The Common Length Of A trotline

What is the most common length of a trotline?

A trotline can be as short as a couple of feet long.  Or, it can also cover the whole width of a channel, or the whole area by the shore of a lake.  Some commercial trotlines can have hundreds of hooks.

The most common length of a trotline is something like 100 feet, with about 20 hooks hanging off, at intervals of 3-5 feet.  But, there is no national standard for trotlines; it depends on which state your in and where you are fishing. 

As you might expect, the longer your trotlines (and the more hooks you have), the more cats you’ll catch.  It’s like having that many poles in the water.  Sometimes commercial fishermen may have well over 50 hooks on a trotline. 

It also depends on the topography of the body of water you’re fishing.  For your first time, you might want to set a few short trotlines to see where you get the most bites.  Next time around, set a longer line in the area with the most bites.  Most anglers would tell you to go ahead and set as many hooks as you possibly can.  A longer trotline will get you more catfish.

Check and see how long the law allows.  In every state, there is a maximum length and number of hooks that non-commercial fisherman are allowed to have.  They will probably also have regulations about how far about the hooks can be.  Be sure you check that out before you start making your trotline.


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

One Response to “The Common Length Of A trotline”

  1. jeff says:

    I know i can fish 100 hooks on trotlines, but i have a buddie wanting to join up with me with his two 50 hoor lines can we run 200 hooks from the same boat?

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