Drifting for Channel Cats in Iowa Reservoirs

Discussion in 'IOWA LAKES / RESERVOIRS TALK' started by Burwell40, Sep 16, 2008.

  1. Burwell40

    Burwell40 New Member

    Messages:
    247
    State:
    Iowa
    Brian asked me this in a private message and I agree with him that we should just start a new thread:).

    I think there may be some info on this board somewhere for different rigs and such. I learned this method from Steve Brown of catfishsafari.com, a Warsaw, Mo. guide. <-- (and a BOC partner by the way).

    So, my first piece of advice if you want to learn to drift is to lay out some change and get a guide who actually drift fishes. It's about more than just rigs and line. I've learned more from spending a few days with an expert than I could have learned in 30 trips to the water.

    If the change is a little sparse ( a common affliction in these times), then the next best thing is to get on BOC and ask someone!

    I'll try to be brief, but I'm windy by nature, so...

    30 lb. braid.
    24-36 inch leader using 50 lb. mono.
    Some manner of circle hook (I have favorites, but use what you like)
    2 oz. drift sinker (I'll try to post a picture of one) snapped to swivel ring closest to the reel.
    foam line float on leader approx. 6 inches from hook.

    You can wind drift or troll depending on conditions and topography. In a smaller, narrower reservoir such as Coralville, we find that a trolling motor is a must. Auto-pilot trolling motor is optional but it will make your life much easier (and, in fact, you can troll in certain conditions with a auto-pilot that would be impossible without) In a larger reservoir such as Red Rock, it's much easier to wind drift with a drift sock. I have a wind sock that I ordered from catfishsafari.com. I think Steve knows about a lady in a cave somewhere...they give her nuts and berries and she produces awesome drift socks. This one that I ordered costs more than others, but you can drift in a hurricane if you're stupid enough to try! As Steve always puts it, when conditions are best is when your drift sock can let you down. By letting you down, he means it won't slow you down enough for effective drifting.

    Anyway, the ultimate goal is to move your bait (if I can't get fresh shad, I'll probably stay home) across the bottom at between 0.5 and 1.0 mph. While it's nice to have a GPS for speed, you can actually get a feel for your speed just by watching the world around you, especially how your poles act.

    Lot's of guys ask if they can use mono for drifting. The answer is yes but you won't catch nearly as many fish. Dragging a bait with mono is like tying your bait to a rubber band. Your bait sits still while the line stretches. When all the stretch is out, your bait "snaps" forward like a doggone grasshopper and scares the bejeezus out any channel cats in the area. Maybe I'm exaggerating a little. Just try to imagine how your bait is moving. If it ain't smooth and steady, it ain't working as well as it might.

    There ya go. Now quit fartin around reading about fishing on the internet and get out there and do it!

    Mike.

    P.S. The picture is of a ready made sinker. We actually make ours out of 8 1/4 oz. eggs tied to a small snap/swivel.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. bnewsom71

    bnewsom71 New Member

    Messages:
    537
    State:
    Mathervill
    Thanks for posting it Mike! It seems as though it could be something you can get into without a ton of cash up front. And the concept seems simple enough. I will definitely be trying it out yet this year! Reps to ya!
     

  3. oldstylelight

    oldstylelight New Member

    Messages:
    155
    State:
    LeClaire, ia
    yes a couple years ago mike opened my eyes to a new type of cattin for me. i even do it on the mississippi for giggles every now and then. listen to that .. good post. thanks mike again. dave.
     
  4. mdavis

    mdavis New Member

    Messages:
    139
    State:
    Iowa
    Mike; do you ever use bobbers to float your bait off the bottom or are you just dragging the bait on the bottom behind your sinker?

    Good post and sure others will enjoy.
     
  5. oldstylelight

    oldstylelight New Member

    Messages:
    155
    State:
    LeClaire, ia
    not to sound like an idiot, but is anyone getting my posts on here. seems like they are not visible to me until i log on myself. kinda weird. would someone just say whether or not they can read this.!!!
     
  6. Burwell40

    Burwell40 New Member

    Messages:
    247
    State:
    Iowa
    Yes, a foam float 6 inches or more from the hook.