I don,t know a lot about Cats but I have noticed a lot of catfishermen right at the spillway from norman into catawba river and mountain island lake. When I go bass fishing up there, there's always a few catfishermen there also. When they let water out of norman,it seems to turn all the fish on including the cats. I don,t know if its accessible without a boat but I,ve seen some big cats caught when the waters running.
I would imagine any deep holes @ Norman would be good.. throw chunks of cut shad/bream. Never fished there though, so take my word with a grain of salt. Cats like holes and water, there are some big blues out there too. Follow the stripers that follow the shad and you'll probably find cats too.
3 way swivel would be one. Use a bigger wgt. not triangle weight. Use lighter line for the weight. Use a pre-rigged snelled leader so yuo can just pass it thru the swivel and cinch it down. Quick and easy. BIG cats are less likely to be in that kinds of current. More channel cats/ stripers. Don`t think stripers only hit some bait you have to catch or pay alot for. Percentage wise , a better overall choice but some of the biggest stripes have been caught on chicken livers by cat fishermen.