Find the Right Spot with David Woods
August is a much anticipated time to catch some big blue cats. Local anglers especially, look forward to August as prime time to catch cats in the 50 to well over the 100-pound range.
The method I like to use is bumping. It has been proven time and time again to be the way to put some monster blues in the boat. Bumping requires current and I am normally fishing the Mississippi River and have plenty. But don’t overlook the major tributaries or other rivers with current. I go out and find some of the deepest mudflats around and make continuous runs bumping down the flats.
Don’t be afraid to spend a little time finding the deep mud flats, it’s worth it. Sometimes I might spend 2 or 3 hours just looking for the right spot, but when I find them I feel like I am fishing where the fish are. Pay your dues and you will be rewarded.
Skipjack is my bait of choice to present to these river monsters. My terminal tackle is a 3-way rig. Tie the mainline to the 3-way swivel and a 24- to 36-inch hook leader to the middle eye of the swivel. Add a chain swivel mid-way between the hook and swivel to prevent bait from twisting as you bump and to help fight the fish as you reel them in. Finish the rig off by tying a 6- to 8-inch sinker drop off the bottom eye with a 4- to 6-ounce cannonball sinker.
I find the cannonballs work best in higher current and with new anglers due to the bigger surface area. But seasoned anglers can use about any kind of sinker for weight. The weight needs to be enough to maintain the bottom without running away and losing contact with the bottom. The speed that you travel down the river and the depth of the water will dictate the weight which can range from 2 to 10 ounces. Four- to 6-ounce weights are very common.