This is an easy way to make trotline ID tags. In most states the law requires that you use gear tags on trotlines, limb lines, traps and such. After years of trying everything imaginable for tags, here is the best thing that I have found so far. Here is how to make trotline ID tags….I use cattle ear tags as the ID tag for all of my fishing gear that need identification. Since I own a cattle ranch, I always have a ready supply of these on hand. They are very flexible plastic and will take years of abuse. You can buy these ear tags here.
These tags come in various colors. I like to use these green tags so that they will not become evident to potlickers or trotline thieves. While you can use a standard Sharpie style marker, I like to use this special paint marker pen that is made just for these tags. It’s very easy to use and the paint from the marker actually soaks into the plastic and will last a lifetime without fading. The Sharpie styles of markers will fade in sunlight in just a few days and will not hold up to repeated immersion in water. The paint marker pen does last a long time as the one that I have is several years old and still flows paint nicely.
Another method to make some really nice tags that I have seen before is to use the metal tree tags, such as those seen on a tree farm. These tags are made of soft aluminum and you engrave your ID information onto the tag surface by just using a ball point pen. You can get these tags here.
Be sure to write all of the required information particular to your state. In Texas you must write your name and address and telephone number. You must also date the tags and visit the trotline or limb line every two weeks and re-date the tags. This is a good thing as this helps to keep junk and abandoned lines from littering the rivers and lakes and making hazards for both fish and boaters.
These easy to make trotline ID tags are a simple, and foolproof way to properly identify your fishing equipment and will last for years!