Bumping for catfish

Moderating water levels and falling water temperatures typically provide the combination of conditions that Bob Crosby loves to see on the Mississippi River, and often leaves him with his hands and arms full of catfish.

Bumping, also referred to as slipping, dragging, and back trolling, has recently created a lot of buzz in the catfish world.

One of the kings of bumping for catfish is B’n’M Catfish Pro-Staffer Nick Dimino from Starkville. In 2013, Dimino and his buddy Adam Long bumped their way to victory in the Big Cat Quest National Championship on the Mississippi River with a two-day total of 10 catfish that weighed 239.60 pounds.

Bumping is most effective in areas of heavy current, which is prime catfishing water. Large rivers and waterways are the top spots, but tailraces or canals coming out of reservoirs, especially when releasing current, are another option.

“Bumping is a really natural presentation,” Dimino said. “It mimics food washing down current where catfish will lay facing upstream, waiting for something to come by. To imitate this, what you do is nose your boat into the current and let the current drift you back, then using the trolling motor, you troll into the current, enough to cut your drift speed in half. The boat is going slower than the current, so the bait is also going slower down river.”

Bumping is very similar to trolling the bottom, only in reverse. To get the right angle in the presentation, the angler lets out more and more line until the bait is nearly sliding across the bottom with the current at a much slower speed than trolling with the current.

“You want to disengage the reel to be in free spool, and you just keep letting line out until you get the rig back behind the boat,” said Dimino. “You can tell by the feel of the rod that you are in a comfortable spot because it will feel like the rig is only moving 5 or 6 inches at a time.”

Obviously, it takes developing a feel for the tactic to be effective.

“When you hit that sweet spot, that’s where you want to be,” Dimino said. “You drop the rig to the bottom and you pick it up, as soon as you set it down, you hit the bottom. You only want to lift the weight up about 3 or 4 inches, just enough to get off the bottom and let the current sweep it along and then set it back down. That sort of scoots the bait along the bottom in a very natural manner.”

About Phillip Gentry 404 Articles
Phillip Gentry is a freelance outdoor writer and photographer who says that if it swims, walks, hops, flies or crawls he’s usually not too far behind.

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