Make sure you use Hanes "to be sure"................other are only imitations of the real thing. Hey Onewyr we are die hard catfishermen, of course we are serious ! YOU need to come to the next JRCC tourney and fish it and you will learn a lot more there than on this BS, I mean FW Board, trust me on that one.
Spinabait has been catching a lot of big fish. I think he uses a specialty prepared bait. I believe this is it.
I prefer the James River Guide Super Secret Go-To bait assortment. Each one has its time and place depending on season, water temp, river conditions, weather, sun, moon, tide, current, boat traffic etc.
Some rookies use junk like fresh gizzard shad (live or large chunks). Some use live white perch or bluegill. And an occasionaly whole live eel or eel pieces. But then, what would you expect from a newbie? [wink]
You guys are mean.
I use about 2-3 ft of 60-80 lb mono as a leader tied to a 10/0 Gamakatsu Octopus style hook on one end and a large swivel on the other end. Run your main line through a fish finder rig/sinkerslide and tie on the the swivel. Use a sinker heavy enough to keep your bait down. Most guys use fresh gizzard shad whole or cut. I use eels and cut them in chunks. My main line is 40-50 lb test. A channel cat set up is different than this -Kepone
I like to use cut eel sometimes. I like large ones at least the diameter of a quarter. I cut them in chunks about 4 inches long,make sure to put the head on your rod and not your buddies. I use 7/0 Gamakatsu Octopus hooks almost all the time unless I'm fishing for smaller fish to take home then I drop to a 3/0. Make sure not to sink the hook to deep in the bait, eel is very tough so you only need to hook it a little.
For cutbait shad,herring and such I like large chunks also hooked lightly. You must cast these easily to keep the bait from coming off the hook.
I also ketch a lot of nice fish on live white perch.
I don't use liver,hotdogs,catfood of bubblegum.
As for the rig s I use,two basic rigs. The rig I use the most is a fishfinder. Use enough weight to keep the bait put in the current. The stronger the current and the larger the peice of bait the more weight you will need. Slide the sinker on your mainline,I use 30 or 40 pound,then a small bead to keep the sinker from pounding on your knot and tie on a medium sized barrel swivel. Then depending on the area I'm fishing I use either 50 pound or 80 pound for the leader to the hook. I use 50 pound about 30 inches when fishing areas I don't get hung a lot to get better bait movement. I use about 18 inches of 80 pound when fishing around heavy cover to keep from getting hung.
The other rig I use is a 3 way swivel rig. Tie the 3 way on your mainline, a short length of leader to your sinker that is lighter than your mainline(when the sinker gets hung you can sometimes break it off and not loose everything)and then the smae leader to hook setup as above. I like to get very close to cover and fish this rig right beside the boat using a heavy sinker to keep it in place.
If you have any other questions send me a bmail, I'll be glad to help if I can.