Trotline - Necessary Thing In Fishing

A trotline is very popular with anglers who often catch catfish. Thanks to this technique, you can catch catfish more easily.

So, today we want to share with you about trotline and the way to set up it perfectly. Moreover, some tips will be added to our blog.

trotline for fishing

What is Trotline?

The trotline is a fishing line that is strung across the body of the water. Trotlines are often strung in streams or rivers where catfish are located. Because of the effectiveness, people can catch the fish effectively with trotlines.

It also can help you save time and you do not need to wait too long for a catfish because the trotline will keep the hook in place until the angler comes and takes the fish.

catch catfish by trotline

Trotline Supplies

Firstly, you have to prepare the supplies before making any trotline. What will you need?

  • Mainline: It must be a roll in hard nylon material.
  • Drop lines: These are the lines that connect your mainline to the hooks. Use the lines which are similar to the mainline.
  • Fishing swivels: A trotline must have 2 swivels per drop line.
  • Trotline hooks: These are a very important thing on any trotline. You must buy a hook for each drop line. Depending on the size of the fish, you can buy suitable hooks, for instance, 8/0 size for the bigger fish (flatheads and blue cats) or 1/0 size for a smaller one, including channel or mudfish type.
  • Trotline clips: The clips are usually used to attach the information of the anglers and for watching weights throughout the trotline to maximize the amount of submersion.
  • Line winder: Its function is to wind up the trotline automatically after you set it up.

You can easily find everything in fishing stores or in e-commerce websites. On some websites, they also sell some kinds of trotlines that are already set up in different lengths and sizes. But, we think that setting up by yourself is more exciting.

Set Up A Trotline

This is time to set up your trotline by applying these steps below:

trotline structure

Step 1. Cut The Mainline

When choosing the mainline with the suitable size that works well in the water. If you want to set the mainline across the river, make it shorter than the width of the river. A tip for beginners is to find a river that is long around 15 to 40 feet for the first try.

Step 2. Add Swivels Or Loops to The Mainline

Depending on how many drop lines you want to use, you should use a swivel or loop to secure it in the mainline. Space each dropline around 2 to 3 feet to prevent tangling when the fish bite the bait and begin fighting to get freedom.

Moreover, you should keep the swivels in the right place by tying them with brads or knots at the end of each swivel.

Step 3. Use Clips To Add Your Drop Lines

In this step, you have to make your own drop lines. Then, take the clips and attach each of them to one end of the dropper line. The length of drop lines will depend on the width of the river. Remember not to make it too long to reach the bottom of the river.

To be more detailed, for instance, you can estimate one foot for the length of drop lines. If you want to use a thin string or cord, it is better to use two feet of material and tie them loosely at the end. In that way, you can secure the clip by making it a loop that can slip through it. Do the same with the hook to complete your trotline

In contrast, if you do not like the loop technique that we have shown above, you can choose any other kinds of knot that you know or gain from other people's experiences. Finally, put the bait into the hook.

Step 4. Add Your Anchors And Floats

You should leave the rest of the rope at each end of the mainline to attach the anchors and floats. The anchor has to rest at the bottom of the water and have enough slack for the float holding on the water surface.

The float will make the location where you dropped your bait and keep the drop lines not reaching the bottom of the water.

The anchor does not need to be heavy. You can attach one end of your mainline to a tree and the other end to the anchor or another thing that can fixture.

Bait For Trotline

live bait for catfish

When you catch catfish with this tool, it not only attracts your trophy but also keeps the fish. However, you have to understand what that kind of fish likes to eat. Some of them like live bait, such as worms, small shrimps, and so on.

But the others prefer lifeless bait. We recommend you try the two bait types with them before starting the 'fishing game".

Tips and Tricks

You should correctly identify the raises in the waterways in place that you want to catch fish. The shallow water suits for fishing flathead and other catfish subspecies and they often find food at night.

These fish tend to lay in deeper water and hide their eggs so that is the reason they will move to the shallower water for food at night.

catfish habit

Next, focusing on the time you spend fishing is also important. Avoid dropping your bait in the breeding season because they will not leave their "nest" and concentrate on reproduction. So, you should find out more information about their breeding season and decide on a suitable day after this period.

Another trick for you is to begin your fishing trip during the late fall to the early winter. The catfish, especially flatheads often find more food in that period to prepare for their "winter holiday".

Catching catfish with the trotline is a very exciting experience. So, What are you waiting for? Try to make a trotline with this guide and receive many trophies.