Cuz's Creeping Rig

Discussion in 'MISSOURI RIVERS TALK' started by Cuz, Jul 11, 2007.

  1. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

    Messages:
    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO
    I had a few folks PM me and ask me about how I rig my "creeping rig" so I thought I'd just post it here so all can see it.

    Why do I call it a creeping rig? Its the best name I could come up with in the wee hours of the morning. :big_smile: as it involves very slowwwwwly "creeping" your bait back to the boat. Gary can vouch, as I came up with the name at 3 in the morning and we were getting a little punchy having fished for 15 hours straight. (Gary fished for 25 hours straight)

    Heres the rigging in a nutshell.
    1. 80 Pound Power Pro Red Braid
    2. 6-8 Ounce No Roll Sinker
    3. Plastic Bead
    4. #1 Spro Barrel Swivel (330 pounds breaking strength)
    5. 2-3 feet of 40-80 Pound Ande Monofilament Shock Leader
    6. Wine Cork (very important)
    7. Plastic Bead
    8. 7-10 ott, Gamagatsu Octopus hook.
    (Photo of rig is below)

    How I came about learning to Creep.
    After fishing quite a few tournaments in the Ohio River System these past two years, I diligently watched the better tournament fisherman, and the things they all do and have in common. Specifically, folks like Phil King, John Jamison, Harold Dodd, Al Strokhoff, Cary Rickets, and many others. These guys are good, and they are METHODICAL. They have perfected "controlled driftfishing" with their trolling motors to a science and they put fish in the boat. After all, isnt that the object?

    I have spent alot of time attempting controlled drifting on the Mississippi, and even the Missouri River systems, and I can tell you its not easy. The current is just about too fast for most trolling motors and dragging objects to slow you down leads to lots of hangups and frustrations. So, I pondered. And I pondered some more. And I realized, that If I move my bait around with my rod and reel, isnt that the same as "controlled drifting?"

    The beginnings of "creeping" were born, and its very, very simple.

    Identify the best areas in your section of river known to attract the cats and anchor downstream or upstream of that area. (I've found anchoring downstream and casting up current is best as the fish are use to bait coming downstream) These could include channel ledges, humps, wing dykes, barge docks, grain loading facilities, sand banks, current rips, clam beds etc.

    Envision a 150 degree cone behind the boat, and make 8-10 very long cast every 10 degrees around your circle.

    Let your bait reach bottom, and very slowly "creep" your bait back to the boat. I try and move the bait a few feet every 30 secs to a minute. I usually get my strikes right after i move the bait, or hop the bait over a rock. This is very similiar to what some of the pros refer to as "fluffing" where they will shake their offerings, then "fluff" the bait back downcurrent to entice a catfish to bite.

    Its important to use the right amount of weight to do this. You want just barely enough weight to hold the bottom, whereas you can creep your bait with very little effort and to avoid snagging. If you are getting hung up alot, try a lighter weight until you have the right combination.

    The wine cork, or a cheap float right at your hook I believe is very important. Blues will typically suspend just off the bottom, and they are 90 Percent more likely to feed on a bait above them, then they will one that is below them. Having a 3 foot leader, and the cork at your hook keeps your bait "fluffing" in the current, just off the bottom.

    I've been catching some fish with this technique, and I'm eager to get out and play with it some more. I believe its a huge advantage to have that rod in your hand as well. While I'm holding my rod, I will gently lift my line with my left thumb just above my reel, so I can feel the bites. Since I have been fishing like this, I noticed blues very typically will "bump" or "nudge" the bait. I believe they are smelling the bait, identifying it, and making up their minds to eat. When I feel the nudge, I will lower the rod tip and wait. The bite usually comes immediately after that nudge, and I'm primed to set the hook on that first bite. I feel thats the best chance at hooking the fish is on the first agressive bite. My catch rates are nearly triple on the rods I am holding versus the ones that are in my holders. Of course, I'll always have out another rod or two that I'll cast in different directions. I will rig those rods with circle hooks since I'm not holding them, and the fish can hook themselves.

    Give it a try. I hope it works as well for you as it has for me. I cant wait to get back out there and get to "creepin" for some "catfish".

    Good Luck, and Be Safe.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Malichi1970

    Malichi1970 New Member

    Messages:
    1,334
    State:
    Fenton, Missouri
    One question Cuz, is the cork or bobber that is attached above the bait hook tight to the line or is it allowed to slide?
     

  3. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    Thanks for the write-up, John. (Though the only references to "fluffing" I've ever heard had absolutely nothing to do with catfish bites...:crazy:)

    Jamison mentioned a similar method he uses, where he'll "walk" a baited hook downstream while anchored above a likely looking spot, sometimes as much as a hundred yards or more behind the boat. Sounds a lot like what you're describing, except you may be working upstream and coming toward the boat rather than going downstream from the boat. When working the bait downstream toward the boat, how do you keep the bait from doubling back over your main line and getting tangled?

    I'll have to give "creeping" a try next time I'm out.

    I've tried the controlled drifting bit a few times and it's nothing short of frustrating - trying to control the boat, keep an eye on the submerged dike you're about to hit, keep the bait moving along without getting hung up, and fighting a foot-operated trolling motor is too much like work for my taste. Plus, the idea of fishing with only 1 rod in the water is somehow less appealing than having 5 or 6 fanned out behind the boat. But if that one rod catches fish more often than the other 4 or 5, I suppose it's worth trying...
     
  4. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

    Messages:
    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO
    It is allowed to slide, however I'm experimenting with pinching the cork right at the hook with a toothpick. I dont think its critical that the cork be allowed to slide.
     
  5. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

    Messages:
    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO
     
  6. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

    Messages:
    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO
    The cool thing is, you can still cast out your other rods and use circle hooks on them, and use your creeping rig and just cast around your others. I think you will find you will catch MOST of your fish on the rig in your hands. I never realized how subtle that little "nudge" is when the fish bump it. I doubt you can see it happen on a rod in a holder. That nudge clues me in that I'm getting ready to get bit and I'm ready to wallop them on that first big bite. Hook up percentage is pretty high.
     
  7. dust_stl

    dust_stl New Member

    Messages:
    42
    State:
    Missouri
    thanks Cuz for the info with pics, one quick question. What do you use to drill that small hole through the cork?


    Thanks Dustin
     
  8. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

    Messages:
    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO

    I used a drill press, however just a standard drill and bit does a great job. Just run the bit back and forth a few times through the hole and clean it out good. Make sure you dont make the hole to big so that it would wedge itself onto the bead and hook.
     
  9. bigcatmaniac

    bigcatmaniac New Member

    Messages:
    459
    State:
    California Miss
    so basically it is like b@$$ fishing you try to finesse your bait right on top of the fish to make him or her bite. Good technique, i will have to try it some time.
     
  10. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

    Messages:
    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO
    Exactly Ethan. Its very similiar to fishing a texas rigged plastic bait.
     
  11. cpalombo

    cpalombo New Member

    Messages:
    318
    State:
    Nashville TN
    After reading this, I am going to Ace Hardware to buy some corks right this minute! I have to find some wine some place to "season" the corks with grape-flavored chumming power.

    (And no, the one bottle of wine I buy each year has a screw on top). CP is the big spender when it comes to wine, only the finest wines of southeast Idaho satisfy my snobish wine-pallet.

    Cuz, I take it that white Pepsi 2-liter caps wont work as well ???

    :)

    CP
     
  12. Ol Man

    Ol Man New Member

    Messages:
    3,170
    State:
    Illinois
    Thanks for supplying me with another way to add to my arsenal of catfishing knowledge, or lack thereof. So far my catfishing has drawn almost a blank. I have no problems catching eater size, just a problem hooking the bigger ones..:embarassed:
     
  13. dust_stl

    dust_stl New Member

    Messages:
    42
    State:
    Missouri
    Same here Ol Man that’s why I call myself a professional LittleCatfisherman. I can get more eater size cats than anyone could ask for. Just having the same problem you are getting the bigins. I keep telling myself they will come though. I think we can break are curse with all the help and knowledge that you can get here on Boc.


    Dustin
     
  14. Grumper

    Grumper New Member

    Messages:
    2,277
    State:
    Crystal City MO
    After being there and seing the Results of Cuz's creeping rig, You can bet your a## that I will be using it this weekend. In fact I still have one rigged up from Sunday night.:smile2:
     
  15. Grumper

    Grumper New Member

    Messages:
    2,277
    State:
    Crystal City MO
    It was pretty neat watching it. I'm sitting there watching my rods not even move, your slow rolling in back to the boat, the feeling a slight nudge and the rod then ...wallop! He's one there. I think for a little bit you had a fish on like every cast.
     
  16. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

    Messages:
    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO
    I think I had 3 straight fish on 3 consecutive cast. That was fun. :crazy:
     
  17. Mi11er

    Mi11er New Member

    Messages:
    5,117
    State:
    Independence, M
    That is a wonderful system, I will give it a try
     
  18. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    I suppose the cork is one way to go, but it's sure a lot of work.

    You can buy removable floats with a slit all the way down them if you look around long enough. I use them all the time for drift fishing in the lake. They're about 1.5" long, 3/4" wide and have black pegs at each end. I bought mine in a bag of 100 on eBay last year, will have enough to last me for ages...
     
  19. spoonfish

    spoonfish New Member

    Messages:
    3,780
    State:
    Warsaw, Mo.
    Good post Cuz! :0a31:

    Only question I have. Just how much wine do you drink..??..:tounge_out:
     
  20. cat tamer

    cat tamer New Member

    Messages:
    694
    State:
    MO
    Thanks cuz for the post, info like this is what helps educate the boc family. reps to you