Running a trotline is fun and can be a bit addictive. Experienced anglers say that preparing the line at home is the most important, because, once you get to your favorite fishing ground, you will find this part a real pain in the you-know-where. But, first things first…
What’s a trotline, anyways?
A trotline is a long braided line made of nylon or another durable material on which you can attach hooks. Each state’s regulations vary regarding how many hooks you are allowed to use. That being said, running a trotline can be very rewarding, or, it can be a totally miss experience. Here are five to-do’s for how to run a trotline right:
1. Choose the perfect weapon.
If you are not the patient type, pick a readymade trotline from a specialized store. You can make your own, if you have the time, but remember to pick heavy nylon as your base material. Tie the drops, place the hooks, and get ready for trotline fishing!
2. Anchor it.
Once you set up the trotline in place, you don’t want the currents to take away your hard-earned fish. If you run the trotline over the water, make sure the base line is well anchored on both sides.
3. Don’t be a cheapskate with your bait.
The ideal bait for trotline must be difficult to take off the hook. Since your base line will sit in the water for hours waiting for that big catch, you need to be sure that the fish will not just serve itself from the Swedish buffet you have laid for it and then leave, belly full.
4. Find the perfect spot.
Your trotline won’t catch anything if you don’t put it in a good spot. A little research of your fishing grounds is needed before setting the base line. Place the drops where you think fish will bite, and if nothing works, move them around accordingly.
5. Stretch your line as tightly as possible.
Now you start running your line. With the drops and bait all in place, make sure your line is stretched as tightly as possible: this will help catch the fish. Keep the base line close to the water. As long as you’re able to see your bait and drops near the surface, it’s okay. Check your carefully laid fish trap every 5-6 hours.