Cuz's Creeping Rig

Discussion in 'Catfishing Library' started by Cuz, Jul 11, 2007.

  1. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

    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.


    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.
  2. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

    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.