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Author Topic: 9/8 and 9/9 Midshore creek first time with trot line: interesting  (Read 1607 times)
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DrDon
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« on: September 09, 2022, 03:10:32 PM »

I have always used traps mainly because I go myself and they are easy and if I catch 1-2 dozen, I'm happy.  My son (a DC firefighter) recently built a trot line after
watching several You-Tube videos.  He was visiting yesterday and really wanted to try it out, but one problem.  We did not have time to buy/make a roller to hold the line.  I came up with the Idea of using a downrigger and attached a C-clamp to keep the line on the boom.  It actually worked out quite well in a pinch.  Wanted to try the line out in the afternoon so as not to have to worry about being  in the way of any commercial crabbers  The trot line was a bit of a leaning experience but we got the hang of it and did well.  First time we thought the depths were good but when we dropped the second buoy it was to deep and it disappeared.....start over.  We  picked it up we managed several crabs even then.  Yesterday afternoon high tide was at 2:40 PM and we crabbed  until 6:30 with 15 traps baited with clams and his 600' trot line baited with chicken necks.  The traps were set in 12-13' and the trot line in 6-10'.  Both produced well with the traps bringing in most of the larger crabs.  Released a lot of crabs very close to legal sized.  By the 3 or 4th run on the line we had it down and were catching.  Ended up with 30 crabs in about 3 hours in the middle of the afternoon.  Even picked up my wife at a friends dock to get her in on the action.  It was the perfect temperature and flat calm.  Since the line was all set up, decided to go again this am before my son headed back to DC.  No traps this AM, just did the trot line from 10:30 until 12:00 and ended up with 3 dozen more.  Low tide was around 10:00 so crabbed the start of the incoming tide in a smaller creek in 7-9' of water.  Had the system down pretty good today, and I am sure the trot line will see more action in the near future.  We were crabbing in a smaller creek off an Eastern mid-shore river both times.  On a side note be careful trailering out there.  I have to make a wide swing to turn right onto my road, I put my turn signal on early before the turn.  I knew there was one car fairly far in back on me.  When I turned all I heard was screeching  brakes and turned to see that car blowing by me on the passenger side off the road, go across the road I was turning into and stopped within a few inches of hitting a building on the corner.  Must have been on the phone or not paying any attention.  Thought my boat was going to be fiberglass splinters, but thank goodness nothing got hit.  The sound of his tires/brakes had us quite shaken up.
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Wahoo
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« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2022, 03:22:12 PM »

Great job catching, and running the trot line!  Congrats on gettin on them..
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Since someone ate crabs, others must have eaten spiders as well.  However, they were not tasty.
So afterwards, people stopped eating them.   These people deserve our heartfelt gratitude  Smiley
Stabilizer
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« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2022, 04:16:46 PM »

Nice story, report, and picture.  Glad you got the trot line dialed in and so fast.  As good as it was it will probably get better still.
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DrDon
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« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2022, 05:03:33 PM »

Pic of our temp trot line boom/roller
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Addicted to Crab
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« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2022, 01:42:09 AM »

Great job getting trotlining down in one trip!   My first try was with an inboard/outboard and it was a disaster!  Outboards are much easier to keep straight.   Don't give up entirely on traps - they usually produce better in sunny weather or cold deep water.

I'm not sure how you buried the buoy if you have a normal line setup (unless you found a really deep hole!) - the lead lines should be 25-50ft long on each side of the buoy.  The advantage to longer lead lines is being able to work deeper water in the late fall, and also having more time after the line pick-up to get ready for dipping.  The disadvantage is that you need an extra 100' of space to drop your line.   Also, if DNR checks you, they'll be looking for a 12" diameter buoy (can buy the pretty inflatible ones for about $30 each, or a sealed 5 gallon bucket works too.   

I use a small danforth type anchor on the starting side of the line, then 50' of rope to a float, then another 50' to a foot or two of chain and a snap hook.  That's hooked to a round ring on the ends of the trot line.  Same set-up on the other end, except the far end is a 10lb or so weight (like a small truck brake rotor or a mushroom anchor).  I find that the danforth anchor on the pickup side keeps the line from getting loose after a few pickups and the weight on the other end allows for easier adjustments to the tightness of the line.  Too tight and the line is coming up way in front of the boat, too loose and the line comes straight up or worse yet, behind the runner.   One other trick I use is to tie off my metal net with a rope to a forward cleat so I can leave it in the water, acting like an autodipper.  That allows me to run the line at double the speed.  You can easily slide the net down or to the side for a crab that drops off, but if the net gets close to full, you'll have to slow down to get it out of the water to dump it in the basket.  I've had up to 9 crabs in the basket between dumps. 

Every boat style needs a different runner setup and PVC generally works great.  If you're worried about strength, you can put some galvanized fencing pipes (chain link top rail fits inside the 1.5" pipe) and add some small (#10 SS) bolts at the fittings, thru the metal pipe, to keep it from breaking apart as easily if/when you get hung up).

Good luck and have fun!
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DrDon
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« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2022, 05:25:02 AM »

Thanks for taking the time to post the helpful pointers
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Mick20
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« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2022, 06:14:34 AM »

Nice report DrDon! Good to see a fellow Oxford guy in the forum.
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DEB crabber
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« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2022, 11:57:22 AM »

Nice catch . You did good with running a line but I can say 1 day you cuss that line when it's in the prop. I have done it many times over the years
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RandJonthebay
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« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2022, 02:03:11 PM »

Nice catch . You did good with running a line but I can say 1 day you cuss that line when it's in the prop. I have done it many times over the years

Yep. it happens to all of us sooner or later. That's why there are two knots in my line. It can even happen if your running traps.

I always try to lay with the wind on my back and at a slight angle to it. I want the wind pushing me off of the line instead of on to it.
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Stabilizer
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« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2022, 02:36:26 PM »

Yep. ... I want the wind pushing me off of the line instead of on to it.
That is the number one rule for me as well.  It's much more forgiving if problems arise or a pause in deployment is needed.
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A D V E R T I S E M E N T

DrDon
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« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2022, 09:35:49 PM »

Thanks for all the helpful tidbits, I do appreciate taking the time to post.  After some trail and error and some online research this is my roller design.  I did run some heavy offshore leader mono through the center and out the rod holder it sits in, to attach to a recessed cleat
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greenberg21
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« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2022, 08:39:01 AM »

Love, Love, Love this post!!  Congrats to your son for the innovative attempt to build his own line!  That's awesome.  And kudo's to you for figuring out a McGyver to make his dream a reality. 

My sons & I have started using a trot line for the 1st time this year and most of your experiences we also traversed (plus a few more...lol). 

Glad you were able to find time out on the water with family and also walk away w/ a few crabs for the table.  Good Stuff!!
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