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Running trotlines for catfish?

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Anyone able to give me some pointers on running trotlines for catfish? Never done it myself, but I’m keen to give it a try.


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3 Answers

  1. Danny on Feb 13, 2013 Reply

    I’ve been running trot lines for a long time – so here’s my two cents. You need to set up a trotline in a remote spot – preferably a quiet pond or a spot on a lake where there’s no boat traffic. Trot lines are not great in flowing streams and rivers – they get all tied up and tangled. Make sure your bait pieces are no bigger than a dime.

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  2. Mariner Marvin on Feb 14, 2013 Reply

    Trotline fishing can be lots of fun, I hope you get the chance to do it!

    Here are some pointers for you:

    1. Put out the trotline between two fixed points in the water, with baited hooks every three to four feet along its length. You usually use a boat to set up the trotline, of course.

    2. You should do it at night because this is the time when catfish are most active. During the day, other species are likely to take the bait or even just strip the hooks, and the catfish are likely to stay deeper and feed less aggressively.

    3. Trotline fishing is pretty much passive. You put the line out, leave it for a few hours, and collect your fish later. So it’s important to make sure you’ve got a solid setup that’ll really lure them in!

    4. Put clamps on the stretch line flanking each “drop line” (with hook and bait) to keep the drop line from moving very far.

    5. I’d suggest either stink bait or some kind of live bait like bream or crayfish. Good luck!

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  3. Andrew on Feb 21, 2013 Reply

    I hardly ever run trot lines anymore, just because I’ve had so many stolen.

    When I did run trotlines I always used chicken breasts and thighs in a saucy marinade, which seemed to work great.

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