Guide William Attaway said a lot of fishermen prefer to drift-fish and typically will use a standard drift rig that typically works well.

“Fishermen usually have their own style, but I prefer to use a 2-foot leader, a 1- to 2-ounce sliding, Slinky-type weight based on depth I’m fishing, and an 8/0 Gamakatsu circle hook,” he said. “But I fine-tune this rig by adjusting the distance I place my 21/2-inch float above the hook, based on what I see on the graph and what the bite is like.”

Attaway said most fishermen will simply set the float on a standard drift rig at a specific, perhaps random, distance from the hook. He place his at specific distances from the hook based on how fish are depicted on the graph. 

“If the fish are marked off the bottom I will place the float about 5 inches from the hook, and the trailing bait will be slightly higher in the water column as I drift,” he said. “If fish are marked holding tight to the bottom I will put the float halfway up the leader; that will keep the bait off the bottom but more at eyeball level of catfish hugging the bottom. 

“It makes a difference in bites.”