Drift-fishing isn’t the only way to catch catfish; anchoring has its moments

Anchoring up as dusk approaches can be a great way to produce nice catches of Lake Monticello cats.

Justin Whiteside said he seldom drifts at Lake Monticello unless he’s targeting suspended fish.

“I like to anchor on this lake and target precise locations,” he said. “I am more confident in producing big fish as well as numbers of fish doing this. When I take the time to anchor in a precise spot on a hump or point, I believe I improve my odds of success significantly.”

Whiteside puts great effort into getting anchored precisely where he has the best opportunity to target the fish and forage concentrations he’s marked on the graph.

“Often, I’ll return to a hump that was productive early in the day, but I’ll set up entirely different based on where the fish and forage are marked on the graph,” he said. “It’s essential to position the boat precisely based on wind and current so I can cast baits to effectively target where I’ve marked fish. It’s so crucial, I can often predict which rod will get bit first, simply based on how I present my baits to fish I just marked.”

Whiteside will usually hit his mark the first time, but if he’s the least bit dissatisfied with the setup, he’ll pull anchor and re-do the process.

“Occasionally, a big catfish will bite quick, but typically, catching monster catfish is a game of patience, and if I am confident in my setup, I’ll have a lot more patience,” he said. “I like to give them an hour or more, but when I’m anchored properly, we’re usually catching decent-sized fish and it makes waiting on a big fish bite a pleasurable process.”

About Terry Madewell 812 Articles
Award-winning writer and photographer Terry Madewell of Ridgeway, S.C., has been an outdoors writer for more than 30 years. He has a degree in wildlife and fisheries management and has a long career as a professional wildlife biologist/natural resources manager.

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