Drift speed - How fast do you drift when catfishing?

Discussion in 'Blue Catfishing' started by chrisblue, Apr 16, 2006.

  1. chrisblue

    chrisblue New Member

    Messages:
    1,345
    State:
    SC
    Whats everybodys favorite drift speed in a resevoir.I like 0.3 to 0.6mph for bigger blues but it seems like you'll catch more smaller ones from 0.7 to 1mph.Anybody else have about the same results.
     
  2. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    Chris I find it is a seasonal adjustment.I agree the faster you go it seems the smaller the fish, which supports the age old idea that smaller fish with more energy and speed will pursue something to eat more than the big guys.Kind of like kids that have boundless energy and are always in motion.In the winter time at Santee I try and slow way down to just barely moving.I started out with two relatively small socks and now use three large ones depending on wind speed of course.I've never clocked my speeds but I will in the future.One thing I do know is the more the wind blows at Santee the better the blues like it.The best night I ever had there we had fish on almost continously from 10pm until daylight and the wind was blowing so hard it was all we could do to stay in the boat.Up to 10pm the lake was dead calm and the bugs were eating everybody and we didn't have a bite.:)
     

  3. Mr.T

    Mr.T New Member

    Messages:
    2,553
    State:
    MO
    Last year, we drifted at whatever speed the wind blew us - didn't know any better and didn't own a drift sock. We drift with the boat sideways to the wind to allow fishing from the front and rear of the boat. That probably moves us faster than someone who drifts with the bow or stern into the wind.

    So far this year, we've drifted a couple of times in some pretty good wind, speed was .7 to .9 most of the time and we didn't catch much. But it's also a bit early.

    I'm scheduled to go out with one of the local guides in another month or so, and was talking to him on the phone recently about the trip and drifting in general, and his remark was that nobody makes a drift sock that's big enough, except one small company in North Carolina or someplace -- I didn't ask specifically how fast he likes to drift, but from his comment, I gather than slower is probably better.

    So I've got a second drift sock to throw out next time we go and I'll see how it works. If it doesn't slow me down much, I'll be talking with that guide and find out exactly which drift sock he recommends...
     
  4. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    T,that company is in SC and the woman makes gigantic socks.I never got one because she didn't weight one side to expedite opening but after suggesting it she has started doing it.Almost all the guides at Blacks Camp use them and I Know Kevin Davis has three of them on his pontoon.They may sell them at Blacks and I know there is an ad for her on the baitshack.T:) he speed thing is a good subject and since I have a Lowrance with the gps I am going to start recording the speeds when I catch fish.I use two 6ft socks and am getting an 8ft.My 21 ft center console drifts equally well sideways or bow on but I like sideways best because I can deploy six lines.I think the socks Kevein uses are 12ft and I should know as I have thrown them out and pulled them in enough.Which guide are you fishing with?
     
  5. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

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    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    I know how the drift socks work, but I've never actually used them. I've used an anchor more times than I can count, though, and the anchor rope always seems to be in the way. How in the world do you manage to get a cat to the boat through three drift socks?
     
  6. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    Jerry,the socks have flotation on the top so they stay on the surface.They are tied with relatively short ropes, less than 25 ft and most have them close to the boat within 10ft.While drifting from pontoons or standard boats the rods are usually in a holder on the rail high above the socks and the line enters the water far beyond the socks.When a fish hits it is relatively easy to steer them to the front or rear of the boat away from the socks.Many times we bring fish right between two socks with no problem.Should the worst case happen and one become tangled with a sock you just reel it all in and sort it out on the deck.In all my years I have only seen one occasion where that has happend.Also you would have three socks out only on the roughest days where normally you would work with only one big one,or two small ones.:)
     
  7. chrisblue

    chrisblue New Member

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    1,345
    State:
    SC
    Yeah you dont have to much trouble with fish getting into em.I use a 10 footer I got it from the woman in Cross that thing is well worth the 130 bucks you pay for it.I had 2, 5 foot socks before that and they wouldnt work as good as the 10 footer.I normally drift bow to stern so I want have alot of rocking in the waves so the bait want be jerking to vilently.And on the days or nights when the wind dont blow is what I like the best because I can control the speed with the trolling moter I have a co-pilot for my Minn kota each beep is the speed that the moter is in sometimes you can only get a bite in number 1, or sometimes 2 or 3 very seldom do I have to 4 or higher.
     
  8. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    Chris can you PM the womans address in cross to Mr T so he can get in touch with her.I'm sure he would appreciate it if you have it.:)
     
  9. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

    Messages:
    1,497
    State:
    OK
    I have a question for everyone that uses drift socks. I went ahead and purchased a second sock this year because one didn't slow me down enough on my lake. My question is how far from the boat do you let your socks out? I've been putting mine out anywhere from 7 to 10 feet from the boat. Does placing your sock farther out or closer in make a difference in how much it slows your boat down?
     
  10. jdstraka

    jdstraka Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,689
    State:
    Council Bluffs, Iowa
    Name:
    John
    well Im learning more every day im going to get a bigger drift sock to add to my two smaller ones. I thought I perty much knew it all till iI found this sight dident know just how stupid I realy was. LOL thanks guys I realy appericate it. Bigcatman0816.
     
  11. rsimms

    rsimms New Member

    Messages:
    242
    State:
    Tennessee
    I'm often fishing tailwaters where there is current. I typically use trolling motor to keep my drift just barely slower than current so line is just slightly trailing. In lake with no current I'll usually fish straight down... either drifting with wind or bumping trolling motor to cover ground slowly.
     
  12. Mr.T

    Mr.T New Member

    Messages:
    2,553
    State:
    MO
    The web site of the woman in Cross who makes the drift socks was recently posted on another thread but I'll post it here for those interested:

    http://www.carolina-girl.com/index.htm

    A bit high-dollar but probably worth it. Thinking of having my wife try to sew something up for me - though not sure if her machine can handle heavy fabrics like that.


    FWIW - we were drifting on Truman last weekend and the GPS was showing anywhere from .3 to .8 mph. I didn't take detailed notes, but it seemed like we caught more fish when we were at the lower end of that range. Next time out, I'll pay more attention.
     
  13. chrisblue

    chrisblue New Member

    Messages:
    1,345
    State:
    SC
    CatfishCentral to answer your question when the wind is rocking let the drift sock out as far as you can without getting in your lines.It seems like the farther you let it out the better it works I dont know why but thats been my experience.
     
  14. Dragger

    Dragger New Member

    Messages:
    538
    State:
    North Carolina
    Chris , I have found that the higher you tie the sock on the boat the more rock you get, the lower you tie it ,the better it will work. I put my socks out only 6 feet from the boat, .........
     
  15. bmaultbay

    bmaultbay New Member

    Messages:
    498
    State:
    Clarksville, Tennessee
    This is going to sound crazy, but this is the catfish information site. When drifting how do you suspend the bait and at what depth? Do you normally drift the river/lake channel?
     
  16. mandingo

    mandingo Member

    Messages:
    802
    State:
    kansas
    I have 2 small drift socks and have only had to use both at once only one time but it really didnt seem to slow my drift down any.so my question is that would one large sock do the trick in windy conditions and how big should i go with a 17ft. deep v?also if someone could also send me a pm of that ladys number or address in carolina.thanks
     
  17. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    caleb click on the website in Chris's post above for the womans info.Drift socks are like dressing for cold weather,you can always adjust IF you have sufficient clothes on.Same with D socks.When in doubt go bigger.You can always adjust the opening for speed control.;) :)
     
  18. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    For really good info on drift socks and how to use them go to www.driftbag.com and click on the wavetamer buttons.Lots of good scoop regarding positoning,speed and deployment.:) click on the freshwater button first.
     
  19. mandingo

    mandingo Member

    Messages:
    802
    State:
    kansas
    hey thanks alot for the info Jim!the socks i have do not have a drawstring but it sounds like a helluva idea.what size would you reccomend for a 17ft boat?
     
  20. chrisblue

    chrisblue New Member

    Messages:
    1,345
    State:
    SC
    Mandingo I used to use two 5 foot socks but now I use a 10 foot sock it works alot better than the 2 five footers I have a 19 foot boat with a T-top so it drags in the wind bad, if the 10 footer dont slow me down then its time to go home.With a 17 foot boat some may say that the 10 footer would be to big but bigger is better if its slowing you down to much just open the draw string some I dont think you can go wrong with one big one.