Fastening decoy to string tip

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Fastening decoy to string tip

Postby Mr.L » Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:21 am

Every year about a month after duck season, I ride around Catahoula Lake and pick up loose decoys that have hung up in the bushes. I usually find 2-3 dozen good ones. About 10% of them have very short strings and when the water rises they float off. The other 90% have one thing in common. They have about 5 inches of frayed line that has rubbed against the decoy keel. I have found out that the provided place to tie decoys by most manufacturers allow line to rub on the keel. We seldom lose any decoys. On Catahoula Lake there is constant wave action. This action eventually causes many decoy lines to break. To combat this, I have found that decoys need to be tied under the keel to prevent rubbing. I take a hog ring, slide a 1/0 or 2/0 barrel swivel on the hog ring and crimp it on the bottom of the decoy keel. I use tarred line to connect barrel swivel to decoy weight, about 6 or 7 ft. long. I have made my own lead weights from melted tire balance weights. After many years, occasionally the swivels may wear out and break in the middle. This system has worked many years for me.
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Re: Fastening decoy to string tip

Postby Toledo » Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:28 am

Thanks for the tip. I always said anybody that needs a decoy spread just needs to hit catahoula and follow the tree lines.
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Re: Fastening decoy to string tip

Postby Mr.L » Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:49 pm

Toledo, you are welcome. I guess now I'll have to wait for spring to try and catch some catfish. A man has got to do something in his spare time.
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Re: Fastening decoy to string tip

Postby Toledo » Thu Jan 30, 2014 5:12 pm

If you can find some cormorant trees you can wear out the cats right now. I got my eye on a roost of about 200 of the dam things. They been chumming the catfish all duck season. Aughta be a quick 100 qrt full.
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Re: Fastening decoy to string tip

Postby Original Duckster » Mon Feb 03, 2014 2:22 pm

I'm wanting about 2 more feet of water then it's catfish time in the woods! We picked up about 50 stray decoys after the ice ran amok. Most of them were mine. :biggrin:

The cockleburrs will fray decoy string also. I use the tarred string #40 0r #42 and retie as needed. I gotta take a day off and run to Jonesville to stock up on trotline supplies. Going to set some hoop nets for Ops this year after not using them for a few years. I want a decent backwater! The freezer is bare.
When in doubt, pee on it.
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Re: Fastening decoy to string tip

Postby Mr.L » Tue Feb 04, 2014 9:24 am

Original Duckster, I use to trot line a lot in the spring in the bushes too. I now mostly fish wire traps. You said you were going to get some fishing supplies at Jonesville. The last few years I trot lined, I made a discovery on hooks. For years, I used Mustad stainless steel 2/0 hooks and swivels on my lines. I switched to Eagle Claw 2x long shank offset hooks. They are pricey at about $27 a 100 pack. They work better in two ways. They are longer in the shank and catfish don't swallow them as bad. The offset part will allow you to catch more fish. I bet if you give them a try, you won't be disappointed.
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Re: Fastening decoy to string tip

Postby Original Duckster » Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:29 am

I'll give those longshanks a try. In the woods I usually use Mustad 34009 forged in #1. The will swallow them but catch very well using my hotdog recipe when I can't get lil crawfish. Main lake been using the same in 2/0. I have been playing with the circle hooks the past few years and really like them. I usually fish just 100 to 150 hook at a time unless I really get after them. In the woods I'll use several 25 hook lines scattered out depending on the water. Cheese has gone up but still the best in the traps I think. All the money I spend fishing I could almost buy catfish but that is no fun. :biggrin:
When in doubt, pee on it.
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Re: Fastening decoy to string tip

Postby Mr.L » Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:55 am

Original Duckster, I always liked to use small crawfish in the spring on my lines too. I really liked catalpa worms best. If you couldn't catch them on catalpa worms, you had just as well go to the house. Several people I know use red worms on their trot lines. I never used them because of the length of time to bait up with them. I have never tried hot dog wieners. It is almost impossible to find catalpa worms anymore. If you are lucky enough to have some secret places to find them, you can take them and wash them several times in a bucket until the water is clear, freeze them in ziplock bags covered with water. They will remain pretty and yellow for years. I still have two or three bags in my freezer that I rod and reel tight line with.
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Re: Fastening decoy to string tip

Postby Original Duckster » Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:15 pm

I used to get all the catalpa worms I could use off Walkers Ferry/Cotton Island road and over by Fishville. Hasn't been worms there in years. Best bait period I think.

The hotdog recipe I use catches well but not as good as crawfish. Not many trash fish hit them either. Told Park Duck about it and his boys use them regular. 1 pack of Bar S red cheap hotdogs, a cup or two of minced garlic and a pack of old style strawberry koolaid. cut in half length ways then across about 1/2" thick. When I was told about it I poopooed the idea till one year I couldn't get crawfish. Easier than dragging ditches or messing with cut bait.

Another 2' of water and I'll put out some lines. Gonna make a scouting trip this weekend and see if there are any lil crawfish in the ditches.
When in doubt, pee on it.
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Re: Fastening decoy to string tip

Postby Mr.L » Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:36 pm

Original Duckster, I wonder if catfish would bite web worms. I saw a lot of them in trees last year along Old River in the late spring. I have heard that you can catch bream on them. If they would, I bet they could be washed and frozen like catalpa worms.
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Re: Fastening decoy to string tip

Postby Toledo » Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:29 pm

Im telling you old hands yall are missing out if you arent fishing February under the cormorant roost trees. I know there has to be some big roost trees in some of those oxbows over there.

Some of this under a cork plopped under a big white crap covered tree and you can fill a cooler on rod and reel in no time. http://www.catfishbait.net/
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Re: Fastening decoy to string tip

Postby Mr.L » Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:59 pm

Toledo, I don't know that I have ever seen a cormorant roost . I think what you call cormorants we call water turkeys. You may see two or three around water but I have never seen a whole flock of them. I have fished trot lines around blackbird roosts in Catahoula Lake. I am curious about this Sure Shot dip bait. Do you need a sponge hook to dip bait in? Can you cast it with a rod and reel or will it sling off?
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Re: Fastening decoy to string tip

Postby Original Duckster » Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:12 pm

I wonder if catfish would bite web worms.


I know that we catch cats mixed with bluegills under the pecan and persimmon trees when the water is right and the worms are there. The web worms sure do work for bream.

Toledo, I haven't found a roost around Catahoula or in the surrounding area or I'd try it. There are a LOT of them that roost in Williams lake but the only cats there are of the olive colored type.
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Re: Fastening decoy to string tip

Postby Toledo » Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:46 pm

Sure shot is some good stuff. A #2 or #4 treble hook is all you need but one with the spring around the shank might work even better. Take a stick and push your hook down in it, mash some bait across the top, pull it out, and you are good to go. You can cast it but take it easy. If there is a channel around you will catch him.
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Re: Fastening decoy to string tip

Postby Park Duck » Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:05 pm

Circle hooks are the only way to go. I poopooed about the hotdog recipe until my son made me try it(he went with mama to the grocery store and bought all the stuff). Damn it works good on channels in the woods when the water is up. I've never caught a gar and only one choupique. It will catch a good snapping turtle or two(the boy again). Duckster you say when but I'm thinking running lines hoop nets a coon trap line some booze and cooking sounds like a good weekend.
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