Start stationary, then drift
It’s never a bad time to catch catfish on Lake Moultrie. And during July, Capt. Jason Wolfe of Wolfe’s Guide Service takes a two-pronged approach to putting blues in the boat. He begins the day anchored in the shallows. Then as the day heats up, he drifts over a variety of depths.
“I like to be on the water early enough to see the sunrise. Catfish are still in the shallows that early, and I like to anchor down and cast out multiple lines, all around the boat,” said Wolfe.
Using Catch The Fever Patriot Rods and baitcasting reels spooled with 50-pound test Slime Line, Wolfe casts out his spread of rods, baited with cut chunks of baitfish, then places the rods in rod holders. Then, it’s a waiting game, and the wait usually doesn’t last long.
“These fish have been feeding during the night, and they know the sun will be up soon. So they’re going to eat what they can when it’s still cool and when the low-light conditions give them an advantage over baitfish,” he said.
On numerous occasions, Wolfe has boated a 40+ pound blue catfish during this part of the day.
“It’s tough to find a better way than that to start off a day of fishing,” said Wolfe (803-487-3690).
Of course, some days don’t start off as well as that, but that’s okay because as the sun gets up, the drifting bite gets cranked up. He replaces his sinkers with Drifting Stix and uses the same baits.
“When you’re drifting, you’re covering every depth imaginable. And these fish can be in the deep holes, on the edge of the holes, in the main river channel. And even in the hottest part of the day, some can be fairly shallow, especially if any freshwater muscle beds are located in your path,” he said.
Wolfe drifts with cut baits, and he prefers to drift with his boat sideways. He likes to move around .6 miles per hour.
“If I’ve got a little bit of wind, I will put a drift sock on the side at the front of the boat and one on the same side at the rear of the boat. That allows me to drift sideways, and that lets me have a bigger spread of rods in the water, spaced out from front to back,” he said.
When drifting, Wolfe suggests anglers leave the rods in rod holders, allowing the fish to hook themselves. That’s when the fight, and the fun, begins.