What am I doing wrong? I fished Thursday and Friday with not a single bite. I am new to catfishing in the winter. I have heard that this is some of the best fishing year round for ths species. I fished around Mountain Island towards the dam in deep water, drifted back under bridge and up lake a bit friday. Thursday I drifted a bit near the sand bar back towards Latta Plantation area near the bend. Tried every bait known to the catfish species (cut shad, cut bream, hot dogs, shrimp, chicken livers, dough bait). I do not think there was any water running through the days i was fishing. Any ideas ?
Out of all these baits, cut shad, cut bream, hot dogs, shrimp, chicken livers, dough bait, the two highlighted ones are the only ones you need to use. Those other baits are not really effective wintertime blue catfish baits.
I have not been on MIL in a while, but I would bet most of the lake is 48-52 degrees, and perhaps even colder up the river. So, if that is case, you are probably going to be better off anchoring in that cold of water. Drifting can work, but you can barely be moving for it to be really successful.
Don't feel bad; MIL can be an unforgiving lake and many an angler has been skunked on it. As a rule, MIL is current dependant for a good bite in the area around and above Gar Creek. Without the current it can be a waiting game.
Perhaps next time you can try the main channel areas in and around the bigger creeks above the bridge. The deeper water many times hold fish in colder temperatures. Also, find the bait if you can and fish these areas. Of course finding good bait concentrations on MIL can be tough.
Id have to agree with Wyliecat. It seems you were in the right areas, but as he said you have to be going very slow this time of year. Try anchoring and fishing the deeper side of the sandbar, Flat and channel with cut baits. Also try in the creeks. Find BAIT. Thats the key to finding the fish. Drift the creek channels on the edges.
Good luck, Mt Island has been good to me 1 day and bad the next few.