Flathead catfish in Creeks?

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by Just call me C., May 8, 2006.

  1. Hey everyone! I've been fishing since i was 3 years old for everything in freshwater. Catfishing has to be my favorite next to Bassin' I live in Indiana and dont have a boat, so my locations are limited to bank fishing. I mostly fish in a creek close to my house called Walnut Creek (which is killer for smallies). Its probably 30-40 feet across at the widest and there are few holes over my head. I know there are big flatheads in it because last year i was using a bluegill for bait about as long as a pop can. i was sitting on a bend casted downstream and my rod started bending. I set the hook and it never even slowed down just snapped my 20lbs line like it was dental floss. im lucky it didnt take my pole with it. but since then ive had no luck or even finding flatheads even with smaller bait. what are flathead behavioral patterns in creeks? any different in big rivers?
  2. Welcome to the BOC Clyde, glad to have another fellow Hoosier on board. I am also very accostumed to fishing our many smaller creeks in this state. Fishing creeks in Shelby County like Sugar Creek is what I have grown up learning to fish on. Glad to also have another avid smallmouth fisherman on board:big_smile: , nothing like wading a small creek and flipping a jig in tight cover for a big smallie. But back to flatheads in these creeks, I agree with the last post on the rapids, holes, and runs, but also, in smaller creeks, the time of year you are fishing it has a lot to do with your success. In most of creeks, the flatheads will come up in them during spawning season. During May-July is the only time I've ever caught or seen flatheads in the small creeks I fish. Keep going with the live bluegills for bait, but also try small rock bass or creek chubs. Try and find a bend in the creek where it's atleast 4ft deep and theres brush pushed up against the bank, that will probably yield a flathead or 2. And remember, there probably won't be tons of them in there, so if you fish a spot for about 30 minutes with no luck, wade on down to the next likely spot and try there. I don't know what Walnut Creek feeds into, I'm guessing the Wabash, but not sure, but the flatheads really like to use these creeks as spawning locations if it's close enough to a larger river.

  3. oh yeah...gotta love them smallies. i usually use a Rebel Wee Craw crankbait. ill try to match the color to the crawdads in the creek and i usually slay them...but this is a catfish forum so...its good to hear that they should be coming upstream to spawn this time of year. i like using gills and chubs. i take my seining net (spelling?) to the smaller creeks and hit the holes and pull lots of chubs and shiners out and a few gills but never any smallies and very few largemouths. i get my gills mainly from my own pond with minnow traps and a bread ball in each one. helps keep the population down so they arent everywhere stealing your nightcrawlers. I'm not sure what Walnut runs into but i do believe its Wabash. haven't been that far down stream...maybe im due for a long canoe trip next time the creek is rollin'. then when we get there we will stop and do some catfishing all night. man, i wanna do that asap now...sounds like a fun trip. u still in Shelby county? im in Putnam. right off of 36...love the country. Thanx for the advice.
  4. no worries...i have faith and lotsa people to give me advice
  5. Catmaster

    Catmaster New Member

    Brush piles, rocky areas, deep holes, and late nights.
  6. Just stick with it Clyde and you'll end up getting one out of Walnut Creek. As for me, I've never lived in the country really, my Grandparents just own a house down in Shelby County so I've pretty much spent every weekend of my life there. But I live up in Indianapolise and most of my fishing if I'm not hitting the creeks of Shelby County or a private lake in Brown County, I'm fishing the White River, Fall Creek, Morse or Geist Reservoirs. Good luck and when you get one out of there, post about it. It just takes some patience. Small creeks are hit or miss.
  7. yeah ill definately post about it if i catch one. I dont have a digi cam or a scanner so i dont know how ill get a pic on here, but ill try. i thought about going tonight since we had a good rain, but me and some buddies of mine went muddin and had to get my dad's backhoe to get one of them out. and i just got back home...if im still awake around 1-2am ill prolly go hit the creek and see if i have any luck. theres lots of small creeks running into it around here that i would like to try.
  8. mallard

    mallard New Member

    Just scour this message board and you will find every answer to any question. I fish the same type of creek and we have caught flats from 2lbs to 55lbs. You have to spend alot of time learning your creek to find the right spots. I only fish for flats in deep holes with plenty of downed timber. The flats stay there by day then move out at night to feed in the shallows by the deep holes.
  9. I fish creeks for flatheads too and I usually find a good log jam on a cut bank w/ some back current. If you find a spot like this just use one of those smallies for bait and you will be catching some real fish in no time.
  10. barbel

    barbel New Member

    I have a question to add on to this, actually. Great information, but I would like to know this: I have a creek that runs by my house, and is somewhere between 30 and 40 river miles from a major river (the Kansas River, in this case). Now I have talked to Tim, and he said that it would be possible for me to catch flatheads out of there, but I would like a little extra verification. The holes, as far as I know, are pretty dang deep, since the water can run really fast when it is high, and scour out the bottom, and they are fairly wide, somewhere between 30 and 60 feet, depending on the hole. So would there possibly be flatheads, even small ones, in this creek this far up? I catch channel cats that are fairly large for most waters that I fish (they can get from 4 to 12 pounds). So if anyone can answer this, it would be most appreciated.
  11. You have been getting the right advice. My creek, or rather the one I used to fish is Cottonwood Creek. Runs smack throught the middle of Guthrie, OK. I have caught flats of about 40 lbs, and have seen a 52 lb one caught via limb line. We start fishing about 1/2 hour prior to sunset, using bluegills about the size of your hand. Flip them out about 4 or 5 feet, tie the pole down, and drink beer, scratch or behinds, and talk about wild women - all the manly thing... until around midnight. Haven't caught one by then, they are in a different part of the creek. But boy, those racoons can scare the devil out of you... possums, armadillo's...theres a lot to fishing these days. lol
  12. mallard

    mallard New Member

    I cant say 100% but I would say 95% chance that they are In there. If that river runs to a lake I would say they are in there without a doubt. I fish the caney river in S.E. Ks, the average depth of this river is 5ft and the flatheads go up to 50lbs plus.
  13. barbel

    barbel New Member

    LOL I know what you mean about the raccoons. Coyotes do the same thing. Once I was walking back from out of the woods and all of a sudden just beyond the trees about 100 yards behind me a whole pack of them just started hollerin' and yelpin'. It was loud, which was what scared me, but I was glad that I had my hatchet there. So you really do think there would be flats 30 miles up, huh? Well I will have to go try it out then. And also: sometimes it will run REALLY shallow and really skinny, like 10 feet across and no more than 6 inches deep. Still think they could be there?