Why can't I catch a blue catfish drifting?

Discussion in 'Blue Catfishing' started by SC Hartwell, Oct 29, 2006.

  1. SC Hartwell

    SC Hartwell New Member

    Messages:
    749
    State:
    Pickens, SC
    I go drift fishing pretty often now and all I can catch are channels. Some of them are big 8+ pounds. I use the right rig, bait, and everything. There are a lot of blues in the lake I fish, which is lake Hartwell. The water temp is 65-69 degreees right now. I fish from 20-40 feet. It is mostly a mud bottom. What is the deal?
     
  2. just cats

    just cats New Member

    Messages:
    325
    State:
    Leslie Missouri
    If they are in there and you aren't catching them you may just need to change your drifting locations or change depths until you find them. Or else you aren't fishin when they are hungry, I get a lot of that!!:crazy: There is some excellent drift fishing info on here written by some very good fisherman. I'd check those threads out if you haven't already. If you cant' find those threads let us know and I or someone else will find em and post some links for ya.
     

  3. spoonfish

    spoonfish New Member

    Messages:
    3,780
    State:
    Warsaw, Mo.
    Not sure what rig your useing Jason? I use a basic carolina rig with a cigar float aprox. 6 inches up from the hook.
    Also you said you fish from 20 to 40 feet of water. Around here we have the best luck in water usally under 20 feet. Try fishing the flats preferably with some humps in 5 to 20 feet of water, the blues will be up in those shallows feeding. Channel ledges can be another good location.
    Good luck to ya, keep at it you will figure them out....
     
  4. SC Hartwell

    SC Hartwell New Member

    Messages:
    749
    State:
    Pickens, SC
    That is the rig I am using. I'm trying to drift the channels.... maybe that is the problem?
     
  5. Katmaster Jr.

    Katmaster Jr. New Member

    Messages:
    4,644
    State:
    Wilmington, NC
    I have tried drifting on the bottom in the lake here, and it hasn't been productive at all for me for good size fish, but everytime I used small bait on the bottom I caught fish around 5 pounds. But when I anchor in the same area's I catch a lot of fish.

    However, in the summer I drifted with Slip Bobbers and it was very affective for all size fish.
     
  6. catfishrus

    catfishrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,569
    State:
    north carolina
    jason it has alot to do with the muddy bottom i think. i have lakes here at home that i can catch a few blues drifting in and i can got to santee and just wear em out. santee has a sand bottom for the most part and my home lakes have mud bottom. i mark fish on the bottom at santee and the fish in my home lakes are mostly suspended when feeding and i just like you catch alot of channels on a muddy bottom. one thing i try to look for on a muddy bottom lake is somewhere there is a rocky bottom(point/hump/structure) in that lake. i find that when i fish those areas i can catch blues drifting. right now i would even go deeper if i was drifting in the daytime. focus on the channel ledges too. it can be done. if your marking fish supended switch over to slip corks and keep drifting. i got a 20lber last saturday on a slip cork set 25ft in 45ft of water drifting right on the channel ledge. hope this helps
     
  7. SC Hartwell

    SC Hartwell New Member

    Messages:
    749
    State:
    Pickens, SC
    I'll try it. Those channels are fun but I want a good blue.
     
  8. catfishrus

    catfishrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,569
    State:
    north carolina
    i hear you. i fished a couple days in the spring on my home lakes and was catching channels 4-5 at a time and could only get 1 blue per day. it will drive you crazy, but your not alone on this one.
     
  9. spoonfish

    spoonfish New Member

    Messages:
    3,780
    State:
    Warsaw, Mo.
    Try the flats and ledges Jason. I don't seem to have enough luck in the channels unless it's colder water and they move deep. At that point it's better to anchor up and fish for them.
     
  10. SC Hartwell

    SC Hartwell New Member

    Messages:
    749
    State:
    Pickens, SC
    I will try the flats. Man it sure is fun just wish i could get a bug 'un.
     
  11. flatheadhunterx

    flatheadhunterx Active Member

    Messages:
    1,374
    State:
    South Carolina
    Jason, how and where are you drifting channels. I fish the same lake as you know, and every time i go over a channel or near a channel all i do is get hung. there are alot of sandy flats out there you just got find them. about the only time i catch any channels is when i go up the creeks and drift out. i havent drifted up 12 mile, but i do know there are alot of channels up that creek and some big ones at that. i have caught some at the iron bridge while crappie fishing that would top 15 lbs, but never have tried drifting that for up. i would try using bigger baits and dont give up.
     
  12. SC Hartwell

    SC Hartwell New Member

    Messages:
    749
    State:
    Pickens, SC
    So you guys think bigger bait will help. I'm only using cut and whole herring. I have drifted up in that big flat in front of death valley. But I don't know where the IRON BRIDGE is can you enlighten me?
     
  13. SC Hartwell

    SC Hartwell New Member

    Messages:
    749
    State:
    Pickens, SC
    Where are some sandy bottoms? Where can I find them?
     
  14. screamnclickersc

    screamnclickersc New Member

    Messages:
    755
    State:
    S.C.
    Try using larger pieces of cutbait & also use different length leaders.-I also feel the Herring may be some of the problem.Try using bream or perch.We only use white perch on Santee,the herring seems to intice the small fish.
     
  15. screamnclickersc

    screamnclickersc New Member

    Messages:
    755
    State:
    S.C.
    Oh,about finding sandy bottoms-you'll have to learn to read & adjust the grayscale on your sonar.
     
  16. TIM HAGAN

    TIM HAGAN New Member

    Messages:
    1,236
    State:
    Walkersvil
    Well mud or sand bottom I do good with both and this time of year i would move up think your trying to deep as the fish should be feeding up for the winter months. They are here anyway try like 2 to 10 or 15 feet as they will be up there eatting all the bait they can get. Right now I when I drift it the flats just down pass the drop offs.
     
  17. chrisblue

    chrisblue New Member

    Messages:
    1,345
    State:
    SC
    Jason the bait is one of the biggest problems.Those little channel cats drove us crazy out there the other day fishing with those herring they're to small.Use bigger bait and if that dont work anchor down, sometimes they just dont want to chase a bait down.Theres been alot of times I have drifted over and over and over a congrigation of fish and not get a bite and then anchor down and wear em out.
     
  18. flatheadhunterx

    flatheadhunterx Active Member

    Messages:
    1,374
    State:
    South Carolina
    Jason leave twelve mile ramp out the cove and hang a right its about 1/2 mile up the creek.
     
  19. Arkansascatman777

    Arkansascatman777 New Member

    Messages:
    7,782
    State:
    AR
    I'm with Tim on this one. Right now fish 2 to 15 ft. water. We caught 60 Sunday and we were in 2 to 6 ft. all day.
     
  20. loki1982

    loki1982 New Member

    Messages:
    420
    State:
    Texas
    Every lake that I normally fish in has blues, and in every single one we catch about 75% blues and about 25% channels. A few weeks back my family took a trip to Lake Fork, one of, if not the best bass fishing lakes in Texas. Anyways the Texas parks and wildlife site list the lake as having blue stocked in it. They have a record listed as something like 60+ # as well. Both of these piece of informaiton lead me to believe there should be blues in it. We caught around 200 fish from Thursday-Sunday and the outcome was 2 flathead the rest were ALL channels. Our bait was live and dead(frozen) shad,live goldfish,live perch, a crayfish,zote soap,and shrimp.

    That is about the most productive blue baits around and not one fish was a blue. Im still baffled. We fishedverything from 15-25 foot of water, with some bait on the bottom all the ways up to 12 inches under the surface. Most of the fish were caught right under the surface, meaning 12 inches to 2 foot down.