Trotline help

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by Drawout, Jun 19, 2006.

  1. Drawout

    Drawout Active Member

    Ok guys and gals heres the scoop,im wanting to run a 25 hook trotline to try and catch me a large fish my biggest was a channel cat and it was 23 pounds.I would like some tips on what kind of weights to use on the end of the line and any other helpful tips thx all.:0a23:
  2. solomon

    solomon New Member

    I use bricks, but hey I'm cheap.

  3. Bricks are cheap and handy. Just be aware the rough edges will eventually cut through most line that is used. Maybe try a wire loop through the brick then the line. I just use a brick and carry a few extra in the boat and replace as needed.
    My favorite is sash weights but these are getting harder and harder to come by. I'm down to just a handful. I also do not like them on rock bottoms. I have lost more sash weights on rock bottoms than anywhere else. They end up laying flat on bottom and roll under things and break off. On mud bottoms they are great. They drop straight down and stick in the mud.
    I have also used brake rotors and drums also old cast off sledge hammer heads work well too. Just use your imagination. I just purchased some cast iron dumbell weights at a yardsale, a bunch of five pounders and one each two and a half and one ten pounder.
    If you do not run bank to bank with both ends tied you need a heavier weight on the untied end to anchor the line in place. Brake drums seem to hold well for me.
  4. bud1110

    bud1110 New Member

    East Texas
    I normally run my trot lines from stump to stump keeping the line fairly tight.

    If it's a short run, say 25 hooks I use a window weight on each end. If I have to add more line for any reason, I add a weight in the center.

    I don't let my weights go to the bottom as they will get hung up on brush or old stumps. My line goes down about 3 feet under the water.

    This setup works the best for me. Too much slack will hang you up everytime..
  5. westkybanded

    westkybanded New Member

    Window weights are wonderful if you can find them! We used to use them on longline decoy sets. Since they're rounded all over they don't get hung up on rocks and such as easily.

    Like it was mentioned above, if you use a brick, get a wire coathanger and cut a piece of wire out of it. Run it through the brick first, then tie your line to it. You can also use a piece of old garden hose. Put that through the hole to act as padding, then run your line through that.

    The best advice I can give if you are looking for big cats on trotlines is to use live bait that you think is just a little too big. It'll be perfect. Also, replace those crappy hooks that come with commercial lines with something bigger and sharper. We just got ahold of some prototype eagle claw 8/0 and 10/0 kale hooks that are working GREAT! They should hit the market in the spring.

    Also, if at all possible, don't let anyone see you putting it out, and don't mark it very obviously at all... Someone will run it for you, steal it, or cut it. Bass fishermen especially LOVE trotlines that get hung on their spinnerbaits....
  6. Drawout

    Drawout Active Member

    Thx guys you have been helpful.
  7. I wish I could run my lines shallow because there are definite times cats cruise higher in the water column. On this river boat and barge traffic dictate that my lines have to go down. I won't run one less than ten feet down to be safe.
    Another thing is that my lines have to be tied off solid and weighted down well. A tow boat can really move some water when it fires up it's engine.
    My typical line is 300' long with 100 hooks. I try to go bank to bank or bank to something solid so that both ends are tied off. Every 25th dropper is removed and a weight is hung on that swivel with a float (usually an empty 20oz coke bottle) tied off to the top ring of the same swivel. All floats are on a short dropper (12"-18") so they go down with the line. The only purpose they serve is to hold the line up off bottom. I do not put any type of float on that will be anywhere near the surface where it can be snagged by boat traffic. The length of dropper for the weight will vary depending on how far up off bottom I want the line but always taking into consoderation total depth so that I am out of the way of traffic. The droppers can be adjusted as needed to follow bottom contours as well.
    If I can not tie off both ends I secure the loose end by rigging up a heavy weight (large brake drum, small tire rim, etc) with a thick line/rope with a float. The trotline is attached to a loop in this line/rope at the desired depth. I can then set the spot I want the end of the line by holding the rope holding the weight off the bottom and using the boat motor to pull tension on the trotline. I drop it when I have it in position
  8. Wil

    Wil New Member

    Minden Nebraska
    what i did one time was tied a whole bunch of weights on the end but that was my first one and i didnt know what i was doing. i also found out that if u have a big one on its kinda hard pullin in that line
  9. metalfisher

    metalfisher New Member

    If you are going to be fishing big water, you can anchor both ends with car rims.

    I buy the yellow nylon rope at walmart to tie to the rims then tie the trotline to the end of the yellow rope. You need the yellow rope to be longer than the depth of the water you are fishing so when you go to pull the line up, you have a bigger line to pull with.

    As mentioned before, use floats to keep the line off the bottom and the length of the weight drop line to set the distance the line floats off the bottom.

    Use the boat to tension the line and drop the second rim. Don't worry about it being too tight, as long as you don't pop the line, because as the rim is falling the line we rebound to a stable length.

    You will have to mark the location some how and use a drag line to find the line if no surface marker is used. Just make yourself a small grappling hook and troll over the line until you hook it.

    Carry a gallon jug with about 8 feet of line on it and a clip of some kind. Clip the jug to the line while you run it. That way , you can let go of the line when the big fish tries to pull you in.

    Move the jug closer to the big fish after having to drop the line. He will fight the jug and tire a little.

  10. Nobody Special

    Nobody Special New Member

    I usually tie one end at the bank and use a big rock on the other end. Rocks are free and easy to get.
  11. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Little Rock, AR
    If you haven't checked the library yet, there's a lot of info on trotlines and baits there.
  12. ShilohRed

    ShilohRed New Member

    West Tn
    Cheap and easy..
    Take metal lids off jars. small mouth will make a nice one. Or for more weigh use large mouth jar lids.
    Heat lead and pour into the leads. Then after they cool down. Pop out of lids and Drill a hole in one side, At an angle.
    Then you have a lead sinker for trot lines.
    WE used to make the 2 lb ones like that for our jumper lines. They will jump out of the box without having to hold them
    Our family has been using them like this for three generations and starting on number 4..:big_smile: