The trophy winter blue catfish bite is going strong on every lake with a healthy population of blues. Drift fishing is a great way to cover lots of water and locate fish. Many pro “catters” prefer using 5 ought circle hooks for this type fishing. When a catfish picks up the bait and closes its mouth, the circle hook simply threads itself into the corner of the fish’s mouth. Hard hook sets are not necessary and usually result in pulling the bait out of the fish’s mouth. When the rod bows heavily toward the water, simply pull back, the hook will usually be set. Nothing beats fresh bait for catching blues. Fresh shad or fillets from rough fish such as carp of Buffalo fish work best, the fresher and oiler the better when fishing in cold water. Use a basic Carolina rig with a 4-6 foot leader and place a small floater 6 inches above the hook. This greatly reduces hang ups and makes the bait much easier for the catfish to pick up. Good luck!