Trotlining  

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When August rolls around itís time to start fishing again. The best technique Iíve used during August was with suspended trotlines. The fish wonít bite down deep during this hot time of year because thereís little to no oxygen present at the lower depths. If you set a trotline on bottom and catch fish itíll be dead and ruined by the time you run your lines the next day. Remember that Iím still talking about lake fishing. This isnít a problem in rivers that have a good current. Here is how I set up a suspended trotline.

 

        This is a great fishing technique for hot summer months. Youíll catch a lot of fish with this method but this is where the work begins. Use 500 lb test nylon for your mainline. 150 lb test for the hook drops and just a straight 6/0 nickel-plated eagle claw trotline hook works great for suspended trotlines. I used my snaglines for trotlines. The only difference in the two is how theyíre set up. Snaglines run along the contour of the bottom and suspended trotlines are set up as shown in the drawing above. Iíll go ahead and put the snagline information next. 

The absolute best bait Iíve ever found for trotlining during the hot summer months is chicken gizzards. Theyíre tough and will eventually catch fish. Fishing with gizzards on rod & reel isnít a very good idea so donít think that will work just because Iíve said it works great on a trotline. If you use shad on trotlines like this the turtles and gar will strip the bait long before any blues get to them. You could bait with shad at night and it work very well. If the water is fairly clear when you bait these lines just bait every other hook. Trust me on this statement and see what happens when you go back and check the lines. Youíll have fish on where there were no baits. Bluecat will hit bare hooks around a fish thatís been caught. I think the thrashing of the fish caught by the chicken gizzards causes the fish around it to strike at anything in the vicinity. There have been so many occasions when Iíd bait every other hook or every third hook and come back the following day to find 8 or 9 fish hooked on consecutive hooks. If you try fishing a line like this try baiting it like I mentioned. Youíd probably catch a few more fish if you baited every hook on the line but Iíd like for you to try this. This will give you a little insight as to the aggressive behavior of bluecats.

There are instructions on how to construct and transport trotlines in the snagline section.