Drifting for catfish

Discussion in 'CALIFORNIA RIVERS TALK' started by gilmafam, Jul 3, 2009.

  1. gilmafam

    gilmafam Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,466
    State:
    California
    Most of the folks that I know or have been acquinted with have been for the most part "sit and fish" catfishermen. I was wondering if some of you have ever dirfted for them as I use to? Got to get back to it.. because it is a good way to locate fish on the river or Lakes.

    I first started doing the technique years back on the Kings river, as I would see some of the local trout fishermen drifting a "split shot rig" to get the local trout. The problem that was incountered with them was if there was to much weight, then the rig would hang on bottom stuff.

    Most of the folks would do this process early and late in the day, as later on the water skiers would be out there on this shallow and narrow river.

    I would continue this drifting technique to fish for bass. I know, I said a 4 letter word... but it was fun to get out at the crack of dawn and pull out into the river and sit up front with a trolling motor to control the drift, or I'd do a "chain drag" to slow the drift and chuck some "top water" rigs or pig and jigs at "likely spots" as I drifted down the river. This produced many nice large mouth and "smallies" as well.

    Well, as I got down to the Colorado River in the 90's and had lots of water to cover to find spots, I'd put out two rigs... one, a bottom bouncer, and the other was a floating rig. Only problem was what to do as the rigs got hung up.... and they did.

    If I was doing the "chain drag", I'd take my drift rope out of a jam cleat and throw out more line which enabled the boat to stop rather than to drift. It is kind of fun... out there early before folks are up and really getting to see where the early morning fish are.

    This proces was pretty easy with an open boat, but later when I got my Gregor "bayrunner" which had a bimini top on it the process got more complicated with the supports and all. Thats when I made a "Tee top" for the boat... made the casting and drifting a lot easer....

    It is nice to do the drift.. two poles out drifting and occasionally throwing another quick rig out to hit some "nice looking structure" with a "popper" or "top water" crank.

    I use the drift technique on the Cochella main when I am at glamis sand dunes.... throw out some mackerel under a slip float and walk the bank, back out of the sight of the fish and "let er drift" along...once I find a place that is doing ok, then I throw out another rig that is on the bottom and "sit a while"..... "Should see the cats move when they hear the sound of my quad moving down the road on the canal"

    Going to have to get back into the drift thing... I have been mostly doing the "sit fishing" on the Colorado River as I have conformed to my old age and do a lay back style of fishing now....
     
  2. recordbreakin1

    recordbreakin1 New Member

    Messages:
    746
    State:
    texas
    Drift fishing is a good way to locate the fish.I do ok drifting but the biggest fish I have caught when drifting is only 25#.Gonna have to start drifting again because I have lost the fish and got to find them then I will sit and still fish those spots.
     

  3. gilmafam

    gilmafam Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,466
    State:
    California
    Thanks for the reply Jesse.... I think that I read a post by Randy "knotguilty" about fishing on Clearlake. The problems that happen on lakes is to much wind.. and so then you need to put out a "drift sock" to slow down, or use the trolling motor or main motor... maybe even a bit of "back trolling" to keep the speed down. but it's a good way to locate some feeding spots...:wink:
     
  4. daystarchis

    daystarchis New Member

    Messages:
    11,521
    State:
    Clovis Cali
    Good post Ray, I did some drifting with my boat at the slough. Used my trolling moter a bit:wink: Find a hot spot and stop for a bit. Always trolled from the tullies to the pipe. A light current there. Man do I miss my boat:sad2: Brings back memories:wink:
     
  5. KnotGillty

    KnotGillty New Member

    Messages:
    401
    State:
    Northern Califo
    I do lots of drifting Ray. It's my preferred method. I don't do much catfishing in the rivers in Nor Cal, but almost all my daytime catfishing in lakes is done on the drift.

    Calm days I use the bow mount electric trolling motor.

    Windy days I use a drift sock. I have two on board if the wind is really blowing.

    I use a carolina rig (weight / barrel swivel / 3 foot leader / hook.

    I use no-snag sinkers. I prefer the ones made by Lindy.

    I use circle hooks. The slow speed of the boat is a perfect match for using circle hooks. Most fish hook themselves.

    If you want to take your rig to the next level, add a float 6 inches above your hook. Having your bait ride above bottome does two things. It makes it easier for catfish to engulf. And it makes it really difficult to get your hook snagged because the hook will always be riding above the sinker. As the sinker rides over cover, the hook will automatically raise above the cover as well due to the float. The float does not frighten the fish.

    Also, adding rattles to your weight gives you another sensory advantage. If the cats don't see, or smell your offering, they might come by to investigate the noise.

    Lots of factors come into play including water depth, drift speed, rod placement around the boat, rod action (stiffness), size of hook, size of weight, bait, etc.

    Good luck out there
     
  6. gilmafam

    gilmafam Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,466
    State:
    California
    Thanks for the post Randy.... I was sure that you did it a lot..

    But, again, you pretty much have to have a boat or maybe a Yak or float tube... like to see more folks out there doing it... These days with many of the shore spots "squatted on by poachers":smile2::smile2:... it gets folks into new areas..

    by the way.... I might have to get up to Clear Lake this summer.. any campgrounds on the lake so to speek?... like pull you boat to the shore and there is the RV.... Am I dreaming?

    like ....when is the next concert?
     
  7. KnotGillty

    KnotGillty New Member

    Messages:
    401
    State:
    Northern Califo
    Lots of places to camp & fish. Here are a couple:

    1) http://www.catfished.com/mandm.html.

    2) http://www.catfished.com/islandpark.html

    The next on-the-water concert I'm going to is Heart. It's next weekend. It seems most of the rock shows I like are going to the indoor venue this summer. Here is the list of the indoor & outdoor concerts scheduled at Konocti harbor on Clear Lake this summer: http://www.konoctiharbor.com/

     
  8. gilmafam

    gilmafam Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,466
    State:
    California
    Thanks for the info Randy.... planning an Lake Isabella trip for in maybe two weeks. and then we'll see about Clear lake... might have to stop at a place or two on the way home or on the way there....
     
  9. KnotGillty

    KnotGillty New Member

    Messages:
    401
    State:
    Northern Califo
    If you make the reservations, let me know the date. If I can make it out, I'll show you some spots.