This is only my second year specifically targeting flatheads. The place where I do most of my fishing is a medium sized river where the lower 30 miles are channelized for navigation. The rest of the river, the upper 92 miles, is a freeflowing river with logjams, winding bends, etc. This is where I concentrate most of my fishing at. The question I wanted to ask some of the more experienced flat fisherman is- Is it worth fishing during the peak of the spawn or do you guys bide your time with bluecats or channels or what have you? The reason that I ask is because I'd like to fit some time fishing in for them after work, but the river is pretty high right now and I'll only have a couple hours to fish if I go. I'd hate to be spinning my wheels, especially after catching bait and hauling my boat.
Now I know most of you are going to tell me that "all the catfish don't spawn at the same time" and that "anytime you can go is the best time to fish". But for the most part, I'd like to see what you guys think about it. It seems last year, around this time, my catch rate dropped off like a rock over a cliff, but picked up again once the water levels dropped a little by the end of July. Keep in mind that I was catching fish before the "spawn" last year, and I'm seeing the same pattern developing this year. By-the-way, I do the bulk of my fishing during the daytime. THANX A LOT GUYS and GOOD LUCK FISHING!
smaller flattys are in numbers, and if your fishin from a boat you can move around a search for the bigger ones that aren't on a nest or move your baits around more and find them, it's always worth a shot in my book, beats doin yard work:wink:
you can still find flatties during the spawn if you know where and what you're looking for. during the spawn you should focus your attention to logjams especailly larger ones with big root wads which is a primary spawning area, and rock piles. both places should hold big flats male and female looking to spawn or gaurding the nest. try using bullheads during this time of year because not only is it a good meal for flatties it's also a predator trying to eat it's eggs which will entice it to bite even more. hope i could help some
Typically this time of year (I'm farther south than you, and I believe the flatheads around here are either in the peak of the spawn or even finishing up), I still get good numbers of fish, but no big ones. I went out last weekend and got 6 flatheads up to 21 pounds. Six fish is a good night for me, but I can usually scratch up a bigger fish if I work at it.
Is it the spawn? Is it all just in my imagination? Personally I can't help but wonder if the "spawn time" is just the catfisherman's favorite excuse. Sounds to me like you said you did well last year when the water level stabilized. Might have nothing to do with the spawn. Anyway, you'll never know unless you try!