Drifting for blue cats

For anglers willing to work hard to catch one or two REALLY big blues, the deep water around the spillway offers some of the best fishing.

There are many legends of super-sized blues (the size of a Volkswagen) prowling this area and while those stories are highly suspect, fish in the 50 to 75-pound range are not uncommon here.

Drifting this deep, open water is a little different from drifting small coves, creeks and shallow areas. The challenge lies in being able to drift over the old riverbed and the humps and ridges you will find in the area, which can be difficult to do when the wind is blowing, even slightly.

An absolute necessity is a drift sock, which pro angler Ted Takasaki said should be in the repertoire of anyone doing open water fishing.

“Drifting is all about finding fish over vast structure and then being able to keep your bait in the bite window long enough to get a strike. I recommend using one drift sock if the wind is light and two if you have a heavy wind,” Takasaki said.

“Even when you have like a five-mile per hour wind or any kind of current, you will be surprised with how fast you actually move. The sock will keep you moving at a slow enough pace that you do not pass up any fish.”

Try drifting with whole live perch or shad, using a fluorocarbon leader with a ½-ounce weigh rigged above.

Most of the fish in the open water this time of year are going to be at least 15 feet down, so it’s important you keep your bait down in that area.

Be patient, the actual will not be hot but the fish will be heavy.

Chester Moore, Jr.