Are you planning a big catfish fry? The traditional trotline is still the best way to fill your fryer with delicious catfish. However, to ensure maximum fish catch on your trotline, you need to set it up correctly.
Let’s have an overview of what you need to have an ideal trotline setup, including the best size hook for a trotline.
Different Types of Trotline Hooks
While selecting hooks for trotlines, their size, shape, and material all matter. This is so because each hook has a specialty for catching different species and being used in different situations. The main types of hooks used for trotline fishing are:
Circle Hooks For Trotline
Circle hooks for trotlines work best of all. Circle hooks, as their name shows, are configured in a circle shape with the hook pointing towards the shank, not pointing away from it or straight. This inward curve of the circle hooks for trotlines makes it almost impossible to accidentally penetrate the fish’s gut or gills, thereby reducing the risk of premature fish killing.
Circle hooks on trotlines work due to the fish's natural tendency to swallow the bait. When a fish takes the bait, the angler, after sensing this movement on the trotline, pulls the hook back towards the fish’s mouth. The circle shape of the hook allows it to slide out all the way, without penetrating the soft fish parts, such as the gut, throat, or gills. Once the hook makes its way to the fish's mouth, the curved part catches on the corner of the mouth, lips, or jaws. As the fish continues to apply pressure to the line, the circle hooks on trotlines set them anywhere around the fish's mouth.
The circle shape of hooks ensures they face away from the fish’s mouth, minimizing the chance of fish injury. It makes circle hooks on trotlines ideal for unmanned fishing applications, such as trotlines, limblines, and juglines.
Circle hooks for trotlines usually come in two styles: offset and non-offset circle hooks. Offset circle hooks are pointed at a slight angle away from the shank, while non-offset hooks are pointed parallel to the shank. Our Max-Catch circle hooks are 10 degrees reversed offset with a built-in swivel.
J Hooks - Trotline
As their name implies, J hooks have a hook point and shank in a letter “J” shape. Most of the trotlines already have J hooks installed on them. These hooks require an angler to set the hook by quickly jerking the line, or they can also work on unmanned trotlines. However, if you are using J hooks, then there are chances that many fish may escape your trotline.
Kahle Hooks - Trotline
Another good option for catching fish on the trotline in specific situations is Kahle hooks. Their unique bend and wide gap make an effective hookset with minimum chances of fish gut-hooking. As they offer a combination of circle hooks and J hooks, they are a versatile choice for different fishing situations.
Factors Affecting The Working of Circle Hooks
While choosing hooks for trotlines, there are certain factors you need to consider, such as:
Best Size Hook For Trotline
Selecting the best size hook for trotline is crucial because the size of the fish you catch depends on it. Smaller hooks work best for catching smaller species, while larger hooks are suitable for targeting bigger fish. The best size hook for trotline depends not only on the fish you intend to catch but also on the type and size of the bait you plan to use.
Max-Catch acts as the best size hook for trotline; with their 12/0 and 13/0 sizes, they are ideal for catching big catfish.
Stainless Steel trotline Hooks
High-quality circle hooks for trotlines are made from corrosion-resistant materials, such as stainless steel, chemically sharpened steel, or high-carbon steel. Also, hooks have various finishes, such as nickel, bronze, etc, to prevent them from rusting and improve their durability.
Max-Catch is stainless steel trotline hooks with a 3/0 nickel-plated brass swivel. This makes them durable and ideal circle hooks on trotlines. Another benefit of using stainless steel trotline hooks is their resistance to corrosion and discoloration.
A fishing hook’s strength depends on its wire diameter and overall construction. To catch larger and stronger fish, you need a thicker and heavier wire hook. On the other hand, for smaller fish, lighter wire hooks can also work well. For catching bigger catfish, you need stronger and heavier circle hooks on trotlines. Max-Catch 12/0 and 13/0 are large and strong enough for catfish trotline.
The distance between the shank and the hook point is called the hook gap. A larger hook gap increases the chances of catching a big fish, while a smaller gap is less likely to do so. Also, for thicker bait, you need a wide hook gap. Max-Catch circle hooks for trotlines have an ideal hook gap.
Set Up Your Trotline With the Right Hooks
After selecting the best hooks for your trotline, it is essential to set up the trotline correctly to maximize your chances of catching fish. Some tips in this regard are:
● Space up the best-size hook for trotline evenly, at least 3-5 feet apart. This minimizes the chances of tangling between baits
●Use the best-quality swivels and clips to attach your hooks to the mainline. This helps prevent trotline twists and allows easy adjustments.
● Attaching a weight at the end of the trotline keeps it submerged and reduces drifts caused by wind or water currents.
● Choose the right bait for your target fish and secure it with your hooks through bait bands, threading, etc.
● Check the trotline regularly, at least once every 24 hours, to refresh the bait and remove any caught fish.
Selecting the right hooks for your trotline is essential to having a good catch. By considering all the above-mentioned factors, you can increase the chances of a successful fish catch. Choosing the best size hook for trotline is essential. Max-Catch are stainless steel trotline hooks with 12/0 and 13/0 sizes that are ideal for catching big catfish. Not only do these circle hooks on trotlines have an ideal size, but the right hook gap, a strong material, and nickel plating all make them durable and strong enough to catch big catfish.