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Why Are Trotlines Popular For Catfishing?

Sep 10, 2008
Using a trotline is one of the most popular ways to fish for catfish. For those of you that are not familiar with the term trotline it is a lightweight cord or rope with hooks scattered throughout the length of the rope. Bait is attached to the hooks and it is spread out across a portion of the body of water in which you are fishing. Normally, the trotline will not have more than fifty hooks that are placed at least eighteen inches apart. The rope usually runs between fifty to one hundred feet in length.

You can use a trotline in all types of water regardless of whether it is deep, shallow or a combination of both. Use trotlines in ponds, creeks, rivers and lakes. They are used by all types of fishermen. Trotlines are most commonly used by commercial fishermen because they have the potential to catch many catfish in a very short period of time. However, it is also a method that is used by the occasional angler interested in catching a large amount catfish in a hurry for a family fish fry or to freeze and eat on until the next time they go out.

Trotlines are mainly used for catching catfish because they are fairly easy to use and they usually produce some really good results with this particular species. They can be used almost any time of the year except when the water is freezing over. Even though trotlines are easy to use don't make the mistake of thinking there is not some work involved. You will have to set up the trotline and haul in the fish that you catch.

Getting Started

You need to start by getting your trotline ready. You can buy trotlines already made that include the hooks or you can make your own. If it is the first time you have ever used this method, then you may want to buy the first one so you can see how it is made. Later, after you become more experienced you can begin making your own.

The trotline is normally run from the shallow end of the water to the deep end when using this method in creeks, lakes, rivers and any body of water with a deep drop-off. Start by tying one end of the trotline onto a tree, stump or any other secure area located on the shallow end of the water. Once it is secure you begin to feed it out into the deeper water. When you are about halfway out deploy a heavy weight to the trotline to hold it in place.

Finish feeding out the rest of the line until you reach the end and place another weight here. This one should be heavier than the first because it will need to hold the whole line in place and not sway with the current of the water.

The trotline should be located about three feet below the surface of the water. Tie a piece of twine to the bottom of this end of the trotline and run it up to the top, here attach the float. Once the line is run go back to the shallow end and begin placing your bait on the hooks one by one. Keep the trotline pulled tight at all times.
About the Author
Dan Eggertsen is a fishing researcher and enthusiast who is committed to providing the best catfish fishing information possible. Get more information on catfish fishing here: http://www.askcatfishfishing.com/
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