Get that bait off the bottom in Michigan!

Discussion in 'LOCAL MICHIGAN TALK' started by dreamcatcher, May 12, 2006.

  1. dreamcatcher

    dreamcatcher New Member

    My Michigan brothers I am sad to report that I have been doing it totally wrong all these years, and if the alternative was a pit viper I would of been dead a long time ago!!!:005: :005: :005: (No, not the glass fishing rods, saltwater reels, fighting belt, and shark hooks; those are here to stay:0a1: :0a1: :0a1:).

    I am talking about the presentation, so the bite rate will be more frequent and aggressive. This has been spoken of many times on this site in different threads, but it either didn't stick or I simply chose to keep doing it the way I had chosen. That all changed yesterday after talking to our Kentucky brother Griz(Patrick Price). Griz is one member that I listen to intently, and am always trying to pick his brain in chat. If I were you I'd listen to him too, because he is always catching big fish!!! To his credit he is always willing to share his knowledge. Oh, another thing: he catches most of his fish from the bank!

    Guess you can tell I'm a Griz fan. Well, he told me about the three way rig, and now I'm telling you so that you can improve your hook up rate and potentially catch a limit(I haven't done it yet, came close). My hope is that it improves my chances of catching a big fish (dogfish, catfish, carp, sheepshead, I don't care ROTFLOL). You see, I've been using the Carolina rig for all of my catfishing situations when I'm tightlining.

    The only time I have switched is when I use a bobber, and even then it is sort of like a carolina rig depending on how I rig the float. Sometimes I rig the bobber with a stop and a bead, with a small weight above a two-way swivel, and then attach a twenty four inch leader with a shark hook. LOL. The bobber is running free on the main line, with the bead above it. The "stop" is a piece of fishing line/thread that is set at the desired depth. The weight is there to keep the line taught with a cut bait presentation. When I use live bait I still use the weight unless the float is sinking from the baitfish. The other way is clipping the bobber to the leader between the hook and swivel. You just need to make sure the float is big enough to pick the bait up.

    However, my revelation came with my tightlining. If you throw a regular carolina rig out there the bait is going to be right on the bottom. I knew that part, but the part that I didn't realize is that a catfish is not designed to pick up bait off the bottom. I know what you're thinking,"I catch catfish all the time like that!" Well, I have to through the sheer will of the fish. A catfish has to get in an inverted position to get that bait out of the sand, silt, vegetation or what ever is down there. This isn't such a bad deal for a place like Saginaw Bay that has silty bottom, and no structure, but what if you fish in Belleville Lake that is all rock? If your bait lands in a crevice, there isn't a catfish in the world that's going to waste energy digging it out. I know many of you have reeled in your bait only to find it covered in what I call moss/algae. If you get a cat to hit that smorgasbord good luck. Then, you have the heavily structured areas where your bait is sure to be sitting in between root systems, and other submerged paraphenalia.

    Even if you are fishing live bait I am told that sucker isn't as lively as he is when you reel him in to check his energy level, especially small bait fish. They may not be able to take line off the spool to hide, but they can, and probably do play "possum" on the bottom. I know I'm on the other end thinking the bait is thrashing about in the silt, and all it's doing is remaining motionless. When I reel it in, it magically comes to life. LOL. Come to think of it I have never caught a cat with a live bait fish on the bottom. Griz informed me that the little tapping that we experience before the freight train run is the fish attempting to pick the bait of the bottom. Once done, of course it's going to take off, or drop the offering. Why not make it easier to get?

    Three way rigging is with a three way swivel (hopefully a sturdy one; Catfish Connection supposedly sells Gamakatsu three ways that are stout; I haven't checked yet), or you can tie your own with the line. For now, I'm going to use the hardware to explain the rig which is a simple concept. With the 24 inch leader(or your preference) tie a Palomar knot to one of the loops in the swivel. This line should be a significantly lighter test than the main line in case you get snagged. With a significantly shorter length of line tie another Palomar knot to the other loop on the swivel. As for the actual length of this line I would say that you would want it long enough so the fish can take it without interfering with the main or drop line, but not so long that it doesn't stay off the bottom. The test is the same as when you use the two-way rig. For me, it will be with a fifty pound mono leader.

    Tie the main line to the remaining swivel loop with a Palomar knot. I have held off on tying the shark hook, and weight on at this time, so it makes it easier to tie this Palomar. Afterwards, tie on your hook with a Palomar knot on the shorter length, and your weight to the longer, lighter test with a cinch knot, or your preference. The idea is that the bait will "float" off the bottom, and away from the other lines. The disadvantage to this system is the fish will feel the weight, but I think it's a tradeoff that I can handle, especially if more fish can get at the bait.

    If you search the library you will see a diagram of this I'm sure, and other ways of getting it done for different conditions, but it just didn't hit me until Griz told me about it yesterday. Well, what are you waiting on? Go get that bait off the bottom!!!:0a1:

    Vic
     
  2. BIG GEORGE

    BIG GEORGE New Member

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  3. kyblue49

    kyblue49 New Member

    Messages:
    77
    State:
    kentucky
    you can make a three way rig by using two single swivels. just carolina rig but instead of putting your sinker un put another swivel and run a line on it to attach your sinker. that way the fish wont feel the weight.weve had luck with it.we also put a float on the line with the bait on it to keep it off bottom
     
  4. dreamcatcher

    dreamcatcher New Member

    George, thanks for posting those pics. I need to get me some more of those style floats. They are the perfect size for nightcrawlers and shrimp. When you do the bathtub test, how far above the bottom does it take the bait?
     
  5. dreamcatcher

    dreamcatcher New Member

    Nice idea, John. So in that setup the swivels are metal to metal contact with the with the weight on the shorter leader and the bait on the longer leader with a float to get it off the bottom? Just trying to visualize it is all...
     
  6. BIG GEORGE

    BIG GEORGE New Member

    Messages:
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    Vic. Not to sound like a politician,but the results will vary depending on the bait. The floats are a pin on type that are available in different sizes. As ya can see they are put on the leader at the desired point prior to tyein the leader on the swivel. I'm stuck on carolina rigs. LOL! Personaly I am no good at castin a 3 way rig without it gettin all tangled up. LOL! I tip my cap to those that can. I would be more than happy to mail ya a few to get ya rollin and do some testin of your own. Just send me a PM if ya want.

    Also, VERY IMPORTANT! Don't do the bathtub test while the Mrs. is home! LOL!
     
  7. BIG GEORGE

    BIG GEORGE New Member

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  8. dreamcatcher

    dreamcatcher New Member

    It may be the case that I won't be good at it either. If so, I'll just go back with the float method. As for the wife, she'll be okay as long as no fish are swimming in the tub!!!:0a5:
     
  9. kyblue49

    kyblue49 New Member

    Messages:
    77
    State:
    kentucky
    you got it. our bro cattoo caught 10 nice blues today using this rig
     
  10. derbycitycatman

    derbycitycatman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,299
    State:
    Kentucky
    Name:
    your first name
    Ive recently switched from the carolina rig to a different rig, dont really know what its called but so far I like it. I put a bead on my line then tie to a heavy duty snap swivel. From there Ive been tying 2 dropper loops on a 3-4' piece of line and tie a 2 oz tire weight to the bottom. I then tie a loop in the top of the line, so I can take it off and on with ease. With snelled hooks its quick and easy.
     
  11. hear_kitty

    hear_kitty New Member

    Messages:
    545
    State:
    Vassar Mi
    You have seen the rig i fish i don't fish that because it don't work I have nown that catfish feed on the bottom and off the for a long time and weather anybody knows it or not they feed off the top when the mayflies hatch
     
  12. ridgerunner

    ridgerunner Guest

    I too am convince to get the bait off the bottom. All last year I fished with slip sinker and hook on bottom. 3 weeks ago I put a bobber about a foot above the bait and a split shot about a foot above the bobber to keep the slip sinker away from the bobber. Worked great! Last time out I modified the diagram found on another post and used a 3 way swivel. Worked well too. I think I may go back to putting a bobber above the bait on the bottom because I like the idea of having a continuous line.
     
  13. dreamcatcher

    dreamcatcher New Member

    Don, I have seen your rig, but haven't really paid much attention as to how you are rigging it. It know that you are using a three way with shrimp and worms, but I don't know if you are using a swivel or not. The one thing I do know is that you aren't using normal carolina rigging like me, which probably explains why you are getting more hits when the fish are on. I know that catfish will bite at any depth, to include the surface and the bottom. My only thought is that it can't take bait as easily with it sitting flush on the bottom. One thing that I did not consider is that normal Carolina rigging is something that is a transition from bass fishing. Do bass take bait off the bottom easier than catfish?
     
  14. veryama1975

    veryama1975 New Member

    Messages:
    191
    State:
    South West Mich
    I have known about 3 way rigs for a long time but have stuck
    to my old eggsinker/split shot method anyway. If the bite is
    really that much better, maybe I should try it. I did try a 3
    way rig a couple of times a long time ago. I didn't like it at the time because the 3 lines seemed to get all tangled together & I was afraid it would actually make it harder for the cat to get. Maybe with a bobber on the bait line it wouldn't tangle as much?
     
  15. RiverKat

    RiverKat New Member

    Messages:
    191
    State:
    Michigan
    All my biggest flatheads have been taken on a version of 3 way rig that I believe is called a paternoster rig. I only use this rig for livebaits. I keep the lead to the hook half the length of the drop to the sinker. I fish this rig at about a 45 degree angle from the boat and tighten up to the sinker once it hits bottom. This keeps the bait up off bottom and always trying to get down to it. As for other baits intended for channels, carolina rig for dip worms, or a sinker,bead,and hook for cut bait.

    Dan
     
  16. hear_kitty

    hear_kitty New Member

    Messages:
    545
    State:
    Vassar Mi
    There is two basic rigs i use any more slip sinker rig! and a modfied crappie or pearch rig as far as these cycle hooks are concerened there is a time and place for every thing and it depends on the person and what there comfordable with!!!!!This catfish fishing thing has gotten blown out of perporstion it has almost become the new big bass crase!!! Me i just would like to catch as many as i can in one day day after day for as long as i live big little don't matter to me!! I'm not the best and never will be!! but I would like to be good or lest think i have some nowladge of it!!!!!!
     
  17. RiverKat

    RiverKat New Member

    Messages:
    191
    State:
    Michigan
    As far as the "catfish thing" being blown out of proportion goes I disagree with you Don. It's true, there is no need to complicate things when fishing for cats, but I think it's great that catfishing is spreading like wildfire in our state, and I don't think I'm alone. The great thing about catfishing is that theres no wrong way to do it. Catfish, especially channels, feed aggresively and are not line or hook shy. Everyone can enjoy some level of success with either the most complicated rig you can imagine or a spark plug tied to the line above a treble hook baited with a cigar butt.

    Dan
     
  18. hear_kitty

    hear_kitty New Member

    Messages:
    545
    State:
    Vassar Mi
    I was hoping for a bigger more responsive confront from everyone! IS every body sleeping in Mich!
     
  19. veryama1975

    veryama1975 New Member

    Messages:
    191
    State:
    South West Mich
    I'm awake now. Good morning! & Brrr!! I hate these Michigan winters, don't you?
     
  20. hear_kitty

    hear_kitty New Member

    Messages:
    545
    State:
    Vassar Mi
    Good morning! I must say i don't care for winter as much as i did when i was younger!