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fishnaddiction

catfish rig for river smallies

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i just read an article from Bassmaster magazine and it was about floating a river using a catfish rig for heavy current and catching huge smallies. the rig is the main line attaching to a 3 way swivel  one end to a foot leader and a heavy bell weight   the other about 6-16 in leader to the bait (they used a tube).   the river they were fishing was very similar to a river i fish alot  and i really am thinking about using the rig   i was just wondering if anyone has used it, and how they did on it and any tips they might have. thanks and merry christmas everyone

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I use a similar rig for striper fishing with live bait and a 3 oz weight. For drifting it will work, but it is not a rig designed for casting. Also, smallmouth can be VERY line shy, so I would recommend a light line for you lure leader.

For smallmouth fishing on the same river and in a similar situation, I fish a split shot rig.

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the article suggested 10 pund line for everything    yea  it was for pitching rapids and ripples with deeper pockets  thanks  im definetly going to try it next year  

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We use to call this a "Wolf River Rig" and we use it on the river here. Drift or preferrably troll downstream (just slightly faster than the current), with enough weight to bump bottom. We use 10# Fireline as the main line (maintains depth real well with very little water resistance); a 3' - 5' Fluorocarbon leader - no more than 8# test; the sinker dropper is 6# test mono to facilitate easy breakoffs. We're considering the Lindy "No-Snagg" sinker, although they're pretty pricey! We use floating rapalas or Tx rigged worms (spinning worms work GREAT!) or Senkos in our presentations. I've also used the Gapen "Bait Walkers" for the weights, but find that it keeps the bait a bit too close to the bottom, with no adjustment. With the Wolf River Rig, you can adjust for suspended fish quite easily by adjusting the length of the dropper line.

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o ok sounds good   i was also wondering about lure selection  the article suggested a tube or senko and worms but when fishing this on the river i want to try the rig has loads of fishing pressure and tubes, worms, senkos and grubs are overly fished i was wondering if a fluke could be tied on

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fishnaddiction - you can use anything you want on this rigging. However, I would think about using the fluke; it's best attributes are when it's used as a soft jerk bait. Difficult to impart that kind of action when on a wolf river rig, not that it can't be done mind you. I think you'd be better off with something that has it's own action, i.e.: Rapala, spinner or worm. IMO

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speaking of catfish rigs for smallies i was catfishing last night using a 1 oz. triangle weight with realllllly nasty bait shrimp and caught myself a 3 pound smallie. Is this odd?

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when I read that to I said "wow" is used something like that to, but they do it differently and I never thought of it. why? I don't know, but I'll be trying it next season. See I never thought about light weights and soft plastic in shallow water, but I am sure it will work. also I use it for walleye not bass. I know the other way I use it works.

what I use is a heavy sinker 2-4 oz flat catfish sinker( depending on how fast the water is and how big the lure is)

3 way swivel

a nd a small crank bait or minnow bait ex rapala, thunder stick or a big O or baby 1 minus

I use this in bigger rivers then they showed. Around bridges and points where the current is ripping and a nice eddy is made, usally when the water is higher than normal.

I tie my main line to the 3 way. the sinker gets 1 -5 feet of line (6-8lb so if it snags I can break it loose, this depends on how deep I want to run the lure) below the 3 way and the lure gets 2-4 foot of line behind the 3 way.

I put the boat either in the back of the eddy or anker it along side the eddy in the faster water. i try to cast above the eddy and let the water slowly pull the weight down till it on the edge of the eddy and try to hold it there. The bait will dart in and out of the calm water with its swimming action. We use this for walleye, but do catch smallies alot and even a few Muskies & flat head cats to. I am sure with soft plastic they way they do or the way i used it will work. I bet a fluke will work great. I think I might also try some kind of shad body(like a swim bait body, basstrix anybody?, swimming senko? ) that swimming action should drive them nuts

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i used a very similar rig this year on rivers with great success. a tube worked good but the best baits where a 5in fluke and a 5in trick worm  i like the action of the fluke because it looked like a baitfish swimming in the current.   make sure u change weights depending how fast the current is.  a heavy weight is weak current causes snags and a light weight in heavy current doesnt give a great action but instead rips the rig down current  i hoped i helped

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I have used this same rig in the past, but i used live bait on the hook. I suppose what ever is prolific at the time would work. This rig is great for silvers and northerns on the river as well. good fishing.  :)

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I read this article myself and have every intent of trying it also. One of the products they recommend is Case plastics stuff. My good friend Charlie Case has this particular Co. and he is a great guy. I already use his products almost all of the time and have had great sucess with them. Please let us know how you make out when you try this I would be very interstead to see how you do.

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I also read this article and am eagerly awaiting Spring to try it.  I have no doubt it will work and that flukes will be an excellent choice.  I have caught many Smallmouth on flukes by just letting them swim in the current on a tight line over known holding areas.  The catfish rig will allow us to both get deeper and position the fluke precisely.  With a 24" to 30" leader, I don't think the action of the fluke will be affected much, if at all.   ;D

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