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· Floyd
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We need a drift fishing section on here .

I am wanting to learn how to drift fish , I tried it last night but not sure we was doing it the correct way . The water depth was 15 to 16 feet I dropped my bait till it hit the bottom then reeled it up just a bit to keep it from hitting bottom and let the boat drift us at a snails pace across the lake . Did not catch anything but didnt catch much anchored either . Is this the correct way to do it ? Any and all information that you can give on this style of fishing would be greatful .
 

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Most guys I know use the Santee rig. You slide a weight on the main line, then a bead, then tie on a swivel. Tie a 18" to 24" leader on, then slide a cork bobber on the leader, and finally tie on your hook. Slide the bobber closer to the hook than the swivel, and cast out. We can use multiple rods, so guys drift with some rods 50 feet from the boat and some rods 120' from the boat, etc. So, you are dragging several baits at different distances from the boat, the weight holds the bottom and the bobber keeps the bait a little off the bottom, to reduce snags. Google "Santee rigs" and you should get some pictures.
 

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I just recently learned this method, not to perfection yet, but it has been really effective for me this spring. I actually started a thread like this somewhere on the KS boards and got alot of good advice. You might be able to find it if you do a search. I think it was called "help me learn how to drift fish" or something along those lines.

What I do is use a 3 way swivel tied to my main line. Then take a leader thats anywhere from 2-3' long and slide on a 3" float and peg it about 6" away from your hook. Tie that on to the 3 way swivel. Then take some small test line, 6-10 pound test, and tie on a pencil sinker, I use about 1 1/2 oz that I make with the do-it molds. Cut that sinker line so its about 8-12" long when you tie it onto the last part of the 3 way. The idea here is that you drag the pencil sinker along the bottom while the leader line is held up a foot or 2 off the bottom by the float. Most of the time if you get snagged up its going to be the sinker and your sinker line will snap, the rest of your rig will just float up to the top. Reel it in and tie on a new sinker.

One thing I'll say is that when I first started trying this method I thought for sure I would get hung up all the time and it would be a circus getting snagged and retying all the time. But its really not, so far I think I've got snagged twice. And when we fish 3 people out my boat we use 8 rods. It is really a pretty relaxing and effective way to fish.

One thing youll want to make sure of is that you're using sturdy rod holders. Seems like them blues really hit a moving bait hard. Alot of our strikes are drag peeling hits. I use two drift socks, one in the front of the boat and one off the back, so that my boat drifts sideways. From what I've read, the bigger the sock the better because you want to be drifting pretty slow. I just got two of the 4x driftsocks from cabelas and I really like that size for my boat (18' roughneck).

I usually like to stagger my lines to minimize tangles. So one will be short, next will be long, short, long, and so on. The short ones I like to let out enough line that its about 45 degrees. I don't know if this makes a difference or not, but I just like to keep them out there far enough that they are not going to get tangled up with the drift socks.

As far as drifting locations, this is were I'm really trying to learn. I don't have gps yet so its a little harder to develope a pattern, but the areas that have been good for me are large flats around 15-20' deep off the river channel. This probably changes quite a bit during the year, but I've done well this spring drifting large flats on the upper end of a reseviour. My first drift was pretty much a shot in the dark, I had a good idea they would be around he upper end of the lake in the spring, but it was literally a shot in the dark. But that is the beauty of drift fishing, you can cover alot of water and hone in on what depth and where the fish are. Good luck, and hopefully I helped a little... I'm new to this myself but its quickly becoming one of my favorite ways to fish.
 
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