Blue Catfish - Best Techniques

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Instructor: Scott Manning

Capt. Scott Manning specializes in catfishing in the Tennessee River system, targeting giant blue and flathead catfish. In this In The Spread video, he shares techniques for drag, drift, and anchor fishing, including bait selection, boat driving, catfish demon dragon lure, and spread setup.

Description / Review / Instructor


  • Location: Tennessee River
  • Species: Blue catfish, flathead catfish, stripers, crappie, bass, and muskie.
  • Guide: Capt. Scott Manning
  • Video Content: Techniques for catching trophy fish.
  • Key Techniques: Drift baits, using weighted hooked baits, and Demon Dragon catfish lures.
  • Locating Fish: Importance of bottom structure, finding forage fish, and utilizing bottom machine and graphs.
  • Bait: Importance of freshness, preferences, and bait size.
  • Fishing Techniques: Anchor fishing and depth considerations.
  • Equipment: Hooks, rods, reels, and fishing line.
  • Weather Conditions: Ideal barometer, cloud cover, wind, and timing.
A Guide to Trophy Blue Catfish

The Tennessee River is not just any river – it's a haven for anglers seeking giant blue catfish and elusive flathead catfish. Boasting a diverse ecosystem, this river system nourishes a rich food chain of baitfish. This bounty translates into perfect habitats for not just trophy catfish, but also stripers, crappie, bass, and muskie.

If you're aiming to catch these species, there's one expert who stands out: Capt. Scott Manning. Dive into the intricacies of fishing with the In The Spread video, where Scott reveals the secrets that have made him an authority in trophy catching.

Setting the Stage for the Catch

Scott initiates the lesson by showcasing how to prepare your spread for drifting baits directly over the lurking catfish. He delves into:

  • Utilizing weighted hooked baits.
  • The power of his unique Demon Dragon catfish lures.
  • Techniques to ensure baits touch the riverbed.
  • The art of dragging baits effectively.
  • Secrets to maintaining your baits on the river floor.
  • Determining the perfect current or trolling speed for an unmatched bait presentation.

Navigating the Vast Waters

Understanding the terrain is half the battle. Scott emphasizes the importance of:

  • Identifying bottom structures apt for dragging.
  • Locating the prey that catfish feast upon.
  • Grasping the influence of wind on bait movement.
  • Spotting areas where baitfish congregate.

Scott's mantra, "find the bait, find the fish", holds profound truth. The video offers guidance on using your bottom machine and graphs to:

  • Highlight channel edges, ledges, and potholes.
  • Understand the underwater topography that attracts fish.
  • Pinpoint the habitat of the coveted trophy fish.

Bait Matters

The choice and treatment of bait are crucial. Scott elaborates on:

  • His preferred baitfish types.
  • Rigging techniques with weighted hook rigs and his Demon Dragon.
  • The significance of bait size in targeting varied fish sizes.
  • Mastering the art of hooking the bait.

Techniques for the Giants

For those aspiring to catch the behemoths, Scott unveils the nuances of anchor fishing:

  • Locating the deep recesses favored by the giant cats.
  • Strategizing to cover the entire area with baits at depths of 60-80 feet.

An All-Inclusive Guide

The In The Spread video featuring Capt. Scott Manning leaves no stone unturned. From understanding the circle hooks that have proven successful for Scott, to discerning the ideal rod and reel combinations for drift and anchor fishing, every detail is covered.


  • The best line types for this specific kind of fishing.
  • Ideal spooling quantities for your reel.

Deciphering the Weather

Weather plays a pivotal role in fishing. Scott shares insights on:

  • Optimal barometer readings.
  • Ideal cloud cover conditions.
  • Best times of the day to fish.
  • Strategies for fishing during pre and post-front conditions.

In The Spread with Capt. Scott Manning is not just a video – it's your comprehensive guide to catfishing like the pros. Dive in and transform your angling experience!


Q: Who is Capt. Scott Manning?
A: Capt. Scott Manning is an expert guide on the Tennessee River known for his trophy-catching techniques, especially for catfish.

Q: What are the key species in the Tennessee River?
A: The river is home to blue catfish, flathead catfish, stripers, crappie, bass, and muskie.

Q: What techniques does Scott recommend?
A: Scott emphasizes drift baits, using weighted hooked baits, Demon Dragon catfish lures, and anchor fishing among others.

Q: What role does bait play in fishing?
A: Freshness of bait is crucial. Scott dives deep into bait selection, size, and rigging techniques.

Q: How can one locate catfish in vast water systems?
A: It involves understanding seabed structures, using bottom machines and graphs, and the principle of "find the bait, find the fish".

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User Reviews

Anonymous 09.11.2018


Scott Manning

Scott Manning, a U.S. Military veteran, has become a master angler and steward of the waterways in East Tennessee. He specializes in capturing Monster Catfish, a species that thrives in the deep waters of the Tennessee River Monsters. Manning's company, Tennessee River Monsters, offers a unique perspective on the catfish fishery, highlighting the importance of understanding and sharing knowledge about the great outdoors.

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