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From a beginning fisher:

Can I, say, float a raft out into the middle of a lake, with several fishing lines/hooks/bait hanging into the lake, with the whole thing tethered to the shore by a long rope, and hope to catch some fish?

In other words, can I put some baited hooks in the middle of the lake and walk away for a few hours and then pull the raft back with some caught fish, or will they have gotten away during that time?

Or is it necessary to cast line out from a pole with reel and start reeling in as soon as a fish starts tugging the line?

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1 Answer 1

There are a few techniques that amount to just this. Trotline are essentially long lines with multiple baited hooks on them. YoYos are spring-activated contraptions that you set out and do the job of setting the hook. Finally, jug fishing involves tying line to a jug or large float. In general, these techniques are used mainly for catfish, though crappie, stripped bass, and other species can be had on them as well.

It is worth noting that these may be frowned upon by some sport fishermen since trotlines especially can foul casting gear. Generally these are not something you would do if you "fish for fun", since part of the fun is the technique of presenting bait to the fish and battling it in. If fishing for food, they can be productive techniques. Note these may not be legal or may have certain seasons and restrictions in some states or areas. Check local regulations, which often mention these techniques by name.

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It is good to stress that these techniques may indeed be frowned upon, for good reasons. Not only do they foul casting gear, but they also often foul hook fish, what lessen their chances of survival. When fishing, there are always instances where you hook fish that you don't want to harvest (too small, wrong species, protected species), and you want to minimise the risk of killing such fish. – Kenji 2 days ago

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