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Trotlines

swampsnyper

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Joined
Mar 10, 2015
Messages
4,435
Location
Warrior, Al
Skinned a lot of catfish off trot lines when I was a teen. Couple of recommendations. If you insist on skinning them first, take a decent size sinker nail and drive it into a tree at a 45 degree angle about collarbone height. Cut the head off the nail at an angle leaving a sharp point with a couple of inches of nail sticking out of the tree. When you are ready to skin, just drive the cat’s head down on the nail underneath the head. That will hold the cat while you skin it. I don’t use the knife to cut the sides of the head, you can grab those “points” with your nippers (skinning pliers to you), bite down on them hard and get a start without having to use a knife, saves a little time. You can skin a ice chest full before quick gets ready with that nail holding them. Works on big ones and small ones alike.

However, if you are going to filet them anyway, no need to skin them first. You can filet them just like a bass, just have to keep the angle small when you are separating the meat from the skin to keep from cutting through the skin. After you separate the filet, you can cut the rib bones off with the knife as well. You will mess up a few until you get the hang of it, but then it’s a breeze and will save you hours if you are filling freezers. Take a look at the cordless battery powered Bubba filet knife. It’s pricey at $169 but you will skin filet like a samurai with that thing. Comes with 4 different blade widths some of which are thin and perfect for filleting. There’s a corded one that’s a little cheaper and you can find them on sale even cheaper. That thing is a “Game Changer”. I know cuz it says so right there on the web site. Ha! Ha! Ha! These recommendations will help you get through a mess of fish in no time.
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I've heard good things about the bubba knife also. When using an electric knife I find a dull blade works better for getting the skin off on catfish. Less cut throughs. Once they get over 2#s, It's hell on the blades going through the ribs. I only pull skin on the small ones if I want to eat them on the bone. Other than that it's pointless. And if Nutterbuster cleans hundreds of catfish like he is doing, he will have arms like a crab by the end of the summer. Hanging is definitely the way to go if you are pulling skin. I rather hang a hook from a chain than a nail. Like a meat hook. But I just fillet everything now with a sharp non electric flexible fillet knife. It's quicker. And throw anything over 3#s back unless its an Op. Not that you can't make the big ones taste good. It's just too much work when you can catch plenty easy quick cleaning ones.
 

swampsnyper

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SH Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2015
Messages
4,435
Location
Warrior, Al
I know that area hold fish so I experiment and see if I can come up with a solution
Just tie a brick to each jug. Throw them out. Tie line a foot under from jug to jug. Pull down current jug away from up current jug as best you can. Add small weights (like 1/2 to 1oz) every 10-20 ft. Between the current and the weighted trotline, it will be good enough to catch with circle hooks. Might not be optimum, but it will at least get you going.
 

2Sloe

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SH Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2021
Messages
396
Location
Virginia Beach VA
I've heard good things about the bubba knife also. When using an electric knife I find a dull blade works better for getting the skin off on catfish. Less cut throughs. Once they get over 2#s, It's hell on the blades going through the ribs. I only pull skin on the small ones if I want to eat them on the bone. Other than that it's pointless. And if Nutterbuster cleans hundreds of catfish like he is doing, he will have arms like a crab by the end of the summer. Hanging is definitely the way to go if you are pulling skin. I rather hang a hook from a chain than a nail. Like a meat hook. But I just fillet everything now with a sharp non electric flexible fillet knife. It's quicker. And throw anything over 3#s back unless its an Op. Not that you can't make the big ones taste good. It's just too much work when you can catch plenty easy quick cleaning ones.
Thing about the Bubba is that thin blade, which you can turn down the spine real easy because it’s so thin. Man that thing is like a laser on bass. I would agree with everything else you said as well. Definitely gotta hang them. Never tried the chain. I put them on the tree, that way I can put one hand on the head while the other does the work. Man you can zip through them with little effort.
 

thedutchtouch

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SH Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2020
Messages
337
Location
Maryland
No trotlines for me (well, unless you count crabbing) but I do go try to bring some catfish/perch/whatevers biting home to lake crisco from my kayak with hook and line as often as I can. Caught a few last weekend and headed out for more tomorrow.
 

Nutterbuster

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Vendor Rep
SH Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
7,861
Location
Where the skys are so blue!
I've been running limb lines this year. Biggest cat has only been 10lbs since the big one my wife helped me land.

But the average size has gone up. Was catching lots of 1-2 pounders. Average fish now is 3 to 5. Been baiting up a lot with fresh-net shad. Lost a few limb lines baited with live bluegill. Whole limb just gone.
 

Kyhunter1

Active Member
SH Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2020
Messages
151
Location
South East Ky
I've been running limb lines this year. Biggest cat has only been 10lbs since the big one my wife helped me land.

But the average size has gone up. Was catching lots of 1-2 pounders. Average fish now is 3 to 5. Been baiting up a lot with fresh-net shad. Lost a few limb lines baited with live bluegill. Whole limb just gone.
Every blue gill we put on the line is either a catfish on the line or empty hook when we run it. Bigger the bait, bigger the cats. We have not trotlined in a few years, starting miss it.
 

Jtaylor

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SH Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2018
Messages
1,354
I've been using some cut carp I got bowfishing cut into nuggets for limb lines, makes it easier in the kayak for me to deal with rather than live bluegill and keeps the size of the cats down. I leave the skin on and it makes it tough for them to suck it off the hook.
 
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