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#12738950 - 05/01/18 08:17 PM What would happen?
spazm09 Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 04/16/09
Posts: 1940
Loc: Dallas, Tx
Ok, before I ask the big question regarding time, I have a precursor question.

What happens if you leave a trot line out for too long? Please answer while ignoring your personal opinion of how long that is.

Is the concern with the cats getting off the hook after so long? Dying after so long? Or is it more simply just getting your catch and rebaiting for another round?

Now on to the big question. How long do yall leave yours out? How long is "too long"? Is 2 days too long?

#12739096 - 05/01/18 09:23 PM Re: What would happen? [Re: spazm09]
taterpop Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 01/30/13
Posts: 871
When I fished them in the past I would run them twice a day.I would fish them Thur.-Sat. then take off the bait and fish them again the next Thur.-Sat. and nothing bad would happen.In fact the lines did well that way but if you leave them out for a long time they will grow crud and they will stop catching fish as well. Please if you are going to leave them out take off your bait That Channel,Blue or Flat head will start to show some ware and tear after about a week on a line not run.

#12739101 - 05/01/18 09:27 PM Re: What would happen? [Re: spazm09]
Outfitter Nomore Offline

Registered: 09/28/05
Posts: 480
Loc: Keller
We run the line every day and only leave in for max of 3 days. We have learned that to leave in one spot longer than 3 days usually results in a missing or destroyed line. We finally stopped and started jugging picking up everyday. I've seen lines floating on the surface with cats and turtles bloated and floating the line.

#12739145 - 05/01/18 09:51 PM Re: What would happen? [Re: spazm09]
FishnDenton Offline

Registered: 02/18/15
Posts: 245
Loc: Denton, tx
Great question. Thanks for asking spaz. I'm going to set my first one this Saturday evening and pick it up Sunday afternoon.

#12739268 - 05/02/18 12:17 AM Re: What would happen? [Re: spazm09]
Mckinneycrappiecatcher Online   content
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 12/20/10
Posts: 3646
Loc: mckinney, tx
Cats can die, other critters Iike turtles and gators that could potentially get caught on the line could die, not to mention I believe the law states they must be checked every 24 hours(I could be wrong).Personally I’d set one out late at night and check early in the morning to keep from losing fish and other wildlife.

TCU class of 2019

#12739289 - 05/02/18 03:44 AM Re: What would happen? [Re: spazm09]
Catfish Lynn Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 06/03/10
Posts: 1248
Loc: Bryan, Texas
As to trotlines, and your question ...

Here is my opinion & mixed with experience-

You are allowed to have a set line (those such as a trotline, throwline & jugline) out for 10 continuous days (unless you redate it, in which you can continue for another 10 days, and so on).

As to how often you should run them, or the maximum length between runs, there are many variations, ethics, laws, and such to consider.

An example is a co-worker this weekend, said he & his son set 1 or 2 trotlines out somewhere in Lake Somerville. They were using minnows caught in the lake or creek there. His son had told him according to somewhere on the Internet, it was said to leave your lines baited out at least 4 hours before checking & rebaiting. He disagreed with his son on that & said he thought they should run them sooner. One run, he found 3 "slime-offs" (what we Catfishermen/women refer to as a Catfish having gotten off & leaving some Slime, simply put- a note that they were caught & already had managed to get off). Which, in his opinion, they should have run much sooner.

A set line (fixed) can catch fish basically two ways. One is the fish currently stationed there. The second is those that may roam thru that area. Some juglines, if weighted, might also be considered "fixed" (but can be moved by larger fish). Some juglines are set out, as to the "drifting" style, meaning weather or fish can move them.

I personally have set some weighted jugs out in the middle of RB fork in Lake Limestone & caught up with them down at the bottom corner of the lake. They looked to be headed for the dam wall, for some reason. One was found all hung up to the right of the corner as RB fork hits the main lake, I had one I found (a month later) that was weighted & set at the RB fork corner & had travelled across the bottom of the lake & up, then eventually off into another fork heading uplake. We are talking at least a mile in travel. I number my jugs so I know which are "missing in action". Then I scout for them. However, I have had Ops take them under, only to surface another day.

Back to the question you asked. If you leave a line out for too long, it will slime up according to that area's content. It may have a rusty red crust near or on the weight. It may be different types of slime build up. I find it might be less with a twisted line (3 strand twist) than with the braided lines. The same goes with the hook. For instance, tin or zinc will rust qwik in certain conditions. Tru-Turn's "Perma-Steel" will rust faster in warmer water than in colder water, but is better than tin or zinc. I try to stay with SS (Stainless Steel). However, on the river, when the river jumps up & it takes your line, I have found throwlines one to 3 years later. The SS hooks look like new, but something, perhaps minerals in the water or silt, makes them very brittle & if something stretches or bends them slightly, they will literally snap. Some states require you to have a connecting section of cotton line, so if you left a set main line of nylon (or similar), it will rot fast & your line will drop to the bottom.

Sometimes, weather interferes with your runs. Some may prefer to let the lines sit a day or two before rebaiting or running them. In these cases, a fish can get caught & can die. Depending upon your intent & the TP&W Game Warden, as to a mix of ethics & the law, you might even be facing a fine, as well as a "replacement" cost for the fish.

If you decide to leave a trotline out for an extended period, there are 3 ways I suggest you think about.
*One is taking all bait off. This takes out the possibility out of having your trotline "loaded" (as to intent). But realize that fish sometimes might bite a sparkling empty hook (I have caught them while setting a line & hooks out) & die before you return. So fish might not, but still could get caught.
**Next option is to "hang them in the saddle". This is placing the hook thru the swivel (if you use them on your main line). However, if the hooks are not SS, they may cause corrosion at the point of contact, including that point on the swivel.
***Third option, is remove the leaders with hooks until you return.
****Variations include leaders with clips to remove faster (some are plastic, some are metal). Another is leaders with the metal "J-swivels", which allows you to just drop a hook in the socket & let it sit in the "seat", in which all you need to do, is to drop the hook out & leave the leader with J-swivel on the main line.

Most fish will get off in a few hours to a day. But if hooked good, it can stay on for days, even weeks. However, if the hook is swallowed, it may not survive for long. Another problem on the lake as the heat builds, thermocline will kill them due to lack of oxygen.

I have even caught two Ops by way of Tru-Turn hooks that were inhaled with their bait, but the hook dropped into their gill slits on the bottom of their mouths/head as they spit the hook out.

So as you see, there are a lot of items to be considered into this debate. For instance, I set ten- 2 hook juglines out this past weekend. I left them out, but pulled the leaders & hooks off. So there is just jug, main line, and weight. They are already set out awaiting my return for the next weekend (and redating). I just have to add leaders & hooks. As well as bait.
aka "Catfish"

#12739593 - 05/02/18 09:32 AM Re: What would happen? [Re: spazm09]
spazm09 Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 04/16/09
Posts: 1940
Loc: Dallas, Tx
Thanks for the responses everyone. Lots of good information there.

So this will be my very first time running a trotline. I've read the regs on the TPWD and I think I have all my ducks in a row as far as that goes. Still deciding on my design but I think I have a good plan and I'm ready to build.

Wanted to ask those questions because I would hate to show back up to find a bunch of dead catfish on the line. Thanks again for all the info. I'll let yall know how I do. Hoping to get it out this weekend but need to make sure my schedule will allow it.

#12741131 - 05/03/18 08:27 AM Re: What would happen? [Re: spazm09]
StinkySteve Offline

Registered: 03/25/09
Posts: 254
Loc: Longview, TX
I have known people who have had the same trotline in a spot literally for years, they get retagged regularly, and rebaited as needed, usually every day. If you are running your lines regularly, they do not build up much of a 'slime' since you are basically wiping it off constantly when you run them, and by 'constantly', I mean at least every two days.

Personally, about three months ( with the proper retagging) is about the max I have ever left one in any spot, and that is due to thieves, not due to any natural reasons in the water.
Originally Posted By: jswbga
I'm just in search of a way of not coming home smelling like the devils armpit.....

#12741404 - 05/03/18 10:20 AM Re: What would happen? [Re: spazm09]
tgravley aka lewisvillecatfish Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 12920
Loc: highland village/lake Lewisvil...
Once the water heats up for the summer. Fish will die due to lack of oxygen and spoil quickly in the heat
I live with Fear everyday but sometimes she lets me go fishin

PB 65# Gravley

#12742593 - 05/03/18 09:57 PM Re: What would happen? [Re: spazm09]
Catfish Lynn Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 06/03/10
Posts: 1248
Loc: Bryan, Texas
<Another problem on the lake as the heat builds, thermocline will kill them due to lack of oxygen.>

As noted up above. If they hit during the thermocline, and can't get out of it, they may last less than an hour. And the catfish will become slimy. The gills go qwik. Light pink is borderline. White is "wasted" (meat is no longer good). If you try to clean it, the meat shreds real bad.

That is why I finally decided that if I was to set trotlines about Memorial Day to Labor Day, it will be in the shallows, not on the main lake. Due to the big boats (and lots of them) & thermocline. Your live bait dies as well.
aka "Catfish"

#12742665 - 05/03/18 11:34 PM Re: What would happen? [Re: spazm09]
snowyriver6 Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/19/08
Posts: 2338
Loc: austin

You can also turn your trotline. After its been out a week pick up one end and navigate 180 degrees and drop that end.


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