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#12426119 - 09/14/17 07:59 AM Trotlines?
WillieRip Online   happy
Angler

Registered: 01/05/15
Posts: 471
Any of you fellas run trotlines? What's your favorite way to make them up?
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#12426669 - 09/14/17 02:26 PM Re: Trotlines? [Re: WillieRip]
Nickbyrd Online   happy
Extreme Angler

Registered: 06/15/16
Posts: 1101
Loc: Alvarado tx
Store bought with #8 circle hooks and some bar s weenies for bait tie em stump to stump re bait em as often as possible and boom painless and easy. If I get bored I'll make my own tie drop knots every so couple feet and throw some #10 circles and catch me some perch to use for bait . Suggestion one is for harvesting fish for the freezer ,option 2 is more for fun and just to see what ends up on your line it's very addicting when you come back to check and there's a monster whirlpool under your line

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#12427340 - 09/15/17 03:43 AM Re: Trotlines? [Re: WillieRip]
WillieRip Online   happy
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Registered: 01/05/15
Posts: 471
#8 hooks like you'd use for crickets?
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#12428311 - 09/15/17 10:10 PM Re: Trotlines? [Re: WillieRip]
j.steve Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 04/11/01
Posts: 6851
Loc: CentralTexas
I think he means 8/0. That would be minimum for a circle hook, IMO.
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#12428644 - 09/16/17 10:33 AM Re: Trotlines? [Re: WillieRip]
WillieRip Online   happy
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Registered: 01/05/15
Posts: 471
I use 4/0 that are as thick as 8/0 hooks. Small enough to catch the small ones, strong enough to hold the big ones.
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#12428661 - 09/16/17 11:05 AM Re: Trotlines? [Re: WillieRip]
Catfish Lynn Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 06/03/10
Posts: 1154
Loc: Bryan, Texas
I'll try to share some this weekend.

I need to go finish a project started back in March- closed storage shelves for my sister's 12' Porta-Bote (vinyl fold up boat & 3 seats & back panel, plus front nose cone) & an array of gas cans (jugs) w/different fuel mixtures.
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aka "Catfish"

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#12429581 - 09/16/17 11:30 PM Re: Trotlines? [Re: WillieRip]
Catfish Lynn Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 06/03/10
Posts: 1154
Loc: Bryan, Texas
Trotlines, for rivers or lakes, I will do it different. On rivers, Newt taught me to run at an angle across. Most of the time I do that. If the river is up fair, I might run them just up & down, close to the banks to stay out of the fast stream, if possible. Newt was one of my two YellowCat teachers.

So, the way I make the trotlines up, depends fishing the river & how wide the river is, and on lakes, whether it be in shallow water (SW- 15' to 4.5') or deep water (DW- 15'+).

As you know, you usually have items to tie to in the shallow water, but in deeper or open waters, most do not have natural fixtures to attach to.

As for main & leader lines, I usually use size 36 green twist nylon. Newt used size 36 green braided. Newt did not like swivels, as I guess he lost quite a few over the years. He did not like brads either or set spots on the main line. He would tie his leader on by way of a Hitch knot, then a single knot on each side to sort of lock it from sliding (or sliding much. He also taught me to burn the knots on the end of your cord, be it the main line or on your leaders (after or before on hooks accordingly).

If I am fishing in an area that I know or think I might be tangling with a 75+ Cat, I might switch to size 48 for main line. If I have a lot of Blues or Channels constantly twirling my leaders & the 3 strand twist looks like 3 separate filaments, I may switch to braided to prevent it.

I set either types of trotlines up now, with the amount of swivels as to the amount of hooks I plan on utilizing. Nowadays, I stick with 36 hooks per trotline. At 2 trotlines, that is 72 hooks, leaving me with 28 hooks available. With those 28, I may set up some 5 hook or 4 hook jugs, or maybe even some with 2 hooks in the shallows. But I usually save back one or two, just in case I decide to set my SS Short Styk w/ Zebco 808 rod-n-reel on a rod holder at camp. This makes sure I am even or under the 100 hook max. I have either 50 or 60# test on my R-n-R.

The reason I utilize 36 hooks instead of up to 50 hooks max, is to spread out to other spots. Plus running 50 hooks is time consuming. My 36 hooks are split into 4 sections of 9 hooks each. Except for one item, as towards each side, I have the 3 on the furthest end, also split out. So, the groups from 1 end to the other is like this: 3/6/9/9/6/3. Between each of the groups is a loop. This loop can be for a weight or it can be for a small water bottle (with just a tad bit of air to help raise the main line to keep it from dropping on the bottom). The bottles may have 1' to 1.5' of cord attached. Most of the time I will use the green for them, as well as the weights. I may use a brick with holes, or plastic containers such as vinyl cups (tumblers), in which I have poured concrete with a galvanized loop set in it. This metal loop is usually the size of the bottom wire that the chain link fences use (thicker than the fence itself). But sometimes, I have even used snips of chain link fence for the loops. My leaders will be about 24" long. The weights will usually have about 36" of cord.

What these items do, is put the weight to where it will place the main line about 3' off the bottom (for the most portion). The hooks will be dangling at about a foot above. Due to certain factors, the hooks may be as low as 6" off the bottom. Anyway, you don't want the hook if bare, laying in the mud, as you can still catch a cat if the hook is up & glittering.

Depending upon your plan as to what you are catching, you want tighter lines for medium to small Blues & Channels. But Yellows & Big Blues, you want a little give. The big ones usually swallow, then expel the hook. On big Yellows, a TruTurn hook (such as 7/0) will twist in a manner when they expel it and fall into their bottom gill slits. Once it is in there, it will not come out or rip out (as long as it won't bend out straight).

I never did get to test which way the TruTurn hooks work the best, meaning do you feed the hook through the eye on the barb side of the "J" or the back side of the "J". I guess the best way is to set up leaders for one line one way & the leaders for the other way, then see which line catches the most.

When I tie on to limbs or stumps, I try to get enough on the end to include a loop before the first 3 hooks. This is for yet another weight to help drop the line fast, to avoid being up high enough for a prop to cut the main line if easing by or near your fixture. Also, if is is a much bigger stump, I might add on extra line to wrap around it, then tie the main line to that. Newt also taught me to tie lines under the water to keep others from helping you run your lines.

As for SW trotlines, I tend to stick with 3' to 4' as to space between leaders. For SW or DW trotlines, I use 3/0 brass Barrel swivels or 3/0 or 4/0 SS Barrel swivels. I use the brad clips. Much easier & a big one can slide which gives a little more slack.

With the end of the leader having a burnt knot, I will tie on to swivel making two knots, then pull snug, locking it.

On DW trotlines, I may go between 4' & 6' apart as to drops for leaders. Same 36 hook set up. Except for the length of line beyond the end loop near the first 3 hooks. Usually I leave 20 to 25 feet of line. This concerns my "Planter" trotline design, which works with an anchor on each side. Plus it is similar to a pulley. The anchors are 3.5 gallon plastic buckets filled with concrete (depending upon the amount filled, they each weigh between 65 to 72 pounds). With 1/4" nylon braided rope, a few fender floats and my set up holds the line anywhere in the lake. The smaller floats are set up to point to the other end, so you know they are set correctly. Everybody that has gone with me, or me & my Uncle, have said it is really a neat system. And yes, it is really fun to pull the anchors when it is time. Try pulling a slippery 1/4" nylon rope up with a 65 to 72 pound weight up sometime. There are a few alterrations that can be made for some who can't lift that. They use multiple anchors, but do not have the same "planted" ability.

As for trotline hooks, I use:
Eagle Claw O'Shawnessy SS 4/0 to 9/0
Mustad 6/0 SS
TruTurn 4/0 to 8/0 PermaSteel (not SS)
Eagle Claw circle hooks 4/0 & 5/0 zinc or tin plated
Mustad short shank Stump Hooks SS 7/0 & 9/0

I have used Owner 11/0 Circle Hooks.

Also, the barrel swivels do not use a snap clip, as they pull out & open way too easily. I do not use nickle barrel swivels, as I had some literally pull out on the Trinity River. I stick with Brass or SS.

As to tags, I cut squares off of old fender floats & such, then write on them. I punch a hole & tie a cord to tie on the end of the line in the spot called for. As for the "Planters" or jugs, the tag info is on the jugs or floats. We carry a few dry rags, a big brush & magic markers, should we need to redate.

And I make up my own "H" looking trotline boards (3/4" plywood)- cut pattern out, then coat with flat grey spray paint. I leave the leaders & hooks off. I set the line, get it down, then add the leaders with hooks, and bait out. And yes, I have caught catfish while putting the leaders on, as well as had "The Giant" (a big Op I have estimated to be over 100#) hit while I had just started baiting out a SW trotline. Me & the 14' went back aways until it got off, then we sprang back the other way. It was running its normal course (path). It hit the first hook & slid the leader toward the tie on line & kept going, but the leader stopped at that knot. Perch was gone.
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#12429665 - 09/17/17 02:36 AM Re: Trotlines? [Re: WillieRip]
WillieRip Online   happy
Angler

Registered: 01/05/15
Posts: 471
Thx, Lynn. How do you keep from getting tangled in hooks? That's what scares me.
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#12429769 - 09/17/17 08:23 AM Re: Trotlines? [Re: WillieRip]
ChuChu1 Online   content
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 03/08/10
Posts: 3078
Loc: Gonzales, Tx
Originally Posted By: WillieRip
Thx, Lynn. How do you keep from getting tangled in hooks? That's what scares me.


Are you asking how to avoid hooks when running the lines? If so, Number 1 rule.....NEVER allow the hooks in the boat! Always keep the line and the hooks along side the boat.
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#12430184 - 09/17/17 02:54 PM Re: Trotlines? [Re: WillieRip]
WillieRip Online   happy
Angler

Registered: 01/05/15
Posts: 471
ChuChu1, I see. It's like how the crab liners do it.

Do any of you run your lines away from the bank? Just use a float to mark where you left it? I don't plan on leaving the lines in the water year round or anything.


Edited by WillieRip (09/17/17 02:58 PM)
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#12430213 - 09/17/17 03:31 PM Re: Trotlines? [Re: WillieRip]
WillieRip Online   happy
Angler

Registered: 01/05/15
Posts: 471
Okay, you said shallow water and deep water lines. I'd like to try shallow water lines, but not tying off to the bank. I plan on running trots on a shallower part of the river.

Do you find the twisted line harder to use than the braided line? I like the idea of not having a set spots on the line.


Edited by WillieRip (09/17/17 03:37 PM)
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#12430263 - 09/17/17 04:01 PM Re: Trotlines? [Re: WillieRip]
WillieRip Online   happy
Angler

Registered: 01/05/15
Posts: 471
Lynn, that simple trotline method may be the effect thing for me, especially the way I do hand lines. I could easily put 150 ft. of mainline on a spare handline reel I have. I could tie my leads and stow the on a noodle just like my juglines.
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#12430296 - 09/17/17 04:29 PM Re: Trotlines? [Re: WillieRip]
Catfish Lynn Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 06/03/10
Posts: 1154
Loc: Bryan, Texas
Yes, if that is what you are asking as to how to keep from getting hooks tangled, as "ChuChu1" noted, you run the line beside the boat. You only pull in the hook you are working with, be it rebaiting, adjusting bait, pulling a fish off, changing hook or leader out, and such. Always make sure you keep a hold of the main line for better control. If you had just a leader or hook & something else takes off, you might get a hook in your hand.

If there is sonme reason such as wind or current, you may get someone else to assist, but they need to keep the main line low.

As to pulling the SW trotlines, I take off the leaders before pulling the line, as you will snag items below if you allow slack. As to the Mustad stump hooks, if they grab a stump, you are into a problem, as it is hard to bend them, so usually you will break the line before getting the stump hook loose.

As to the "Planter" DW trotlines, I will disconnect the main line from the slider, then be sure you are downwind and start winding up on your trotline board fast. I usually run the main line over a hook to lock it down, then a couple of times to secure it. Later, I will go unwind the line & untie leaders off placing the hook on the edge of a bucket (or into a piece of foam). Then your line is ready for next time and add leaders after setting out the main line.

The 3 strand twist green nylon size 36 is fine. For leaders OK, as well. The twist is cheaper than the braided. But if you get a bunch of leaders unwinding the twists, then you might need to switch to braided.

Also, they have outlawed metal stakes due to some people taking long sticks of rebar & stabbing them in the water (just under the surface. Unsuspecting boats get punctures with them, incvluding aluminum flat bottoms. When it was legal, I came up with Loop stakes, about 3' of 3/8" rebar to which I would stick thru a hole in my heavy duty truck bumber or something similar. And bend in increments to where just before closing the loop, I would stop & pull out of the hole. I would then spray them with flat grey paint to cut down on rust. I would tie the line to them (double or triple knot), then stab them into the ground, to either where they barely showed, or did not show at all. Even if a boat landed there at that area, the most it might do, is scrape the bottom of the boat. If it was on the river, and the water was up, I had a 12 to 13 feet gaff made up of white PVC (1") with a piece of 3/8" rebar bent to make a slow "J" with two or 3 clamps holding the "J" on. I could go where I estimated it to be. Even underwater, the two metals, when they clang each other, the metallic sound could be heard as it xcame up the PVC pipe. I would then hook the "J" into the Loop & yank up. I would salvage the loop stake as well as the line & hooks. If the river was up higher, I could go out a bit with the gaff & drag for my line, then ease it up, so as not to yank the Loop stake out.

But as I said, you can no longer use metallic stakes on trotlines, but I do not see that restriction on throwlines. If you do make up loop stakes, be sure you do as follows, so they will not be outlawed on them as well.
1) Be sure & push at least level with the ground so it cannot harm a boat.
2) Be sure & retrieve them when pulling your line.

The only substitute I have come up with is a wooden pole stock, cut to about 24" long. One end is whittled to a point. Coming back from the other end at 4 to 5" you drill a hole to put an eye thru & a washer at least on the back side & tighten the nut good. Best to use galvanized. But due to size, you must use a 4 pound sledge hammer to drive below the water. It is much tougher to find the stake & loop (eye) with the gaff for retrieval. Plus it is hard to pull it out, as the pole is much larger than the 3/8" rebar stem. And you will not get the metallic clang with my standard.


Also, you can use just a board, be it a 2x4 or 1x4 to attach a trotline in shallow water. You can hammer it in with a 4# sledge, and get it below the water surface. However, a boat could crack or break the board & your line could be knocked off on that end.

You could run a shallow trotline in say about two feet of water this way, but the main line will lay on the bottom & your bait can easily swim on top. If you were to try this, I might suggest you would have to stay with it to prevent others running over it or taking your fish (as I am sure they will realize a fish has been caught). Most boats would not be running in two feet of water unless they might beach it for some R-n-R fishing.
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#12430332 - 09/17/17 05:02 PM Re: Trotlines? [Re: WillieRip]
WillieRip Online   happy
Angler

Registered: 01/05/15
Posts: 471
Thx, Lynn.

I've been watching these open ocean longline guys running essentially trot lines for snapper:

It looks similar to trotlining for catfish.


Edited by WillieRip (09/17/17 05:02 PM)
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#12430859 - 09/18/17 05:00 AM Re: Trotlines? [Re: j.steve]
Nickbyrd Online   happy
Extreme Angler

Registered: 06/15/16
Posts: 1101
Loc: Alvarado tx
Originally Posted By: j.steve
I think he means 8/0. That would be minimum for a circle hook, IMO.
that is what I ment my bad . Just try out whatever you really can't go wrong and if you do just tweak your strategy . You know how to play this game willie

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