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Back Bouncing

  • FishBlood&RiverMud
    Participant
    Prescott
    Posts: 6255
    #1767444

    Does anyone here have experience back bouncing for catfish?

    My definition of back bouncing:
    Current speed = 1.4 MPH
    Boat speed traveling with current is 0.7 MPH
    Rig consists of a graphite rod, braided line, and a 3-way rig whereas the dropper is half the length of the leader. Cut bait and circle hook.
    As boat drifts downstream rod is lifted and dropped bouncing the weight behind the boat, essentially walking the bait downstream at the speed of the current on the bottom of the river following all contours of the river bottom.

    Any experienced back bouncers? I know it is a very common tactic of the southern boys (Blue Cat Fishing especially)

    I’m tooled up and gave it my first go yesterday on pool 4. Hooked up with two fish in the first hour but lost them both.

    Tuma
    Inactive
    Farmington, MN
    Posts: 1403
    #1767461

    This is the first time I have heard of back bouncing for catfish. Would something like this also work for sturgeon? I would like to hear more about it and hope someone will fill us in.
    I see there are some youtube videos on it that I will have to view later.

    FishBlood&RiverMud
    Participant
    Prescott
    Posts: 6255
    #1767477

    Would something like this also work for sturgeon?

    Some do this for the white sturgeon.

    Let us stick to catfish though please.

    Tuma
    Inactive
    Farmington, MN
    Posts: 1403
    #1767485

    Let us stick to catfish though please.

    Understandable, let’s not muddy up the waters.

    404 ERROR
    Participant
    MN
    Posts: 3918
    #1767487

    Let me begin by saying I am NOT a very experienced catfish angler, so take my experience for what it’s worth. I don’t think I fall under the “experienced backbouncer” category.

    I used to do that in the Minnesota near Mankato around snags and breaks and It worked well. I used 3-4oz bell sinkers. We would fish lots of ground fast and come back to the most productive spots. Never really used it for an all-day thing, as the MN isn’t very big and you run out of water on your lines pretty fast. I had no idea it was a thing…we just thought it would work since it works good for Walleye on a smaller scale…

    Ryan Speers
    Participant
    Waconia, MN
    Posts: 393
    #1767497

    It’s a tactic that I’ll use later in the summer when the flows are low.

    I usually focus on the deepest holes with the fastest water for that time of year. Don’t usually catch a ton of fish but they are pretty good size. I’ll slit open a full 8-10″ sucker and you know it when you get a bite.

    This time of year I’ll usually anchor/spot lock and throw out as many rods as I am allowed on the structure that I’m fishing. Saving one rod per angler to walk baits.

    FishBlood&RiverMud
    Participant
    Prescott
    Posts: 6255
    #1767499

    You guys seem to be describing “walking baits” which is done from an anchor. This can be a good way to move your bait downstream while anchored.

    Whereas back bouncing your boat is moving at half the speed of the surface current and your bait is hopping along at the same rate.

    FishBlood&RiverMud
    Participant
    Prescott
    Posts: 6255
    #1767500

    It’s a tactic that I’ll use later in the summer when the flows are low.

    I usually focus on the deepest holes with the fastest water for that time of year.

    Believe it or not, there’s oodles of catfish in the main channel at this moment. Cold, high, fast. Too fast to anchor fish well, which leads into back bouncing.

    Ryan Speers
    Participant
    Waconia, MN
    Posts: 393
    #1767507

    Interesting, I’d think it would be an effective method to target them out there.

    How fast is the current moving?

    404 ERROR
    Participant
    MN
    Posts: 3918
    #1767510

    You guys seem to be describing “walking baits” which is done from an anchor. This can be a good way to move your bait downstream while anchored.

    No anchor. I would say we were doing more of a slow troll. Similar to dragging plastics for Walleye. Stop at a fishy spot, drop them down and slowly work downstream. If nothing, head to the next spot. Like I said, we used that method for finding active fish before anchoring and pitching rigs.

    4seasonsport
    Inactive
    Red Wing, MN
    Posts: 317
    #1767518

    I have a fair amount of experience fishing this way. back Bouncing is a fancy word for drifting although my rig would be totally different than you described although I am certain yours will work. This is how I grew up catching Blues and Channels.

    Your main line can be whatever you prefer, I use 65# braid. On the end of the line slip a small egg sinker, normally 1/8th to 1/2 oz and a swivel below. Then tie 12″ of mono to the circle hook of your choice.

    The light weight is important to help avoid snags and to keep your bait kind of “floating” down the river with you. when using wind in a lake I rarely use more than 1/8 ounce. On the river 1/4 is more common for me. Imagine your bait haplessly dragging along and then bouncing off of a rock stump etc. The slow settle back to the bottom inspires the bites.

    Put your rods in the rod holders and prepare for a great time. Don’t be afraid to do this in very shallow areas, 2-5′ with soft bottom can be lights out. I commonly use this technique in the area below the dam here in red wing.

    Matt Moen
    Participant
    South Minneapolis
    Posts: 3620
    #1767587

    This sounds like a lot of fun. I just bought a catfish setup and would love to give this a try. Does it work year round?

    FishBlood&RiverMud
    Participant
    Prescott
    Posts: 6255
    #1768199

    This sounds like a lot of fun. I just bought a catfish setup and would love to give this a try. Does it work year round?

    This is the system i uses as described by James Pattersen. I use a bead chain swivel near the hook also.
    Lots of good info on catfish conference BTW.

    I would like to think it is more of a warm water presentation, but i did manage to catch a few and water has yet to exceed 40 degrees.

    It is something i’ve been wanting to try for walleyes also; i just haven’t wanted to fish for walleye as of late rotflol

    Chris,

    Interesting and thanks for sharing. I see some opportunity in what you presented.

    How fast is the current moving?

    Stretch i was in was roughly 1.4 but that does change and as far as my research tells me you want to be half the surface current speed; which of course varies throughout the drift.

    Brian Klawitter
    Keymaster
    Minnesota/Wisconsin Mississippi River
    Posts: 58767
    #1769110

    Steve Demares has been slipping for as many years as I have fingers. Eight. )

    I haven’t tried it in this cold of water normally it’s August/Sept for no particular reason.

    When I have done it, it seems that when I lift up the bait and then drop it down so that it’s not moving for a few seconds, I’ve caught more channels then when the bait is actually moving.

    I don’t use what I would call a big bait. Maybe and inch of a sucker.

    Let us know how you do Andy.

    FishBlood&RiverMud
    Participant
    Prescott
    Posts: 6255
    #1810197

    Just an update.

    I played around with back bouncing this year and will continue to do so on occasion.

    I find round ball weights to be best.
    A super light weight graphite rod is a must with a light weight reel.

    I think I’m using 40# braid to help slip through the water.

    Bead swivels are a must have!

    Sinker weight constantly changes and is probably the most important part. To much and your vertical, too little and your lost behind the boat.

    I caught several fish this year with this tactic but pretty much used it to fish hard to anchor areas … Fast water deep holes.

    Sometimes they rip the rod other times you just notice something is different.

    If this interests you. I suggest you watch the video above and also other videos of catters on catfish connection.

    One of my best takeaways using this tactic is learning/understanding the speed of the current on the bottom of the river.

    steve-demars
    Participant
    Stillwater, Minnesota
    Posts: 1933
    #1812256

    I do a lot of back bouncing especially when the current is pretty strong. It is a nice tactic when you can find a good current seam. I will sometimes just put the electric down and will spot lock on the outside of a current seam so the boat is sitting in the current right on the edge of the seam. The trick is not to use too much of a weight on the bottom of a 3-way rig. You want your sinker to be just heavy enough to sink so you can feel it when it touches bottom but light enough to slide a few feet downstream when you lift it when you feel it touch. You want to touch, lift and let the weight slide downstream a foot or so. Touch, lift, slide down through the seam edge.

    After you have worked a spot where you are confident there are no fish – just let the spot lock go and slip downstream to some new fresh water and spot lock again and fish that spot. I prefer to use spoon sinkers because they will grab the current when you lift and will slide downstream with the current flow. You don’t need a lot of weight. One thing nice about spoon sinkers is that they will nest nicely if you need more weight. If one is not enough just slide on a second one and they will nest together. Add and subtract weight to establish the weight needed to back bounce. Remember you don’t want your rig to grab bottom, you want to bounce and slide downstream.

    Last year I watched YouTube videos of how they salmon fish on the west coast. They seem to be the masters of back bouncing. I bought some salmon spreaders on Amazon and they seem to work pretty well. They seem to help you keep from getting your 3-way rigs tangled up.

    Just about all your traditional catfish cut baits will work. You will mostly be catching channel cats and they will eat about anything. They will really stack up on some current seams. I do like some baits a little more than others. When fishing Wisconsin border waters I like to use small sunfish. Channel cats love sunfish heads. I keep my boat in a marina and there are tons of sunfish in and around the docks and you can catch a dozen or so pretty easily. Just snip them in half and hook them through the lips with a 5/0 circle hook. They streamline nicely behind a 3-way rig and they throw a nice scent trail downstream in the current. If your back bouncing doesn’t find them then the scent will attract them out of that current edge.

    I will attach a picture of a spoon sinker and a salmon spreader bar. You can find the spoon sinkers at Catfish Connection and the Salmon Spreader Bar on Amazon. Both are pretty cheap.

    Attachments:
    1. Spoon-Sinkers.jpg

    2. Luhr-Jensen-Sa.mon-Wire-Trolling-Spreader.jpg

    FishBlood&RiverMud
    Participant
    Prescott
    Posts: 6255
    #1813576

    Thanks Steve.

    Been years since I’ve seen you on the river! Just don’t get up that way anymore, nor do I sleep out there either )

    I think you’re describing bait walking.

    Back bouncing the boat and lure and both moving downstream at the same rate. There are many ways to catch catfish, I just wanted to isolate this thread to back bouncing asi have described.
    Take care Steve!!!

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