Down rigger for cats

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by Mac-b, Dec 18, 2007.

  1. Mac-b

    Mac-b Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    19,243
    State:
    North Caro
    Ever wish you could fish for suspended catfish or other game fish, but you don't want to use a slip float, standard down riggers, ballons or something similar. Well, I just might have a rig that will work for you.

    You need just four things to built one. A six or eight oz. sinker, six to twelve inches of fishing line, a spring loaded snap and a regular snap. Please look at my attachment of this rig.

    When you are drifting (wind or trolling motor) and you mark some nice arches at 20 feet in 30 feet of water, this is how you use the rig. Bait your hook with live bait thru the lips or eyes. Then cast the bait out 15 to 30 feet and attach the down rigger (spring loaded snap and line snap) to the fishing line (does not matter which you attach first). Count down 20 feet or less (standard rod measures 24" from the reel to the first eye, so you could just have 10 pulls from the reel to the first eye) and then lock it down and place the rod in the flat position of your rod holder. When the fish strikes the spring loaded line snap will come loose and then the rest of the rig will follow the line down to the fish. It will almost make your heart stop when you get a strike. Try it, you may like the action.

    It is best to only use two rigs at a time and it works best on the corner positions. Also, this allows you to have two Carolina rigs out the back and a couple of planer boards out to the side. Do not make sharpe turns while using this setup, turn the boat like you would an eighteen wheeler, wide and slow.
     
  2. tbull

    tbull New Member

    Messages:
    3,318
    State:
    SW Ohio
    Would like to try that sometime it looks neat..I think I better get drifting down before I attempt something like that...:smile2:
     

  3. BAM

    BAM New Member

    Messages:
    827
    State:
    Tennessee
    Off to ebay to look for some of them spring loaded snaps.
     
  4. Quint

    Quint New Member

    Messages:
    293
    State:
    N.C.
    What type and size planner boards are you using? Been wanting to get some but I have been unsure what to get.
     
  5. Mac-b

    Mac-b Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    19,243
    State:
    North Caro
    Bro. Quint, I use one called a Water Bugz. You can Google it on the internet and find them. They weigh about 2 oz's. Ideal for stripers, white bass, white perch and cats.
     
  6. Quint

    Quint New Member

    Messages:
    293
    State:
    N.C.
    LakeNormandBlues thanks, How many boards do you run? I only catfish unless fishing for bait, need boards that will run 3oz lead and a good sized bait. My roots grow on that lake even though I have not fish it in X years. My grandfather spent his last day on that lake. He was tied up to a dock and got swamped by another boat he was by himself and his bilge pump was out of order so he bailed the boat out by hand, then loaded up came home to fall over in the yard with a heart attack. Died while unloading his boat. But if it was a way to go that's what he would have chosen, to have spent his last day fishing. Also thanks to Paul Schofield aka Buffalo.
     
  7. rwilley3

    rwilley3 New Member

    Messages:
    1,389
    State:
    Brighton, Tenne
    Excuse my ignorance about planer boards but I have never used them nor saw anyone who does. Is there a way you could use those things while anchor fishing in running water to move "corner" baits out to side of boat where all 4 rods aren't basically sitting in a 6-10' wide area? Thanks and no laughing please if this idea is ludicruous.:confused2:
     
  8. Mac-b

    Mac-b Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    19,243
    State:
    North Caro
    Quint, planer boards are for drifting and most of us in the Carolinas use 3/4 to 1.12 Oz. slinky weights, with our Carolina rigs. A 3 Oz. weigh would be far too much weigh and would pull the side planer board down. I use two to four side planer board that I stagger. We have a club member that uses six to eight side planer boards at one time. He was runner up in our club championship and did so even tho he missed one tournament. So, as you can see they are productive.

    Rwilley3, it would be hard to use a side planer board if you were anchord down. In swift current you would be better off with a slip bopper or break away float.
     
  9. alands94

    alands94 Active Member

    Messages:
    1,706
    State:
    Lebanon, I
    Downriggers for catfish? Interesting concept. I'm used downriggers for salmon before and it worked quite well. Thanks for posting!
     
  10. bluejay

    bluejay Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,493
    State:
    Napoleon, Mo.
    I have used downriggers for crappie fishing with good results. Not to uncommon to hook a channel now and then. Nothing of any size yet.
     
  11. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Roger, there has to be movement between the water and the boat. It doesn't matter whether the boat is moving through still water, or if water is flowing past a still boat.
     
  12. Quint

    Quint New Member

    Messages:
    293
    State:
    N.C.
    jtrew have also heard of guy's using planner boards in the river both from the bank and the boat, but I have no experience with them.

    LakeNormanBlues we catch a lot of fish suspended during the summer. Mainly on slip float rigs 15-25ft deep, set down lines but get few fish on them. Having the bait away from the boat seems to be a major key. My closes fishing partner other than my dad caught his 92.28lb on a slip-float set 17ft deep in 30 something feet of water. We realize that we could run more rigs in the strike zone if we had planner boards. We also use pencil and snake weights they really cut back on the drag. We have found that 0.5mph is usually the best speed but may go as low as 0.3mph and up to 1mph. We also like large bait, we run from 1oz up to 3oz of lead depending on speed and bait size. Running on such small lead do you have a swing back ratio in order to know how deep your baits are running? Would like to get this set up figured out. Thanks.
     
  13. Quint

    Quint New Member

    Messages:
    293
    State:
    N.C.
    LakeNormanBlues do you have any info on that swing back ratio? Thanks