Bait Floats

Discussion in 'Channel Catfish' started by d1d1d, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. d1d1d

    d1d1d New Member

    Messages:
    14
    State:
    Iowa
    I got the opportunity to fish with BURWELL last Sunday. Mike is
    an excellent fisherman. We did very well, boating more than a dozen
    channels in the 4-9 pound range.
    An important lesson learned was the value of keeping the bait off of the bottom. Using bait floats made a difference.
    I tried to find the right kind of float...not available anywhere I
    looked. Now available at Ebay under 'Fisherman's Secret...Bait Floats".

    The floats made a world of difference.

    Dan
     
  2. Aquakeeper

    Aquakeeper New Member

    Messages:
    32
    State:
    Maryland
    I've always just use a once weight and bottom rig with 2 hooks on them. Cats are bottom feeders so why does having the bait off the bottom help?

    Just curious..

    THanks
     

  3. vegasryder

    vegasryder New Member

    Messages:
    324
    State:
    illinois
    Yes...they pretty much are considered bottom feeders but it doesnt mean they wont eat anything else other than food in the bottom of a lake or river.A good thing with fishing with floats is that you can cover alot of ground in a shorter amount of time especially in the rivers.You can get to areas that arent accessible(?spelling)just by casting and it will definitely help you avoid snags.Another plus to keeping it off the bottom is that sometimes your bait will fall into crevises(?spelling again) that the cats cant get to.Hope this helps any your question...
     
  4. gadzooks

    gadzooks New Member

    Messages:
    1,532
    State:
    Kingwood, Tx (Houston)
    Catfish eat all through the water column. Out of 17 I caught last Friday, half were on a float set at 4-5 ft. the rest were from the bottom. Several of the catfish I caught on the float rigs were 4-6 lbs. Especially in the summer, when the water is turning over and oxygen is low on bottom, you'll find catfish in the upper part of the water column, especially on deeper lakes. Try it, its great fun watchiing that bobber go down.

    Don't know what kind of floats you are looing for, but I've found some 8" stick floats marketed by South Bend that lay on the side at rest, then go vertical when the catfish takes the bait. Gander Mountain is wher I bought them. I use 7/0 Gamatsu Octopus cicles and then don't have to watch the float so much when I have bottom lines out. Love those big floats.
     
  5. dafin

    dafin New Member

    Messages:
    1,461
    State:
    Manhattan,Kan
    I catch almost all my channels under a float. I find that when feeding the larger fish feed at the top, the deeper I set the smaller the fish. I hear that cats are only bottom feeders, I find that it is not true.I have floated for channels for 30 years.
     
  6. BIG GEORGE

    BIG GEORGE New Member

    Messages:
    10,362
    State:
    JOISY
    Besides all the good info ya already got I believe it helps channels take the bait alot easier due to thier wicked overbite. They don't have to try and pin the bait to the bottom to get it in their mouths.
     
  7. GoFish_Tony

    GoFish_Tony New Member

    Messages:
    600
    State:
    Big Rock, IL
    What is the best way to use a float on a river? If bank fishing, wouldn't the current just wash it to shore? I would love to be able to fish off the bottom. Thanks in advance for any help.

    _
     
  8. dcaruthers

    dcaruthers New Member

    Messages:
    756
    State:
    Alabama
    I think "bottom feeders" is a misconception about catfish. Their eyes are on top and they look up for food. I have always had better luck with my bait off the bottom. I also use the sinker and hook set up on at least one of my rods, but always catch more fish on the ones off the bottom.
     
  9. dcaruthers

    dcaruthers New Member

    Messages:
    756
    State:
    Alabama
    Tony,

    You do not always have to use a float that stays on top of the water. In current I use a small slip float a foot or so above my bait and below a 3-5 oz no roll sinker. This plants my rig on the bottom, but lifts the bait up.
     
  10. dafin

    dafin New Member

    Messages:
    1,461
    State:
    Manhattan,Kan
    I float in the river a lot . I cast up and across the stream . I let the float go down stream until I can't see it , then reel in and cast again. at times I will have out as much as 200 yards of line.It works best in fast water where the fish don't have time to mess with a bait , they just take it .
     
  11. d1d1d

    d1d1d New Member

    Messages:
    14
    State:
    Iowa
    These baits floats are used on the bottom. The float and bait
    are anchored by the sinker and should move with any river
    or trolling current. Also, bottom snags are often avoided because
    the hook is elevated about 8-15 inches from the bottom.

    As to why the floats work so well....ask the catfish. My guess
    would be that they don't have to scoop bait out of the mud to
    strike.

    Dan
     
  12. primitive

    primitive Member

    Messages:
    261
    State:
    Dav. Ia.
    This is a very good tip. Thank you d1. I would gladly give you reps, but I don't know how to do that yet. prim from CR
     
  13. TDawgNOk

    TDawgNOk Gathering Monitor (Instigator)

    Messages:
    3,365
    State:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Ok folks. I am going to post a link to the best possible float for catfish. It just happens to be from one of our sponsors MainWolf. Check out their Katbobber, you will be very glad that you did.

    As to why using a bobber can be more productive, I believe that when your bait is on the bottom, a lot of times it can slip into a crevice that the cats can't get to. Also, they may have trouble picking up the bait. With it hanging suspended in front of them, they can just inhale the bait.
     
  14. Arkansascatman777

    Arkansascatman777 New Member

    Messages:
    7,782
    State:
    AR
    Floats are an excellent way to fish. I rig up 3 different ways using flooats and for 3 different situations.
    The first way is to use a slip cork. If you are using a pre-tied bobber stop knot slide it on your main line first and remove the plastic part and discard pull both tag ends but do not tighten or remove tag ends yet now slide on a bead then your bobber then a slip sinker of your choice then another bead then tie on your swivel of choice. Now tie your leader ( I use 8 - 12 inch for this ) and the hook of your choice. Now slide the stop knot to the depth you want to fish and tighten and trim the tag ends. Plumbers tape also works great for a stop knot and this is what I use most. This rig can be fished many ways. You can drift this rig with the current or with the wind. You can use this rig to drift fish in the boat and can also be used to fish straight down in the trees or snags to a set depth It can be used in alot of situations. I like the cat bobbers that I purchased from Main Wolf products.
    The second is using a crappie or what I call a cigar float on a drift fishing rig. There is a lot of different ways to make the sliding sinker but this is how I do mine. I use 30 lb. on the main line and 50lb. test for my leaders but for the slide sinker leader I use 15 lb. test. Tie on a snap swivel small enough that it will not slide past your swivel when it hits it. then tie a 2 oz. bell on the other end try to keep this leader between the sinker and the snap swivel 2 to 3 inches long. ( the shorter the better ). Now make your leader 18 to 24 inches long and tie on your swivel then slide on the cigar cork then tie on the hook of your choice. Now peg the cork in place 5 to 8 inches from the hook. Now put the snap swivel on your main line between your pole and the swivel on your leader. The snap swivel should slide down the main line and stop on the swivel on the leader. As you drift along the 2 oz. bell will be all that actually comes in contact with the bottom and depending on how far you pegged the cork from the hook and how long your leader is will determin how far your bait is suspended off the bottom. Usually the only thing that hangs will be the sinker and that is why I use light line for the sinker drop so it will break easily and not cause me to lose a fish from being hung. These cigar corks can be purchased at Walmart. And work really well.
    The last way is to rig the same cigar cork but in a different way and for a different reason. It is rigged in a basic carolina rig by sliding on the sinker of your choice onto the main line and then a bead if you choose to use one. Now make your leader 18 to 24 inches long and slide on the cork and peg it 5 to 8 inches from the hook. I use this rig if I am fishing a very soft bottom or in silt or a bunch of leaves to keep the bait suspended up above the mud or trash.
    This is three ways that I use corks It may not be the best way but it is how I use them and it works for me.
     
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  15. benneeb0y

    benneeb0y New Member

    Messages:
    139
    State:
    VA
    dcaruthers i tend to set up my rig the same way and I am always more successful using this method compared to just having the bait on the ground. cats mouths arent made for getting stuff off the bottom.
     
  16. Aquakeeper

    Aquakeeper New Member

    Messages:
    32
    State:
    Maryland
    Thanks for all the great info guys.....I def might have to give the floats a try next time I head out to the river. Maybe I can catch the big ones that we have been missing using the bait and sink method.

    Are the floats sold in stores like Walmart or Dicks or are they somthing I gotta get online?
     
  17. gadzooks

    gadzooks New Member

    Messages:
    1,532
    State:
    Kingwood, Tx (Houston)
    It always surprises me that folks find the idea that catfish will take a bait fished under a float, or with a suspended float strange. Haven't they heard about the success that jug fishermen have?
     
  18. grizzly

    grizzly New Member

    Messages:
    229
    State:
    Griffithville, Arkansas
    Yeah, even when I trotline I want it close to bottom but don't want my bait laying on bottom. grizzly
     
  19. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    Dan we use floats on our drift fishing rigs and the 2" red and white ones available at walmart are perfect or the solid red ones which are a little longer.:smile2:
     
  20. dwreel

    dwreel New Member

    Messages:
    554
    State:
    Southern Pines, NC
    OK guys, you convinced me. I'm tired of getting hung-up. So I'm switching to slip floats 99%. This is a great thread with great information. Thanks all for the help.