Here's how I roll...

Discussion in 'SOUTH CAROLINA RIVERS TALK' started by mudfishmusic, Jun 28, 2008.

  1. mudfishmusic

    mudfishmusic New Member

    Messages:
    326
    State:
    South Carolina
    First off, I want to say hello to all my fellow catfishermen. I actually joined this site a few months ago and have posted a few times but don't think I ever actually introduced myself. My name is Lawrence and I live right smack dab betwean the Bates bridge landing on the Congaree and the Lowfalls Landing on the upper end of Santee so this is where I roam. Since joining this site I have become addicted. I love the availability of current updates and being able to see and compare results and experiences with people who share a common focus on not just fishining , but catfishing. I can't wait to meet up and actually hang out with some of you guys. If any of you ever get into my area of the swamp or want to, make sure to let me know. I'm not kidding!!!

    I actually wrote this as a response to an earlier thread but it was suggested to me that it should have been a thread of it's own so here goes. This is a little description of my theories and the resulting strategies. Anybody got any additions are suggestions on fine tuning? Please add what you can as, in my opinion the instructional information and experience regarding different techniques are far and away the most valuable part of any site like this :wink:.


    I've never had the kind of success in the Congaree/Wateree/Upper Santee with other baits that I've had when using fresh bream. Live or cut, nothing comes close. I wasted enough money on feeding shad and herring to the gar fish to buy a new outboard before I realized you weren't really putting forward your best effort unless you got out and caught some bream to fish with.

    I typically fish deep timber in the daytime but move to shallower water at night, especially during the summer months. The beauty of fishing in a river like the Congaree is you can actually spread your lines through a very diverse set of circumstances from a stationary vantage point. We usually move to the top end of a sand bar a couple of hours after dark. I'll anchor down about a third of the way out from the the shallow side, just about casting distance above the top of the deep hole. I set out 8 lines starting 4 with cut bait and 4 with live bait alternated down each side of the boat with the cut bait in front. The front line is kept shorter and the cut bait is easier to keep stationary so that my lines don't get crossed.

    There is often a swale in the bottom contour where the water current cuts across from the top of the inside curve to the outside. I like my 2 inside/short lines to follow this track. Fish moving up and down the river tend to follow this same transition accross from inside to out and vice versa. Also this little dip creates a pocket that holds some forage. I like to use a flat weight on these lines as it holds the bottom better and keeps my bait close to where I cast it.

    The big fish, especially blues, may hold in the deep water but numerous times during the night they will cruise up onto the sandbar in search of schools of bait. While they may spend more time in the deep water, I feel that any fish in the shallows is probably feeding more agressively. I spread my 4 rear lines over as much of the sand bar as possible, feeding out quite a bit of extra line. This zone is fairly free of debris so I can get away with this and the fish here are moving alot so I don't worry so much about finding them cause they'll find me. I use an egg weight here. While it keeps my bait close to the bottom, a little wiggle can free it to roll around on the sand thus allowing me or my bait to move it around some. These are the rods that catch me the most fish.

    A fish holding in deep water is sitting at home relaxing. When it's time to go to work he is cruizing, I count on my outside lines to offer him a trip to the fridge instead of going out to eat. I cast these 2 right to the tip of any downed timber, using a heavy flat weight here and being certain to stop my line as soon as I feel it touch bottom otherwise I'll be fighting more timber bass than catfish.

    I use my fish finder alot more during the day just marking areas that hold fish. While I may be able to hit one in the nose with a piece of cutbait and entice him to bite, I know he will be feeding the adjacent shallows once the sun starts to go down. At night I use the screen more as a geographical tool. I know if a deep hole held fish that day and I set up my buffet nearby, when they do decide to grab a bite to eat they won't be able to resist. By setting up the way I do I am constantly offering bait to feeding fish with the key word being 'feeding'. A lot of people suggest moving around more than I do and in larger bodies o water I agree, but I've found that by using this approach, I've done just as well holding in a few areas and watching the bite go from deep water to shallow as I have by bouncing from hole to hole. The terrain on a river the size of the Congaree is fairly easy to read and you can quickly figure out where the transitions are.

    PS: I"m really looking forward to trying to get involved with some of the BOC events and gatherings but need a little boat help. I have a 20' aluminum center console that I love but it doesn't have a live well. I usually turn loose most of the fish I catch and when I do decide to keep them I ice them down imeediately so no problem. If I fish the tournaments it's a different set of problems. I've dug through the main site and found some information on livewells but I'm still not satisfied. Somebody hook me up with a suggestions on how to keep 150-200lbs of fish for a day in 100 degree heat.
     
  2. brother hilljack

    brother hilljack New Member

    Messages:
    7,305
    State:
    Shelbyville, TN
    This is an excellent post. Thanks for sharing your techniques with us.
     

  3. BAM

    BAM New Member

    Messages:
    827
    State:
    Tennessee
    Great post, and reps to ya.
     
  4. martygreen

    martygreen Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,224
    State:
    Rock Hill,S.C.
    Great post Lawrence and welcome to the BOC also,we will be having the SC gathering at Rocks Pond In September so be sure to come out there and join everyone,there will be a bunch of BOC folks there as well as the Carolina Catmen Tourney going on,you have to be qualified for it since it will be the Championship Tourney but the gathering is open to all BOC members and there family.Keep us posted on those fish down that way,looks like you have some fine spots down there,I have fished the upper santee a few times myself out of Poplar Creek and Packs,thats some beautiful area down there,just hope we get enough rain to keep it full as we get thru July and August.
     
  5. catch & release

    catch & release New Member

    Messages:
    178
    State:
    SC
    Lawrence, For a live well use a 120 gallon cattle trough. It's about 4.5 feet long, 2.5 feet wide and maybe 3 feet deep. It will easily keep 5 fish alive that weigh over 30 pounds......I had them in there over 20 hours, and they are very lively when they come out. Run a small bilge pump attached to a hose over the side of the boat into the lake...deeper gets colder water. The other end of the hose feeds a sprayer at the top of my tank. This pumps fresh oxygenated water into the tank. Make an overflow valve a few inches from the top to flow it back into the lake. When you are done weighing your fish in, you can scoop the water out with a 5 gallon bucket, or just put the pump in the tank and run it back into the lake
     
  6. mudfishmusic

    mudfishmusic New Member

    Messages:
    326
    State:
    South Carolina
    That's what I've been thinking about with the addition of a keep alive system or two to boot. The only thing that concerns me is the weight. I guess anytime you try to hall around that muich water you're gonna have to deal with that problem.
     
  7. tiny b

    tiny b Active Member

    Messages:
    847
    State:
    TX
    Great post! I really got some things I am going to try. Thanks.
     
  8. Bill in SC

    Bill in SC New Member

    Messages:
    4,451
    State:
    South Caro
    Good advice in the post! Thanks!
    Bill in SC
     
  9. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    Thanks Lawrence. Still a great post!

    By the way, I am one of those people that advocates moving a lot. It makes more sense on the waters I fish, though, I think. I can't generally cover all the different types of water from one spot the way you do. I am going to try and apply your techniques, though. And by the way, when I move, it's generally not far. Sometimes I move a couple of miles to a different hole, but usually I am moving just a hundred yards or so to get on fresh fish.

    Thanks again!
     
  10. mudfishmusic

    mudfishmusic New Member

    Messages:
    326
    State:
    South Carolina
    but in a river that is only a 50-100yds wide you don't have the area you would in a larger body of water. If you are more particular about where you anchor you can often cast or drift your bait into more situations and be more effective than by repositioning your boat. I certainly wouldn't suggest spending much time in an area where there is little response but once you get a good boat position, move your bait not your boat. In the area I fish there are numerous bends and holes and all hold fish, it's just a matter of getting the food to them when they want it. I've spent many nights on the river and typically found I can fish a particularly good looking spot for hours with out a bite then suddenly it lights up. If I'm patient, it might do the same thing in cycles throughout the night. I believe the credit I once gave myself for finding fish by moving really was more a case of being in any place at the right time. I think river fishing is much more compressed and most any good looking setup will do, you just have to be there when the fish gets ready. It's a lot like comparing still hunting to dog driving deer. In a big open area driving may seem more exciting and get me close to more animals in less time but, if I know I'm in an area that has trophy bucks, give me a well positioned stand any day. A lot of my approach is based on familiarity with where I fish and the confidence that the kind of fish I want to catch are normally within reach. If I was fishing less familiar territory I would not be nearly as patient.:wink:
     
  11. frankf

    frankf New Member

    Messages:
    2
    State:
    South Carolina
    What did you do give up singing for fishing?
     
  12. mudfishmusic

    mudfishmusic New Member

    Messages:
    326
    State:
    South Carolina
    I still sing for supper but I try to make it out for the quiet of the congaree every chance I get. You want to tag along sometime?
     
  13. frankf

    frankf New Member

    Messages:
    2
    State:
    South Carolina
    Sure, lets get together one weekend soon. We need to get up there and spend some time with everybody.