Drift Fishing Info Pls?

Discussion in 'Blue Catfishing' started by GMC FishHauler, Oct 18, 2007.

  1. GMC FishHauler

    GMC FishHauler New Member

    Messages:
    1,335
    State:
    Waco, Texas, Un
    Hey guys I'm just getting into drifting for blues. I was wondering if you had any tips for bait, hooks, tackle, and places for drifting. I understand the basics just getting some more info on some little things
    Thanks
     
  2. GMC FishHauler

    GMC FishHauler New Member

    Messages:
    1,335
    State:
    Waco, Texas, Un
    wow, i figured this would be full by now!
     

  3. catfishrus

    catfishrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,569
    State:
    north carolina
    i like to target mid lake humps when i drift. the blue tend to hang on the ledges alot of times on these humps. really depends on what type of lake your are fishing too. i do better drifting with the wind on wind blown humps or points myself. i use drift socks to slow the boat. i like to drag the bottom with cork on my leader and most of the time i use a 2 oz. weight then a 2 ft leader with the small cork 3" located about 6" from my hook. i use the 5/0 gamo. octopus hook but not the cirlce myself. i use differnt baits most of the time from blue back herring ,shad,white perch to bream. i dont use cut bait much in the summer but in the winter or spring i will use some. i like to thread the bait on the hook whole by starting with the hook in the mouth of the bait and out the gills and then just start sewing until i reach the tail of the bait. on the bigger baits i cut the tails off but you want that hook sticking as close to the back of the bait as possible. i like a soft tip rod with a good backbone for hook setting power. i started using the tiger rods this year and have been impressed with them. i drift santee a far amount in the summer months and the big fish bite to me seems to be a nighttime deal. not saying the big fish cant be caught during the day but i just do better at night plus it opens the door to some nice flats drifting. you will get hung up a far amount drifting so be prepared to have you some extra leaders tied up and ready to go. gps is a big plus to drifting also in big open waters. allows you stay on target once you find them esp. the flatheads. one good rule of thumb is drift where the bait is at in any given lake. in warm water conditions the channels will bounce the rods and the blues will slam them. the flats will often just tap the bait and follow along with it for a ways before taking the rod down. sometimes the flats will partly load the rod and hold on to the bait too. once you drift for a while you will see what im talking about. i can call a flathead in a second drifting now 95% of the time. we dont get many but i know what they look like on the rods.
     
  4. Mr.T

    Mr.T New Member

    Messages:
    2,553
    State:
    MO
    Post some specific questions and we'll give you some specific answers...

    First though you need to clarify whether you're drifting in a lake or in a river -- they're not the same at all!

    Assuming you're in a lake, here's a little bit of general information that might be useful...

    * Drift speed: about .4 to .8 mph. Use a drift sock to control your speed.

    * Rig: One of the best I've found consists of a swivel attached your main line, with a 3 ft or so leader below and a 6/0 to 8/0 circle hook. Add a small foam float about 6 to 12 inches above the hook (not those tiny red cigar floats from Wally World, something a little bit bigger, maybe 1.5"x1" or so). Attach as "slinky" style sinker to the swivel.

    * Slinky Sinker: Tie a length of 10 lb mono to a snap swivel, then thread on 8 1/4 oz egg sinkers. wrap the mono back through the last sinker 3 or 4 times, then crush the sinker with a pair of pliers, carefully avoiding the mono on the outside of the sinker.

    Pictures of this rig are here: http://www.catfish1.com/forums/showpost.php?p=340541&postcount=10

    * How much line to let out: Around 100 to 150 ft seems to work well. Some folks use line counter reels for precise placement; I use the TLAR Method ("that looks about right"). In deeper water, you'll want more line; in shallow water, a little bit less.

    * Where to drift: Depends on the time of year. If it's summer and there's a thermocline in the lake, try to find an area with the bottom about the same depth as the thermocline. During the fall, the fish will move deeper so you'll have to find them. Basically you're looking for large flats near the old river channel or near other structure. Look for concentrations of fish on the sonar. If you find balls of shad also, you're in prime territory.

    So what other questions do you have?

    There are dozens of threads on the BOC that you would probably find helpful -- but again, make sure to verify that the kind of "drift fishing" they're discussing in those threads is the same kind of "drift fishing" you'll be doing...
     
  5. baitchunker

    baitchunker New Member

    Messages:
    1,689
    State:
    alabama
    ive got a more specific question, not to steal your thread.

    how much different is drift fishing in a river. say a river about 25-40 ft. deep with a moderate current of prolly 3-4 mph?
     
  6. GMC FishHauler

    GMC FishHauler New Member

    Messages:
    1,335
    State:
    Waco, Texas, Un
    thanks alot guys,
    yes i am talking about drifting lakes. That rig must be the one that Steve from Catfish Safari was talkin about.
    ya'll hit all the ?'s i really had. I am kinda new at drifting, and have only done it before with very very mild wind.
    Curious if ya'll prefer cut or live bait. What kind of bait? If cut how big of pieces? Does that matter?
    Thanks again guys, I appreciate any info.
     
  7. Mr.T

    Mr.T New Member

    Messages:
    2,553
    State:
    MO
    Live bait works sometimes, but mostly you end up with a lot of short strikes and missed fish -- when you reel your line in, you'll have a whole shad that's been stripped of his skin from about the dorsal fin to the tail. You can better the results with some kind of stinger hook - if I'm going to use whole bait, I'll leave a long tag when I tie on the main hook, then tie on a 5/0 circle and hook it just ahead of the tail. Caught quite a few fish that way this year.

    Cut bait works all the time for blues. I cut fresh, live, still wiggling shad (6 to 9 inch) into 3 pieces - head, gut cavity and tail. Throw the tail section away and put the gut and head on an 8/0 circle.

    You might experiment with filleting the shad and putting a strip of bloody side meat on the hook, though I'm skeptical that it makes any difference -- bloody shad is bloody shad to a hungry catfish as far as I can tell. But if you try both chunks and fillets and notice a pattern, go with it.

    Use frozen shad if you have to, but I'd personally rather stay home than waste my time with frozen bait... You can't get any better than fresh, live shad and you're just shooting yourself in the foot to settle for anything less than the best.
     
  8. Mr.T

    Mr.T New Member

    Messages:
    2,553
    State:
    MO
    Oh BTW -- in the photos I referenced in my first post above, the "slinky" weight is shown attached to the lower eyelet on the swivel.

    That's wrong.

    You want the weight attached to the UPPER eyelet on the swivel (the one attached to your main line) - that way the bait can twist around all it wants without any of the twist being transmitted up your main line. The sinker will hang down and won't twist much if at all.
     
  9. Gordhawk

    Gordhawk New Member

    Messages:
    1,378
    State:
    Iowa
    Mr.T,
    I use the same sinker rig as you are using but I attach my sinker rig to the main line with a sinker slide. Have you ever given sinker slides a try? Just my 2 cents worth.

    Glenn
     
  10. Michael Jake

    Michael Jake New Member

    Messages:
    808
    State:
    Troy, Missouri
    Good post Marty, I like the way the slinky weight system is designed. Few years back Rick Gephart showed me his slinky weights he made using shoe strings filled with shot. Looks like that type of weight system is still the choice being used on Truman and I appreciate how folks design their own and most of all are willing to share it.
     
  11. spoonfish

    spoonfish New Member

    Messages:
    3,780
    State:
    Warsaw, Mo.
    Jim and I use the red sinker slides Glenn. Works really well if you snag up. The snap swivel on the slides will open up usally and you can just straighten them back, add another weight and your back to fishing again.
    No need to add snap swivels to the weights as the slide allready has one.

    Were working on a new drift weight made by CatTamer, will show some results after we have used them some. Think they will be even more snagless and easier to make up.
     
  12. Mr.T

    Mr.T New Member

    Messages:
    2,553
    State:
    MO
    Haven't tried the slides yet but might give them a shot - drifting season is rapidly winding to a close around here though so it might be next spring before I get around to it...
     
  13. Mr.T

    Mr.T New Member

    Messages:
    2,553
    State:
    MO
    For the record, I didn't design the slinky weight -- Steve Brown of Catfish Safari showed me, and I think he and Jeff Williams developed that system, which I'll almost bet is a refinement of someone else's system, which was probably a refinement of yet some other fellow's system... :big_smile:
     
  14. jsharper

    jsharper New Member

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    293
    State:
    TX
    Haven't tried the slides yet but might give them a shot - drifting season is rapidly winding to a close around here though so it might be next spring before I get around to it...
    __________________
    Now I have a ?. Will drifting work in the winter of is it mostly spring and summer? What is a good way to fish for blues in the winter months? OK, I am from TX and our winters are pretty mild, usually.

    Jim
     
  15. catfishrus

    catfishrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,569
    State:
    north carolina
    yes it will harper but the hook up ratio is a less than in the summer. depending on the water temps also. the colder water temps slow the fish down thus they are not willing to chase the baits on a drift. also last year i did a fair amount of drifting here in the winter and i would hook up and then loose the fish half way to the boat alot of times. i think it just came from less aggressive bites than summer time bites. i would focus more on shallow water flats in the winter time during the day once the shallows start to warm from the sun.
     
  16. GMC FishHauler

    GMC FishHauler New Member

    Messages:
    1,335
    State:
    Waco, Texas, Un
    one again, thanks for all the info guys, these tips will help me find out whats gonna work for me in my area.
     
  17. dust777man

    dust777man New Member

    Messages:
    536
    State:
    SC
    Looks like some good advice on drifting. As far as the slinky weights goes; I have just got the materials to make some for some friends. As many times as I have used them, they work really well.
     
  18. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

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    1,497
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    OK