Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wateree River Bush Lining for Cats

The Wateree River rose sharply early this week after rain pounded the upper stretches of the Catawba River chain. While this rise in water levels usually puts a damper on the bream and bass fishing, it's the perfect time to get out on the river and set bush lines for catfish.

Similar to trot lines, bush lines are single strands of cord that range from 50-pound test on up to 150, depending on personal preference. These strands are tied to limber branches that overhang the edges of the river. A sliding sinker (anywhere from 1-ounce on up to 7-ounces) is threaded onto the line, a barrel swivel is attached below the sinker, followed by another strand of line with a hook attached. Hook sizes range from 3/0 to 8/0 and are baited with shrimp, crawdads, or cut (or live) bait such as white perch or shad.

State law says these lines can be set an hour before official sunset, and must be checked within an hour of official sunrise. Some folks check them several times during the night, while others just check once in the morning. Those in the know set these lines when the river is set to rise because catfish will cruise these newly flooded areas looking for flooded wormbeds and other easy meals that have been unavailable to them during low water.

Earlier this week, a group of guys set out 7 bush lines and caught 2 40-pounders and a 30-pounder. Next time rain is forecast for the Lancaster/Rock Hill/Charlotte area, get out on the river and set some bush lines. Make sure you have the proper permits from the SCDNR and catch some cats.

PhotoProvidedbyBYJackson: Dr. Jo Jo Denton poses with a bush-lined giant caught during high-water on the Wateree River.

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