Trotlines and dead catfish

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by lawnman61, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. lawnman61

    lawnman61 New Member

    Messages:
    1,694
    State:
    Fort Worth, Tex
    A friend of mine called me today and he is new to Trotlining for cats.
    He set out some trotlines yesterday late afternoon baited them up and left them alone for around 16 hours, he went to check them out and had 6 nice cats on but they were all dead. I'm not one for trotlining but he was wondering why they were all dead. Did he leave them to long without checking them ?? Someone told him that they all drowned, is this possible ??
    I don't set trotlines out and don't know much about it. What is the longest you should go without checking them ?
    Any help would be appreciated.
    I'm trying to talk him into joining the BOC so he can get the proper advise on several issues he has but he doesn't know much about computers.
     
  2. dougc

    dougc Active Member

    Messages:
    1,711
    State:
    Independen
    I would imagine he should have checked his lines 2-3 times in that period. I bet he didn't get much satisfaction out of that.
     

  3. john catfish young

    john catfish young New Member

    Messages:
    3,070
    State:
    Kentucky
    I think this is quite common on trotlines.
     
  4. griz

    griz Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,744
    State:
    Murray Ky.
    We always ran our lines every 2-3 hours, never had any dead fish on them.
     
  5. bc179whitetail

    bc179whitetail New Member

    Messages:
    81
    State:
    St.Louis Missouri
    I am not sure why but We used to set 700 to 1000 hooks every night and I have never caught very many dead fish maybe if one swallows a hook. We sold our fish alive or dressed and if you were taking in dead fish no sale. Maybe it is something to do with the way the lines were made or hooks. I hand tied all my lines all winter. Anyway I can help PM me we only set lines for fun now or for a fish fry. Good Luck All
     
  6. baitchunker

    baitchunker New Member

    Messages:
    1,689
    State:
    alabama
    we allways made it a point to check our lines between 2-3 and no later than 4 hours. at the end of a trip we would make sure to remove all of the left-over bait from hooks. we also made sure to use good swivels on the individual hook lines. it really helped keep the cats from getting twisted and tangled in the lines, especially in heavy current.

    hope that helps.
     
  7. muddyjet

    muddyjet New Member

    Messages:
    61
    State:
    Alabama
    I have trot lined all my life. The most common reason for carfish to 'die' on the line is drowning. I know this seems funny but it's true. This happens if the line is in swift water and not checked within a reasonalable amount of time. If your line was in fairly calm waters they should have stayed alive after your 16hr leave. Catfish take life easy for the most part, in the fast currents hooked to the line they have to swim with no rest, they will tire out after awhile and drown. Hope it helps, line placement is huge when determining how long your waiting to check on them.
     
  8. lawnman61

    lawnman61 New Member

    Messages:
    1,694
    State:
    Fort Worth, Tex
    I told him that I thought he waited to long to check the line. They needed to be checked more often than 16 hours. He lives in Lake Charles, La. and really hasn't done a whole lot of fishing at all but he wanted to learn more about it.
    I'm trying to help him but it's hard when he is so far away.
     
  9. Little Bill

    Little Bill New Member

    Messages:
    71
    State:
    Louisiana
    He should have checked them much sooner no later than 6-8 hours or over night, running it as soon as he gets on the water. If the water is cold and moving they should last a while. He needs to check more frequently. I usaully bait up at dark and check first thing the next day and never have problems,that's as long as the lines should go unchecked. If the water is hot don't bother baiting unless you plan to run every couple hours. Did the fish swallow the hook? If so change to a circle hook. I haven't used trot lines in a couple of years and prefer to use Flagging Noodles instead.Thats if you don't have big timber and stump beds and fast moving water.I have never had a fish die on one of them, but of course you are constantly watching those. But I have had them disappear and found them across the lake the next day and the fish were fine. Don't get me wrong trot lines are very effective methods for getting meat and I am not against it and will still use them when time and the right circumstance allows. If you don't have the time to run them properly then don't use them.
     
  10. baitchunker

    baitchunker New Member

    Messages:
    1,689
    State:
    alabama
    lil bill just made a few good points i would like to add to one of them. if he has the time to invest, he should give a shot at runnin noodles. they can be a lot more entertaining because you are constantly watching. it would help him cover more ground and learn his home waters faster. and noodles can be pretty forgiving. plus, if for some reason he has to stop he can easily grab the noodles and go home. they are a lot more mobile than a trot line.

    good luck to your buddy.
     
  11. orion_xxvx

    orion_xxvx New Member

    Messages:
    397
    State:
    North Central Missouri
    I was impressed by the response about drowning. Channel cats arent much for endurance and the warmer the water the quicker they expire also. Umm i cant stand to wait more than 4 or 5 hrs to check line. Flatheads are very strong no matter 4 or 24. And ive found they can live up to 4 hrs out of water , long as the stay moist.
     
  12. big-muddy

    big-muddy New Member

    Messages:
    1,834
    State:
    norfolk, va
    heavy current. you said it yourself. muddyjet nailed the answer. the fish drowned. if your trotlining in heavy current, you need to stay there and keep checking the line. the only time you should ever leave a trotline over night is in a pond or a lake with very little current. snapping turtles are also a factor.
     
  13. Gordhawk

    Gordhawk New Member

    Messages:
    1,378
    State:
    Iowa
    My father and I fished commercially for several years with 100 hook trotlines,and I can't recall ever having a dead fish on any of our lines. Our lines would be in the river for approximately 12 hrs. at a time. We never did fish in extremely swift current but there was always a little current in the Mississippi River where we fished at. We made all of our lines ourself in the winter time when there wasn't anything else to do. If the current was strong enough to drown those fish,I don't know how he was able to hold the line. There definitely was a problem there of some kind,but under normal conditions those fish should not of been dead after 16 hrs.JMO
     
  14. uttatoo

    uttatoo New Member

    Messages:
    1,797
    State:
    greatbend kansas
    I have to agree with most of the people here they must have drowned
    last year i set a line in a sand pit and it atarted raining about 2hrs after getting done i went back to the line that night and could not see my trotline and did not have anything on it at that time so i left it lord behold that night and next morning it poured and the pit flooded so i had to waite it out
    when the water recided i checked it and it was 3 days later and i had a flathead and a channel both alive so i think placment is important in trot lines



    HOPE THIS HELPED
     
  15. ateamfisherman

    ateamfisherman New Member

    Messages:
    297
    State:
    Texas
    He set his lines in too deep of water and there is not enough oxygen for them to live. they go down get caught and cant go back up toget air. thanks Sam Davis
     
  16. lawnman61

    lawnman61 New Member

    Messages:
    1,694
    State:
    Fort Worth, Tex
    I just got off the phone with Christopher (person with problem) and he said he set out 2 100 hook lines and had 18 fish on them but 6 of them were dead and the rest were very weak and were not far from being dead, the river was not a real swift river but had a good current going. He set the lines out at 3:00 pm yesterday and checked them this morning at 7:15 and that is what he found. He said all of them were flathead cats. He used cut up aligator gar for bait and none of the fish had swallow the hooks. The 6 that had died were in the 5 to 10 pound range and the others were bigger than that.
    I passed on some of the info from you guys and he will not let the lines go unchecked again for that period of time. He felt bad that those had died as he isn't into killing the fish for any reason other than just putting some food on the table.
    Thanks brothers for all your input on this and if you have any other info, all would be appreciated.

    :wink:
     
  17. ateamfisherman

    ateamfisherman New Member

    Messages:
    297
    State:
    Texas
    he has 150 to many hooks in the water if he is fishing by himself.thanks sam davis
     
  18. Stubby

    Stubby New Member

    Messages:
    208
    State:
    Kansas, Ar
    I'd venture to guess he might have set them in a thermocline or a change in barometric pressure came thru and got the water messed up some way.
     
  19. lawnman61

    lawnman61 New Member

    Messages:
    1,694
    State:
    Fort Worth, Tex
    I was going to rep you guys for the info but I'm out of rep for the day.
    Catch ya later on it.

    :big_smile:
     
  20. justwannano

    justwannano Active Member

    Messages:
    1,003
    State:
    SE Iowa
    I've got to agree with Gordhawk.
    I too ran 200 hooks in the Mississippi and never had a dead fish. I didn't fish in heavy current and fished shallow during the summer. I baited evenings and checked them the next morning. Maybe the longest 14 hours. All fish were healthy strong swimmers.
    So how deep is he fishing?
    the best to ya
    just