Drifting the Missouri River

Discussion in 'MISSOURI RIVERS TALK' started by rodenberg, Sep 11, 2007.

  1. rodenberg

    rodenberg New Member

    Messages:
    121
    State:
    missouri
    I was woundering if anyone drifts the mo. I have tried with limited success. does any one have any tips
     
  2. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

    Messages:
    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO
    You figure out how to do that and catch fish consistently you have more patience than a rock. Most of have tried, and most have failed miserably. :confused2: If you figure out something that seems to work, please let us know. :wink:
     

  3. rodenberg

    rodenberg New Member

    Messages:
    121
    State:
    missouri
    I have found out how to do it but I have to fish with a float. I use a sinker but I have to have a float as well. when boat gets back from the shop I will go out and take a pick of how I do it.
    I would like to find a way to get my lines about 3 feet of the bottom right now I am bout 3 feet from the top
     
  4. spoonfish

    spoonfish New Member

    Messages:
    3,780
    State:
    Warsaw, Mo.
    A lot of guys are doing a controled drift. Basically point the bow up river and run the trolling motor to slow the drift down. Spider rig or hold a couple of rods as you go. John Jamison did a write up about it but I can't find it.
    Another method we have tryed is to drag a weight to slow you down. Depending on the size of your boat and the current speed as to how much weight you will need.
     
  5. turtle1173

    turtle1173 New Member

    Messages:
    611
    State:
    Mayfield, KY
    I did this for the first time a couple weeks back on the Mississippi. I believe it helps when the water is down good. Like Troy mentioned, we put the trolling motor on 1 or 2, pointed it upstream and we each held a pole.

    We didn't try to bounce off the bottom, we just dragged. I caught 4 fish in about 2 1/2 hours but the biggest was only 9 lbs.

    I need to do a lot more experimenting with this but it's hard to convince myself to do it when there's so many other anchoring options with the current.
     
  6. Mr.T

    Mr.T New Member

    Messages:
    2,553
    State:
    MO
    Sounds like you need to use a variation of a drop-shot rig -- put your sinker on a 3 ft tagline below the hook and you're all set... Use just enough weight to keep your line where you want it - maybe 4 oz or so?

    I've tried drifting on the Missouri just once or twice, didn't really know what I was doing and spent most of my time fighting with the trolling motor rather than concentrating on fishing.

    Thinking of giving it another shot soon, since I now have an auto-pilot trolling motor that will take a lot of the work out of it. My idea is to spider-rig two poles off the rear of the boat, with the bait just barely dragging bottom, then hold a pole in my hands up front where I can keep an eye on the trolling motor. Outside bends in the channel seem like obvious spots.

    I think the main reason I haven't tried it more is that it's hard to only have 1 or 2 rods in the water when I usually fish 5 at a time... Seems counter-productive to me... :wink:
     
  7. Dave53

    Dave53 New Member

    Messages:
    411
    State:
    Lonedell M
    I tried that last year and one of my poles hung up and stripped about 60 yards of line out before I could get the boat stopped. I had a mess and gave up..I couldn't figure out how to keep the boat straight, poles at the right level, and try to drink a beer at the same time.
     
  8. rodenberg

    rodenberg New Member

    Messages:
    121
    State:
    missouri
    I drift down the river side ways. I use the trolling just now and then to keep me off the back or off the rocks.
     
  9. dougc

    dougc Active Member

    Messages:
    1,709
    State:
    Independen
    Found it for you Troy.

    http://www.catfish1.com/forums/showthread.php?t=40081
     
  10. duckalot

    duckalot Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,971
    State:
    Missouri
    I have tried a couple times just free floating and have lost a lot of hooks. The whole Ideal behind the trolling motor is to slow the boat, Too slow the boat is one thing, But to control the boat while holding a rod in each hand while walking baits down stream ahead of you as you go! Ya I'm sure it can be done, but its not something a guy is going to master in a day. (at least not me) Some of the Walleye fisherman could probably answer this but I wonder how those spring wire Bait walkers would work for this application? Someone on here has had to try this by now.
     
  11. Malichi1970

    Malichi1970 New Member

    Messages:
    1,334
    State:
    Fenton, Missouri
    I read an article about drifting in a magazine where they mentioned using the walking style of weights that Walleye fisherman use. I haven't had a chance to try it yet, but if you can find them heavy enough to keep you on the bottom they look like they would work.

    I've drifted slower moving bodies of water using the drop weight method by using the trolling motor to control our speed and had great success and have been wanting to try it on a larger river like the Missouri or Mississippi. I was thinking that if you increased the size of your weight so that you could keep your line horizontal and used the trolling motor to slow you down it just may work drifting the channel (it should be relatively clear I would think) and hopefully avoid alot of snags. Drifting around the tips of wing dykes may be effective, but I would think you would get hung up more than you'd be willing to deal with.
     
  12. Vince Copple

    Vince Copple New Member

    Messages:
    765
    State:
    Missouri
    I have been drift fishing since the early 70's. There are several techniques to use which I have several articles on. First you have to understand this one that is in our library that Ill copy up here for you all....

    SLOW ER’ DOWN
    Drift Fishing Technique
    By TeamWhiskers Willie

    When cat fishing the rivers sometimes there is a need to cover more area. One technique I use is drifting thru the long holes. I have seen some of the best catmen utilize trolling motors and many times with success in luring in their prize catch. What if your trolling motor goes on the blink or you run out of power? What if you don’t have a trolling motor? The solution is simple and inexpensive.

    I employ a chain and rope. This is not just any ordinary bicycle or motorcycle chain. This is a chain with an attitude. The chain I use came off a big trencher that I found in a junk yard. This 8 foot section of heavy duty roller chain will do the job provided that you didn’t forget your rope.

    The length of chain should weigh around 20 to 25 pounds. Secure a loop of heavy duty wire or cable to one end and tape the end so that it is smooth. This will be the nose end. Attach the anchor rope to the nose and send it overboard. Depending on the current speed and river depth will determine how much rope you will need to let out. I use a 100 foot rope.

    The chain normally will not snag and will slow the boat to about half of current speed. If the chain does snag (it has only happened to me once) simply fire up the motor and go get it.

    When using this technique you can either bottom bounce or use a lighter weight and let the bait roll downstream behind the boat. This technique might not be for everybody, but it is something worth a try.

    Dec. 13, 2004
     
  13. Vince Copple

    Vince Copple New Member

    Messages:
    765
    State:
    Missouri
    Drift Fishing
    By TeamWhiskers
    Vince

    The drift chain is designed to stir up everything on the bottom. Tie it on your engine mount with a half hitch and let the rope stay up in the boat so all you have to do is give the rope a yank and drag it in later… Haven't you ever heard of throwing a ½ gallon milk jug over filled with concrete and some will even attach the pole tip bells above it to make even more of a racket. You want to get them moving out of their dormant stage for these techniques. Keep making swipes 20 to 30 feet apart. You have 6 foot of the back of your boat to work out of and if your poles on the outside are out at a 45 degree angle then you have 10 to 12 feet for your spread. Do not run more than 2 poles a person as drifting, things happen very fast. This is for drifting off the back of your boat. If your boat drifts sideways, you are even better off with more room.

    Let’s keep this simple… Don’t get to fancy with the rigs. It is all over hyped anyhow. All you are going to do is loose tackle and take up valuable time. Just tie your hook onto your main line and a foot and a half to two foot up the main line put on a two way swivel with 3 foot of 6 pound test and a drop sinker just enough to get it down there. I like to over loop it on so I can adjust it if I want. Sometimes you can even add a float just above the hook to make sure it gets off the bottom your desired height. If you have clickers, set them about 5 pounds above your drift rates to save your poles from snags if you are not on top watching them closely.


    Feb. 9, 2006

    I just shot pictures of a new weight to use for this just last night that I will get around to the article here in a few days with also an old way I used to use back in the 70's.
     
  14. Vince Copple

    Vince Copple New Member

    Messages:
    765
    State:
    Missouri
    Drift Sinker

    By TeamWhiskers Vince Copple

    This particular drift sinker is done by using a Do-it Egg Sinker 3/8 and ¾ size mold. You can also use the ¼ and ½ egg sinker mold also depending upon the desired weight that you wish to use.
    Take a paper clip and bend it out straight with a 90 degree angle at the end that will slide down into the pull pin slot of the mold. Pour your lead into the three cavities and pop out of the mold. Let cool and cut off the slag or extra. Picture Drifts2

    Stick your barrel swivel over the 90 degree part of the paper clip, twist and crimp. The two weighs shown here in picture Drifts3 are 1 1/8 and 2 ¼ ounces. This is more than enough of what you will need for drifting. You can use these weighs as seen or bend them slightly. Picture Drifts1 shows both the completed sinkers and ones just out of the mold.


    Sept 13, 2007
     

    Attached Files:

  15. Vince Copple

    Vince Copple New Member

    Messages:
    765
    State:
    Missouri
    Old Drift Rig
    This is the drift rig that I have been using since back in the 1970’s. It is very easy to tie and the nice part is that you can change out weights very easily with the snap swivel. I used 50 pound power pro here in the picture so we can see it much better. Use a smaller leader line size than your main line. Tie your hook on with your favorite knot. Then tie an over hand knot leaving a 3 inch loop. Crimp on a crimp sinker right at the knot. Tie a snap swivel onto your main line and snap on the rig. Most of the time you will just need one or two crimp on weights as you can add a walking sinker as shown here or a slip weight. The big mistake that drifters do is have on way to much weight. Remember.. you are drifting trying to be suspended, not bottom dragging where you will get hung up.

    TeamWhiskers
    Vince Copple

    Sept 13,2007
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Michael Jake

    Michael Jake New Member

    Messages:
    808
    State:
    Troy, Missouri
    Feedback on this subject has been well expressed, this is what the BOC is all about providing us a platform to brainstorm. I see pieces of the puzzle here I have experienced both successful and unsuccessful. We need to bring both to the platform on river drifting to move ahead and build on. I have repeated mistakes where it was a reminder and learning experience, but one to build on and not stop trying from. First a little highlights on different techniques and their application then some hopefully helpful information of what has worked and hasn’t. I break drifting down to anchoring, controlled and uncontrolled with controlled using either a trolling motor, drag chain or regular motor to slow the speed of drift.
    1) walking - anchoring in currant or with a controlled drift but nearly always anchored.
    Drop sinker to bottom then lift and let line out walking it slowly down river.
    Good for sand and gravel bottoms that are smooth but irregular where you can present baits into sand bar drop offs or even into scour holes.
    2) Bump drifting (bottom bouncing) - is a vertical presentation of bumping bottom while controlled drifting. Drop sinker to bottom, once it hits lift and drop it keeping touch with the bottom.
    Good for rough irregular bottom but not a rough rip rap in super fast currant.
    3) Dragging - done with a controlled drift, boat in forward or side position while dragging bait behind upstream.
    Good for sand and gravel bottoms that are smooth but irregular.
    4) Freeflow drift - is an uncontrolled drift with lines vertical holding bait above the bottom.

    I’m still learning and by far am not proficient at drift fishing the rivers for catfish. All I can do here is relay what information I’ve learned and what little I’ve done. Many of cat fisherman have successfully walked their bait down river with good results. The ones who are consistant producers will target an area versas just randomly walking to see if something comes along. Here’s the story of one who doe’s well bottom bouncing, he targets fish along dropoffs and other structure marking their position on the GPS, he’ll mark several areas then plans how he’ll drift over them. His rig is a 3 way about 14” - 16” up from sinker (2-3 ounce), 2nd 3 way about 48” up, both with about a 6” leader to his gama octopus hook. When blues take his bait he will usually feel slack where there was once the pull of the weight, then with his long pole will bring it all the way back to set the hook, he says blues will often pick up the bait and turn down river making the line slack. He says drift fishing is best done during warm water time of year when fish metabolism is high. Note here: he does not even try bottom bouncing during fast water where he cannot maintain boat and line control together. I use this technique walleye fishing during the winter and only in the less currant areas. Tried it cat fishing, lets just say a 7’ 10” surge rod will wear a person out trying to jig with it in fast water… left a lot of lead in the rip rap bottom below Alton dam. Fished it the day it crested, high and fast, which brings me to the next technique, the freeflow drift, explained to me by our own Mr. Kutter. He did very well using it there with the water on the rise and fast. He targeted a couple of feet off the bottom. The currant speed that day dictated only 1oz. of lead to maintain it vertical, less would move downstream while more would move up. I had a little different currant and made every mistake in the book, starting with two rods to close to bottom and snagging both at once when crossing a shallower area. If anyone finds a half a spool of new yellow power pro line it’s mine… I did catch fish but at a big cost of lead and line. Next time I’ll get out of the mindset of fishing close to bottom using this technique, especially after seeing the fish suspended on the fish finder. Oh well, that’s why I’m sharing this so we can all learn by what works and what doesn’t. It was not a day for anchoring, so a
    freeflow drift was the only working option for those conditions. I found how much lead was needed to maintain a vertical position and it did work. Hope this helps, each time out is a learning experience, we just have to try something new and keep trying.
     
  17. rodenberg

    rodenberg New Member

    Messages:
    121
    State:
    missouri
    thats some great info guys. I am going to try a few new ideas this weekend on the missouri.
     
  18. skydiver41

    skydiver41 New Member

    Messages:
    63
    State:
    Missouri
    I realize that the following is an expensive option...but does anyone use downriggers for drifting...especially the automatic ones that communicate with and are controlled by the fishfinders?
     
  19. SkipEye

    SkipEye Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,525
    State:
    Winfield, MO
    Name:
    Darryl
    CPALOMBO played around with them but for some reason he has disappeared off the face of B.O.C.??????:confused2::confused2::confused2:
     
  20. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

    Messages:
    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO
    I have tried drifting my area of the Mississippi Several times. NO LUCK AT ALL. I use a Minn Kota Digital Tour with 82 pounds of thrust, using a 24 volt system. It takes approximately 90 percent of that thrust to maintain a 'civilized' drift. After approimately 30 minutes, it has worn the batteries down enough such that controlling drifting speed becomes unmanageable. If your going to use a trolling motor, I'd recommend a 36 volt system to buy yourself some extended fishing time. I'm not saying its not possible to drift this area, but its difficult and requires your undivided attention to keep everything running smoothly. If you try dragging your bait around here, you will bust off every few minutes. I've found its best to suspend your bait 3 feet off of the bottom. If your drift speed is good, theres no reason you shouldnt be able to find the fish doing it, but it will take some patience and alot of practice. Good Thread guys.