How to Do Trotline Crabbing? Guide to Effective Trotline Crabbing

Trotline crabbing is basically catching crabs with a line. A lot of people do catch crabs with trotline and according to most, it is one of the effective crabbing methods. However, trotline crabbing isn’t very easy, and neither it is hard. For the best result, you need to know the right way of using the trotline. 

If you are looking for an in-depth guide on how to catch crab with a line, then this is where you should be! I have shown how you can catch crab with a line in a very short and simple way. You will love it! 

Right Place and Time to Use Trotline

Crabbing with trotline requires good effort and time, but the result pays off. You cannot catch crab with line whenever you want, there are times in which crabbing with a line is effective.

Morning is one of the best times for crabbing with a trotline. And you cannot use trotline wherever you want, there is a suitable place as well. You should set the line aligned with the shore

Gather the needed equipment

You will obviously need a bunch of items for efficient trotline fishing, among all of them you might struggle a bit to get one and that is a boat. A boat is required for trotline fishing, trotline can’t be set at docks. So at first manage a boat, if you don’t have one, you can rent. Here are the other things you will be needing. 

Buoys and Line: From trotline fishing, two buoys are required and you will need 5 lines. The lines should be between 20 – 100 feet long. Among 5 lines, one will be the mainline, two lines for attaching to the buoys, and two for the anchor. Having that said, there are different kinds of line, which one should you go for? 

Three lines that are widely used are the poly, nylon, and leaded line. Polylines are highly affordable but they are very thin and they float in water. Lines need to be little weighted so that it will easily rest at the bottom, floating lines get tangled very often. On the other hand, leaded lines are heavy, they sink down very easily, and pulling leaded lines are easy as well. That being said, leaded lines are expensive. 

One more thing, label the buoys with your address and name. 

Anchor: You will need two anchors, one as a main and another I secondary. The main anchor needs to be around 15 lbs. and the second one around 5lbs. The anchor will hold the line in position and you will be able to find the line easily. 

Chain: Weight chains are needed to sink the line down easily. You should use a chain when you are using lightweight thin lines. You don’t need the extra weight in case of leaded line, they will sink on their own easily. 

Dip Net: When it is time to collect the crabs, the dip net comes into play then. When you draw the line out of the water, a dip net could be a great help in picking the crabs. That being said, at the beginning it might be a little hard but as you keep doing, you will get a good hang on it. 

Prop Stick: Prop sticks are attached with the boat and line supposed to be attached on the stick when you are pulling it out of the water. This will make the line pulling process very smooth and there will be no chance of knocking the crabs down. 

Set up the line

Securely the tie baits into the line, you can use mini clips and snoods to attach the bait into the line. Attach bait after every 4 feet. Remember, you attach the bait on the mainline. As I mentioned above, if the line is thin and lightweight, you can use chain weight. 

Time to drop the trotline

This might seem very simple but it is not. You need an assistant who will handle the boat when you drop the line. Make sure you don’t drop the line around other crabbers line, there will be a high chance of line tangling. Initially, drop the first weight and buoy, and unspool the line. And when the line near the end, set the second buoy and put the second anchor. 

Haul up the line

When the line dropping is done, time to pull it up. Go back to the starting position, from where you started riding the boat and putting line. Slowly and gently keep pulling the mainline out of the water. The line should rise from the water at a 30-degree angle. As you see any crab, immediately catch it with the dip net. Crab tends to release the bait when the surface is broken, so make sure you make the catching quick. 

So yeah, that’s how you do trotline crabbing! I hope you enjoy it! In case you need, take a look at the best blue traps and the best crab baits of the market right now!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.