Get the Drift

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Published on: Jul. 16, 2012

fish, using a stronger line will not likely reduce your success. Any medium heavy rod equipped with a reel that will hold at least 100 yards of whatever line that you choose will work for drift fishing.

One of the best methods for rigging your line for drifting is by using a three-way swivel. Attach one point of the swivel to the line from your rod. Add an 18- to 24-inch piece of line to the second leg of the swivel. At the end of this, tie on a weedless sinker. You want to use one that is large enough to stay on the bottom while drifting but not too heavy to discourage the catfish from swimming off with the bait. A 4-ounce bell sinker is a good place to start. Tie an 18-inch piece of line to the third leg of the swivel. To the end of this line, attach a snap swivel and the appropriate hook. One of the most important tools in a successful fishing trip is having the right type of hook and ensuring that it is razor sharp. Depending upon the type of bait that is being used, circle hooks and treble hooks usually bring more fish to the boat than most other types.

Half of the fun of catfishing comes from the variety of pungent baits that can be used.

Many catfish anglers experiment with different odors and flavors, and some result in closely guarded secret recipes. Although it is exciting to come up with your own concoction, most catfish will gladly engulf a few readily available baits.

Probably the most commonly used bait for drift fishing is cut shad. They can be caught with a casting net or purchased in the store. To prepare a whole shad, lay it on a cutting board and cut it into vertical strips about an inch wide. Attach a 2/0 circle hook to the snap swivel and thread the hook twice through one of the shad strips.

Many other types of bait, including hot dogs, worms, shrimp and stink bait, will also catch catfish. By using a different type of bait on each rod in the boat, you can determine which one the fish prefer on that particular day.

To locate flats, obtain a contour map of the lake. Look for large areas with little change in depth, preferably in the range of 15- to 25-feet. To

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