Light baits. . .no weight. . .casting dilema - Think outside the tacklebox

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by KnotGillty, Mar 22, 2008.

  1. KnotGillty

    KnotGillty New Member

    Messages:
    401
    State:
    Northern Califo
    Ok, so here's the deal. I mainly fish lakes for channel cats and I sometimes like to fish with a circle hook and no weight (zero, zilch, nada). In essence I'm casting my bait a short distance and freelining it until it reaches bottom. One area in particular that I fish has a very soft bottom and weights just sink into the muck resulting in buried baits, failed hooksets, and frustration. I wanted to figure out a way to fish more effectively in this area to increse my hookup percentages as I know there are channel cats swimming the area. However, the problem with using no weight is that you can't cast your bait very far from the boat, especially if you are using small baits. My solution was to put sugar cubes on a threader and thread the cubes down my line so they rest above the hook & bait. This gives me the added weight I need to get much longer casts and when the sugar cubes hit the water, they dissolve, which then allows me to bottom fish with no weight attached to my line. In certain situations, this has resulted in more hookups as I can get the bait farther from the boat and into productive zones.

    It pays to think outside the tacklebox sometimes. Good luck and tight lines to everyone. . .
     
  2. oh no

    oh no New Member

    Messages:
    11,108
    State:
    Indiana
    One spring I got the brainy idea to try gummy worms. lol Hey they dissolve pretty quick too. Try ed them on limb lines.


    :smile2::smile2::smile2:
     

  3. dewboy24us

    dewboy24us New Member

    Messages:
    339
    State:
    Missouri
    once used black licorice for a slip weight, caught 2 fish that just wouldn't let go of the licorice..... lol
     
  4. mrmarkedwards

    mrmarkedwards Active Member

    Messages:
    921
    State:
    Delaware
    how about a slip float rig?
     
  5. orion_xxvx

    orion_xxvx New Member

    Messages:
    397
    State:
    North Central Missouri
    I rig weight at bottom .....then a foot or so up tie a big swivel then just let bait hook run free on next couple of feet then a split shot.
     
  6. Ed1

    Ed1 New Member

    Messages:
    102
    State:
    Virginia
    I'd use a noroll sinker then a 30 inch leader with a small slip float on on the leader or use a cigar float and suspend the bait just above the bottom.
     
  7. Arkansascatman777

    Arkansascatman777 New Member

    Messages:
    7,782
    State:
    AR
    Give these 2 a try and I think you will have good results using kahles or circle hooks.

    1. Cigar floats/anchor fishing - Even when anchor fishing I like to know that my bait is suspended up off the bottom and not buried in the mud or laying down in the crack of a rock. I started using this method for real soft bottoms, leaves, silty areas etc... but pretty much use this method all the time now in low or no current conditions.
    Rigging - Its similar to the Santee rig just shorter leader and a different type sinker. Slide your sinker of choice ( I use no rolls)onto your main line followed by a bead. Now make your leader 18 to 24 inches and tie on your swivel. Tie your swivel to your main line then slide a 2 inch cigar float onto your leader. Tie on your hook of choice then peg the cigar float about 5 inches from your hook. This will keep your bait suspended up off the bottom.

    2. Cigar Floats/Dropper Loops - Another way we will sometimes rig that also works well for us. I will use this method when using two hooks on the same line and adding the cigar float helps insure your baits are suspended off the bottom. We use this same rig when fishing heavy current situations but don’t bother with adding the cigar float. We don’t do this but some people will add a swivel to the end of this with a short length of lighter test line to attach the sinker to.
    Rigging - If you are using braid you will need to make this out of mono then attach it to your main line with a swivel. It might work with braid but I haven’t tried it. 1st insert a peg into one end of a 2 inch cigar float then slide it onto your main line then slide the second peg onto your main line and insert it into the cork. You want the cork to slide freely on your main line. Now attach a 3 oz or larger bank sinker to the end of the line. Go up 1.5 ft. and tie a dropper loop making sure your cork is above this dropper loop. Go up another 1.5 ft. and tie another dropper loop keeping the cork between the two drops. Now attach the hook of your choice to the drops using a palomar knot. After casting this rig out reel in any slack then give it 1 to 2 ft. of slack line to give the cork some line to lift the baits. A lot of people are afraid to use this method for fear of the cat feeling the resistance of the sinker and dropping the bait. I was one of those skeptics until I tried this and a cat 5 lbs or more could care less and they will hammer it.
     
  8. KnotGillty

    KnotGillty New Member

    Messages:
    401
    State:
    Northern Califo
    A slip float rig works sometimes and I utilize slip bobbers whenever I can. But in one particular area I like to fish, if it's windy, then a slip bobber doesn't work as well (it drifts with the wind). I prefer to go weightless in this one area when wind is present. I let the bait go to the bottom, lock the rod in the rod holder, angle the rod holder until the tip of the pole is in the water (wind won't blow line underwater), and put the baitrunner reel into freespool mode.

    Tight lines. . .
     
  9. SSgt Fishslayer

    SSgt Fishslayer New Member

    Messages:
    1,241
    State:
    south carolina
    you know what else works well? small ice cubes, like the square ones with the holes in the middle. they melt rather quickly and you dont have to worry about your bait sinking into the mud.
     
  10. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Saltwater fishermen have been using lifesavers for years as a break away link.
    It works.
     
  11. tiny b

    tiny b Active Member

    Messages:
    847
    State:
    TX
    Have you looked at the Bobber with a brain? Works for me.
     
  12. ryang

    ryang Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,338
    State:
    Blacklick, Ohio
    Name:
    Gary
    Question on those BWB do you use any sinkers below them. I have some but they dont seem to work that well. Are they made for small baits and no weights?
     
  13. yeppa

    yeppa New Member

    Messages:
    636
    State:
    Topeka, Kansas
    Try a slip bobber with no stop knot. It will slide to the hook, and provide weight for casting. It should slide to where the line enters the water but will not sink on the bite. pat.pend.
     
  14. s_man

    s_man New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    Randy, I don't know if you have seen them, but in the Cabella's catalog they have sinker-sliders that look like a Bazooka with a small " T " in the center. They are used to cast heavy weights, and long leaders without tossing off the bait. They slip on a slider then a swivel, then a leader and a hook. You hook your sinker to a snap on the slider, and place the baited hook around the T. Then cast. When it hits the water the baited hook falls free of the slider.
    Anyway, for your problem. You could use the same slider, and swivel, hook and leader. But just use a sinker with a small brass ring, like a bass casting sinker. Take the snap off the slider, hang the sinker on the T, and when it hits the water the sinker will fall off and you have a free floating rig on bottom. You'll go thru tons of sinkers but you will be able to put on much more weight for farther cast with less effort.
     
  15. Dreadnaught

    Dreadnaught New Member

    Messages:
    5,444
    State:
    Henderson,Ky
    After reading all of the problems and, replies I think I may have come up with a sollution.
    Use the "Boat" as a float to get your bait where you need it. After all it is movable "Right?" If you get good boat position in the first place, there is no need for a looooong cast. I have done it for years and it has seemed to work well for me, try it it's fun!!!
     
  16. KnotGillty

    KnotGillty New Member

    Messages:
    401
    State:
    Northern Califo
    Skip, I've been using those for over 2 decades here in Northern California. Mostly for fishing in the river for sturgeon, salmon, and stripers as you can change weight as often as necessary without having to retie any knots. They also make casting a looong leader very easy. I've always called them 'sliders' or 'slido's'.

    Never thought of using them in the manner you describe. But you're right, you would go through a ton of sinkers and be depositing a lot of lead at the bottom of the lake.

    Here's a pic for those who've never used a slido as a way to attach their weight to their line.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. catfisherman369

    catfisherman369 Floyd

    Messages:
    4,944
    State:
    Nashville Il.
    take a 1 once weight and hook a peice of wire through it making a little j shape so it just hangs off your hook when you throw it out it will come off the hook as it hits bottom
     
  18. Netmanjack

    Netmanjack New Member

    Messages:
    3,734
    State:
    Ohio
    Thanks for the idea Randy. Out of the box yes, but an in the ball park home run! lol. That method should take care of some finicky fish. For channels I think I might add a couple of drops of attractant to the sugar cubes. :wink:
     
  19. Defender

    Defender New Member

    Messages:
    56
    State:
    Hastings, Nebraska