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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

This year I'm going to try drifting my favorite river using a float setup. My experience using floats is limited to bobber fishing for blue gills using your basic red/white bobber.

My plan is to use some type of sliding bobber and suspend my bait about 1 foot from the bottom, letting the boat drift along.

Should the bait be suspended above the bottom or bouncing along right on the bottom? If suspending, how far?

Thanks!
 

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Cigar Floats/Drifting/Snake Weights - We have a lot of good luck dragging baits 30 to 100 ft. behind the boat. Whether we are drifting with the wind or using the trolling motor this method will produce a lot of fish. Sometimes while drifting we will be dragging baits behind the boat on the bottom, pulling slip corks and also rigging poles fishing straight under the boat at the same time. You can cover a lot of area as well as different depths at the same time.
Rigging - We use what is called a basic Santee drifting rig. I use 2 oz. Snake weights that I make using 1/4 oz egg sinkers a swivel and 15 lb. Line. The line on your weight needs to be light enough that it will break relatively easy if it hangs. To make the weights tie a log length of line to your swivel then slide on 8 1/4 oz. Egg sinkers. On the last sinker wrap the line through and around the last sinker pulling the sinkers tight together. Wrap 5 or 6 times then crimp the last sinker down on the line with a pair of pliers. I will use 3 ft. leaders for this style of fishing and 2 inch cigar floats. 1st slide your drifting weight onto your main line (snake weight or weight that you use) followed by a bead. Now make your 3 ft. leader and tie it to your swivel. Now attach the swivel to your main line. Slide your cigar float onto your leader then tie on the hook of your choice. Peg the cigar float about 5 inches from your hook. As you drag the bait along the only thing that will contact the bottom will be your weight. The cigar float will keep your bait suspended up off the bottom.
 

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I USE A 10'' SLIP BOBBER WITH A 1\4 OUNCE EGG SINKER. WHIN DRIFTING YOUR LINE WILL DRIFT UP.THE FASTER YOUR MOVING THE HIGHER IT WILL RISE.I SET MY BOBBER A FOOT DEEPER THEN WATER DEPTH AND AJUST AS NEEDED.SPEEDIS VERY INPORTANT.I LIKE TO MOVE 1\2 TO 1MILE A HOUR
 

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If there are a lot of snags you can suspend your bait 1-2 ft off the bottom. This will keep you from getting hung up as much. I use Kat Bobbers from Wild Wolf. They are a BOC sponsor and they work great.
 

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I catch a lot of cats fishing 1ft deep under a float in 35 ft of water .Don't get hooked on a set depth , try different Depths until you find where the fish are feeding. Catfish do not only feed on the bottom.
 

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I have caught channels under floats from top to bottom. I look for the schools of shad and start out with my bait just below the bottom level of the school. The cats cruise under the schools waiting for dead shad to fall. I usually have a bait just above bottom. I I'm not getting action on the float I'll move it up and down untill I find the level the active fish are using. Good Luck, when you find the active fish floats are a great way to catch channels (the big ones).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you all for your advice!

Are circle hooks good to use with a float? I release everything I catch over 5 pounds. I'll be targeting channels in the 5 to 10 pound range with a chance at a 20 pounder. I'll be using cut bait.
 

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Thank you all for your advice!

Are circle hooks good to use with a float? I release everything I catch over 5 pounds. I'll be targeting channels in the 5 to 10 pound range with a chance at a 20 pounder. I'll be using cut bait.
Kat boobers are great to use with circle hooks. Look for the BOC sponser Wild wolf products for more info. I havent purchased any yet but many BOC members here have tried them with great success. I thank BOC member 777 for putting me on these floats.
 

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Circle hooks work great under floats. Of course, in my opinion they work great anywhere, in fact they are all I use. Also, I wouldn't use Cat Bobbers for channel cats. They sound perfect for use with big live bait. For cats in your size range I use pear shape slip bobber, the kind often sold as a walleye float. That way, I can use light tackle and fight the fish, not the bobber.
 

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Howdy Diego. In your area, I'd stick with the earlier advice of keeping the bait within 2 feet of bottom and drifting with the current. Also, if you drift live bait you may be able to entice just about anything in the river.

Circle hooks work well and will minimize your bait from hanging up if the depth changes on you during your drift. Just remember a slow sweeping hookset with circles, not a bone jaring 'set the hook with all your mite' hookset.

Good luck to you.
 
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