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Thread: Skunked on Blue Cats...
03-20-2012, 10:34 AM #1
Skunked on Blue Cats...
...so far, but Hope Springs Eternal, right? (Especially on the first day of Spring).
OK, here's what I'm doing: I have a 14 x 43 jon boat with an electric motor, so no big water crossings, or picking up and running several miles to the next spot; pretty much limited to within a mile or so of the public boat ramps. Also, no fish finder electronics. There's always Father's Day...
In the last couple of weeks, I've visited the Slanting Bridge/RR Bridge slot, the outside points in the Hager Creek area (facing the open water), and the points and coves in the middle section of the Lake Norman State park, one drainage over from Rocky Creek. I've been slow trolling and bottom bouncing both CBMIGP and cut shad. I can only handle two poles at best by myself. One is Carolina rigged with a Lindy slinky weight and a 30-in leader; the other is a Santee-Cooper rig with a small peg float about a foot in front of the bait. I generally hit the bottom, and come up a few cranks of the reel.
I work the points up and over, from about 10 feet to 25, or so...run them out from the shallow into the deeper water along the dropoff sides, and have done both drifting and just sitting becalmed off a point, pretty much like anchored still fishing.
Haven't had as much as a bump. Generally fishing from about 9 am to 1 or 2 pm.
Am I doing something terminally wrong? Or is it just a matter of lots of hours dragging the chicken chunks around before some blue takes pity on me?
03-20-2012, 11:03 AM #2
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Somedays are like that Bill!
Hang in there man!
Good luck and good fishing!
03-20-2012, 11:14 AM #3
Are you fishing with your baits right under the boat ?
Since you are new, how about checking out this link >>> http://www.catfish1.com/forums/forum...ish-University. It will inform you about a lot of things about drift fishing, etc.Nil desperandum
03-20-2012, 11:28 AM #4
How fast are you pulling the baits??? Most people try to keep their speed around 1/2 mph when drifting, so maybe you are going too fast??? Also, like Mac mentioned...are your baits right under the boat? I'm guessing so, since you said you reel them up a crank or two. I would recommend tying on a couple santee rigs and getting them as far away from the boat as you can, especially if you are fishing shallow water. Cats might be a little spooky around that trolling motor. Another option is just to anchor and toss out a couple of carolina rigs. Cast them far as you can and cover as many different depths as possible until you get a bite, and then go from there. If anchoring, I would only stay on a spot 45 minutes or so....if no bites, pick em up and keep moving. Stay after them and you'll get 'em eventually. Only other thing I can think of is make sure that your bait is fresh. And if the chicken isn't working, try some cut bait to mix it up a little bit. There are plenty or bream/crappie/perch to be caught this time of year, and the cats love em! Good luck
03-20-2012, 03:36 PM #5
Gentlemen: thanks for the info! I just spent an enjoyable hour perusing Mac's Catfish University. Very interesting techniques about different preparations for the live bait for trolling.
I'm fairly sure I'm not going faster than a 1/2 mph...I'm creeping along very slowly. I'm only running 1/2-oz Lindy weights, so the baits are a fair bit behind the boat. Definitely not right under it.
I was trying to avoid the planers, but I guess it's hard to argue with success!
03-20-2012, 08:38 PM #6
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03-21-2012, 12:32 AM #7
The best thing you could do would be to book a trip with Mac. It will be the best investment in your fishing that you can make. Take a camara and take pictures of the rigs so you won't forget what they look like. Write down the names of all the equipment he uses, weights, hook sizes, leader length. Your fishing in a lot of the right areas ( I caught a 9 lb blue out of Hicks creek Saturday) you just need to learn the techniques. Good luck and keep us posted. Joel
03-21-2012, 03:55 PM #8
It sounds like you are fishing mostly lake Norman and I haven't done a lot of lake fishing for cats and I don't really drift but I expect a lot of the same rules apply....
I know river fishing that certain times of the year they bite certain baits better than others.
Right now the shad(American?) are running so that seems to be the hot bait this time of the year.
We went the other night and didn't have any shad but did catch a few on chicken liver.
Later in the year cut bream will work well for them.
Cut eels seem to always work well if you can find them.
I've been camping before and run out of bait and caught smaller ones on cheap red hot dogs and regular earth worms.
I would maybe try anchoring in a few spots and mixing my bait up a little.
I expect if you anchor you can also use 3-4 rods throwing one shallow, one deep and a few in between.
You might also try using jugs or trotlines to just kind of use to scout out areas. If you set them and don't catch anything then you know that might not be a great spot.
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I know bass follow migration patterns in lakes, do catfish do the same thing? Are they moving up into the backs of coves to spawn?