The rainy weather has been the cause of a few canceled quail hunting trips this week, but one good thing that comes from all this rain is that it raises the river levels quickly, and that is the perfect time to set bushlines for catfish. You need a "set hook" permit from the SCDNR, and the rest is simple. A strand of trotline cord or 75-pound test monofilament will get you started. Some folks tie a barrel swivel in between two strands to cut down on twisting. Your hook size is up to you and the size fish you're looking to catch. Some folks use a 6/0, some use hooks made for tuna. Tie onto a flexible tree branch that's overhanging the water--or will overhang it once the river rises. Stick a hunk of cut bait on the hook and drop it in the water.
Set a few lines like that just before dark and check them throughout the night, or first thing in the morning. The catfish love to cruise the shallows as the river rises and the rains knock worms, insects, and small animals like mice into the water. It sounds a little boring to some folks, but when they start checking lines, that changes real quick. Want to make it more exciting? Try it from a kayak, and get ready for hand-to-hand combat!
PhotoByBrianCope: Lee County's Anthony Messier struggles to subdue a 33-pound blue cat caught on a bushline.