a few big ones.....

    Now if you took lines from the jugs and tied them off to either bank I could see where that may work, but otherwise I think you'll be giving them way to line to play with. Reason I say this is if they swim up the ends of your line will move up pretty far on either end before your big weight in the middle stops it and since the jugs will move as well (unless anchored somehow) at the top the fish are gonna be able to run pretty good and move around alot.
     
  5. Old Bill

    Old Bill New Member

    Messages:
    448
    State:
    Oklahoma City
    Looks like I need to ponder a lot more on this idea! I never gave a thought to the trot line being moved upward by the fish.:sad2:

    Oh well, back to the drawing boat!

    No doubt, I better just stick to the tried and proven method of setting up a trot line. There is a area just at the mouth of a creek feeding into the lake that might be a good place for a beginner like me to to try. I'll leave the deep area for someone else!

    Thanks everyone for your comments. You have saved me a bunch of trouble!

    Old Bill
     
  6. kat in the hat

    kat in the hat New Member

    Messages:
    4,875
    State:
    Missouri
    We always just tie both ends to an inanimate object, and sink the line with 2, or sometimes 3 small weights about 2# each. It's really no problem pulling them up. The few times I've seen lines set with jugs, and weights on both ends, ended up in a mess, and didn't have enough tension on the line to hook fish because the the vertical lines at the ends pull towards each other, making slack in the line.
     
  7. GMC FishHauler

    GMC FishHauler New Member

    Messages:
    1,335
    State:
    Waco, Texas, Un
    we do our open water trotlines like this only the weights on the ends are cinderblocks.the one in the middle is 2 window weights. It works OK for something like a shallow sand bar (2-8') But would not try anything deeper cuz that makes it hard to run without tangling
     
  8. TDawgNOk

    TDawgNOk Gathering Monitor (Instigator)

    Messages:
    3,365
    State:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    OldBill, First thing I would like to say is WELCOME to the BOC!!!!

    What lake in Ok are ya fishing?

    If this is your first trotline, I would suggest tying both ends either to the bank, or to a tree stump in the water. The reason for this is that if you get a couple of large blues or flats on your trotline, it may disappear if not tied to something solid. Then you can use 1 lb weights to hold your line down and you aren't having to pull up near as much weight. Space your weights anywhere from 10 - 15 ft apart, then you are only holding up a max of 3 weights at a time. When we put one out last time we tied each end to a submerged tree on each side of the channel. We then tied on 2 1lb weights so that they would hold the line down. The depth we were fishing was 20 ft of water, and we tied these at 25 ft, we then let them settle on the bottom, then ran the line across to the other side, adding our weights as we went. On the "far" end, we dropped our double weights about 5 ft from the tree we were going to finish tying off to and let them reach bottom. Then we tied it off to the tree, pulling the weight up slightly. This kept the line nice and tight. We then went back down the line, tying our dropper loops, *(which tightened the line more and pulled it up off bottom slightly. As we tyed our dropper loops, we added our drop lines and bait as well. It takes a little longer to set out a line this way, but, when it is done, you have a line setup just for that spot and can label it when you pull it in. Then, when you go back to the same area, you have a line setup for that area already.
     
  9. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    If you'll look at Trotlining 101 in our library, you'll find several ways to set a trotline. Here's the one I use to keep from lifting a heavy weight. As shown on the diagram below, there is a long line attached to each end of the trotline; there are no hooks on either of these lines. Only the actual trotline in the center portion has hooks on it. How long do the long pieces have to be? That depends on the depth of the water. The deeper the water, the longer the pieces have to be. I would estimate that you should have no more than a 30 degree angle on the long line from the surface to the weight; a smaller angle would be even better where possible. Having the long line twice the depth of the water will give you slightly less than 30 degrees, so that's a minimum. Where there's something solid to tie to, that's my preference, but I seldom use a weight on the trotline; occasionally I'll use a small weight in the center. The weights are tied to lines attached to either end of the trotline, and are spaced to keep tension on the trotline at all times, and also act as shock absorbers. There's a diagram of that setup in the article.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Old Bill

    Old Bill New Member

    Messages:
    448
    State:
    Oklahoma City
    Tony and Jerry, thanks for the detailed information!

    I will be going to the Belle Starr Campground at Lake Eufaula tomorrow, 9-11-07. In the past I have set most of my jug lines in the Belle Starr cove or in some stumps about a mile south of the BS cove entrance.

    I would like to set a tort line at these stumps, or at one of the creeks that runs into the BS cove.

    I have a only 4 HP outboard on my 14' semi-V aluminum boat, so I'm kind of shy about placing jugs or a tort line in the open waters of the lake. The old boat does have deep hull and a 60" beam so I'm not really worried...but, sometimes, the lake can get very ugly!:crazy:

    Thanks again everyone!

    Old Bill
     
  11. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    I started trotlining and jugging the Arkansas River in a 14' jonboat with a 6hp Mercury on it. Just watched the weather, barges, and big powerboats going by.
     
  12. kkyyoottee

    kkyyoottee New Member

    Messages:
    754
    State:
    Iowa
    Hmm the dnr must be selling my ideas I came up with same idea showed it to dnr guy and he told me it was illegal cause it would be classified as a floating jug line!!!:crazy: might be legal where you are at though!! And my drawing wasnt as pretty as yours. Good luck to you!!
     
  13. TDawgNOk

    TDawgNOk Gathering Monitor (Instigator)

    Messages:
    3,365
    State:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Bill, that should be a good area. Another good spot would be the sandy bass bay area. My wifes grandparents used to own a house with a dock right on sandy bass bay and they always did good on trot lines within 5-10 min ride of their dock.
     
  14. Big Ben

    Big Ben New Member

    Messages:
    13
    State:
    De Soto MO
    when I set lines I tie off one end and use 1 to 2 window weights to weigh it down I've seen some use alot more weight on the end in my opinion this is alot of overkill I set lines on the Mississippi in deep and swift water I can't say I've never had problems but any one who trotlines much is going to run into some problems you can also try to tie a small jug in the middle of your line this will make easier to pull up and keep your line from getting in the mud
     
  15. Dadoftwo

    Dadoftwo New Member

    Messages:
    382
    State:
    Oklahoma City
    Regardless on the method of setup you use or the depth of the water let us know how you did and where you went. I am curious about trotlines in this type of climate.
     
  16. Old Bill

    Old Bill New Member

    Messages:
    448
    State:
    Oklahoma City
    Well, I hate to admit it, but, once I got to the Belle Starr Cove, at Lake Eufaula in Oklahoma, I decided that it was just easier to put out some jug lines like I had always had done!

    I only had 7 jug lines with me, so that was the number I placed in about 25' of water using both 1 lb and 3 1/2 lb weights. After about three days of checking the jugs I decided that the 1 lb weights were holding just fine, and were a heck of lot easier to pull up, plus it was easier to know when a small cat was on the line.

    In ten days of having the jugs out, I caught a large number of small baby catfish, but, only about 10 eating size in the 1 1/2 to 2 lb range. I've done much better in the past using cut bait and shaid. This year I was using soap bait and beef tips covered with garlic. ( I had left my casting net at home!)Most of the fish were caught on the beef tips as far as I could tell.

    I'd still like to try using a trot line, but doubt I ever will unless I have some help with me.

    Bill
     
  17. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Bill, next time you are out on a jugging trip with no prospect of fresh bait, stop by the store and buy a package of salt pork or bacon. Don't use it on all your hooks, just use it along with whatever other backup baits you happen to have, and see what the cats prefer.
     
  18. Old Bill

    Old Bill New Member

    Messages:
    448
    State:
    Oklahoma City
    Thanks Jerry for the tip. Salt pork or bacon would be easy to use...the only problem is I do love fired bacon sandwiches!! But, I like fired catfish fileted sandwiches even more!:big_smile:

    Jerry, have you ever fished at Lake Ouachita west of Little Rock? I haven't been there in many years, but I have aways thought that was the most scenic lake I have ever been on. When our childern were small we rented one of those barges that held our little travel trailer. We spent 5 nights on the lake tieing up at different little islands each night! It was great fun...but, the next year the prices had been raised and we couldn't afford to rent a barge. I believe the company was called "Camp-a-Float" and went out of business a few years later.

    Bill
     
  19. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    I fished Ouachita several times in the mid to late 80s, but not since then. In the mid 80s, I fished the lower end near the dam, and right below the dam. In the late 80s, a buddy and I went on a big camping trip SW of Gobblers Knob. At that time, I could go out on the Arkansas River on a Saturday morning and be sure of catching enough catfish for a fish fry for 20-30 people that evening. So of course we volunteered to catch enough cats for a fish fry for everyone (25-30 guys). Set out some lines, and didn't catch a fish. We couldn't figure it out. We had fresh shad from the river, and there's a big population of shad in that lake; our lines were in coves having both an old channel and woody cover. Out of desperation, we bought a bunch of chicken livers, and finally began catching fish. It took a couple of days, but we did catch enough for the fish fry. On my way home from that trip, I looked in my rear view mirror and saw that I was towing a fireball. My boat had caught fire. Interesting trip.
    By the way, when I was fishing down near the dam, I marked some BIG fish in about 200' of water. I was using a paper graph recorder, and from the size of the arches, I would guess the fish were 4'-6' in length. Could have been stripers or gar rather than catfish, of course.