5 Things a Beginner Flathead Fisherman Needs To Know.

Discussion in 'OHIO RIVERS TALK' started by catfishrollo, Dec 13, 2007.

  1. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    FIVE THINGS THAT A FISHERMAN NEW TO FLATHEADS NEEDS TO KNOW!!!

    1. For the most part flatheads are nocturnal, meaning they feed after dark!

    2. Flatheads for the most part only feed on livebait, such as fish like shad, bluegills, carp, bass etc. my suggestion would be consider what is indigenous to your waters that the cats are in, and try to get some of them baits.

    3. You need to have a decent outfit with atleast a med/hev. rod that can handle line up to 20-30lb. rod pref. over 6' in length. with a reel that is capable of holding around 100yrds. of 20-30lb. mono. if spinning rod/reel...you can learn to use the drag on the top for a baitclicker, if it isn't a baitrunner reel with both.. if using a baitcast type reel i would suggest buying one with a baitclicker/ fighting drag..... doesn't have to be expensive for a starter...remember...you are learning and need an outfit that will work.. Wal-Mart has these for less than 60 bucks for the whole combo!!!

    4. 20-30/lb. line of decent quality like Berkely Big Game.. even 40lb. line if mono.. i wouldn't suggest a braid until you learn the wrath of these creatures. use the added stretch to your advantage! you may need the extra second for error!! lol.. try 5-10/0 hooks. either in j-style, or kahle!! no circles yet... you need to learn how they hit!! the j-style is what i still use they work great!! . i suggest gamukatsu j-style octupus hooks around 8/0 or 9/0.. sinkers 2-5 oz. either flat or egg work fine...you can rig simply by adding the sinker, a bead, then the hook allowing the sinker to slide to the hook... flatheads aren't shy and will gladly grab the whole rig and bait without thought!!

    5. talk to locals, fish rivers that have an abundant amount of flatheads, then
    fish basic until you start understanding them more..fish only obvious spots that look good to hold catfish, such as eddy holes, defined inside bends or outside bends, or other holes that have current close to them. most likely there is a flathead nearby.... use the livebait hooked either through the lip, back under the dorsel, or through the tail, cast out, set the reel either in clicker mode, or some type of free-spool, and wait for that big flattie to start running your line.. tighten down, feel the consistent pull and set and fight!!!! remember to adjust the drag if needed!!!

    and a added number 6.

    6. take pride and enjoy your expeience, but remember....a few small fish are fine to eat!!! but a picture of your catch is worth as much as the story behind it!!!!


    I know this is different, but i think, and know there is alot of tenative members on here that don't ask questions because they are affraid to.. So, i thought i would try a simple informative thread to help those that have basic learning questions about catfishing ...i hope everyone adds to this to give some basic, but helpful info. so more can learn and enjoy our sport....goodluck, rollo
     
  2. Ulikedew

    Ulikedew New Member

    Messages:
    1,821
    State:
    Georgetown IN
    Great post for someone who is new to flathead fishing.
     

  3. joadb

    joadb New Member

    Messages:
    286
    State:
    Clinton, Ohio,
    new flathead fishermen/women listen close to this thread cause its dead on,although i think circle hooks are good for a beginner-my kids do great with them-i just tell them to point the rod at the sky and start reeling(i think circles are harder to learn for us guys who have been jerking the lips off fish with j hooks all our lives lol).
     
  4. BassMassey

    BassMassey Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,883
    State:
    Oconee
    thats a real good base of info to build off of if new to flathead fishing. One key ingredient i would like to add is patience. I know a lot of guys who convert from channel cattin to flatheadin are used to the quick bite of channel cats. They quickly get discouraged after only an hour and want to pack it up and think the spot isn't any good. I personally beleive sometimes you just gotta wait them out. I have let my bait soaked for hours, even end up dozing off only to be woken by my clicker. Patience is key in fishing for these brutes.
     
  5. O2Bfishing

    O2Bfishing New Member

    Messages:
    75
    State:
    West Virginia
    I may have over looked it, but didnt see if where it mentione dthat they are alot more active in swift running waters or a slower deep still water ?
     
  6. s_man

    s_man New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    Aaron that is gospel. If you do not have the patience to sit on a good looking snag or log jam all night sometimes, you'll not catch the larger fish. Flathead fishing is unlike any other freshwater fishing. If they called it "catching"everybody would be doing it.

    Jason, I like your approach. If there are folks out there that want to know something you have to ask. Nobody on this site will ridicule you for any question you think to ask. There is no reason to feel intimidated by the guys that post all the time, or have been on here for ever, or who have ginormous amounts of rep points. Alot of them cannot catch fish and have no other friends, so they spend their days on here, LOL. That was a joke to lighten the mood. The folks on this site genuinely want to help, so please ask away. You won't find another place so friendly.
     
  7. Bacardipr05

    Bacardipr05 New Member

    Messages:
    1,424
    State:
    Pennsylvan
    Some good information I started targeting flatheads mid-summer. I only came away with one but I was still happy. I also use Gamakatsu Octopus(non-circle) for these guys. I recently added more heavier tackle to my arsenal and bought my first bait caster just recently.(still learning)
     
  8. Netmanjack

    Netmanjack New Member

    Messages:
    3,734
    State:
    Ohio
    I thought it was pretty good for a new guy too! lmao:eek:oooh::crazy::smile2:
     
  9. Flatheadhunter33

    Flatheadhunter33 New Member

    Messages:
    3,764
    State:
    Yuma, Arizona
    Thanks for the post. Its not only good learning for those new to flattie fishing but also good refresher info for the rest!:wink:
     
  10. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    thanks everyone so far for your input...makes me feel like im not posting things that aren't worth posting... i just know that i spent many nights, days, on end racking my brain and wishing i could catch fish i saw others catch when i was young. hoping someday i would get lucky....well, luck takes you so far...and learning takes time also...and like said earlier i have talked to many people on here and in person, and they sometimes act tenative to answer questions you may ask them or don't get too involved. i have met a few from here that have expressed that also. i just want everyone to feel like they can learn from asking and learn the basic of the techniques without too much complication.. we often get tied up on here talking specifics soo much in detail. we almost make it complicated on ourselves!!! remember... there is so much to learn, and we will never know everything.. but , you have to keep it in persective and have fun while learning.....rollo
     
  11. tbull

    tbull New Member

    Messages:
    3,318
    State:
    SW Ohio
    Nice post, its threads like that you wish you could have seen when you first started chasing those beautiful fish!
     
  12. Big Dav

    Big Dav New Member

    Messages:
    1,016
    State:
    Southwest
    Great info and thanks for sharing. Sharing information and tips freely is one of the great things about this site. Great people, and better information than any magazine subscription you can buy. "I think that would make a good post."

    Thanks again and reps to you,
    David
     
  13. catfishscotty

    catfishscotty Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,388
    State:
    mo
    good post job well done!!!! for you people that havnt tried flathead fishing ur really should . they fight so hard a blue cat will roll and come up most of the time a flathead will move like a bull dozzer and stay down u will get him off the bottom a few feet and back down they will go so pay attention to your drag. think of a bull dozzer on the other end powerfull!!!!! if u think a 10 lb bass can fight think of a 30 lb bass on steriods:wink: thats a flathead
     
  14. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    thanks.. there is a ton of great information on here if you want to spend the time to read.....rollo
     
  15. jerryb

    jerryb New Member

    Messages:
    551
    State:
    Ohio
    Jason, isn't this the same info you charged me $50 for a month ago???? :wink:


    Just kiddin'... great thread!! I've been doin' a lot of homework, and I plan on hittin' them pretty hard in a few months...
     
  16. Salmonid

    Salmonid New Member

    Messages:
    1,833
    State:
    SW Ohio
    You mentioned live baits but between our group over here on the GMR, all our best fish ( PB's) came on cut bait, pieces of/or the heads of bluegills, Shad Suckers or any other river fish have always worked well for us.

    I also though that in the Spring and Fall, the flatheads are very active durring the afternoon hours, ( IMHO) so start early and then fish into darkness.

    Good info though!!

    Salmonid
     
  17. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    thanks for the post, it is always good to get opinions from those of different river systems. we catch flats on cut baits often, and i personally like bluegill heads also. But, it seems we get fish only up to 10 or 15 pounds on them. And when using cutbaits you deal with the added attention you get from channel cats. thats why i only mentioned livebaits to try to help those in pursuit of their first flatties..most of our flatties, and bigger flatheads here take livebait.. anyways thanks for the info...rollo
     
  18. BOWHOG1

    BOWHOG1 New Member

    Messages:
    33
    State:
    NC
    Where's #7..you know the part about where they hide in the winter ? Excellant post but I need #7
     
  19. Catstalker07

    Catstalker07 New Member

    Messages:
    69
    State:
    Ohio
    Great post. Next is bait and a good bait tank. Once you have the equipment, place, etc. you need good live bait. Invest in a tank that keeps you bait alive.
     
  20. s_man

    s_man New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    Mark, that's one of the things I just don't understand. On the GMR you guys all catch larger flatheads on cut baits, while over here we do much better with live. I also had a guide in Cincy that swore up and down, cut bait (shad) is how he and his clients catch Ohio river flatheads. But then again Matt caught a 68lb flat down there on a live gill I think. Sometimes up here they won't hit a live bait and want one of Rollo's gill heads or a half a shad. But thats only occasional. And doesn't Flathunter catch big fish on cut bait on the Scioto too? I would love to figure out if it's a river system thing, or a time of season thing, or even a lucky catch thing. Just what the heck is going on LOL.