Benefits of drifting

Discussion in 'Mac Byrum's Catfish University' started by Mac-b, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. Mac-b

    Mac-b Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    North Caro
    To me the benefits of drifting (using your trolling motor to pull you) are many, but the best one is that you don't have to be an expert to do it.

    Some of you have attended seminars and heard the speaker tell you about fishing humps, dropoffs, points, creek channels, etc. When you drift a lake or compound along the shore line or close to the creek channel, you are most likely going to cover the humps, dropoffs, points, etc. that the seminar fellow told you about whether you realize it or not.

    When you are drifting a creek or whatever, use your GPS trail marker and when you catch a nice fish hit your waypoint button. Also, when you run across some bottom brush, hump, dropoff, etc., again hit your waypoint button. By doing this, you will be setting up a trail that you can follow time and time again and the more you gather this data with your electonics, the better fisherperson you will become. Did you know that you can retrive this data and it will give you the time, date and other important information that you can use later. See, you now have your own fishing record within your fishfinder/GPS unit.

    I would suggest that you troll/drift at a speed of 0.50 MPH. If it is windy and you can not maintain this speed, then put out a couple of five gallon buckets behind the boat or a drift sock. Both will slow the drift or you could troll into the wind and maintain the desired speed.

    For best results I would suggest you use a circle hook (sizes 3/0 to 8/0) will work. You would be surprised how small a cat will take a 8/0 hook. The advantage of the circle hook is that when you are moving 0.50 MPH, the fish strikes and thus, the speed of the boat and the rod do the hook set for you.

    In most boat setups (rod holders) you can run six rods out the back. Also, you can use side planer boards and expand your coverage area. I would suggest that the two center rig location be 150' out, the next two locations 100' out and the last two 75' out. By doing this, you can cut down on the fish crossing the other lines when you are bringing it in. Also, with some pratice, you can make a wide turn and go the other direction without tangling your lines.

    Now, if you have a pontoon boat and do a side drift with the wind, you can adapt the same techniques as mentioned above as it relates to electronics, pole (rigs) locations and etc.

    I invite others to join in and discuss their techniques and why they like drifting.
  2. gotta go

    gotta go New Member

    I have found out that the way i drift on Santee seems to work on the other lakes i fish. Drift socks are a must and if you have a good size boat 2 or 3 may be needed in heavy wind. I like to make my own drift lead made from #4 buckshot and this shoelace materal. It seems to drift smoother than the bottom bouncers that i have used in the past. I see a lot of people using these drift wts., now so i guess the secret is out. If you don't know how just shoot me an email and maybe i can walk you through it. I usually use a 2 inch cigar cork about a foot above the hook.
    Sometimes you have to experment with how much line to let out and the drift speed. Fish can swim fast when they want to but at other times they can be lazy. :cool2:


    SGTREDNECK New Member

    Does drifting work all year long? I am talking October through the colder months of the year when the fish are less active?
  4. catfishscotty

    catfishscotty Well-Known Member


    yes it does i have drifted in january and did well !!!!! maybe not as in quanity durring summer months not uncommon at all to catch 30 to 50 fish a day on the lake i drift / most common size is 2 to 15 lbers on blue cats and channels

    but the size of fish seem to be larger on average in the winter the numbers seem to drop some but several times still caught 8 to 20 fish per day with several in the 12 to 40 lb range .

    here in missouri sometimes we have nice 50 to 65 degree days in december threw febuary and if we have a nice breeze around 8 to 15 mph on those nice days ive done good drifting .

    also in the winter i fish deeper water then durring summer months .

    summer usually the fish are in 6 to 25 foot

    winter seem to be in 30 to 50 and even 70 foot deep .
  5. BigBird

    BigBird New Member

    Charlotte, NC
    Drifting works all year long. We caught excellent fish this year at the lowest of 17 degrees drifting. I can not give you a comparison of whether it is better or not-i guess it will depend on your knowledge of the lake, activity of the fish as well as other factors. I feel that it helps me cover more water in less time. I tend to sit when anchoring too long and dont cover as much water as i intended.
    When i moved up to this area a couple of weeks ago I got my butt kicked in the tourneys until the guys on the BOC and Carolina Catfish Club tought me how to drift. Not to say i dont get my butt kicked but I catch more fish than before and I am still learning.
    Good luck!
    Let us know how you do?
  6. Jordan Hinrichs

    Jordan Hinrichs New Member

    Seward Nebraska
    When you guys are drifting, do you cast out and let your weights drag bottom?? If you do that, then what if you were fishing in 20+mph winds, how do you successfully drift and keep the bait from bouncing around? I've been checking out some Steve Douglas vids and he mostly drifts rivers, but when he does, he just has the bait hanging over the side of the boat with heavy weights. I've tried the weights dragging on the bottom and haven't been successful yet with drifting. Any help?