Working a hole
Fresh cut bait is the one of the main elements no matter if you are in a limited time tournament or just wanting a few for supper. Using live bait is a whole other concept as I prefer cut bait due to the release of all the natural amino acids and fresh blood giving a scent trail to attract in the catfish no matter what type. The first 10 minutes after setting your poles up are the critical stage as the more aggressive fish will respond. This is where you target the area of the hole where you think the fish will be feeding first.
After the first 10 minutes, I will take up a few yards in the reel to move the baits around every 5 minutes or when you feel you need to. Just a few feet might be all that it takes. This means the catfish are rather sluggish and you will have to go to them. Normally after this time, one of your poles did not set or hold exactly where you wanted it more than likely due to the current, so real it in and rebait starting the rebait cycle of the poles.
Then you cast even further out into the main pocket area of the holes working that area from side to side. Now you will real up one that targeted the main hole and throw out another rod with a lighter roll sinker to the side and let it work its way across that sweep. You throw this one out farther than the rest as you know it will drift across your other ones and when it gets into the deeper water, normally suspend. You just keep moving that pole down the rod holders to the center.
I am really not one to sit on a hole for hours on end, but to move in about 45 minutes to another area meaning slip down or over 50 or 100 yards or to the next one. This is where you work the back of the hole and or concentrate on structure as by now, you might have gotten hung up and noticed some structure.