Drifting for Channel catfish?

Discussion in 'KANSAS RIVERS TALK' started by Circlehook Jester, Oct 17, 2009.

  1. Circlehook Jester

    Circlehook Jester New Member

    Messages:
    624
    State:
    Kansas
    Does anybody ever "drift" fish for channel cat? I have drifted big hunks of blood bait before and caught channels in resevoirs, but I was mainly fishing for blue cat. But I was thinking like maybe at Hillsdale or another resevoir that does not have blues. At least I have never caught one in the 12 years I have fished it. I wonder if you could drift shad heads or fillets and do well. I thought about drifting some of the river beds and ledges. Does anybody have any experience with this?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 17, 2009
  2. smoothkip25

    smoothkip25 New Member

    Messages:
    1,320
    State:
    ohio
    Im no expert on drifting but i have had much sucess this time of year drifting for channels. We use shad heads, cut shad, etc. We dont have Blues in our lakes so thats our only option this time of year. We catch alot of big ones drifting also.
     

  3. Circlehook Jester

    Circlehook Jester New Member

    Messages:
    624
    State:
    Kansas
    Thanks Kip! The lake I mentioned has a good population of channel cat and flatheads. I am also new to the "serious" drifting game. So, I think I will head out and give it a shot. Maybe i can get into 'em. :wink::big_smile:
     
  4. leatherpuke

    leatherpuke New Member

    Messages:
    764
    State:
    Kansas
    Last weekend at milford we caught two channels and two blues drifting shad heads.
    Of course, that's the first time I've ever drifted for cats so take it for what it's worth. But it seemed like it worked just as well for channels as it did for blues.
     
  5. Circlehook Jester

    Circlehook Jester New Member

    Messages:
    624
    State:
    Kansas
    Did you guys find these fish in the same locales at this time of the year? just curious?
     
  6. JimmyJonny

    JimmyJonny Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,059
    State:
    sc
    Anything will work while drifting. My favorite drift baits are herring or shad but they will take to most anything.

    Trick with drifting for channels is to see what they want and what size It could be heads, gut pocket, or filets, ,,ya never know.

    Depending on were you live and water temps, the channels should be bunching up together. Over here some are still spread out some.

    There are also many ways to drift and different people have different names for it. Drifting to us in SC is running 6 or so staggered lines out the stern between 80' and 250'.
     
  7. leatherpuke

    leatherpuke New Member

    Messages:
    764
    State:
    Kansas

    Yeah, pretty much. We covered quite a bit of water drifting but I think they were all within a few hundred meters of eachother and all at about 23 feet.
     
  8. playin4funami

    playin4funami New Member

    Messages:
    4,104
    State:
    Saronville Ne.
    I drift Nebraska and Kansas water for channels all the time,I usually catch bigger fish that way,this time of the year fresh cut bait is good and in the summer when the water is warm,bait shrimp is a killer bait for big channels and I hear blood bait is good too,but I know the bait shrimp are excellent bait in warm water and cutbaits are better in cold. I look for areas that will drift me back and forth over river channels,lake humps,and other similar type structure. A couple marker bouys in the bboat come in handy when you find a hot spot with active fish,toss'em out and try to run some more drift lines past them.,but if you find one small super hot spot drop anchor and fish it for awhile. Drifting is my favorite summertime day fishing method,and all catfish can be caught by drifting.
     
  9. Katatonik

    Katatonik New Member

    Messages:
    1,262
    State:
    Ogden, Kansas,
    Drifting is such a popular technique for catfish that some folks brag that
    they've never bothered to have an anchor in their boats. Most often used
    rig is the carolina set up with a leader length of from 2 to 10ft. at depths
    from 5 to 25ft usually. It is usually called drifting when the wind is used
    to push the boat beneath 2mph and dragging when you are using a trolling
    motor against the wind. Any bait you can think of has been used, most
    often mentioned is cutbait done some creative way like butterflyed gills.
    To butterfly, peel the fillets down toward the tail but leave them attached
    above the caudal fin. Lots of body fluids trailing in the slick behind.
    Replace baits about every 15 minutes and keep the forward speed low.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2009
  10. team salmon

    team salmon New Member

    Messages:
    157
    State:
    kansas
    Drifting is one of my favorite ways of catchin em' -seems as though once the water temps drop into the uper 50s or so that I do better anchoring to catch channels though - one important thing is to use circle hooks and let the fish hook themselves - it doesn't hurt to sweep the rod once they pound it just to assure the hook is all the way set but if you use a j or kahle hook and try to set the hook you'll pull it away from them more times than not - also if ya see one hit it and it doesn't hook up it doesn't hurt to free spool about 5ft of line out then engage the reel cause alot of times by the time the line goes tight they're on it. good luck!!