The line I was using was the same line my dad used when I was a kid, so it's pretty old. I'm going to redo the spool with fresh line. I'm sure that was the issue.
Is there a trick to keeping the liver on your hook? I was splitting them and using as much of the connective tissue as I could to feed around the hook, but about 1/4 of the time I'd bait the hook, cast it out, and my hook would land about 15 feet away from where the bait landed.
My cousin was getting quite a kick out of this. I had the same problem with the hot dogs until I realized you pierce it through the casing and it stays on forever.
Funny thing - this lake must have some hungry fish. I was dragging the bottom with liver and hot dogs, and I caught two bass - one of them a decent size. What the heck?