Beginner flathead catfish

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by catfishing is fun, Dec 6, 2006.

  1. catfishing is fun

    catfishing is fun New Member

    Messages:
    545
    State:
    Missouri/Michigan
    Hi

    I am hoping to start focusing most of my fishing towards flatheads, insted of channels like usual. i have recently purchased a combo that i thought (note ive never caught a flathead) would be good for flatties.

    i have a penn 209 mounted on a 8ft MH action rod (the rod is a gander mountian brand, which i hear is good) with berkly big game 20lb line. is this a good flathead combo.

    i also need to know what to use to catch flatheads, i know they like live bait like blueguills and and bullhead. but is there a different type of bait to use for whether fishing day or night, river or lake, fast current or slow, ect.

    thanks for all the help you can give me.
    Marshall
     
  2. dafin

    dafin New Member

    Messages:
    1,461
    State:
    Manhattan,Kan
    Your outfit will work great. I mostly use live gills, shad and bullheads for bait. there are some that use cut bait for flats.I just have never caught a big flathead on cut bait.I also only use 20# line.
     

  3. superman

    superman New Member

    Messages:
    343
    State:
    DeSoto MO
    your gear is fine i use live gills or shad when targetting flatheads but have seen some caught on cut shad also (a friend caught a 42 pounder on a 1 or 2 inch shad head a few months back) as far what bait to use and when just try different things at different times
     
  4. Flatheadhunter33

    Flatheadhunter33 New Member

    Messages:
    3,764
    State:
    Yuma, Arizona
    Live gills seem to work best but I have caught flatties on cut up gill chunks as well. I have also taken gills that were already dead and stepped on them to smash 'em a little and get the juices and oils oozing out.

    In the winter I think that you'll do well to look for deep structure. In the warmer months, I look at structure (i.e. sand bars, wood piles) as well as the shallows at night. Happy hunting!
     
  5. countrycat15

    countrycat15 New Member

    Messages:
    668
    State:
    gastiona,nc
    your outfit should work perfectly and that was a good idea to go with a penn reel.
     
  6. juscatfishin

    juscatfishin New Member

    Messages:
    20
    State:
    Indiana
    For bait I like to use what is in the Flatheads environment. If bluegill are abundant that's what I use. If green sunfish are dominant I'll use them. As far as sunfish go, I do have a preference toward the green, it seems to be tougher, and more active. Big rivers I'll use Shad & herring. Carp and chub are good baits also. I haven't caught Flatheads in strong current, mostly in still water and in the breaks behind structure in moderate current situations.
     
  7. FlatGetter

    FlatGetter New Member

    Messages:
    196
    State:
    Illinois
    I personally think you need larger line. I like braid. thinner diameter w/ way less memory. If you catch channels your in there. Flatheads are mostly in the same places. In a river find the slow moving water with the most cover and if its deep thats even better. cover first deapth second current speed third. Find the best in those three you found the flatheads. Ive never heard of the rod. But I bo know you have a good well made reel. I recommend Ugly stiks. I also reccomend In Fishermen Day On the River that movie will tell you all you need to know.
     
  8. FlatGetter

    FlatGetter New Member

    Messages:
    196
    State:
    Illinois
    You also need to fish at night I fish about two hours before sunset during early season to about 11:00. In summer sunset until usually 3:00 It matters if I feel they are biting or not. Good Luck
     
  9. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,081
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    we also use live creek chubs and suckers on the upper Ohio river. Works good for us
     
  10. Flatheadhunter33

    Flatheadhunter33 New Member

    Messages:
    3,764
    State:
    Yuma, Arizona
    Something I have taken notice of here lately is that the cats tend to be a little more active during certain times of the day rather than night. My logic says that they are taking advantage of the relative warmers periods of the day. They are also staying close to structure. Has anybody else had this experience?
     
  11. musky76

    musky76 New Member

    Messages:
    24
    State:
    il
    the best bait by far you can use is a chub they are very active and the flatties love them,also suckers work just as well,they just arent as lively.Ive used gills,suckers,chubs,and other game fish and the chubs are the best.I also think you need a heavier braided line. I use power pro 80 pound and have never lost a fish because my line broke.Ive had the same line on for four years now and its still perfect.
     
  12. s_man

    s_man New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    Flats (will) be more active in the spring and fall durring the day because of the sun and warmth. Water temps near or slightly under 50 degrees.

    And yes your rig is gonna be ok for flats, you might want to go up to 30lb mono or 80lb braid though. Use whatever live bait you can catch from the body you're fishing first, after that use any kind you can catch from anywhere. As long as its live and there are flatheads you will eventually catch one. Patience is key. If you try the same spot 5 times without a run, find another cause they probabaly aren't there. Fish wood structure don't worry about depth. The fish in my avatar came from less than 3ft. of water and only 3ft off the river bank. 44lbs.
     
  13. catfishing is fun

    catfishing is fun New Member

    Messages:
    545
    State:
    Missouri/Michigan
    thanks for all the info
     
  14. FlattHunter

    FlattHunter New Member

    Messages:
    12
    State:
    ILLINOIS
    Your Set up should work great. The best thing anyone can tell you is to experiment, it is the best thing you can do, because it depends on where you fish and the conditions. GOOD LUCK!
     
  15. Denny H

    Denny H New Member

    Messages:
    59
    State:
    Missouri
    That sounds like a great combo, however I might step up the line to a 40 or 50 lb range. The very first all night trip I took I had on 30 lb P-Line, and I never even had a chance to fight the fish.
    Good Luck...
     
  16. catfish_clayton

    catfish_clayton New Member

    Messages:
    325
    State:
    Catania, Italy,
    Sounds like a nice rod and reel I suggest using a heavier line though I use 40 lb stren mono. Any type of live baitfish seems to work I use gills, chubs, and shiners but my favorite baitfish are warheads its seems like they stay alive longer. This past summer I was having alot of success catching flatties on bluegill tails and cut up carp though I always thought they only ate live bait because thats always what I read and that was what everyone told me but I guess that must just be a big misconseption. Just experiment and take in all the knowledge you can. Good luck.
     
  17. catfish_clayton

    catfish_clayton New Member

    Messages:
    325
    State:
    Catania, Italy,
    Oh yeah, I ment to mention that the cutbait I use seems like it has to be fresh to catch flatties.
     
  18. bushwack

    bushwack New Member

    Messages:
    104
    State:
    missouri
    all i use is 20 lb mono,except 1 shakespeare level wind and it has 25 lb on it,,, caught over 100 flatties this yr.
    I think, as someone said before,,, the best bait is what is in the waters you are fishing (Alive),,, thats all i use,,, in my case its shad(Mississippi River).
    You might catch em on dead or cut bait
    But Live bait increases your chances by 200% in my book.
    I wont put a dead one on and if i reel it up and its dead, I put a fresh live one on,,
    I like to see the end of my pole bobbing from the bait, thats when you know your chances are the greatest
     
  19. treddinwater

    treddinwater Active Member

    Messages:
    1,123
    State:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    If your planning on targeting them during this time of the year, I'm not going to be much of a help, but the warmer months I can give some incite to. Your baits are good, bluegills, sunfish, creek chubs, bullheads, crappies, shad (I've done my best on any of these from 3-8" in length). During the day flatheads will hang as close to cover as possible, sometimes in shallow, slow, snaggy water, sometimes in fast, deep, snaggy water. During the spawning months (May-June) try and stay in the most snag infested water you can find that is fairly slow moving and say about 4-5ft deep. Also look for undercut banks, spawning flatheads frequently use undercut banks for their beds. From late June-September my best experiences have come right before or right after dark, and really early in the morning. During the hotter months the flatheads will hold in deep water during the day and move shallower at night. Fishing shallow water adjacent to deeper water in the evening is ideal. My PB flathead came from below a dam at about 8 in the evening in a very swift current area where the depth is around 8ft. If your doing most of your fishing during the day, fishing structure in 15ft+ of water is probably your best bet. Hope this helps.
     
  20. catfishing is fun

    catfishing is fun New Member

    Messages:
    545
    State:
    Missouri/Michigan
    thanks for all the info, some thing (sort of) awsome happend today, i was at gander mountian and i found in-fishermans flathead VHS on sale for 5 bucks, i bought it, watched it, wow very informative