Trot Lines

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by cpalombo, May 7, 2007.

  1. cpalombo

    cpalombo New Member

    Messages:
    318
    State:
    Nashville TN
    Hey guys, I am probably posting in the wrong spot, but State/MO/Rivers is where I always go so I will start here. Is there a post on this site that talks about how to use trot lines? They were illegal in Michigan, so I never learned how (or where) to use them.

    I am going out next Satureday, and I want to set out 3 trott lines. I have the hooks, cord, and clip-on-things, but I dont know how to build them best or where to put them. I could probably guess at how to make them (tie hook to line, put on fish, throw, wait...repeat), but sometime trial and error takes longer than people have to invest.

    Is there an old thread on that some place? Does anyone have pointers? Thanks in advance.

    CP
     
  2. bud1110

    bud1110 New Member

    Messages:
    1,096
    State:
    East Texas

    Here ya go, click on this link. It explains things very clearly...

    http://www.catfish1.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1329
     

  3. kat in the hat

    kat in the hat New Member

    Messages:
    4,875
    State:
    Missouri
    Here's som pics of mine. I don't use the clips because they are an extra expense to me. To each his own, but this is how mine are made. I don't use snap swivels because they are prone to failure. In mo. Your drops must be at least 2' apart. Mine are 4' apart. You must feed the swivels all on the line, then secure them to the line with a dropper loop. Some may use beads above the knot, but I don't.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. kat in the hat

    kat in the hat New Member

    Messages:
    4,875
    State:
    Missouri
    Here's my winder, and bucket for my drops, and extra chord and hooks.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. TX Fisherman

    TX Fisherman New Member

    Messages:
    607
    State:
    Texas
    ive run a few off a buddys boat, i never really knew how to make my own so i went to academy and bought the $4.00 trotline kit, had hooks and the actual trot line, now i know how to make my own so thats what i do. they make a great begginers kit those ones from academy
     
  6. cpalombo

    cpalombo New Member

    Messages:
    318
    State:
    Nashville TN

    You really have a system there. Thanks for the great info. I will steal your ideas. :)

    CP
     
  7. kat in the hat

    kat in the hat New Member

    Messages:
    4,875
    State:
    Missouri
    I opt for what has been working for generations. Steal away, and good luck on your venure. Don't forget a huge net! Probably the most important part. And don't attempt to lift a fish on the line out of the water without a net.
     
  8. kyredneck

    kyredneck New Member

    Messages:
    1,021
    State:
    Kentucky
    I've been made fun of for the big long handled net that I use, but I've learned (and those that laughed) over the years that the job's not over till you get them in the boat, and a good net is essential.
     
  9. kyredneck

    kyredneck New Member

    Messages:
    1,021
    State:
    Kentucky
    Trotline clips: I avoided the expense for years, but used some first time last year, and they are handy. I'm going to use them 100% this year for two reasons; the clips make it handy to switch out a dropper that has a deep hooked fish, and, (this is experimental) because the river I trotline is subject to flash floods (and taking your lines away), the clips will allow for quick removal of the droppers so that the main line can be lowered/weighted to the bottom in order to 'weather the storm' (in theory).

    I thread the barrel swivels directly on the main line and use the brads to keep them in place. I put the clips w/droppers on the swivels, added expense, but works well.
     
  10. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Be sure to take a look at the EZ-Clips from one of our sponsors.
     
  11. kat in the hat

    kat in the hat New Member

    Messages:
    4,875
    State:
    Missouri
    I guess I'm a cheapskate. When I can't get a hook out, I just cut the drop. Always have extra made up anyway. I haven't checked out the EZ-clips, but around here, those things are running about a buck apiece, and that's the only reason I don't use them. They are convenient, and work good though. I won't deny that.
     
  12. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    The EZ-Clips work out to less than 7 cents apiece, before shipping.
     
  13. kyredneck

    kyredneck New Member

    Messages:
    1,021
    State:
    Kentucky
    Jerry, I haven't even bothered to check out the easy-clips of the sponser; the ones I've been accumalating over the winter at Wal-Mart (a pack at a time when buying groceries so it doesn't seem so painful) are around $7.00 per 25 which is about .28 ea..
     
  14. KYTRAPPER

    KYTRAPPER New Member

    Messages:
    307
    State:
    Floyd county,KY
    LOL, I know what you mean. Its easy to sneak a few dollars in here and there when my wife is buying 200$ worth of groceries:lol:
     
  15. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    I know the trotline clips you mean, and I've even got a bunch of them. They are an offshoot of much larger clips designed to attach drops for long-line fishing in saltwater. (Basically just a miles-long trotline.) As long as they are matched with the diameter line they are designed to work with, they work quite well; put some on a line with too small a diameter, and you'll end up with a whole bunch of clips squished up right together. These clips will even work just fine clipped into a dropper loop, although they won't clip onto a swivel. The EZ-Clips don't clip right onto the main line, but rather clip onto swivels or droppers. They also attach a whole lot easier; they are supposed to detach much easier, too, but I haven't had a chance to check that when my hands are slippery with bait & catfish slime.
    Anyone who has trotlined enough to have to store their lines knows the problems in finding a good way to do just that. Even if you take the hooks off first, wrapping the mainline with the droplines still attached onto a board while wet results in the line, including droppers, being somewhat 'glued' together. As you unwind the main line, every time you come to a dropper you have to stop to peel the dropper line loose. One solution? Take the dropper and attached hook completely off the main line. And the EZ-Clip is designed to make that a simpler job. Of course, you could pile your trotline into a plastic bucket, hanging the hooks on the edge--that works pretty well till you knock a batch of hooks off into the main line. The main problem, though, is that you've got a big plastic bucket for each trotline you have. That creates a real storage problem. You could always take the time & effort to build jumpboxes, which not only provide a quick way to put out your lines, but also a handy way to store them. But occasionally, it's really nice to be able to simply unclip a dropper while you're running your lines, then quickly attach a new dropper. Bent hooks or deep-hooked fish can really slow you down if you don't have some quick detach/attach method.
     
  16. jrh_67

    jrh_67 New Member

    Messages:
    35
    State:
    texas
    The clips also make it safer to bait your hooks. I just keep some extra drops baited up before I go run the lines and when one has no bait on it I just swap the whole drop with a fresh baited one. I just love the trotline clips...It made runnin lines much much safer than the way we used to do it. Always carry a good pocket knife with you so you could cut yourself free if you get hooked and end up in the water, the hooks i use you are not gonna break them or the line and it's weighted so it would drown you if you couldn't cut yourself free....just my 2 cents from experience runnin lines all my life.
     
  17. kyredneck

    kyredneck New Member

    Messages:
    1,021
    State:
    Kentucky
    The Wa1l-Mart clips I used last year attached very nicely to the swivels with no problems.

    The river here is narrow enough (80-120 yds) to run the trotline from bank to bank if I want (and I usually do). I store my lines (less droppers) on metal spools that electrical cable comes on. A piece of re-bar through the center of the spool and mounted vertically to the gunwale makes it fairly quick and easy to put the line out, adding weights as I go along; then I go back with the droppers and bait.

    I’ve thought about building and using the jump boxes, but haven’t. Maybe I will some day.
     
  18. kat in the hat

    kat in the hat New Member

    Messages:
    4,875
    State:
    Missouri
    I'm not debating against clips. Just gotta say that my drops come off quickly and easily without them. Baiting up before hand is not a problem, and the lines do not get tangled. Have seen a buddy's drop bucket become a tangled mess with clips on. The only time there is a problem is when a fish is deeply hooked, and when that happens, I just cut the drop, and replace it with another. Other than that, everything works the same way. Have loops spaced intermittently to clip on weights. I guess I DO use clips, but only for the weights. I would like to check out one of those boxes. Does the stored lines dry out quickly when stored that way? Been useing the same lines for 2 years now, and they still look like brand new.
     
  19. kyredneck

    kyredneck New Member

    Messages:
    1,021
    State:
    Kentucky
    http://www.ezcliptrotline.com/


    Dumb me, these are a fraction of the cost and I'm sure just as good as the one's I got at WallyWorld. Oh well, it's what I get for not doing my research.
     
  20. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Matt, I guess if you only leave your lines out a night or two at a time, you can keep them clean, but back when I was trotlining, I'd put in my lines in a good spot and fish them there for 2 or 3 months at a time, checking & rebaiting them at least once a day, as Arkansas law requires. Furry doesn't even begin to describe my lines by the time I pulled them out; I even had baby zebra mussels on some of them. I feel pretty sure that if you put such a trotline into a jumpbox and let it dry, you're going to have to wet it down really good before you let the line out, or it's going to go out in one single chunk.
    If you want to speed up the drying process for line in a jumpbox, simply use screen wire or hardware cloth for the bottom so air can get to both sides.