Are There Regulations on Trotline Usage?

Are there any regulations on trotlines that I should be aware of?

A trotline is defined as a length of cord or even a lightweight rope that is used with several hooks hanging at various locations along the cord.  It is used to catch fish, usually catfish.  The benefit of using these is quite simply to help cover a large area of a river, stream or channel with your baited hooks ready and then to leave the lines unattended.  There are many ways to create a trotline.


Many areas do have strict regulations on trotlines.  You should know what these are before heading out or even planning your line.  To find out, a good resource to use is your local region (or even your state’s) wildlife website page.  You can gather this information in the same manner you would for getting your fishing license.


Why are there any restrictions on trotlines, you may ask?  They can, obviously be dangerous.  It is always a good idea to spend some time ensuring those around you are safe when using this method even if there are no restrictions on the use of it.  For example, be sure to keep the lines away from swimmers, boats or other anglers out there with you.  Other restrictions are in place to protect the numbers of fish available in the area.  Each location may offer its own unique regulations on trotlines.  You will need to find out from your local wildlife institutions or agency what is allowable and what is forbidden.  Do not assume that you can fish in this manner.

Dan Eggertsen is a fellow catfish fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on catfish fishing since 2004.

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