What is the best trotline bait?

Discussion in 'SOUTH CAROLINA RIVERS TALK' started by SWAMPRAT, Jun 17, 2007.


    SWAMPRAT New Member

    south carolina
    i just started running a trotline about a week ago in big pee dee, and ive caught a few small ones around the 2-3 lb range and caught an 11 lb blue and a 14 lb blue this week and i caught all of my fish on ivory soap.. i know there are alot of mixed feelings about trotlines and set hooks but i like to try different methods of fishing every once in a while... has any one used any baits better than the ivory soap?? i tried cut mullet and shrimp and haven't had any fish the next day, i think the gars find it before the cats do and i can rebait it with soap and have fish the next day. i was wondering if anyone could help me out with this.. i would like to try live bream but i dont know if it is legal on trotlines or not, i know you can use them on set hooks. any help would be greatly appreciated... thanks
  2. poisonpits

    poisonpits Well-Known Member

    takes a little work and i seldom work but when i do i catch pearch and bait all my hooks with them.they catch bigger fish and im targettihg flatheads so live bait is a must.

  3. BamaRiverRat

    BamaRiverRat New Member

    Check with your local DNR. Most states allow fishermen to use the same number for bait that is your daily creel limit. You have to be careful on how you catch them though and use legal methods.

    Try beef liver. It usually works about as good as chicken liver and stays on better. Cut bait works pretty good as well and you can never go wrong with shad if you can catch any in your river.
  4. GatorT

    GatorT New Member

    Camden, South Carolina
    get u a can of corn. one per hook!!works well at times!
  5. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Little Rock, AR
    You might try salt pork on a few hooks just to see how they work. Or, you could get some chitlings and flavor them with garlic, anise, shrimp flavoring, cheese powder, or anything else that sounds good to you. I guarantee the chitlings will stay on the hook; the salt pork will almost always stay on the hook. I've caught blues up to 16# on the salt pork.
  6. rivercatsc

    rivercatsc New Member

    South Caro
    I dont really care for trot lines but hands down cut eell is the best or live bream.
  7. bodi

    bodi New Member

    i would say live bream for flatheads ou cut bait for channel or blue cat creek minners also work real well when fishing off a deep bluff
  8. matt22va

    matt22va New Member

    Kingsland, Ga
    I haven't looked at the regulations in a year or so, but the best I remember you are not allowed to use live fish on a trot line in SC. I think it says "small baitfish cut into three equal parts". The only thing alive you can use I believe was nightcrawlers. I did set some of my lines on the Santee cooper lakes which has a few more requirements like hook size.
    I don't know much about the Pee Dee, but are you setting these lines anywhere near brackish water? As dry as it has been Crabs would be a good ways above the saltwater and even into the freshwater. That might explain why cut mullet was stripped clean from your line and soap worked. I set most of my lines on the cooper river with cut mullet and had to deal with the crabs. I got around them by setting the line in the channel in a little deeper water, around 30 ft or so, in swifter moving water. The crabs don't seem to feed that well in the faster water. My favorite bait for the river was cut mullet, as fresh as possible, since alot of the frozen stuff you get like at Wal Mart will tend to be mushy. The fresh stuff though, is tough to get off the hook. Something else you can try if you can get it is deer liver, same great effect as chicken liver but 10 times as hard to get off the hook. I've heard beef liver has somewhat the same qualities, but I've never tried it. If I could use whatever bait though or was looking for flatheads, I would prefer live bait. Bream or mullet, I haven't heard of anyone using mullet live, but I would think they would do well since they aren't going to be effected by the hook through thier mouths and will set out there and wiggle as long as you want to leave your line set. I hope some of this gives you some new ideas.
  9. Ahquabi_Master

    Ahquabi_Master New Member

    WDM Iowa
    There was a trotline study done on flatheads' favorite bait with different trotlines holding different kinds of fish. Bullhead were the most successful by far...
  10. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Little Rock, AR
    Be sure to check the regs in your state before choosing a bait. For instance, in Arkansas, it's illegal to use catfish bellies; can't use any part of a game fish, except bream, and then the ones over 4" have to be caught on rod & reel.
  11. The Out-Fisherman

    The Out-Fisherman New Member

    Charleston, SC
    Nothing wrong with trotlines :smile2:- just make sure you secure 'em properly and check them...Nothing sadder than finding an old trotline with dead, rotten fish.
  12. sarSWAMPFOX

    sarSWAMPFOX New Member

    Union, South Caroilna
    Every deer season I save and prepair all the hearts, livers, and lungs. Prepair them by pre-cutting them into about 1" cubes then season with garlic & salt. I pack the different baits seperately in freezer wrap then butchers paper. Lable & date then freeze. When I need bait I just get what I need out of the freezer. Been working well for me now going on 25 yrs.
  13. marshmellow man

    marshmellow man New Member

    we use deer meat scraps or stew meat have a caught alot of big blues and a 62 flat head (that we released) that is all i put on my trotlines beside shrimp and nothing can get the deermeat off because u usually have to cut it off when u are pulling up your lines only negative is that u usually catch alot of turtles.
  14. River_monster91

    River_monster91 New Member

    central kansas
    here in kansas we usualy use bluegill, crawdeds, shad sides and every now and then well use shrimp
  15. RiverratSC

    RiverratSC Active Member

    Gaffney, SC
    The following is from the Rules and Regulations book for South Carolina.

    No game fish, live bait or any bait other than
    bait listed below shall be used with trotlines, set
    hooks and jugs: soap, doughballs,
    cut fish (nongame
    fish cut into at least three equal parts),
    shrimp, grapes or meat scraps (shall not include
    insects, worms and other invertebrates).
    On the Edisto, Black, Sampit, Big Pee Dee,
    Little Pee Dee, Lumber and Waccamaw rivers,
    live nongame fish and bream may be used with
    single-barbed set hooks and trotlines
    that have a
    shank-to-point gap of one and three-sixteenths
    inches or greater.
    On the Black, Big Pee Dee, Little Pee Dee,
    Lumber and Waccamaw rivers, live nongame
    fish and bream may be used on trotlines having
    not more than 2 0 hooks with a shank-to-point
    gap of one and three-sixteenths inches.
    Game fish used as bait must be included in
    daily creel limit, 30 bream per day (see pg. 18).
    There are no restrictions on the type of bait
    permissible in traps or eel pots except that no
    game fish or parts thereof shall be used as bait.
  16. Gomer

    Gomer New Member

    I use a trotline every once in a while to have a fishfry. In south carolina you CAN NOT use any game fish on the line (cut or live) and you are not alowed to use any kind of live bait at all. I mainly just use shrimp or cut shiners seems to hold on and work the best.
  17. SSgt Fishslayer

    SSgt Fishslayer New Member

    south carolina
    cut gills or shad would be my pick
  18. Bigun

    Bigun New Member

    Burnet, TX
    The local fish market here has Squid avaliable. The kind packaged for the Biology classes to disect is cheaper. Like the chitlings it stays on the hook good. I would think the salt pork would be the easiest and all round best.
  19. ARwhiteskin

    ARwhiteskin New Member

    Arkansas...by God!
    Back in AR/LA I normally use live bream, or cut shad pretty much exclusively. Now, here in GA, I have been using store bought herring, what we call skipjack back home. I cut it into 3 equal parts and have not had a reason to try anything else. These channels and flatheads love em!