Trotlines: Catching Multiple Fish in a Survival Situation
In a Survival Situation, it’s important to do everything you can to increase your chances of catching food. A great way to catch a lot of fish, without having to worry about watching your line, is to set up a Stream Line fishing system known as a Trotline.
A Trotline is basically a long line strong up with swivels and drop lines with baited hooks
You can use a trotline to completely cover the width of a river, stream or creek; giving you a good chance of catching any passing fish. This type of fish trap is great because it allows you to passively gather food while working on other survival related tasks. You can set your trot line out in the morning, and then check it in the evening – or vice versa.
While these can be setup as passive traps, to really get the most out of your trotlines check them every couple of hours. This gives you the opportunity to rebait empty hooks, and allows you to catch even more fish.
What can you catch on a Trotline?
Trotlines are especially effective when trying to catch almost any kind of catfish. While catfish is your most likely catch, you can catch just about any type of fish using these lines, and they can even be an effective way of catching turtles and crabs.
How to make a Trotline
Building a trot line is actually pretty simple. During a non-survival situation I often build them using basic supplies like paracord for the main line, and swivels with an attached braided dropline and a baited hook. During a survival situation, you can use whatever you have.
I usually space them out so the droplines can’t cross. That means the space between lines should be about 12-18 inches longer than the dropline. In areas with strong currents, I sometimes add weighs to keep the line from surfacing. Once the line is set, I typically only check it once or twice per day.
How to Set up a Stream Line
- Find a stream that you can easily cross back and forth.
- Drive a post or some wood into each side of the stream
- Tie a Rope or some 550 Paracord from post to post.
- Tie several Fishing lines to the rope, each with its own hook.
- The lines can be set to different depths to give yourself the best chance of catching fish.
- Check your line every couple of hours, or at least once a day.
To better your odds, you can set up similar lines at various points in the stream or river.