Got another chance last weekend to set out banklines. On the bright side, I caught two nice cats. However, there were some lessons learned (and to be learned).
- There was no noticeable difference between catfishing biting on the soap bait versus the dough bait. Even though I only caught two cats, all hooks were clean every time I checked them. Further, bait falling of the hooks can be ruled out in most cases. To me this means that soap is a viable candidate for packing in an emergency fishing tackle.
- Both the soap bait and the dough bait need more work to improve their casting durability. For the dough bait I have to ideas to try. The first is to pre-roll the dough into balls before cooking in the microwave. This should ensure a more even consistency. The second idea would be to make a batter instead of a dough, dip pieces of cotton balls into the dough, and then cook them. The wife has an idea on doing something similar with the soap, but using luffa instead of cotton balls
- I lost two rigs outright, and I am solely to blame for their loss. I am pretty sure that one was caused by a catfish loosening the dowel rod I was using for an anchor. I am going to use fiberglass fence poles in the future for anchors. While they don’t float, they are stronger and can be driven deeper. I think the other rig was lost because the knot securing to the anchor came untied. If true, this is very embarrassing, and I will need to do a MUCH better job tying them. Finally, it calls into question the practice of using anchor sticks instead of securing the lines to trees or structure. This was only the second time I have tried the technique and may avoid it in the future.
- Lastly, three other sets were missing an entire hook dropline. My initial guess here is that this may be due to the trotline clips. After some experimentation, I have discovered that it is possible for the clips to fall off of the loops. I have identified three possible solutions. The simplest is to run the loop “backwards” thru the clips, but this is slightly tricky to do and very trick to undo. The second idea is to attach a metal ring to the loops that the droplines could clip to. This should keep the attachment process simple, but adds additional cost and parts. The third idea is similar to what the manufacturer suggests for trotlines, skip the loops and attach directly to the bankline. This might not work and would require stopper knots. Decisions, decisions.