When to use the bait clicker?

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by gadzooks, Oct 31, 2006.

  1. gadzooks

    gadzooks New Member

    Messages:
    1,532
    State:
    Kingwood, Tx (Houston)
    Most of the time, I drift fish from a kayak and my rods are right in front of me, so I haven't felt the need for using the bait clickers on any of my three Abu's. But, this past weekend, I fished with friends on part of the Brazos River in Texas. The river below Waco is narrow right now because of drought. We were fishing about 30 miles downstream near Marlin. We paddled our kayaks down about 4 miles from the launch site, then set up camp on a big sand and gravel bar and fished from it. My friend who put together the trip fishes the river often. I asked him about using his bait clicker on his Penn 209's. He said he doesn't on the river as there isn't much room for a catfish to run before it gets into structure. He also snubbs his drag down pretty tight, calling it a hook-em or lose 'em strategy. Of course, he uses Power Pro 65lb test with 80 lb leaders too...mainly because he wants to catch big gar. I know when he is mainly gar fishing, he'll let them run before setting the hook, using his bait clicker.

    Catfish in the part of the Brazos we were fishing include up to 20 lb flatheads, good sized blues and plenty of 5-7 lb channels. No flatheads this trip, though we did manage a couple of nice 8 lb blues plus several 3-4 lb channels.

    But, back to the question, when should I use the bait clickers on my reels? Is my friend right about not using the clicker and snubbing up the drag in tight river areas with heavy structure? I'm pretty much a close line watcher, with that in mind, do I really need the clickers engaged?
     
  2. laidbck111

    laidbck111 New Member

    Gad I really only use my clickers when I am bank are anchored down. At times I use them when I am rigging up another rod are taking a "break". I have used them trolling on the reels I have that have an adjustable clicker tension but I mainly tightline. I think it really boils down to personal taste in the end though.
     

  3. trnsmsn

    trnsmsn New Member

    Messages:
    1,214
    State:
    Missouri Originally Now I
    I like to use mine, when I have the poles in the holders & I feel a nap coming on:eek:oooh:

    In the Saltwater I use them all the time while trolling.
     
  4. Arkansascatman777

    Arkansascatman777 New Member

    Messages:
    7,782
    State:
    AR
    The only time I lock my reels down is if I am fishing heavy current. All other times I'm on free spool with the clicker set. Even when drift fishing I will free spool with the clicker on and the brake tightened down just enough to drag the bait along. The reason I do this is a lot of times on the initial run the fish will have lipped the bait and not have the hook in it's mouth and if the reel is locked down you will pull the bait out of it's mouth but if you give it just a few feet of run time they will take that second chomp and then you can set the hook or just engage the reel if you are using circle hooks. This method works really well for me and has greatly increased my hook up ratio when drift fishing not to mention the sound of that clicker is the most addictive sound I know:smile2: .
     
  5. Big Sam

    Big Sam Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,286
    State:
    Booneville AR
    Name:
    Sam
    I'm going with 777 on this one ain't nothing like the sound of a clicker in high :tounge_out: I will say all the folks that fish without one on you better have that pole fixed where it can't be pulled away:crazy:
     
  6. ka_c4_boom

    ka_c4_boom New Member

    Messages:
    2,252
    State:
    Bedford,Ky
    like benji says i think its up to you , i sometimes use mine depending on how many poles i have out if iv got all six out then usually the clicker is on just gives me an advance warning of the strike , as far as season to use clicker in i like it in early spring when the cats are more fierce , nothing like the sound of a clicker singin on a calm day dddzzzzzzzz
     
  7. bigsammy

    bigsammy New Member

    Messages:
    189
    State:
    Poteau ok
    I always use me clickers when I can,I know a fella that runs his clickers at all times even though he is perched ovor his rods like a hawk!
     
  8. vegasryder

    vegasryder New Member

    Messages:
    324
    State:
    illinois
    I agree with 777 also.I usually let them run for 5secs(depending on nearby structures) just to make sure they have swallowed the bait.But there are times when the fish will just take the bait and just sit there.You really have to watch the rod tip for the slow pumping action.Not the kind of action that you get from a live bluegill.
     
  9. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    I use the clicker when I fish with "J" hooks or kahle hooks. No need for it if you fish with circle hooks as you want the fish to load the pole.
     
  10. photocat

    photocat New Member

    Messages:
    803
    State:
    HOCO, Maryland
    I use my clicker everytime I'm bank fishing and/or night fishing... Because i set my rods fairly far apart I like to have some indicator of when my line has a strike so i can go and retrieve the fish i have one...

    In a boat i use the clicker in my canoe because i don't want a catfish flipping me by pulling too hard on the rod before i can get to it... In my little jon i do as well but in my partners boat, it just depends on the day and the water....
     
  11. slimepig

    slimepig New Member

    Messages:
    666
    State:
    Kerrville Texas
    whether theres room for em ta run aint the point, its that first run when they feel the hook! a very small catfish can take pole and all if its not secured in a holder or with the clicker on it. that bein said, ive almost lost poles even with the clicker on. when fishin without rod holders, the clicker gives ya that extra split second to reach down n grab yer pole before it goes in the drink, but sometimes that isnt enough.
     
  12. superman

    superman New Member

    Messages:
    343
    State:
    DeSoto MO
    the only time i use it is when i am half asleep or very little light
     
  13. StuBone278

    StuBone278 New Member

    Messages:
    625
    State:
    south central Louisiana
    I just set my drag pretty low on a spinning reel so that if I'm river fishing, the current doesn't just keep dragging the whole rig insanely fast, but I usually drift under a cork and let em run (mainly when I would try to catch gar, with a treble hook)

    But when bank fishing a pond, should I really keep the drag high or low when using circle hooks? I've caught a few of my fish with low drag on, then turning it up as I "work in" the circle hook.
     
  14. gadzooks

    gadzooks New Member

    Messages:
    1,532
    State:
    Kingwood, Tx (Houston)
    One of the guys did lose a pole. He left his rod perched on a pretty flimsy stick cut in a Y at the branches and something came along and grabbed it. May have been a catfish, he's caught a good size blue in the same spot earlier, but it may have been a turtle. Those things pestered us all night long.
     
  15. Dano

    Dano New Member

    Messages:
    13,712
    State:
    Texas
    Most times I fish for eaters I hardly use my B. Clicker. I like setting the hook and I forget sometimes to turn off clicker . Back lash. LOL Guess I'm not use to it. At night, if I dont have a fire for light, ( other lighting cause's bugs ) I have used clicker. Maybe if I walk around while fishing, I'll turn on clicker. For most part I dont use it. I guess it all depends on situation, style of fishing, big vs eater , what works best for you.

    If my rods are secure, I've watch rod slowly bend over and stay bent, its always a cat when that happen on my bank. LOL.

    Side note.
    On the Brazos River. I was in Austin/Georgetown/Belton/Waco area a couple weeks ago for a few days. Had business to take care of and visited family. All the lakes, rivers are low like my area. I've never see the Brazos River that low. I just looked at it from Interstate 35. Belton lake, big time low. It did rain for 24 hours while I was there. That had to help.
     
  16. gadzooks

    gadzooks New Member

    Messages:
    1,532
    State:
    Kingwood, Tx (Houston)
    Dan, the river is way down. We walked over area that we fished in July and that were under 5 ft of water then. My friend who lives about 15 miles south of Waco said today that Lake Waco was drawn down for repairs and has been filled back up. Some releases should start soon. That will help.
     
  17. CJ21

    CJ21 New Member

    Messages:
    4,303
    State:
    Montgomery, Alabama
    I dont know, I never really use my clicker, maybe I need to try to use.
     
  18. kscathunter

    kscathunter New Member

    Messages:
    2,367
    State:
    Louisburg,
    Thats about the only time i use mine, when i cant use a good poleholder Ill turn it on. but if i can use my poleholders the reels engaged unless im far away. Hate to loose a rod:eek:oooh: :angry:
     
  19. gadzooks

    gadzooks New Member

    Messages:
    1,532
    State:
    Kingwood, Tx (Houston)
    Today, I put out a couple of poles while casting for 'gills for a fishing trip Friday. Had the poles behind a park bench resting on the back, thought they'd be secure. A 3 lb catfish nearly flipped my 6500 over the back of the bench. I'm rethinking how I set up my poles when I have to move off for some task.
     
  20. Pontoon

    Pontoon New Member

    Messages:
    180
    State:
    California
    I have found this thread to be very interesting because this past weekend I was fishing one of our local lakes and the fish were out there and they did seem interested in our bait but just were not as aggressive as they have been during the warm summer nights. I've really become addicted to the sound of the clicker from a fish that takes the bait and just doesn't stop. This weekend though it seemed like they would take the bait, run a few yards and then stop. just enough time to get to the rod and nothing. Then after a little wait (5 to 10 minutes) they would run a few yards and then stop. I tried keeping the rod in my hands and hitting it as soon as it took another short run but always missed it. Finally I turned off the bait clicker and hit the fish as soon as it made the first run and got it.
    My question is to you more experienced catfishermen is it best this time of year to lock the reel down and let the fish hook itself? I'm thinking that if this is the case I may be wise to give the circle hooks a try?