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Aaron from Indiana
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I originally posted this in the 2022 Indiana Gathering thread but thought I'd start a separate thread to gauge everyone's interest. Let me know what you think.

Wanted to pick everyone's brains. Tom had the idea of holding next year's gathering at Patoka Lake because it has become a flathead hotspot. It's also a channel cat honeyhole.

I know we all love New Amsterdam and the chance at a monster blue, so would there be any interest in a "2023 Patoka Lake Catfish Camp" in late July or August, held separately from the New Amsterdam Gathering?

Patoka Lake (second largest lake in Indiana at 8.880 acres) has 2 campgrounds, a modern campground with electric and water hookups, a camp store and fish cleaning station, as well as a primitive fisherman's campground. The modern campground has approx. 450 sites and it gets pretty crowded. The fisherman's campground has 82 sites, a fish cleaning station and a boat ramp right at the campground. There's a different ramp a mile or two from the modern campground. I assume since it's listed as primitive, the fisherman's campground doesn't have electric at all sites (if any). I can't verify that online so I'll have to do some recon.

Costs:
Park entrance fee: $7 for instate vehicles, $9 for out of state vehicles
Modern campground: $28 per night
Fisherman's campground: $12 per night
Boats will need an annual statewide lake pass: $25 Lake Permits, Boating Fees & Rentals

Info:
Patoka Lake Campgrounds - Crawford County, Indiana
https://www.in.gov/dnr/state-parks/files/patoka_camp_fishermen_youth.pdf
Indiana's Hottest Catfish 'Holes' - Game & Fish
 

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I’d be in on it. There’s big flatheads there!
Like I said I’ve been wanting to fish patoka for a while and I’ve been doing some more research/thinking
Even though I’ve never been there Patoka appears to be more bank fishing friendly than the Ohio but it definitely would be more small boat/kayak friendly than the Ohio- there’s no barges and lots of coves/shallows to avoid pleasure boats. That’s just what I’m seeing from google maps and navionics I’ve never personally been there but that may really help some people out and there’s a chance at a huge flathead so I’m all for it! Haha
It may also be a more convenient location for the group depending on where everyone lives so this polling is a good idea. Plus there’s big flatheads! (Anyone noticing I have flathead fever
 

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Yes, I would be in IF I am still in the area. I have done very little flathead fishing in lakes but would look forward to it. It is very hard to find a date when all can commit to so if we are going to try it we need to do some checking on when the best time would be for having the flatheads active yet avoiding other big tournaments and try to select a date.

Eldwva, it is nice that we have active members in our area and we can get together like this. I wish all areas could do the same.
 

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That video I posted of JM (Jared) and his father was posted on YouTube on July 31st so the tournament actually occurred around July 23/24th. I would think a good target date for us would be one to two weeks before that. That should have the flatheads off the nest and feeding to get their weight back and hopefully be before the big tournaments come in and give all of them a sour mouth.

So, that would be the weekend of the 8th or 15th in 2023. I would think the weekend of the 15th would be the better choice because of a possible late spawn.

just some thoughts.
 

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Aaron from Indiana
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I’d be in on it. There’s big flatheads there!
Like I said I’ve been wanting to fish patoka for a while and I’ve been doing some more research/thinking
Even though I’ve never been there Patoka appears to be more bank fishing friendly than the Ohio but it definitely would be more small boat/kayak friendly than the Ohio- there’s no barges and lots of coves/shallows to avoid pleasure boats. That’s just what I’m seeing from google maps and navionics I’ve never personally been there but that may really help some people out and there’s a chance at a huge flathead so I’m all for it! Haha
It may also be a more convenient location for the group depending on where everyone lives so this polling is a good idea. Plus there’s big flatheads! (Anyone noticing I have flathead fever
Definitely more bank fishing friendly than the big river, but bring your hiking boots because according to Google Patoka has 161 miles of shoreline (I honestly thought it was more). The Army Corps of Engineers controls the land around the lake (no homes on the water like a lot of places), so most places are accessible if you're willing to make the hike.

Also definitely more forgiving to small boats as long as the weather isn't bad. I've seen 3+ foot waves on the main body when the wind was whipping, but you can always find a protected cove to get out of the rough stuff. No barges to deal with, but during the heat of the summer the lake is crowded with pleasure boaters during daylight hours. If we're looking at July or August, like Tom mentioned in the other thread, night fishing would definitely be less crowded and less stressful.

I fished there for bluegill over 25 years ago, fished for walleye (with no success) 4 years ago, but have never tried catfishing there. I've heard for years that the channel cat population has been great because of the shad population, and only in the last few years have been hearing about the flathead fishing. It would be nice to catch some channels for the freezer, and icing on the cake to hook into a big flathead.

When I get a chance I'll drive up there and get some firsthand info. You can't always trust the interwebs.
 

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Aaron from Indiana
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That video I posted of JM (Jared) and his father was posted on YouTube on July 31st so the tournament actually occurred around July 23/24th. I would think a good target date for us would be one to two weeks before that. That should have the flatheads off the nest and feeding to get their weight back and hopefully be before the big tournaments come in and give all of them a sour mouth.

So, that would be the weekend of the 8th or 15th in 2023. I would think the weekend of the 15th would be the better choice because of a possible late spawn.

just some thoughts.
Looks like the flathead bash was June 4th and they held another tourney there on July 30th.
https://indianacatfish.org/
 

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I have a coworker that is planning on going to patoka late next month he said their group plans on bass fishing but maybe he would be able to give some good insight on the camp grounds ill post if he can get any good information.
he hasn’t been there in years but he did say there were areas with nasty stumps you could get a boat stuck on nothing crazy just be mindful kinda deal.
 

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Aaron from Indiana
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have a coworker that is planning on going to patoka late next month he said their group plans on bass fishing but maybe he would be able to give some good insight on the camp grounds ill post if he can get any good information.
he hasn’t been there in years but he did say there were areas with nasty stumps you could get a boat stuck on nothing crazy just be mindful kinda deal.
Correct, when they built the lake in the 70's it flooded areas of standing timber. Since then, those standing trees have died, many have broken off at water level or below, so you do have to watch certain areas. That will be great if he's able to gather some campground info. If not, I'll get up there one of these days. I'm not too far away.
 

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Aaron from Indiana
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I was able to find the Indiana Catfish Association 2023 schedule. They will be holding their flathead bash on 6/3 and a regular catfish tournament on 7/22. Both run from 7:30pm to 7:30am. So at least we know what weekends we DON'T want to schedule.
 
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