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I ALWAYS TIGHTLINE IT, CATFISH ARE NOT LINE/TENSION SHY WHATSOEVER, I WILL HAVE MY CLICKER "ON" IN MOST SITUATIONS BUT AS SOON AS I HERE IT CLICK, MY THUMB IS ON THAT SPOOL APPLYING PRESSURE. I THINK THE TENSION KIND OF GETS THE CATS "PISSED OFF" WHICH IN MOST CASES RESULTS IN A BETTER HOOKSET.
 

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Zeboman is about right except that I free spool every bite for a few seconds, then drop the hammer on them. channel cats are ofter VERY sensitive to line pressure. Quite often they will hit the bait to kill it then return to eat it. if they feel resistance on the first hit they will leave. Of course I use circle hooks and like to let every catfish bite run with the bait so they can have in well within thier mouth before tightening down on them. The circle hook will pull back out of the gullet then hook them in the lips 95% of the time.
 

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Fishing in the current always tight line because the fish slam it down so hard they hook themself. Fishing behind wing dikes in very slow to no current I don't ever freespool but I fish a real slack line. When the fish hits it you can see your line slowly going out and you can drop the hammer on them. I think all catfish tension shy channels being the worst.Bottom line is if they want it bad enough they are going to slam it.Hope this helps you.
 

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I fish in low current on a standing timber lake. Slack lines will drift around sticks and between rocks if free spooled. I use circle hooks but a times I use a kahle. Either way tight line is the only way for me. My leader gives him enough slack before he feels the weights I have on.

-Jim-
 

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Fishing in the current always tight line because the fish slam it down so hard they hook themself. Fishing behind wing dikes in very slow to no current I don't ever freespool but I fish a real slack line. When the fish hits it you can see your line slowly going out and you can drop the hammer on them. I think all catfish tension shy channels being the worst.Bottom line is if they want it bad enough they are going to slam it.Hope this helps you.
welcome to boc you will love it:cool2:
 

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Dear Brother Jesse;
First,:big_smile: WELCOME TO THE BOC!:big_smile: You have made a decision that is going to increase your Catfishing enjoyment in more ways that you ever dreamed are possible!!
If you ever need any help in using the features on this site we have Moderators that will help you as well as some very computer savvy members too.
As to the Catfishing questions, your going to get so many replies to your questions that it may overwhelm you at first but don't let it bother ya. Choose what is the best information for your area and situation and "have at it"!!:big_smile: Then when you find something that works, or can help another Brother or Sister with one of your answers to their questions, then please share your information with the rest of us!! THAT is much of what the BOC is about. Free sharing of information! And not just about Catfishing either as you will find out, if you haven't already!:wink:
Once again, "Welcome Aboard" and here is my answer to your question.
I tend to agree with Pirate Jerry for most of my fishing situations. However, I use some of the other techniques posted before mine but I try to "adjust" my technique to the particular situation I find myself in and base that decision on my experience, or lacking any of that, on what I have read/heard works for others in a particular situation and then hope I made the correct decision. I'm not always right by a long shot but that is why it's called "Fishing" and not "Catching"!!:wink::smile2: I hope this helps you out somehow, someway.
I'll be looking forward to reading your posts about your experiences in the weeks and months ahead! Maybe I can learn something from you that will help "ME" to be more successful!!:big_smile:
Fraternally,
Coyote1
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I always keep a tight line. I have my clicker on and the drag loose and press the release so there isn't any real resistance towards the fish. The clicker will keep the spool from over spinning so no back lash. I keep a tight line because of the setup I use. When I get a fish on, I turn the clicker off to let the line run and use my thumb to control the spool spin. That gives the fish time to get the bait completely in their mouth.
 

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here is what i have been trying lately and it has helped. in the past i have always tight lined it with circle hooks and let the fish hook itsself. but i have seen that if the fish isnt agressive and take the bait then they will just peck at the bait tapping the pole and getting the bait off. if this starts to happen then i will set a couple poles with the clicker and a couple tight to see what happens. it seems that if they are tapping the bait then a loose line allows them to pick the bait up and run a little and get it fully into there mouth then i tight the line and let them set themselfs. it works for me. i use 6 poles in my boat so i will tight 4 and loose 2 just to see what is working. try it it will help.
 
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