Big River drifting question...

Discussion in 'Blue Catfishing' started by Salmonid, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. Salmonid

    Salmonid New Member

    SW Ohio
    Just curious what everyones favorite speed is for drifting? then what is the fastest speed you have ever taken some fish and has anyone ever noticed if a faster speed reduces catches of channels or flaties?? I have read that blues will chase at faster speeds then other cats but can anyone back that up??

    Im talking in big river systems, Ohio, Miss, Cumberland, etc.

    Thanks , Salmonid
  2. Big Sam

    Big Sam Well-Known Member

    Booneville AR
    We drift around a lot here Ar, now the Ar, river aint as big as the ones you've mentioned:crazy: but we do know a little about drifting for blues:tounge_out: You are 100% correct they will chase it usually more than not...matter a fact i had it happen last weekend with Regan ..i got a bite he almost had it and lost it ...i said to regan watch he will chase it down if he really wants it...bam he did a few seconds later....speed well i have drifted as fast as 2.25mph and caught fish; on the slow end about .35 barely keeps the bait going. I am asked all the time about speed usually i would say .50 to .89 ....but sometimes they hit better at higher speeds say .96 to 1.50mph...I love to drift it is one of my favorites...there are many factors to drifting, wind & current / current - vs- wind, boat size & hull shape/ weight in the boat/ depth the fish are at...rod holders...rods...line...different ways to rig...a feller could write a book just on drifting & techniques:smile2::wink: there is lot's more but my mind is burnin!!!:beat_brick:

  3. Welder

    Welder New Member

    I took a tip from the guys out west and used a drag line to drift the main channel and pot holes on the MO river in mid MO. I use a 5 ft chain and a 20 lb window weight to slow the boat down to about 1.5 mph in 4 to 6 mph current. It ant a perfect set up but I have caught some blues doen it. I have also done some drifting below dams and done good to. It can be a good way to find fish when they are scatterd over the main river channel.
  4. metalman

    metalman Well-Known Member

    I think the ideal speed varies with the prevailing current but one thing I had happen recently got me thinking.
    We were drifting the Ohio and the fish were in a very neutral mood. I fired up the big engine to reposition the boat but left the baits down as we weren't going far. No sooner had the baits started to be dragged across and upstream behind the boat than one of them got hammered. Talking to another guy earlier this week and he had a similar thing happen when he turned up the power on the trolling motor to head upstream a little. As soon as he was moving against the current he too got a hit.
    I guess It pays to try various speeds and not get stuck into a fixed number for the drift...W
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2009
  5. kitsinni

    kitsinni New Member

    I don't have any type of reliable way to determine my exact speeds at speeds that slow but I would guess I drift from .3 to 2 mph. I like to drift slower when possible. From what I have found when there is no current at all I will try a slow drift using the slowest speed on the trolling motor that will keep the boat in the direction I want. If I don't get bites I speed it up a bit and that will sometimes trigger bites. When the current is around .5-1 mph I try to match the current as close as possible. If the current is faster than 1 mph I try to drift slower than the current. I figure if the river is moving then keeping baits in front of them longer than normal helps, if the river is not moving they seem to be more picky and getting your bait in front of as many fish as possible helps so I speed it up. I have never drifted in really heavy current over 4 mph I use other techniques that have been more productive for me.

    Do you guys drag baits or do you keep them straight under the boat? If you do drag them what rig do you use for dragging? I almost always fish under the boat and am constantly adjusting my depths to compensate. Anything from as close the the bottom as I can get to 15' above the bottom. I like to use an accurate line counter for drift fishing. Once you know exactly how far off bottom they are hitting you can do some real damage.
  6. ccat

    ccat Well-Known Member

    Fayetteville Ar
    On the Arkansas river, .50-1.5 mph has been good. I know Big Sam has told me he has hammered them up to over 2 mph before.
    I will say, we have caught a few channels this summer, but not many, drifting, but never when the water is really moving........over 1.0mph.

    CATFISHKKO New Member

    Chesterfield, VA
    thanks we've been thinking of trying some drifting round here in VA and this helps a lot guys