Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: trotlines

How To Make Catfishing Noodles

Noodles for catching catfish

In this article we are going to discuss step-by-step instructions on how to make noodles for catching catfish and bowfin (aka grinnell).

Bill of material:

Foam pool noodle
3/4 inch PVC pipe
3/4 inch PVC pipe cap
Tape measure
Marker – pen, pencil, sharpie,,,
File or sand paper
PVC glue
Trotline string
Lighter (for burning end of trotline string)
Electric drill
5/16 drill bit
Cable tie (optional)
Circle hooks
5 gallon bucket, my 5 gallon buckets are 13.25 inches tall
Various size weights (optional)
*Colored duct tape (some states require noodles to be a certain color)

Three Day Fishing Camping Trip Story

Testing bug out plans during a three day camping trip

During December of 2016 two of my sons, a buddy of mine and I went on a three day camping trip on the Angelina River near Jasper, Texas. One reason for the trip was rest and relaxation, another reason was to test various survival plans.

If a long term SHTF / teotwawki survival situation were to happen, fishing will be an important way to gather food. One of the goals of this fishing / camping trip is to practice our SHTF / teotwawki fishing skills. another goal of this trip is to make observations about issues that people might run into.

There are a lot of people out there who plan on bugging out to the wilderness after the food and water run out at their home. Part of the SHTF survival plans are along the lines of “when we run out of food, we will have to go to the food”. This usually includes grabbing the bug out bag and bug out to a wilderness location where they survival can hunt, fish and gather wild foods.

One issue, the person rarely gets past the planning phase. In order to have a balanced SHTF / teotwawki survival plan, people should also test those plans. The only way to test the plans is to get away from the computer and do something. Being an armchair survivalist is not enough. Make your plans, test your plans, analyze the results from the test, make improvements on those observations.

Sunday, December 25th (Christmas)

Organizing Preparedness Plans for SHTF

Your SHTF survival plans can be organized in a couple of ways. The plans can be written down on pieces of paper, tossed into a hat and drawn at random. The plans could be ideas jotted down in a notebook or a blog. Or the plans could be well organized. Once the plans are organized, then what? Do you just look over the plans and say “yep, that looks good to me”? Personally, I do not think that is good enough.

Lets take stockpiling ammunition for SHTF for example. I do not think its enough to buy ammunition at random. You buy a box here, buy a box there, after awhile you know you have ammo, but how much “exactly” do you have? The same thing can be said about soap, soap dispensers, first aid supplies, spare blankets,,,, and so on.

When you are looking at your food shelves, and the racks are in plain view, it should be easy to tell what can goods you are short on and which ones you need to buy. When I look at my shelving units, I can tell right off the bat when a can of ravioli has been taken, or when my wife and I need to buy some more beans or corn.

The problem lies in things that are rarely seen, such as ammo kept in an ammo cans – out of sight, out of mind.

For the stuff that stays out of sight, its important to pull the stuff out and take a look every once in awhile. A couple of months ago I pulled out my ammo cans and took inventory:

  • 223, check
  • 7.62×39, check
  • 30-30, check
  • 308, check
  • #4 shot 12 gauge for small game, I needed some more of it so I picked up a couple of boxes a few days later.
  • 22 long rifle

For non-survivalist, having a couple of boxes of 22 long rifle might be ok. But for people that are planning for a long term SHTF survival situation, the more the merrier.

Stockpiling Trotline Supplies For After SHTF

Weldbilt boat on the Angelina River

Yesterday evening I started working on some trotlines to be put out Friday evening. The first thing that I realized was how much supplies its going to take to deploy 2 trotlines about 150 long.

The line being used for the main beam comes in spools 300 feet long, and has a tensile strength rating of 330 pounds. When you start running a line across a slew, 100 – 150 feet can go pretty quick. One trotline I saw awhile back must have been close to 200 feet long.

Lets talk about running the main beam line of a trotline. With the spools having 300 of line, your probably going to need 3, 4, 5 or even 6 spools of line for a SHTF stockpile. This of course depends on how many trotlines your going to be running.

Some of the sloughs that I fish in are probably 75 – 100 feet wide. With 300 feet per spool, I would only be able to run 2 or 3 lines across a slew. If I was running a trotline across the main river, 300 feet would probably only get me 1 trip across the river.

A Weekend Of Fishing On The Angelina River

Jugline fishing

This past weekend was one of those weekends that seems like a blur. I spent 3 days out on the Angelina River running trotlines, juglines and fishing.

Long story short – Friday afternoon, get the trotlines and juglines ready; Friday evening go put the juglines and trotlines out, check everything Saturday morning, go back Saturday evening, check and rebait the trotline, put the juglines out, Sunday go check everything again, pick the trotline up, pick up the juglines, go fishing, get home Sunday around noon.

Now for the rest of the story.

Over the past week I had been making up some trotlines in the backyard. The local china-mart sells spools of trotline string with a 330 pound tinsel strength, this is what makes up the main beam of the trotline.

So I started off by measuring out 2 double arm lengths of string, which equals out to about 8 feet, tie a loop knot about 3 – 4 inches long, measure off about 8 feet, tie another loop knot, measure off about another 8 feet, another loop knot,,, repeat until I had about 120 of line.

Uses for trotline string

When people hear the word “trotline”, most may think of stringing a line across a river or a slew to catch some catfish. While its true that trotline is mainly used to catch catfish, it has lots of other uses.

Jug lines – this is where some type of float is used and the trotline is tied to the float. The float floats with the current of the river or stream, and goes where nature takes it. For most jug lines, people use 1 gallon beach bottles, noodles, or just about anything that floats and a line can be tied to it.

Braided cord – in a pinch, trotline string can be braided to make a cord. While on a camping trip back in 2008 with my kids, we brought some new hammocks with us, and the new hammocks did not have cord included to attach the hammock to a tree. Well, there we were with hammocks and no way to hang them up. So what did we do? I got a spool to trotline string out, then my kids and I took turns braiding the string into a heavier cord. we got the hammocks strung up and everything was fine.

Stockpiling Fishing Supplies for SHTF

Bass fishing on the Angelina River

As I have said in several forum post about stockpiling survival gear for SHTF, I think fishing supplies should be at the top of the list. That is, unless you live in a desert or hundreds of miles from a water source.

In some kind of long term SHTF survival situation, fishing could be an important food source. The better prepared you are to utilize fish as a food source, the better your chances for success.

On the way home from work today, my wife and I stopped by Ward’s Outdoor Supply in Jasper Texas. The store is snuggled in the corner of an Exxon gas station at the northeast corner of Hwy 96 and Hwy 190.

To be honest, when I entered the store, I was not expected much, but I was pleasantly surprised. In fact, I was very surprised at the wide selection of fishing supplies that Ward’s had in stock.

Another Trip To The Angelina River

Angelina River Fishing

It was one of those trips that I have been wanting to make for a long time. The day before (July 9, 2010) I took the time to get everything ready – the gas cans were fueled up, the poles and tackle boxes were set next to the front door, the day packs were filled with fresh water, first aid kit, an Eversafe Meal, ice chest put in the boat… and a few more things were made ready.

The alarm clock went off around 5:45am – but I stayed in bed for a little bit. Got up, got my shower, brushed teeth, deodorant (you do not want body order while fishing), then I went into my sons room to wake him up.

While my son was getting his shower, and taking care of his business, I loaded the tackle boxes, poles and day packs in the boat.

We launched the boat at a place called “BevilPort” – which is off Farm to Market Road 2799, just Northwest of Jasper, Texas. As we were leaving the boat launch and heading south on the Angelina River, the sun started to break though the tree line.

It was a beautiful and memorial morning.

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Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018