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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Running trot lines... #13268746 09/03/19 02:40 PM
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CrappieTuna Offline OP
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Just looking for some tips on maybe a better set up. I use about 100' of 500 para cord running lines about every 5' with 16" of drop. Each hook has 200# barrel swivels on them (Extra ones I have for my tuna rigs offshore haha) and I use circle hooks, cant remember the size off the top of my head but the loop is about the size of a quarter.

I tie my lines up between two trees at the edge of a channel in lake Palestine and the line is set about 2' below the water line. I dont have any problems and my lines usually yield about 10 fish per line and the biggest we usually catch being in the 20# range but have hooked (Im guessing) in the 40# range but Ive only gotten one of them in the boat, the other ones get off when I bring them up to the boat and they turn into a tornado and get off.

Anyways, Im just looking for some tips on things I may be doing wrong or things I can improve on to catch more fish. Between the boys and my wife, they eat the fish so fast its hard to store any, they wipe out my crappie even faster!

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Re: Running trot lines... [Re: CrappieTuna] #13268787 09/03/19 02:56 PM
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DJ BANCO Offline
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what do you use for bait?

Re: Running trot lines... [Re: DJ BANCO] #13268797 09/03/19 03:00 PM
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Forgot to add that in, sorry. I either use shad or goldfish. Goldfish most of the time

Re: Running trot lines... [Re: CrappieTuna] #13268971 09/03/19 05:34 PM
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I run mine in the creeks during the spring after heavy rains when shad spawn. Empty weed eater spoils is what I put my long line on spaced in line w/regulations. I use a 5 # weight to drop it. My philosophy is it doesn’t really matter how you rig it. Over all I use shad, sliced cut tails & bloody as hell. I figure w/all those damn hooks in the water should get something. I’ll run them for 2-3 weeks.

Re: Running trot lines... [Re: CrappieTuna] #13269025 09/03/19 06:15 PM
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What hooks do you use?

I use 6/0 or 7/0 J hooks and I feel like I hardly ever lose fish.

Shad is always a great bait but I prefer using cut carp with the hook going through the meat and skin. It’s very difficult to get off of the hook and therefore you will catch more fish on any unmanned fishing approach such as trotline a, juglines, limblines. There’s times I put 24 hooks out and have 18 fish on my line.


Clay

RespectTheFish YouTube Channel

Re: Running trot lines... [Re: CrappieTuna] #13269276 09/03/19 09:12 PM
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big cheese, I have the best luck in later spring but where I fish I always have good luck. The only problem is summer time I catch a bunch of 10" fish that are biting empty hooks, I will have at least 5 or 6 of them but I throw them back to grow, they taste good that size but I get tired of cleaning them that small.

Respect, I usually use eagle claw and I cant remember the size, Im offshore right now so I cant go look, but I think they are 6/0. Ill have to try carp, thatll be a good use for the ones we shoot when we bowfish, I usually just give them to an older guy at the boat ramp and now that you say that, Im assuming thats what hes using them for. I have a bigger problem with gar or turtles getting my goldfish off my hooks.

Re: Running trot lines... [Re: CrappieTuna] #13269433 09/03/19 11:52 PM
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Yep I bowfish as well and use them up. If you shoot enough of them I usually just fillet after the ribs towards the tail and bypass the ribs altogether to save a ton of time and effort. If it’s big enough I may go back and cut the back strap off near the ribs.

In winter I love trotlining up in shallow 3-6 fow with my trotline suspended from the surface by the help of swim noodles every few hooks. No gar problems and so many catfish up shallow even though the water may be 40 degrees. I think this is one of the best kept secrets! So many ppl fish in 40 fow thinking it’s cold so the blues are deep when there are several fish up shallow including my PB blue at 42 pounds. If you haven’t tried it give it a go this winter near grass mud flats.


Clay

RespectTheFish YouTube Channel

Re: Running trot lines... [Re: CrappieTuna] #13269561 09/04/19 01:32 AM
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I have finally settled on 36 hook trotlines, as you set two & that is 72 hooks, which gives you 28 more hooks to apply to juglines, etc. I have two main designs, SW (Shallow Water) & BW (Big Water). THe SW is usually set in Lake Limestone, ranging in areas from 8' to 13'.

Currently, I am after one monster Op we call "The Giant", well over 100 #. On May 5th, 2018 Saturday about 4 to 5 PM, I thought I had a nice one, then as I got closer, it felt larger & gave bigger tugs. At first, maybe a 14#. Then closer, up to 30#. Even closer, up to 60+#. Until it clicked, when I was almost over it, Oh Cr_ _!, it's "The Giant". I had size 36 green twist main line, size 36 green solid braid lear lines, not sure which hook I had on this one it was on, and size 4/0 SS barrel swivel or 3/0 Brass Barrel Swivel. I am thinking the SS. I was right over it & it dove hard. As it did, I decided the only chance I had, was to yank that stinker up in the air & into the boat since the hook held this long. But about that time, it snapped my leader line, just above the hook. To my surprise, the leader was not solid braid, as it was supposed to be, it had a core. Later, I realized I was lucky, as fighting with it in the 12 footer was too easy for it to turn the boat over.

The other I usually set up with a special design, called "The Planter", which uses a levee/pulley type set-up I can set anywhere on the lake, preferably over 20 feet deep. I do not need anything to tie too, as this. On each end are concrete anchors weighing about 60 to 72#. What is really work, is pulling them.

On my 36 hook main lines, there are 4 divisions of 9. They are about 4 feet apart (SW)). For the BW- 5 to 6' apart for leaders. My leaders are usually 18", up to 24" max. I use small vinyl tumblers filled with concrete, for weights. Plus some loops to attach these two to lower the line. And some water bottles. You fill them with the lake water, then empty a small amount up, so that it will also help to pull the main line up.


Lynn
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Re: Running trot lines... [Re: CrappieTuna] #13269626 09/04/19 02:24 AM
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I'd be curious to see your BW trotline or a picture of how it works. Most people do not trotline in open deeper water because of how tricky it can be. My best attempt is to use a heavy weight big enough to hold my boat on at least the upwind side of the trotline. Then attach several feet of rope from it to a manageable weight like 15 pounds or so which is tied to my trotline. The trotline then terminates to another manageable weight way on the other end with another about 15 pounds worth of weight and optional for windy conditions a tie from it to another heavy heavy weight but this usually isn't necessary. That way I can start on the downwind side of my trotline, grab the buoy attached the 15 pound weight, pull up and run my line while the big heavy weight on the other end allows me to pull my boat along. Up shallow I just use smaller weights and no need for the big heavy weight usually.


Clay

RespectTheFish YouTube Channel

Re: Running trot lines... [Re: RespectTheFish] #13270123 09/04/19 04:22 PM
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I usually stay in shallow water in the winter time with two lines I have and I run a 200' line. The only thing I hate about shallow water in the winter is big debris in the lake floating into my stuff. I was never told that information but found it out on accident, I had no experience with running lines and was messing around and figured that out. Unfortunately almost all of my fishing experience was self taught or from catching tid bits from forums. No dad and my grandpa died a long time ago so Ive been winging it ever since lol.

My lines are never in water more than 15' deep. I almost always set it in 7' of water fishing 2 1/2' deep and let them run and night and collect them in the morning. I dont mess with deep water except for crappie.

Last edited by CrappieTuna; 09/04/19 04:23 PM.
Re: Running trot lines... [Re: CrappieTuna] #13270731 09/05/19 01:30 AM
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Nice post and fish. Good job. thumb



Side Note: Looks like you have a Lifetime Fishing Buddy! cheers




IGFA World Record Rio Grande Cichlid. Lake Dunlap.

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Re: Running trot lines... [Re: CrappieTuna] #13270833 09/05/19 03:26 AM
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To fully grasp "The Planter" set-up, I would have to draw it out & fully detail it. I talked with a Game Warden back in the early to mid 1980s, to give him an idea of how it was set up & find out if it was legal. He said, I don't see why not.

In brief, you have two "Planter" sides to attach to. the 3.5 gallon bucket (on each side) is filled with concrete, along with 2 heavy duty galvanized loops that form a "+" if looking down at them. I use 1/4" solid braid nylon (1 piece, no knots or splices) to attach to the buckets, weighing from 60 to 72 pounds depending on how full of concrete you fill it. The rop goes up to the surface, and attaches snug to a white fender float, preferred 30" to 24" so that it sits upright. An 18" white fender float is attached to the top hole on the anchor float, but needs just a bit of slack, so it will not get in a bind. This is your "pointer". Once everything is rigged up, it will angle down, pointing towards the other side. A 3rd fender float (24") is attached also to the top of the anchor float with about 4 to 6" of nylon rope. This is your safety float, in the event somebody punctures any of the floats. Sadly there are idiots who intentionally run them over. Also, in case the lake rises, amazingly the other two floats can lift the weight & this one will lay flat. In the event all 3 are damaged, not to worry, as you still can gain access on the other side.

When you set the anchors, you must make sure the area is clear, as well as your feet & hands. Alays wear your hunting knife & have a pocketknife in your pants pocket. Because once you set the anchor over the edge of the boat & let it sail to the bottom, the last thing you want, is to somehow get snagged & yanked overboard. Now you can understand why I call it the "Planter", as it flies to the bottom, it literally plants itself into the floor of the lake. I will tell you what is fun. When it is time to pull lines, getting the anchors loose is a whole other story. For those that cannot handle such weights, I have alternative weights & methods, but none hold near as good.

As for the BW trotline, it is close to similar to the SW trotlines, except that you need a 1/4" rope slider to go up & down the anchor rope. A larger loop on the anchor line with a smaller loop to tie the trotline to. However, you need a good 20 to 30 feet of trotline cord to tie to the loop and the Big Water trotline. What this does is keep the big fish from coming over, wrapping up any of the corded lines, as well as the anchor line. Connected to the pointer float is the drop line. This not only helps show you if you have a problem, and it is the one you raise the trotline with. I usually set the trotline to about 2 to 3 feet off bottom with small weights having 3" leaders. You set the main line at any depth, as well as diagonal. But understand if you set to near the surface, a big boat can plow down some 10 to 15 feet taking off, snagging your line easily. This is why I now have a general rule of not running Planters during Spring Break in March, and from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend. Plus of course the thermocline, the skiers, big boats, and jet skis.

Everybody that has gone with me when I run the Planters, say it is really a neat set-up. Jeff had a really big Cat messing with him at the top of Lake Limestone, so we talked in June 2011 of me helping him set up a Planter to finally catch it. But things went sort of awry after that day. The Lake dropped 10' by Turkey Day holiday. And sadly, Jeff & his second wife were brutally murdered in September (two months earlier). Sadly, we never got to go after that big Cat. His son James did get to go with me several times to run my Planter. Due to the weight of the anchors, we use the 14' Mon Ark. The new AlumaCraft 12' probably would not be able to handle them.

I might be putting a book together finally which will touch on the Planters, Catfish Calendar, YellowCats, and such.


Lynn
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Re: Running trot lines... [Re: Catfish Lynn] #13270934 09/05/19 11:56 AM
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CrappieTuna Offline OP
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Lynn, I used to run a set up somewhat close to what you explained, or what I think you explained. I would run into problems with the current rolling tree limbs and logs over my lines and I would have to dive down to go get them which isnt a huge deal but gets tiring after doing it almost every time I collect my fish and would lose fish because of it. Lake Palestine is bad for lots of trees and debris and I really like using that set up too. My son loves pushing the concrete blocks off the front of the boat

Re: Running trot lines... [Re: RespectTheFish] #13271129 09/05/19 03:22 PM
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Great Advice I will have to try the 3-6 feet in winter with the noodels. do you happen to have a pic of your set up to share.

Originally Posted by RespectTheFish
Yep I bowfish as well and use them up. If you shoot enough of them I usually just fillet after the ribs towards the tail and bypass the ribs altogether to save a ton of time and effort. If it’s big enough I may go back and cut the back strap off near the ribs.

In winter I love trotlining up in shallow 3-6 fow with my trotline suspended from the surface by the help of swim noodles every few hooks. No gar problems and so many catfish up shallow even though the water may be 40 degrees. I think this is one of the best kept secrets! So many ppl fish in 40 fow thinking it’s cold so the blues are deep when there are several fish up shallow including my PB blue at 42 pounds. If you haven’t tried it give it a go this winter near grass mud flats.

Re: Running trot lines... [Re: DJ BANCO] #13271544 09/05/19 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by DJ BANCO
Great Advice I will have to try the 3-6 feet in winter with the noodels. do you happen to have a pic of your set up to share.

Originally Posted by RespectTheFish
Yep I bowfish as well and use them up. If you shoot enough of them I usually just fillet after the ribs towards the tail and bypass the ribs altogether to save a ton of time and effort. If it’s big enough I may go back and cut the back strap off near the ribs.

In winter I love trotlining up in shallow 3-6 fow with my trotline suspended from the surface by the help of swim noodles every few hooks. No gar problems and so many catfish up shallow even though the water may be 40 degrees. I think this is one of the best kept secrets! So many ppl fish in 40 fow thinking it’s cold so the blues are deep when there are several fish up shallow including my PB blue at 42 pounds. If you haven’t tried it give it a go this winter near grass mud flats.



I don’t have a picture unfortunately...but I can explain it easy. Get the small swim noodles right now before they stop selling them. Cut them something like 12-15 inches or whatever makes one stick come out even with no waste. Add a piece of pvc through the noodles to give it back bone. I wrap the very middle of the noodle with a little duck tape to protect it and then zip tie a trotline clip over the noodle where the duck tape is. The reason I like the smaller diameter swim noodles is you can fit several of them into a five galllon bucket and don’t need the extra bouncy of the bigger noodle for what we are doing. Just clip it to the main line every two or three hooks. I build my trotline with hooks every 6-7 feet.

I had a picture I wish I kept but one good place I set it out was where vehicles drove through the grass when the lake was low and now there were stick ups everywhere in that 3-4 foot deep area and I put my trotline on that road/path! Had 11 fish on 12 hooks with some 20 plus pounders...just another day out lol


Clay

RespectTheFish YouTube Channel

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