Setlines are a means of offering bait to fish over an extended period of time in a single location selected because of its high probability to either hold fish or to have fish regularly moving through the area. The setline typically consists of a single, strong main line with shorter lines tied on at regular intervals with hooks attached at the end of each of the shorter lines. The hooks are baited, one end of the main line is secured to the shore or other object, the line is stretched out into the water, and the opposite end is anchored. The targeted fish, most frequently catfish, are attracted to the bait’s smell and hook themselves attempting to swim away with the bait.
Fishing with set lines is not a legal means of taking fish in some states. The states that allow this technique typically have specific regulations that require anglers to check the lines at minimum intervals, limit the number of hooks permitted and in some instances require that the lines be labeled with information that identifies the angler. Be sure to check the fishing regulations for your state.