How to Drift Fish for Channel Catfish

Drift Fishing for Catfish: 2 Critical Tips You Must Know

Growing up, I loved fishing for channel catfish in my little flat boat.  I would pull up to my favorite catfish hole, drop the anchor and sling out my favorite stink bait.  As I grew older, I wanted a new challenge and started watching Youtube videos on how to catch flathead.  I was instantly hooked on flathead fishing and slowly faded out fishing for channel catfish.  

Now at the age of 30, I am back fishing for channel catfish in a way I have never done before – drifting.  A few of my co-workers wanted to try this technique and asked if I wanted to tag along.  After doing some quick research online, we hopped in the boat, flipped down the trolling motor and starting drifting.

We caught nothing.

We went again a few days later and caught 1 fish.  After making a few adjustments, we went to the same area and caught 6 fish.  After making several mistakes and learning on the fly, we are now catching a good amount of channel catfish every time we hit the water. 

Here are the 2 most important changes we made to finally find success when drifting for channel catfish.  

1. Use Fresh Bait

Fresh bait is critical.  The first time we went out we did not bring a cast net to catch shad.  So, we stopped at the local gas station and bought frozen shad.  When the shad unthawed, it was very soft and did not stay on the hook long.

Now, we buy fresh shrimp from the local fish market and bring the cast net along in the boat to catch shad.  If we run out of shrimp, we catch fresh shad!  We have found that fresh shad and shrimp are the best baits to use in our area.

Quick Tip

Always bring several baits when fishing a new river or lake for channel catfish and see which bait works the best.  I fish two different rivers within 50 miles of my house.  One river I catch a lot of channel catfish on shrimp.  The other river, I cannot get a bite with shrimp, which forces me to use shad.

2. Know Your Speed and Depth

You will not catch channel catfish in the same depth every day and you will not catch them at the same speed.  When you get out to the area you plan to drift across, try different speeds (usually between .5 – 1.5) and try different depths.  Once you catch a fish, document the speed and depth on a piece of paper or on your phone.  When you catch another catfish, document like you did before.  If you continue to document, you will soon find that “sweet spot” when it comes to depth and speed and will likely catch more channel catfish as the day progresses.  

At first, drifting for channel catfish was frustrating.  I knew how to catch channel catfish the way I did when I was younger, and I had a hard time fighting the urge to go back to the way I did it before.  However, seeing that first fishing rod bend over and the intensity of it while drifting, I was hooked for life. 

If you are struggling catching channel catfish or any other fish, do not give up!  Keep trying and changing your approach.  Eventually, you will find your way to success. 

Don’t forget to check out these White Buffalo Outdoors Fishing Shirts!

Like White Buffalo Outdoors on Facebook.

Follow White Buffalo Outdoors on Instagram!

Justin J. Lind

September 2019
White Buffalo Outdoors

Waterproof hunting and fishing licenses

How to Waterproof Your Hunting and Fishing Licenses

Waterproof cigarette cases have kept smokers satisfied in the wettest conditions mother nature creates.

Waterproof cigarette cases only cost $3 and guarantee to keep your hunting and fishing licenses dry. The cases come with a comfortable neck lanyard, allowing you to wear it between your clothing layers. With many outdoorsmen having several licenses and tags, there is plenty of room in these cases to keep them altogether and dry.

Like White Buffalo Outdoors on Facebook.

Follow White Buffalo Outdoors on Instagram!

Justin J. Lind

September 2019
White Buffalo Outdoors

Iowa Hunting and Fishing Licenses

How to Not Ruin Your Iowa Hunting and Fishing Licenses

What makes fishermen and hunters alike? They want to waterproof everything including those small paper licenses! Unfortunately, Iowans cannot use a laminator to waterproof their hunting and fishing licenses because of the thermal paper used. Thermal paper uses heat to create text and images, NOT ink. If you put the licenses through a laminator, your front row seat ticket to the outdoors will turn black instantly.

Like White Buffalo Outdoors on Facebook.

Follow White Buffalo Outdoors on Instagram!

Justin J. Lind

September 2019
White Buffalo Outdoors

How to Launch Your Boat at the Boat Ramp

Take off Your Seatbelt and Roll Down Your Windows

Only when you are launching your boat!

These 2 simple steps that take 5 seconds can save your life if your vehicle becomes submerged in water. When a vehicle becomes submerged, electronics stop working including windows. By having the windows down and the seatbelt off, you have set yourself up for a quick and easy escape.

It only takes seconds for a vehicle to sink in water and less time for you to prepare for it.

Like White Buffalo Outdoors on Facebook.

Follow White Buffalo Outdoors on Instagram!

Justin J. Lind

September 2019
White Buffalo Outdoors

Releasing flathead catfish

How to Light Fishing Pole for Night Fishing

Do you go night fishing and surround yourself with lights just to see the tip of your fishing rod? If you do, you have witnessed first-hand armies of bugs marching out of the woods ready to bombard your face, food, and drinks!

Get rid of the bugs, cords, and your assortment of expensive lights by using $1.00 glow sticks. Simply shake the 8″ glow sticks until they light up and tape them tightly against the tip of your fishing rod with scotch tape. Now, sit back, turn the lights off, and enjoy your bug free night!

Don’t forget to check out our article on How to Flathead Fish: The Basics to get you out there catching those river monsters!

Like White Buffalo Outdoors on Facebook.

Follow White Buffalo Outdoors on Instagram!

Justin J. Lind

August 2019
White Buffalo Outdoors

Using Glow Sticks for Night Fishing
White Buffalo Outdoors Articles

How to Hook Live Bluegill Bait for Flathead Catfish

Fishing for flathead catfish is a great way to catch the largest fish in your local river!  However, the process of catching bait, preparing gear, and finding a good fishing spot is a time-consuming process.  With so much time invested, it is important to hook your bluegill bait correctly, so you hook and land more fish!

Below is a picture showing 3 different options to hook your bluegill bait which is indicated in red.  The green line indicates the lateral line of the fish.  The lateral line allows your bluegill to detect movement, vibration, and pressure gradients in the water.  Hitting the lateral line with your hook will likely shock your bluegill bait and not allow it swim, reducing your chances of hooking a flathead catfish. 

 

White Buffalo Outdoors Articles

When fishing with live bluegill bait, it is important to note that flathead catfish will first try to stun your bait, so it is easier for them to catch and swallow.  Flathead catfish will stun live bluegill bait by striking it with their large tail.  After the bluegill bait is stunned, the flathead catfish will likely swallow the bluegill headfirst. 

Good luck on your next flathead fishing adventure and feel free to send White Buffalo Outdoors pictures of your trophy fish!

Like White Buffalo Outdoors on Facebook.

Follow White Buffalo Outdoors on Instagram!

Justin J. Lind

July 2019
White Buffalo Outdoors

Click or tap the images below to purchase one of these great flathead catfish fishing shirts!
Flathead Catfish Fishing Shirt
Flathead Catfish Fishing Shirt
Storm Moving Across Fields

How Far Away Is That Storm

Men and women in the outdoor world have 1 thing in common–they like to venture away from society where no cellphone service exists! This adventurous lifestyle can become dangerous when unexpected weather arises, leaving you stuck in a lightning storm or flash flood.

Know how far away that storm is so you can react correctly!

To judge how far away a storm is you will need to watch for lightning.  When you start to see lightning, time how long it takes (in seconds) until you hear thunder.  For every 5 seconds you count, add 1 mile distance from the storm.  For example, if you count to 10 seconds, the storm is 2 miles away from you.

Like White Buffalo Outdoors on Facebook.

Follow White Buffalo Outdoors on Instagram!

Justin J. Lind

June 2019
White Buffalo Outdoors

Fishing Article By White Buffalo Outdoors

Why We Fish

We fish for one reason, a reason we can’t explain because we’re always thinking about fishing.

The intellectuals say we fish to escape life’s problems.  We reply, “Have you ever had a snag and lost a $7 hook?”

Some even think deeper and say, “They go fishing to live life, not escape it.”  We elaborate further, “There was a $3 sinker with that $7 hook.”

Don’t worry, fishermen’s personalities don’t run that dry.  We enjoy organizing tackle boxes and working on reels, every Saturday night.

Yes, we are like the rest of humankind.  We work 40 hours a week and work for “that” boss.  The only difference, our “that” boss thinks we are sick when we call in sick. 

Again, we are like the rest of human kind and tell the occasional lie, except when it comes to fishing. 

Alright, we exaggerate a little when explaining the length of the fish that got away.  One thing we can’t exaggerate are the pictures we take. 

The proof is there, right on our phones for the world to see!  Here come the critics. 

They say, “You’re holding the fish close to the phone to make it look bigger.”  We respond with dry personality, “You’re holding your head to close to my phone.”

In our community of fishermen, we have those few, the few who attempt to explain why we are different from all others.  The reality, we’re not. 

We are always recruiting new people to our world. The ones in training, always convert not because of force, but because of the personalities surrounding them while fishing. 

I will go out on a limb and try to explain why we fish.

We fish for one reason, a reason we can’t explain because we’re always thinking about fishing.

Justin J. Lind

January 2019
White Buffalo Outdoors

Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Youtube
Consent to display content from Youtube
Vimeo
Consent to display content from Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from Google