Baits! Depth! Big ole flatheads!

Discussion in 'LOCAL KENTUCKY TALK' started by Elliesgotjuggs, Apr 30, 2018.

  1. Elliesgotjuggs

    Elliesgotjuggs New Member

    Messages:
    6
    State:
    kentucky
    Name:
    Ellen
    I am a new river cat fisher! I love cooking up a mess of fish, I think I am going to be okay on catching some nice filets! BUT for the Hoss, I mean the biggin, what do y’all recommend? Live bait? Hooked how? What depth? Pole? Limb? Jug? Thanks!!!
     
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  2. NW Corner

    NW Corner Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    102
    State:
    Washington
    Name:
    Alex
    Welcome to the site Ellen.. might get better luck with specifics.... where ya at? Bank/boat? .... rivers/ lakes? Species your after?.........
     
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  3. Zigarro

    Zigarro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    514
    State:
    N. Texas
    Name:
    L.W.
    Welcome aboard, Ellen, from N. Texas! I catch most of my blues on cut gizzard shad and once in a while, they'll hit a bluegill. Sadly, we have few flatties around here. :(
     
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  4. twaskom

    twaskom Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,599
    State:
    Indiana
    Name:
    Tom
    Welcome to the USCA forum Ellen. I'll let the locals give you most of the information about your area but cut bait or live bait using shad or bluegill always seems to be high on the list of baits that work. Several methods work from limb lines to jugs to using fishing poles. But I consider limb lines and jugs more as a prep for a big fish fry and do not consider it to be a good thing on a continual basis.

    Keep in mind if you are looking for fish to eat, fish become more and more contaminated. If a fish, thru eating takes in mercury or lead or other harmful materials they keep it. When you eat that fish, you get it. The best fish to eat are the smaller ones because they are the least harmful to you.

    My suggestion both for health and fun, eat the 10 pound and down fish and enjoy the fight and release the bigger fish.

    Ok, My two cents.

    tight lines
     
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  5. brocat

    brocat Member

    Messages:
    93
    State:
    Quincy, IL
    Name:
    Bruce
    Well said Twaskom!
     
  6. Elliesgotjuggs

    Elliesgotjuggs New Member

    Messages:
    6
    State:
    kentucky
    Name:
    Ellen
    I am in central Kentucky, and have a boat. Not far from Green River, Kentucky River, Herrington, Cumberland. I have a depth finder and have been figuring out reading all that. I agree on eating the smaller ones, just want the thrill of catching a biggin!! Flathead and using live bait is something I’m really curious about. How to rig, depth, pole or jugs. How long to stay in a spot with pole. Thanks for all the info guys!!
     
  7. Abu65

    Abu65 Active Member

    Messages:
    601
    State:
    Kentucky
    We used to catch some good quality flatheads on the KY river using mudcats for bait. We would clip there pointy fins off with side cutters and hook them thru the lips or tail. We would always use them alive. Welcome aboard.
     
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  8. JByrd

    JByrd Active Member

    Messages:
    215
    State:
    S.C.
    Name:
    Thomas D Price
    River fishing the big ones start about a hour after sunrise. Bite a couple of hours. I use cut fish on the Santee rig (Google it) with 2 oz of lead. My river is slow moving. The 3 or 4 pound ones bite in the evening. I like the reels that release the spool and let the line feed. Cast King Sharkey Baitfeeder III size 6000 and the Okuma Avenger 55.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
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  9. Elliesgotjuggs

    Elliesgotjuggs New Member

    Messages:
    6
    State:
    kentucky
    Name:
    Ellen
    So you use small catfish? How did you catch them?
     
  10. HaskelCat

    HaskelCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    210
    State:
    KY
    I’m a firm believer in bluegill - live and cut, depending on conditions- for flatheads. You’re fishing some good flathead waters.
     
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  11. mooseman75

    mooseman75 Member

    Messages:
    32
    State:
    Utah
    Name:
    put first name
    Thanks for the reel suggestions I checked them out on amazon as I’ve just recently entered the market for a new reel since the bail on mine just broke. The Okuma avenger looks to be a smoother operating reel for just a couple dollars more. So without paying an arm and a leg I’m going to give it a shot thanks
     
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  12. eastforker

    eastforker Active Member

    Messages:
    231
    State:
    Indiana
    Name:
    Stacee
    I been using the Okuma Avenger baitfeeder 40b for a few years and works good.
    Got a Penn Fierce 2 live liner 4000 last year and it works good also.
    I just love that option of letting the fish run with the bait.
     
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  13. twaskom

    twaskom Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,599
    State:
    Indiana
    Name:
    Tom
    Helen, bluegill are good catfish bait and usually the easiest to find and catch. I would try those first. I like gills in the 4 to 6 inch range as live bait. Using an 8/0 circle hook, I put the hook half way between the tail fin and dorsal fin. Make sure the point is clean of scales and only hook deep enough to hold the gill on. You want the hook as exposed as possible. Try not to do super long, hard casts because the gill hitting the water hard can kill it. I will often trim the tail fin off some to help keep him where I put him.

    I use 65 pound test braid with an 8 ounce no role sinker. then a bead or bumper to protect the knot on the swivel. the leader is 50 pound test mono and is anywhere from 1 ft to 4 feet long.

    For the rivers you mentioned, I would think a good Medium Heavy rod would be best. There are several good rods out there to pick from if, you need one. You want a rod with a good backbone and a (active) flexible tip.

    Flatheads seem to like logs, stumps tree falls or anything in the water to block current. So to pick an area to fish, look for those things in the bank or edge. I try to anchor just upriver and put my baits a few feet upriver from the obstruction. Generally since these obstructions are along the edge, you are not in deep water but 20 feet or less. You want the scent of the bait carried to where you think the flathead will be holding.

    Flatheads generally hit slow. The rod will start with a slow bounce sometimes like a slow heartbeat. That may be the flathead mouthing the bait. It is best to wait and let the fish take the bait and run. That will put a good bend in the rod. If you not used to using circle hooks, read up on their use. You do not set the hook like you do with J hooks.

    This will help get you started for big fish. Don't forget there are big Blue Cats also.

    To get some very good info about rigging and fishing for flathead catfish, search for "Steve Douglas". He is a Ky boy that has a lot of youtube videos about cat fishing. Many about flathead fishing where you an get a lot of good information on rigs, baiting, fishing locations and the typical bite and hooking methods used.

    I hope this will be helpful to you. Be safe on the water and enjoy your fishing

    tight lines
     
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  14. twaskom

    twaskom Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,599
    State:
    Indiana
    Name:
    Tom
    Oh,,,,,,sorry about calling you Helen,,, Ellen.



    Here is a video that may help you approach flathead fishing and get you started with Steve Douglas videos. He has several on flathead fishing that can give you a good idea on how to approach it. Keep in mind you need a hook in the water to catch one so doing that and finding a good location is a big step. Then whit the location, find the method that works for you. Note he is fishing deep water. My thoughts are that flatheads run deep during most of the day and go shallow at night.

    tight lines
     
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  15. BBK

    BBK Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    526
    State:
    Iowa
    Name:
    Kevin
    Ive caught flats in 2’ to 35’ of water. Ive caught them on everything from waxworms to giant live shad.

    First make sure there are big flats where you are fishing. Its pointless to target what isnt there.

    The best way to get flats from an area you are unfamiliar with is probably to thrown live bait into and around structure. Structure can be a hump, a ledge, a tree, manmade such as a concrete wall or barge tie-up... something like that, flatheads like to hide and ambush, they are big fat lazy fish. They usually dont roam looking for food other than at night when they need to.

    For bait, whatever is in your body of water. Bluegill, chubs, suckers, shad, bullheads, small carp. A flathead will eat about anything that moves.
     
  16. Elliesgotjuggs

    Elliesgotjuggs New Member

    Messages:
    6
    State:
    kentucky
    Name:
    Ellen
    So, any tips are finding cover to fish? Just watch the depth finder? Green River Lake
     
  17. Abu65

    Abu65 Active Member

    Messages:
    601
    State:
    Kentucky
    We catch them on rod and reel with a small piece of night crawler and a little hook in either ponds or small creeks.
     
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  18. Aceoky

    Aceoky Member

    Messages:
    73
    State:
    Western Ky
    Name:
    Jim
    Welcome to the forum Ellen!
     
  19. Abu65

    Abu65 Active Member

    Messages:
    601
    State:
    Kentucky
    If you can find structure on your depth finder and position your boat to fish it, it will be in your favor. You can go to KDFWR web page and they have GPS coordinates for fish structures for several lakes and I do know that Green river lake is one of them.
     
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