Trotline Fishing for Beginners Trotline Fishing for Beginners

If you want to catch plenty of crab or catfish in a short amount of time, then trotline fishing is the best way to go. A trotline is a fishing line set with baited hooks at intervals, which can be left unattended in the water. Weights are used to hold down the line below the water’s surface.

If you are going fishing with a trotline for the first time, here are some of the important things that you should consider before you start on your new escapade:

Know the trotline regulations in your state

Different states have varying guidelines governing the use of trotlines. Its use is not permitted in some states, while those states that allow it may require a license and identification tag for the lines. They also implement certain rules as to where these fishing lines can be dropped and anchored, usually forbidding some public waters. So do your homework by securing a license and having an identification tag for your line that includes your name, address, and contact number. As much as possible, obtain a copy of your state’s trotline regulations to guide you on the maximum number of hooks allowable, the required distance between hooks, and other essential details.

Have the proper equipment and follow safety precautions

In order to set and run your trotline, you will need a boat and other tools. The basic things you should have are the net, hooks and bait, weights and floaters, a cutter, and needle nose pliers. Remember that the hooks are sharp so you also need to protect your hands with safety gloves. Be extra cautious when setting up long lines because if you fail to have it weighted properly, you might end up tangled in your own line.

Know the correct basic setup for a trotline

A trotline is usually set up with at least one end securely attached to a tree, stump, or log near the water’s edge. Most trotline fishermen prefer to pitch their line along a stream so both ends can easily be tied along the water’s width. The next step is to attach the weights. Heavy weights are favored especially if the current is strong, because they keep the line in place more effectively. Once this is accomplished, you can proceed to putting the baited hooks on. Hooks should ideally be at least three to four feet apart.

Be committed to run the line regularly

It is advisable to check and re-bait your line at least once every three hours. The whole point of setting the line in the first place is to catch fish, so you should remove your catch from the hook and put in fresh bait in a timely manner. It’s very simple to do, you just lift the line over one corner of your boat to run it.

Fishing can be a very enjoyable experience when done right, and catching a large amount of fish in a trotline can even be more rewarding. Just be responsible enough to release the tiny ones you catch back into the water.

Got a New Project You're Proud of?

Post it on Your Projects!