May 21, 2020
As simple as it sounds, drift fishing is a boat technique that allows a boat to move freely with the water based on wind and current conditions. The beautiful thing about drift fishing is that you can use it on any form of water- lakes, streams, and even deep sea offshore (if the conditions are right). Using this method allows for you to cover a lot more fishing ground, and following the natural current and wind will ideally send you where pools of fish reside.
Drift fishing has further been modified by anglers to adjust to a variety of water conditions. Controlled drifting and trolling are two popular techniques. Controlled drifting allows anglers to set different boat speeds by using either a kicker motor or trolling motor. Controlled drifting is critical for extra strong or extra weak currents so anglers can keep the rod in their hands while the bait trails along at the correct depth. On the other hand, trolling allows anglers to trail bait or lures behind the boat at the right speed, keeping the rods in holders and focusing on keeping the boat moving at a low speed, usually between 2-10 mph.
Drift fishing can sometimes fall under the category of bottom fishing, with the main difference being the motion. When an angler is drifting, they can utilize both live and cut baits with line weights, which helps keep the bait low toward the bottom of the water.
Flatfish include more than 700 fish species. When it comes to drift fishing, the types of fish that primarily love the sandy bottoms are flounders, plaices, dabs, sole, and more, as they seek out their next meal, camouflaged with the water floor. That is what makes drift fishing a great option to catch these guys. There are even unique rigs to use when fishing for flatfish. A small lugworm or ragworm on the line often does just the trick!
Fishing for mackerel can really makes you feel like you’re are the world’s best tracker – “Follow the birds,” as the old fishing saying goes. Mackerel eat both crustaceans and other smaller fish like anchovies and menhaden. They chase these small fish to the top of the water, making a great preying ground for birds. Jigging with mackerel feathers or hokkais is your best bet here.
Drifting over rough ground and wrecks can bring some really great fish, like summer cod, turbot, coalfish or pollack. When an angler drifts over wreckage, it is only a small portion of the larger floor real-estate out there, so that drift will be short and require a more advanced angler. Artificial types of lures can be particularly helpful along this setting, especially when simultaneously setting multiple lines on the side of your boat.