Anchor early, drift after sunup for Carolina catfish


Catfish biting shallow early, deeper holes after sunup

Capt. Jason Wolfe of Wolfe’s Guide Service said the catfish bite has remained steady throughout numerous lakes in both Carolinas. The ticket, he said, is to anchor early, then drift or troll once the sun gets up.

“We’ve been catching a lot of catfish in that first hour of the day as the sun rises. I anchor down, usually in fairly shallow water, then fan cast eight rods. Once the sun gets up, I’m drifting if it’s windy enough. Otherwise, I troll at about .5 mph and pull cut bait. This lets you cover a lot of ground quickly, and presents your baits on every depth,” he said.

Wolfe’s clients are catching a wide range of sizes, with mostly blue catfish along with some flatheads. Ten to 15-pounders are common, with fish over 35 pounds always a strong possibility. He’s also caught a few much bigger ones, and he said patience is the key.

“You have to stick with it through some lulls on many days. But those lulls are often interrupted by some fast action and big fish. And starting early is always good this time of year,” he said.

His most recent trips have been on lakes Wateree and Santee, but he said lakes all over the Carolinas allow this same type of fishing. And the same technique, he said, is working on all of them.

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Brian Cope
About Brian Cope 1694 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at

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