Anchor or Move for Big Catfish?

Discussion in 'LOCAL SOUTH CAROLINA TALK' started by flathead22, Dec 28, 2005.

  1. flathead22

    flathead22 New Member

    Messages:
    78
    State:
    south carolina
    Is it best to anchor up and wait in one spot all night or day for a big flathead or blue to come by, or is it better to move to find the giants??
     
  2. Catcaller

    Catcaller New Member

    Messages:
    1,511
    State:
    SoutheastKansas
    I live in se Kansas, and fish a small to medium sized mostly shallow river. We have success catching flatheads and blues in either the daytime or the night. Both require different tactics. During the day the fish are holed up behind a current break...just being lazy and waiting for an easy meal to wash by. You'll find isolated pockets of fish...which means you may need to experiment alot, and move more often in order to stay on the fish. At night time...we tend to remain anchored in one spot for a longer period of time. At night the fish are on the prowl. Actively searching for food.

    It may be different where you are...but I'd bet that there are more similarities than not.
     

  3. metalman

    metalman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,447
    State:
    IN
    Name:
    Winston
    Wow, that's a loaded question! It depends on a lot of variables; time of year, type of catfish, type of water, etc. etc. Sometimes it just comes down to how much time you have that day.
    I see you are from S.C. Take Santee-Cooper for instance. You could wait a long, long time for bites if you just motored out and anchored in the middle of Moultrie but if you got on a good drift you could catch big blues and decent channels one after the other.Then again you could anchor close to a mussel bed and catch good fish without moving at all.
    Conversely, you could drift around all day and not catch a single flathead but if you used the graph to mark fish in the creek channels in the top lake and anchor over them chances are they will bite eventually. If you are reasonably sure there are BIG fish in a spot then I feel it is always worth waiting them out, I usually do the waiting at night, as Catcaller said they are likely to be on the hunt for food then.
    In rivers during the day I am always ready to move. I feel the fish use the current to bring food to them or at least close enough to them that they can smell it and maybe they will move a little to get it. Fish don't grow big by letting food pass them by, if they are feeding they will usually bite right now if you drop the bait close enough. I rarely stay in a spot more than an hour if I'm not catching and I am usually getting antsy in half that time if there have been no hits or pull-downs...W
     
  4. MUDHOLE KID

    MUDHOLE KID New Member

    Messages:
    1,178
    State:
    Anderson,S.C.
    I anchor for 30 mintues to an hour then move and anchor again
     
  5. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    IMO, "it depends". I really believe that flatheads like to look over the bait for a while before they eat it; I've never caught a flathead over 5# on a jug that was moving with the current, but have caught several on jugs that got hung up on bottom. So, it seems a good idea to sit for quite a while, say at least an hour, before moving to a new spot. Another thing to consider is that prime flathead holding spots are held by prime flatheads; determined by a 'pecking order'. When a big cat holding one of these spots dies, or is caught, the next cat in the pecking order (in that area) moves into the spot, usually within a few days. Any trotliner that targets big flatheads will tell you that he has certain spots where he sets his lines year after year, and that he has certain lines he catches his biggest fish on. Of course, don't expect him to tell you where he sets those lines. A fellow in Atkins used to catch several flats over 50# every spring, using short lines set between certain stumps in a particular part of Lake Atkins. I know the particular part of the lake, and even how he set his lines, but not the exact spots.
    To put it in a nutshell, moving every hour or so is necessary when you're prospecting for new honeyholes, but once you have a really good, proven honeyhole, sit on it.
     
  6. Catcaller

    Catcaller New Member

    Messages:
    1,511
    State:
    SoutheastKansas
    I couldn't agree more about flatheads. When we fish for flathead...it tends to be with a live bluegill on a 2 or 3 oz sinker in one spot. I too believe that our flathead are finicky....and they want to "look over" the bait before they decide if they'll eat it. I also believe the pecking order is in effect here. We'll fish a particular rockpile along with two other boats at one time perhaps, and we'll all be catching fish. Then the bite ceases. It'll be from a few hours...to the next day...but you will catch more fish after the hole where a flathead was caught is filled by another. It's not always quickly after...but sometimes it isn't that long. I also believe that the flathead in question here tend to loosely school up. They're trapped beneath a low water spillway...and can't get over. They simply spread out beneath the dam...and wait for high water so they can get over and continue their journey. Times like these...when the fish are stacked up and concentrated...is when we typically get our biggest catches. Especially when the river is on the rise...they get really active right before a steady rise.

    Staying put is the rule we live by for flats...but for blues and channel it's not that way at all....even more so during the day. We'll move from spot to spot up and down the river...either by boat, or by wading...perhaps a mixture of the two. Even when we're stationary...we're still moving. Our standard technique is to anchor and then let the current take a weightless rig downstream with it...bouncing along the bottom. It's a great way to search for a series of holes in the middle of a riffle. We might have 150 yd or more of line out at once...probing every little current break and hole along the way. I prefer Power Pro braid in the 40 or 50 lb High Vis color. It's smaller diameter (A 6500 C 3 will hold quite a bit of 10 lb diameter line) and it's sensitivity is superior to mono. It's also waterproof (So it doesn't get saturated and want to sink too readily) and has zero stretch. (Which is handy when you have 100 yd plus of line out there) I also prefer a long rod for doing this. I have 9' and an 11' medium action rods that I use because of the increased ability to move more line in one movement and for the better shock absorbtion needed for bigger fish in the current. This technique is difficult to master...but it works like a champ for day or night time blues and channel.
     
  7. chewy

    chewy New Member

    Messages:
    51
    State:
    Bonneau, South Carolina
    I usually fish lake moultrie. Alot of the people fishing out there like to anchor up and wait. Thats fine for the smaller fish. We always drift and bounce the bottom for the big ones. If we can find a channel that is between 30 and 55 ft, we will start on one end of it and drift to the end and start over again. In my expierience during the day the larger fish don't like to move very often. But when the bait comes right by them set the hook!
     
  8. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    Matt, glad to see you made it over here. I think you will like the BOC. Welcome.
     
  9. wpsatisfide

    wpsatisfide New Member

    Messages:
    305
    State:
    Pawleys Island, SC
    Welcome to the boc matt!
     
  10. RiverratSC

    RiverratSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,646
    State:
    Gaffney, SC
    Welcome to the board Matt.

    I anchor for a bit then move when I see how the bite is. Sometimes I just drift all depends on how they are hitting at the time really.