Any night-time flathead catfishing tips?

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by Redd, May 26, 2006.

  1. Redd

    Redd New Member

    Messages:
    790
    State:
    Southeast Kansas
    Me and a friend of mine have been flathead fishing at night several times this year so far, and can't seem to get anything but the bugs to bite:embarassed:. We fish a small river at a lowhead dam or on shallow flats where we seen baitfish swimming around. We also have used, both live and cutbait. What are we doing wrong? We don't have a boat to use to get up and down the river either. Would it make a difference of how far away from the bank we cast in the flats, or how close to the dam we fish? I don't think it'd be intelligent to quit fishing at night, but I don't know what's going on here. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks abunch.

    -Red
     
  2. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,081
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    Red, first let me welcome you to the BOC. River flatheads are territorial and usually dont want to travel far from their home turf. You need to find spots that break the current ( we call these areas slack water ) or slow moving current. Wing dikes, log jams, large rocks. In the larger rivers , I look for retired barges pushed up against the banks, The big round cells sticking out of the water where they tie off the barges are good spots. Other areas that hold flatheads are creek mouths and outside bends in the river where there is heavy structure. To make it simple, use this formula:

    SLACK WATER + STRUCTURE + LIVE OR CUT BAITFISH = FLATHEADS

    Another tip is try to use as less light as possible when targeting flatheads at night. They spook very easily.
     

  3. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,081
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    Oh, I forgot. you might want to consider filling out the rest of your profile on where your favorite fishing waters are. Other members in your area will read your profile and can help put you on the flatheads in your area.
     
  4. Ol Whiskers

    Ol Whiskers New Member

    Messages:
    290
    State:
    Fairfield Township, Ohio
    Redd,

    You might have considered this already, but fishing a lowhead dam right at the boil can be very productive for flats. When you cast up to the dam, you have to have the bait positioned just right to hold where the water comes back up from the bottom. I use 5 to 8 ounce no-roll sinkers on 20-lb Trilene Big Game line. Bait with chub, shad, carp, sucker.

    Dennis
     
  5. FlatGetter

    FlatGetter New Member

    Messages:
    196
    State:
    Illinois
    I have the same situation you do fishing a small river without a boat. It sure can be hard at times. But you got to get out and scout. Sometimes you can find a decent spot 5min. down from a bridge, but for the best spots youre gonna do alot of walking. some of our spots are 40min. walks. You need to scout out different river sections. If you run into the problem of private property, get in touch with the people and usually if you discuss what youre tring to do they dont have a problem with it. But find big logjams in river bends. And I also like using light only when I need to, and keep sound down. I recommend In-Fisherman Day on the river. It shows you how to scout for flatheads.
     
  6. s_man

    s_man New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    Its true that flatheads can be caught under lowhead dams. Some time you can just find a better producing spot/spots. When I was shorebound in the early years I fished a lowhead dam 20 or more nights a month. I only caught fish 10 percent of the time. Thats a lot of waiting around. I did catch a few over 20 lbs but the lean times were killin me. So I moved around scouted alot of water, talked with anybody who was catfishing, and tried to find more productive water. The best I've found is any place with trees laying in the water. Or fish as close as you can. Always put one bait 3 to 5 ft off the bank, you'll be suprised. At the dam keep throwing to different spots along the face or along the bank or in the scour hole ( lip, deep base, or mid section) till you find the feeding spot. Remember it will change from day to day or week to week. Good luck
     
  7. Redd

    Redd New Member

    Messages:
    790
    State:
    Southeast Kansas
    Thanks for all the encouragements and tips. It's greatly appreciated.

    -Red
     
  8. shortshank

    shortshank New Member

    Messages:
    389
    State:
    Oregon
    I believe one of the most overlooked flathead spots is the bank. Where water meets land, give me 3-5ft. of drop off and a back wash, you will catch fish at night. I like to find a tree standing with the roots exposed down in the water. Even if it's only 3ft. deep, it will produce. Bait fish swim in and around those roots, Mr. Flattie will take advantage of any easy meal. Using the same thought any place you find with a washout under a bank is another good spot. Any place bait might be trapped in cover is a good possibility.
    Don
     
  9. Kattywumpus

    Kattywumpus New Member

    Messages:
    13
    State:
    Michigan
    Try fishing upstream in the flats above deeper holes or troughs. They patrol the flats at night looking for something to eat.
     
  10. 1-flathunter

    1-flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    14
    State:
    ohio
    fish closer to the bank,or find some kind of obstruction,logs ,boulders,etc..
     
  11. SkiMax

    SkiMax New Member

    Messages:
    2,012
    State:
    Rising Sun, IN
    I have my best luck with very lively bait. I also tend to catch my biggest flatheads very shallow. My biggest flathead ever came from 3 feet of water. When I bank fished I have a tendency to cast as far as I could. Try fishing alot closer to yourself. Maybe try drifting a bluegill/chub under a bobber. I usually do this with the bait about a foot off bottom. It works. When I do still bankfish for flatheads I use one pole and let it drift down the bank in relatively shallow water. I slow down and work trees, slackwater, etc slower but sometimes the flatheads will be in more 'open water' so fish everything!