a strong fishing line strung across a stream, or deep into a river, having individual hooks attached by smaller lines at intervals.

1825–35; perhaps trot1 + line1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
trotline (ˈtrɒtˌlaɪn)
angling Compare trawl See also setline a long line suspended across a stream, river, etc, to which shorter hooked and baited lines are attached

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Example sentences
Rod and reel anglers grumble because they can't even drift across an open flat without snagging an invisible trotline.
Large flathead catfish are occasionally caught by trotline anglers using live fish for bait.
Each trotline shall be marked at both ends with a clearly visible stake or buoy.
Those that crab with collapsible traps also do not have to worry about crabs falling off a trotline before they can be netted.
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