Drift Fishing

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by redcat, Nov 27, 2005.

  1. redcat

    redcat New Member

    Messages:
    18
    State:
    Cordesville, SC
    Any tips on drift fishing. I have always bottom fish for cats and I have been reading about drift fishing. Is there any special way to hook your line and bait? Any help with this way of fishing will be great knowledge because I will try it out next week.
     
  2. RamRod

    RamRod New Member

    Messages:
    2,047
    State:
    Ohio
    I personally enjoy drift fishing because you can cover a lot of territory in a short amount of time as long as the wind is blowing fairly descent.

    First of all you need a drift sock or you can make one out of a five gallon bucket. I personally prefer using Gamakatsu octopus circle hooks in the 4/0 - 7/0 size with fresh shad if available, frozen if not.

    Better yet, try typing in "drift fishing" in the search area of search forums and you'll find a library of information that may help you out immensely.

    If you have any further questions feel free to PM me anytime.

    Thanks,
    Johnny
     

  3. JERMSQUIRM

    JERMSQUIRM New Member

    Messages:
    13,145
    State:
    il-waynesv
    i drift the 5000 acre lake close to home here every couple of days in good weather. i don't and have never used any drift aid. i just point my rodholders into the wind and bait up. i use a bottom bouncer and carolina slip rigs. hook with a 12" leader to a swivel and slip sinker above. i personally only used fresh shad drifting. or cut bluegills. procuces great fish. but thats because this lake is one of the best cat lakes in illinois.
     
  4. catmankev

    catmankev New Member

    Messages:
    442
    State:
    Valmeyer, Illinois
    I drift using 8/0 Gamakatsu octopus circle snelled to a mono leader tied to a #3 swivel attached to 30# dacron main-line. I attach a slotted float 6-8" from the hook to keep my bait off the bottom and homemade 2oz. snake weight(although not as snagless as I would like) :crying: hooked to the braid end of the swivel. Drift sock is a must! With 7-10 mph. wind, the sock should slow your drift down to about 1 mph. "Fresh" cut shad is the best bait, if you can find them.(I can't) Fresh cut bluegill works very well if not. You also need good solid rod holders to assure a good hookset. This system works excellent for blues and produces some very nice flatheads, no channels, so far. :mad: It won't take long to figure out what areas you can and cannot use this due to snags. :eek: It works very good on mud flats. Hope this helps! :D
     
  5. roh1961

    roh1961 New Member

    Messages:
    95
    State:
    Texas
    Nothing personal RamRod, I'm kinda with Jeremy on the drift socks. I've drift fished for many years in Texas and never even heard of them until this year. A lot of the time bigger waves mean bigger crappie. Maybe they're great or maybe all the fishermen I know are too tight to buy one. I'll have to go with someone that uses them if I can find one and see how they work.
    When it's too hot to keep the shad alive, (too poor or too tight to buy a good bait keeper system) we use minnows a lot hooked through the eye or lip and do well for crappie and channel cat. Every once in a while we use earthworms for channel. Good Luck Drifting, Randy
     
  6. gadzooks

    gadzooks New Member

    Messages:
    1,532
    State:
    Kingwood, Tx (Houston)
    The drift sock does more than slow your drift down. It can help with boat control. The sock helps keep the boat headed in the right direction, especially important if fishing from a light craft subject to being blown around by the wind. Sure, you can use the trolling motor to do that, but the drift sock works for free, doesn't use any juice.

    I drift both with and without a sock, depends on the wind and place. Today, didn't use the sock, though the wind was blowing above 20 mph. The area I drifted was more protected from the wind. As for size of hook, I use mainly 2/0 and 4/0 circles or 4/0 kahles. Caught all channels under 3lbs and the hooks were more than enough.
     
  7. ShilohRed

    ShilohRed New Member

    Messages:
    4,339
    State:
    West Tn
  8. JERMSQUIRM

    JERMSQUIRM New Member

    Messages:
    13,145
    State:
    il-waynesv
    im sure they have thier advantages but the lake i fish is a flooded creek bed that like a river so to speek. not real wide. the wakes can get bad in high winds sometimes but im a wind hater. if the wind is blowing over 10 15 mph ide rather be at home. as far as drift socks go i believe thats just one more thing for fish to tangle in. other lines are dad enough that to have two more out. never used em and ive drifted countless times. in the nights where the wind likes to turn the boat, well thats what my trolling motor is for. JMO.

    i use berkley quick release rod holders. LOVE EM. all ya do is lift. no forwadr motion needed. they have a metal rod that lifts and the rod goes straight in and just a lift brings em out. traditional rod holders ya have to insert the but and slide down. to remove or set hook ya got to pull up and forward.
     
  9. Rockin' Blues

    Rockin' Blues New Member

    Messages:
    310
    State:
    st.louis mo.
    I am a firm believer in drift socks,not only do they keep you going straight they keep you in the strike zone longer. :D
     
  10. Mathersm

    Mathersm New Member

    Messages:
    230
    State:
    Darbydale, Ohio
    Me and my bro drift hoover reservoir up here alot in the summer. I have never used any drift aid and it hasnt made much of a difference on what size boat we have been in either. I use a standard J hook with a 3/4 ounce egg sinker about 2 ft above the hook. I dont use any kind of leader. We also use shrimp soaked in anise and sugar exclusively. We have had many a 50+ fish day. The cats in my avatar are all from drifting this way. I catfished more this year drifting than any other way and I'd have to say this has definately been one of my best years. We have caught channels up to 15# and several were over 10. This is a great way to fill your freezer if you love to eat catfish.
     
  11. Desperado

    Desperado Active Member

    Messages:
    1,252
    State:
    Pataskala, Ohio
    Name:
    Clarence
    I have been drifting for a long time. I introduced drifting to Johnny-ramrod earlier this year and he has done good with it as anyone trying will see. I see some of you drift with out a drift sock and some do. I do both. I drift with out anything in low winds as long as the boat stays going in the right direction. When there is more wind like 10-15 mph I just use a 5- gal bucket as a drift sock. When the wind gets above 15 mph. I go to my pro drift sock which is 24"wide and 40" long made for a 14-16 ft. boat. The drift sock just slows your drift to keep the bait in the area of the fish a bit longer. Also keep you going in line with the wind and keeps your boat from going into a spinning effect. You get that as the wind swirls.
    I use 7' Shimano trolling rods with abu 6000 reels with 20lb. big game hi-vis line. I use circle hooks that are 5/0-7/0. The weight you use is up to you, but just enough to keep the bait near the bottom. You can start out with 1/2 oz. and go up from there, just remember the faster the drift the more weight you will need to drift with. Because drifting fast will cause your bait to come up from the bottom and not work as well as a slower drift.
    The bait you use is really what is found naturally in the lake your drifting. Some like shad, chubs, bluegill and goldfish. Just about anything can be drifted with. The use of bait is endless. Hope this helps you. If you would like to go out in the boat with me and see how all this come together let me know.
     
  12. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    Let me offer something about drift socks that may have been over looked.Down here in NC/SC we drift all winter long,when the water temps get down in the low 50s or 40s.I think we all agree cold water fish are less agressive as a general rule so if you drift by at 8 mph these fish are not likely to pursue or even strike since their metabolism has slowed.I fish with two BIG socks in the winter regardless of the wind to keep the bait in the strike zone longer.Most of the guides also use big socks on their pontoons in the winter.Summertime when fish are aggressive a sock may not be necessary although I use one for boat control as my 21ft boat doesn't have a bow mount trolling motor.Slower is definitely better in the winter and your ratio of strikes goes up as the speed goes down.
     
  13. Chuckb

    Chuckb New Member

    Messages:
    211
    State:
    Pana Illinois
    I have posted before on the effectiveness of a CONTROLLED DRIFT. I like to drift as slow as possible with the bait just crawling along the bottom. In order to do that effectively with a wind over 8 mph I have to use drift socks. I think you guys that have never tried them would be pleasantly surprised at how much they help boat control.
     
  14. catmankev

    catmankev New Member

    Messages:
    442
    State:
    Valmeyer, Illinois
    When I drift I usually have at least 4 lines out from 150' to 200'. With that much line out boat control is critical to avoid tangles. The drift sock keeps you driftin' in a straight line. If there is little or no wind then I'll put the trolling motor down on the lowest setting and still use the sock for control.
     
  15. Rockin' Blues

    Rockin' Blues New Member

    Messages:
    310
    State:
    st.louis mo.
    the wind direction and speed seem to be a huge factor.
     
  16. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    Is there a reason for putting out that much line?

    I've found that I get snagged less if I can keep the angle between the water surface and the line to somewhere around 45 degrees. So in 30 ft of water, I'd have about 50 ft of line played out. Certainly no more than 75 ft. With the sharper angle, the sinker / bottom bouncer tends to move upward when it hits resistance -- with 150 ft of line out, it's just going to dig in horizontally and get stuck even worse.
     
  17. catmankev

    catmankev New Member

    Messages:
    442
    State:
    Valmeyer, Illinois
    Well, I learned this system from a guide on Truman Lake and I can't remember why. I do remember that he was VERY adamant about it. All his reels had linecounters. His set-up had 5 lines, center(200') left + right of that were 175' and the outside lines were 150'. Possibly, it has something to do with keeping lines from getting crossed.
     
  18. Hannibal Mike

    Hannibal Mike New Member

    Messages:
    1,454
    State:
    Hannibal, MO
    I just ordered a drifting DVD from our sponsor CatConnect and look forward to getting it. In the meantime, what do you think about depth of drift. Sometimes 10' and sometimes 30'? Also, I live on the Mississippi so what do you think of river drifting? The current is pretty fast on the surface around the channel and slower on the flats. Does a drift sock slow you down or speed you up in current (deeper water is often slower). As for sinkers, do you use a system that is easy to add more weight or does experience usually allow you to just pick the right weight and "go with it"? Hannibal Mike
     
  19. Desperado

    Desperado Active Member

    Messages:
    1,252
    State:
    Pataskala, Ohio
    Name:
    Clarence
    I leave my drifting to lakes. Due to the fact of swift water in rivers. I set up above a hole or debris snag and fish it.
     
  20. vlparrish

    vlparrish New Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    State:
    Bedford, Kentucky
    Redcat, I just started drift fishing this year, but I have found it can be very productive at times, especially for blues and channels. I've never drifted with an aid and I always drift rivers. I use a three way rig with a 5 ounce sinker and my hook around two feet off the bottom. There is alot of variance in the river, such as bottom structure, depth, current and other things of this nature. Personally, I've found that the deeper holes seem easier to drift than the shallower ones. I fish primarily the Ohio river and rarely drift a hole if it is under 25 feet deep. I do this because it gives me a better angle and keeps me from hanging, also this is usually where I catch my fish. I do know of some holes over 40 feet deep that are hard to drift because of large boulders on the bottom and heavy current. You just have to get out there and experiment with it until you find the best situation that fits you and your equipment. Lots of luck, Vern