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|5 Tips for Running a Trot line|
|Wednesday, 17 August 2011 08:49|
Ok, so running a trot line isn’t exactly fishing. But many anglers use their fishboats to catch crabs, and if you like to steam up a pile of Jimmies, running a trot line is the best way to go about it. I’ve never been a master-crabber, but last year my family got me a trot line for my birthday and since then, there’s been a heck of a learning curve. Here are some tips I’ve picked up along the way, which should help out anyone who’s planning to run a trot line.
1. Put a three foot length of chain in the middle of the trot line. This helps weight it down, and keeps the line on bottom as you work the other section.
2. Have a back-up netter. The guy in the front of the boat will scoop 80 or 90 percent of the crabs that come up on the line, if he’s on the ball. But invariably, the biggest crab in the bunch comes up when your netter is busy shaking a crab out of the net, or struggling to regain his balance after a big wave. If you have a back-up netter ready to scoop, you’ll get those crabs.
3. Never put ice directly on the crabs. You need to keep them cool, yes. But do so by putting ice on top of the bushel basket, then pouring water over it. If you place the ice directly against the crabs, some of them will likely die off.
4. Change your bait each and every trip. Baiting the line is a pain, and it’s tempting to re-freeze and re-use those chicken necks. Do so, however, and you will undeniably catch fewer crabs. Freshen them up, after each and every trip.
5. Allow the trot line to completely thaw, before use. We found this one out the hard way, after pulling the fully-baited line out of the freezer and going directly to the boat ramp. Wherever baits touched the line they were frozen to it – and we had one massive, messy tangle, when we tried to set it out.
Follow these tips, and this is what you’ll have for dinner: