Downriggers For Catfish

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by brew1961, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. brew1961

    brew1961 New Member

    Messages:
    182
    State:
    West Virgi
    Downriggers For Catfish
    Ok, I'm new at specifically looking for big cats and even newer at trying to use a downriggers. I picked up two Cannon downriggers for $150 bucks in new condition. As I have read many Posts on BOC and on the web I have found very little on using downriggers specifically for catfish. I will tell you some Ideas I have and hopefully I'll get advise/tips from BOC members.
    • Fishing mostly on the Ohio River, some fishing will be done on lakes in West Virginia.
    • The rig- I'm thinking no weight while using the downrigger, either using a whole shad/skipjacks or cut bait on a hook. Putting out approximately 50-75 feet of line lowering the downrigger to a desirable depth using electronics and the counter on the downrigger .
    • Drift Fishing- I think using downriggers floating down the river adjusting the downriggers as you go would be a good technique for bait presentation on active fish. Maybe it would keep you out of a lot of snags that you would get into dragging the bait on the bottom using a Carolina rig. Using downriggers would give you very good depth control keeping the bait where you want it. Using the counter on the downrigger in a honey hole would allow you to log what you did in a particular place and be able to repeat it over and over again.
    • Anchoring- Lets say you are above a bridge and you wanted to fish along a supporting structure. You could go by using your electrons find out how deep you need to be, anchor up stream. Let out enough line to get to the desirable position attach your line to the cannon ball lower it down using the current to put you in the strike zone of any active fish. This would also work on any deep hole you would locate and wanted to fish.
    • Trolling- Would be basically the same as drifting but give you more or less speed and better control of you boat direction.
    I Have just learned the secret of using Skipjacks for bait and since August of this year we have caught five pound Smallmouth bass, 24-26 inch Walleye, 10 pound plus Striper Bass, a 30 and 40 plus pound Flatheads. Many 5-10 pound catfish. All on skipjacks. My girl friend bought her first fishing license this year and she is hooked on fishing! She had me beat on the biggest Walleye and Biggest catfish I have ever caught and I have been fishing for over 40 years. I did beat her biggest fish though LOL.
    I would like to get your input on this idea of mine, hopefully someone has been doing this or could give me tips on what they have learned that I could apply to using downriggers to catch catfish. I plan on making some videos to document this process. Hopefully it will be productive and we can get some good footage. Thanking you in advance for any ideas or comments that you may have. Thanks, Tim
     
  2. tbull

    tbull New Member

    Messages:
    3,318
    State:
    SW Ohio
    I to have came across some downriggers...We were fishing one of my favorite holes a month or so ago, and there were 2 boats there when I got there fishing with downriggers. There were not drifting, but had there trolling motor maxed out and were moving at a pretty good clip up stream. I saw them catch several good blues that day, I am pretty sure they were fishing for stripers. At our local dam on the ohio, there have been several people catching blues in the 50lb range using nothing more than a silver spoon while fishing for stripers, and I have caught a bunch of stripers fishing for blues as well. Blues just like stripers are strong and fast fish. So it never really suprises me when I catch one while fishing for the other, I think your downriggers will work. I have not been able to purchase the mounts for mine yet but am looking foward to it. I would even say it would work even at speeds that well exceed the normal drifting speed, just my opinion. Good luck and let us know what happens.:wink:
     

  3. brew1961

    brew1961 New Member

    Messages:
    182
    State:
    West Virgi
    I have a G3 1756 I built a temp. mount out of 2X6's just to see is my idea would work. I didn't want to drill any holes in my boat until I was sure of the placements of the downriggers. I ran the 2X6 under the rail of my boat and sandwhiched the rail. It doesn't move if you try to shake it. I haven't ran the canon balls in the water yet though. Thanks for you information. Hey do you do any winter time fishing on the Ohio?
     

    Attached Files:

  4. tbull

    tbull New Member

    Messages:
    3,318
    State:
    SW Ohio
    Thats a good idea man, I am the same way, don't want to drill holes until i am sure, even though I have already drilled 100's in my boat already...:smile2:...As for the winter time fishing heck yeah man, its my favorite time of the year to fish. Big time blue cat action on the ohio....Actually heading out tommorow.
     
  5. brew1961

    brew1961 New Member

    Messages:
    182
    State:
    West Virgi
    Keep me posted on how you do and how you do it I know I could use the same tactics up this way. Thanks, Tim
     
  6. tbull

    tbull New Member

    Messages:
    3,318
    State:
    SW Ohio
    you to man good luck..:wink:
     
  7. ohio hilljack

    ohio hilljack New Member

    Messages:
    943
    State:
    ohio
    Most of you already know I'm not too smart so I guess I won't feel like too much of an idiot. What is the difference in drifting with your poles out behind you and using these riggers.
     
  8. tbull

    tbull New Member

    Messages:
    3,318
    State:
    SW Ohio
    down riggers are used to troll baits at higher speeds. basically your line is attached to heavy ball at a depth of your choosing, that way when you are trolling at say 3 to 5 mph, your baits will not rise up to the top, they will stay at whatever depth you have them. Once a fish strikes your bait, it is released from the ball..hope that helps.
     
  9. brew1961

    brew1961 New Member

    Messages:
    182
    State:
    West Virgi
    I think it will be the same, I just came acrost these downriggers and thought it might be another tactic ib catching some monster cats. I'm hoping that by using downriggers I can control the depth of my bait better and stay out of alot of snags. I just need to get out on the river to master this idea, thanks Tim
     
  10. tbull

    tbull New Member

    Messages:
    3,318
    State:
    SW Ohio
    I do like Tim's idea though for drifting with down riggers, definatley would be alot easier to set your baits right at the depth you want them, without guessing using turns of your reel..
     
  11. ohio hilljack

    ohio hilljack New Member

    Messages:
    943
    State:
    ohio
    See that is why I'm on here, so you guy's can make me smart like you. I just learned how to drift this year, but I just put a sinker on the bottom of my rig and drag the sinker with the hook about eighteen inches above it. Tie the sinker with a lighter line and break them off without loosing my hook but I do lose alot of sinkers. But fishing in the lakes around here the depth thing doesn't matter as most of the time I'm fishing rather shallow water. This will be my first time fishing in the winter so I may find that even in the local lakes I'll have to fish alot closer to the dams to catch wintering fish.Now in local lakes do you think I'll be able to catch shad in the winter or will that be a lost cause.
     
  12. tbull

    tbull New Member

    Messages:
    3,318
    State:
    SW Ohio
    usually in the larger lakes the shad can still be caught, they are just gonna be hard to find, and probably fairly deep. If its a really shallow lake they may die off...I still have seen then popping the surface in lakes in the winter though. Just have to find them at the right time during the day.
     
  13. brew1961

    brew1961 New Member

    Messages:
    182
    State:
    West Virgi
    I'm not sure on that, you should be able to find them. I would think they would be in shallow warmer water but I'm just guessing. Check out this load of shad caught a week or so ago in a creek that feeds the Ohio. Let me just say me and my buddy have enough bait to last till spring. Good Luck, Tim
     

    Attached Files:

  14. ohio hilljack

    ohio hilljack New Member

    Messages:
    943
    State:
    ohio
    We will see. Before I come to the river on the 6th I'll take a day off from deer hunting and go over to Rocky Fork and see if I can net some. We were there a couple weeks ago and caught net fulls of 6 to 8 inch ones. I will bring bait to the river this time because I can never find any when I get there. We are so used to the lakes being clear full of bait that we go unprepared and spent half our morning catching bait.
     
  15. tbull

    tbull New Member

    Messages:
    3,318
    State:
    SW Ohio
    Yeah they can be tricky in the river, usually though if you can find a feeder creek or even a marina along the river you will find plenty. I have never had any luck netting shad in the open river..
     
  16. bnt55

    bnt55 New Member

    Messages:
    640
    State:
    Northern KY
    Never heard of downriggers for catfish, since the weights we use could almost double as one!:smile2: Keep us up to speed on how it works out. I would imagine during periods of high water flow, a downrigger would hold the bait down much better than the standard sinkers.
     
  17. brew1961

    brew1961 New Member

    Messages:
    182
    State:
    West Virgi
    I can't wait to get out there and work on this technique I will keep my progress updated on here. Hopefully get some video too.
     
  18. brew1961

    brew1961 New Member

    Messages:
    182
    State:
    West Virgi
    Originally Posted by Akwa-Lung1 http://www.catfish1.com/forums/vBD-C...s/viewpost.gif
    to get you best results in drift fishin get your sinkers off the bottom guys!4-6 ft of the bottom ! the blues are suspended most of the time! unless youve had a front come thru then you want to bump the bottom! around cover! i win alot of tournys driftin and very rarely do i get hung up! fish your staight deep water gravel flats and youll find the fish!

    Has anyone else been catching Blues suspended? This would fit right into my Idea of using downriggers for catfish. Now how do I find those gravel flats? Two weeks of hunting season and I'm back on the river! Thanks all!
     
  19. Steve Douglas

    Steve Douglas Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,899
    State:
    Kentucky
    im not sure what the advantage would be with the downriggers, but honestly i dont know much about downrigging, i think i know the concept of it though, to keep your bait down deep, while trolling? it may work you just have to give it a try! im not knockin it, it just seems like too much extra work for my way of fishing, as im already using 6-8 ounce sinkers to get my bait down quickly and keep it down there where it needs to be as im drifting!

    now keep in mind that when i wrote that post about the gravel flats or mussel beds, the fish were frequenting those spots at that particular time of season, generally late spring thru-out the summer is the best time to hit those flats, i dont fish flats this time of year, as the fish have moved to another type of structure by this time of season! just wanted to let you know this before you went out and worked an area that has no fish on it!

    good luck, keep us posted on how this works out for you!
     
  20. brew1961

    brew1961 New Member

    Messages:
    182
    State:
    West Virgi
    Its just an Idea I have using downriggers for cats. I got two like new ones really cheap if the idea doesn't work then I can always sell them on e-bay. I'm fishing the Ohio River (Pike Island Pool) I might even troll for some stripers. By-the-way Love your videos! Thanks, Tim