Trotlining Tips from the pros

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by KYTRAPPER, May 22, 2007.

  1. KYTRAPPER

    KYTRAPPER New Member

    Messages:
    307
    State:
    Floyd county,KY
    I learned these trotlining making methods from two commercial fishermen with a combined 60 years of expierence. I dont want to debate on commercial fishermen. These are good men who make an honest living with hard work. The results are undeniable, I have seen them. This is how they build a trotline.
    . Mainline is #24-#36
    . Nib lines are #7 doubled with a total length of 8"
    . Swivels are #7 Rosco or champion
    . Hooks are Stainless steel 34009 Mustad size 1/0
    Nib lines are set 12' apart on lakes and 9' apart on rivers. With nib lines set closer than 7-8' cats can get wrapped in each other and twist off also with the nib lines spaced farther apart it is easier to get one fish off without jerking off another.
    I wasnt sure about the distance between nibs and the hook size but from what I have seen this configuration far outshines commercially made trots. The hook size while small for rod and reel fishing is great for trotlining because the smaller eating size cats are more likely to be hooked and that is the size wanted when trotlining for the most part. Hope this helps someone out. Also the trots are stored in jump box's. Ill try to post a few pics later.
     
  2. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    The commercial fishermen I've known had their droppers closer together. When I was fishing commercially, I had 1' droppers 3' apart. And while catfish hooked on adjoining hooks might be able to bang their tails together, there's no way the droppers could get tangled with each other. As for eating size fish, I don't actually net them, but hold the net under them as I lift them into the boat. I've had 6 cats laying in the bottom of the boat, all still on the trotline. Genrally speaking, you're right about commercial fishermen using smaller hooks; they also use what seems to a rod & reel fisherman really small pieces of bait. I've seen pieces of shad no larger than the tip of my little finger commonly used as bait. Length of trotline? It depends. A line on a flat may have 500 or 1000 hooks, while lines along riprap are short, containing only 20-25 hooks. What most people don't think of is that the longer the line, the more play there is in the middle. If a big fish gets on a long line, and there's any structure nearby, he may be able to get to it and tie up the line. And I like to put my lines near structure. One of my most productive lines was hung up every time I ran it. Not always in the same place, either. When I finally pulled it, I had to take it out in 2 or 3 pieces.
     

  3. KYTRAPPER

    KYTRAPPER New Member

    Messages:
    307
    State:
    Floyd county,KY
    The long distance between nibs is directly related to the length of the mainline, that was the way it was explained to me anyway:tounge_out: With a 500' trot two decent fish can get together. Here in Ky trots have to be submerged so that makes for even more slack. Your also right about the bait size. Most I have seen use a piece of cut shad no bigger than a quarter.
     
  4. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Actually, with a long line, I think that the movement of the line from side to side is quite a bit greater than movement back and forth along the line. I suppose it is possible for two large cats to make simultaneous hard runs toward each other and get enough slack in the line for the droppers to tangle, but I've never had it happen. There is a little more possibility of getting slack on a long line than a short one, but not that much, the way I rigged my lines. On the other hand, you can't get a trotline tight enough to prevent side to side movement. Just run a line one time with a good wind blowing straight across the line and you'll know what I mean. It's nothing to have the line pulled out of it's normal resting spot 20' or more, so that your trotline looks like the string of a drawn bow. That's when it's super dangerous running your line. If you accidentally let go of the line, hooks will be flailing, and you stand an excellent chance of getting hooked. Even when you intentionally let go the line, you have to be extra careful to grasp the mainlline BETWEEN the droppers so that they don't snag you when you let go. I got hung up on a line, had to rip out the hooks, and overturned the boat, so I speak from experience. :beat_plaster:
     
  5. KYTRAPPER

    KYTRAPPER New Member

    Messages:
    307
    State:
    Floyd county,KY
    I know, I had a trot put 4 holes in a inflatable boat once because of snapback. Good thing it was a 7 compartment boat:tounge_out:
     
  6. txthumper1691

    txthumper1691 New Member

    Messages:
    399
    State:
    Temple, Tx.
    500 - 1000 hooks!?!? DAGGUM. Th limit in Tx is total of 100 hooks, wether on 1 line or 5. I vary my dropper line lengths, from 8" to 16", I also vary th difference between droppers from 20" -30". Have had good luck to. Also dont go any larger that 4/0 circle hooks or even straight "J". Like you I am concerned w/catchin skillet size fish, but wont complain if I catch a trophy. I like to target th trophy cats on rod n reel. will try it your way for a minute, see what happens, if it works better, I will continue. thanks.
     
  7. KYTRAPPER

    KYTRAPPER New Member

    Messages:
    307
    State:
    Floyd county,KY
    This works really well on the big waters where you can cover a lot of ground. In KY a commercial fishermen is unlimited on the ammount of hooks they can have on a trot. Reg fishermen can have 50 per trot. I still put nibs closer on small trotlines in creeks and such. If your only allowed 50 hooks and your trot has to be 250' long to reach sides them you would miss a lot of territory buy putting your nibs every 24", placing the trot every 5'-8' works better for me. Pretty much all the commercial guys I know down around western ky use the set up I mentioned above and catch a whole lot of catfish. It probably wont work well in every situation but it works well for me. Hope it does for you.
     
  8. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Don't forget the situations where you want a relatively short trotline in a certain place, but the nearest place to tie it off is 100'-150' away. My trotlines end about 6' from each end hook, and I tie on whatever additional line is necessary to tie it off. This additional line generally doesn't have any hooks on it. For example, one spot where I always put a line was from the edge of a group of flooded trees toward a channel. The only place to tie off was on the other side of the channel, so I ran non-hooked line all the way across the channel to some other flooded trees. I always set my lines at least 6' deep so no one will hit one with a prop.
     
  9. KYTRAPPER

    KYTRAPPER New Member

    Messages:
    307
    State:
    Floyd county,KY
    I do to. In Ky they have to be set at least 3' by law but i usually go 6' like you do.:wink:
     
  10. kat in the hat

    kat in the hat New Member

    Messages:
    4,875
    State:
    Missouri
    That's what I do too. My drops are 5' apart. Here, I can only have a total of 33 hooks, so my trots have only 15 hooks each so I can run 2 lines in 2 seperate areas, and still be able to r&r with 3 rods. I almost always have to add 100+ feet of line to get somewhere to tie off to. My buddy has his drops 8' apart, but everything else is almost the same. We seem to have about the same amount of success. Well, so far this year I've out fished him, but normally we're just about even. I couldn't immagine running 500+ hooks!!! Man, that's gotta be alot of work. Thanks for the insight. I use a 5/0 hook, and have considered going bigger, but these hooks have held many 30-50 pound fish, so I'll probably stick with them. Sometimes they get a little bent though.
     
  11. KYTRAPPER

    KYTRAPPER New Member

    Messages:
    307
    State:
    Floyd county,KY
    I never relalized that so many states were that strict on jugging and trotlining. We are allowed up to two 50 hook trotlines or 50 jugs per boat out at a time. Ky is a pretty liberal state when it comes to sportsmen. Not just fishing but also hunting and trapping.