Big Catfish Tip is a series of tips and techniques for catching more catfish. Today’s tip comes from George Young Jr. Most catfish anglers have their own favorite way to fish. B’n’M pro staff angler George Young Jr. names bumping or controlled drift fishing as his favorite. It is an active method of fishing where the angler always has the rod and reel in his/her hands to control the placement of the bait.
Control drifting allows you to take the bait to the fish and cover different depths and different locations quickly. The number one most important element of bumping is the presence of current. That current can be in the form of a natural river current or a current created by electric generating facilities on various reservoirs.
Young points the bow of the boat into the current, preferably on the Mississippi River, and uses the trolling motor to control a backward drift. “The river current may be 3 MPH but you slow your drift down to about 1 MPH,” advised Young. “You are always holding the rod and always fishing. Using this method I have fewer hang-ups and a better strike to catch ratio.”
Young’s rig consists of tying 65- to 85-pound HI-SEAS Grand Slam braided mainline to a three-way swivel he makes himself. He adds a 12- to 15-inch drop leader made from 14- to 20-pound test leader for his weight.
Eighteen inches of 60-pound mono is tied to the 90-degree eye on the three-way swivel for the bait line. “I add a barrel swivel between the three-way and the hooks to prevent line-twist from the bait spinning in the current.”
The bumpin’ rig is completed by snelling a pair of Daiichi Circle Hooks about eight inches apart. “I usually use an 8/0 or 10/0 hook. Snelling keeps the hook in the right position to penetrate the cat’s mouth,” said Young.
Young’s preferred rod is the B’n’M Silver Cat Bumping Rod. He was one of many pro anglers that helped field test the rod and tweak it to its present configuration. It features a blank made of 80% high-density carbon with a blend of fiberglass. “It is made special for bumping,” said Young. “It is light enough to hold all day without getting tired. It also has enough backbone to land the big ones.”
Controlled drift fishing allows the angler to be in constant touch with his surroundings. “I am feeling every rock, log and contour down there,” said Young. “If the bottom comes up you have to reel in some line to stay in touch. If the bottom drops into a hole you have to let some line out.“
“If you lose the feel of the sinker hitting the bottom just reel it up and start over,” instructed Young. “Bumping will put more big catfish in your boat.”
Epilogue: Young’s passion for catfishing has led him to create a new catfish tournament. Mississippi River Monsters (MRM) will debut on September 9 and 10, 2016 out of Memphis TN. “I wanted to do something big to help the sport of catfishing grow and be recognized,” offered Young. “The Mississippi River seemed like the perfect place to do it.”
For more information on the Mississippi River Monsters tournament or to register, visit the website at msrivermonsters.com. To keep up with day-to-day activity visit the tournament Facebook page.