Catfish Angler Forum at USCA banner

Best bait for Flathead catfish?

9798 Views 54 Replies 44 Participants Last post by  cathunter28
Is It Normal For Big Flats To Hit Cut Shad ,because I Was Always Lead To Believe That Flats Only Hit Live Bait Can Any One Please Help.

U.s.m.c. Alumni
God Bless


Catch Pictures Eat

Eat What You Keep.
1 - 20 of 55 Posts
It has been my experience that flats will hit fresh cut or fresh dead whole bait as well as live. I caught my biggest flathead on a bluegill head, it weighed 63 1/2lbs.
Was it on pink line?
It don't matter, if there hungery they will eat it. Fresh cut bait or live bait is always best though.
i have never caught a flathead on anything dead. the weirdest thing i caught one on was a whole nightcrawler. it was only 3#. i have heard of several guys doing it but i preffer live. there a predator by nature.
Flatheads will hit cut bait or whole dead bait as long as it is freshly dead. I have caught a slew of flats on whole or cut shad as well as perch that have died on the hook but I continued using it since I was low on bait. I will not cut up or scale my live bait as some brothers here will do...I prefer to let it swim naturally and would rather it stay alive longer than it will with a few extra cuts made in it. If my bait is already dead...well then I'll slice a few vent holes in it to make it bleed and to allow those natural juices ooze out....hopefully making the dead offering easier to find since it no longer emits any electrical signature that catfish use to help them find their live prey. I also believe that if you're fishing in current that the flapping action you get with a piece of dead bait helps the cats find your bait due to the vibrations it puts off.
Gone fishin 4 kittys said:
Was it on pink line?


I know of people who swear by cut shad for flatheads. I've heard of 50lbers hitting dead baits, but it's never worked for me.
I'm new to catfishing (2 months) and haven't caught any big ones - yet. But the only two flatheads I have caught in my local lake were one 2.5#er on a piece of fatty ham, and a 7#er last Sunday morning on a wad of night crawlers.

I'm still learning how to present live baits for the big boys, but in my experience the little ones aren't much different from smaller channels or blues.
Hey Bank Catter you caught a flatty on worms. Never heard of that? Especially a 7lber. Good catch no matter what. WTG
I caught a 15 pound flathead on cutbait and a friend caught a 25 pound flathead with 3 nightcrawlers.
i,ve had flatheads hit and catch almost every kind of bait you can think of the onlything they didn't take to was liver, i think it dosen't matter what kind of bait you use as long as you are in the right location at the right time with the bait they are wanting to bite on!!!!!!!!!!! :006: :0a26:
My brother caught his fifty two pounder on a suncured garlic chicken liver and a shrimp on the same hook? :confused: We couldn't believe it, but usually they will hit live baits like shad,blue gills, and if you are going for really big ones, you might want to even try a carp.(foot long) ;)
first one i ever caught was on a big fat nightcrawler too. its live bait. they say in some articles ive read that juvinile flats eat worms crayfish and often scour the rocky bottoms for larve.

an old timer at clinton lake i talk to at the discharge caught a 51# on a small shad piece. to this day he thinks a drum or something was picking at it and the flayhead rushed up and gulped it along with his hook. well never know for sure. its good conversation wondering though. ;)
Hey guys I think that most of us will agree that a flathead will eat anything they can wrap there lips around, but prefer live prey. I belive that a flattie is gonna take an easy meal if he's hungry and it presents its self. Heck We've all done the same thing. on the couch watchin the ball game and Ya get hungry..... Ya really want a ham sammich but that means gettin up, goin to the kitchen, gettin out all that stuff, puttin it all back, back to the livin room, sit down......what a hassle when there is a bag of chips right here......crunch,crunch,crunch...... Good luck and good fishin Brad
In the earlier months of the year I see lots of 20 - 30 - 40 lb and bigger even flatheads caught on a big ol' gob of nightcrawlers. I sometimes use them...but prefer perch because the freaking drum will drive you nuts using worms.
I have caught flats on several different cut baits such as shad,skipjack,bluegills,mackeral and creek chubs. My 2 biggest this year were both on bluegill heads. I stilll prefer live baitfish when fishing for flatheads but when they are not hitting the live stuff, I'll go to cut baits.
My bigest falt came on a live shiner but i have caught them on cut bait as well but they seem to hit the freash cut bait much better than a frozen cut bait.
J.W . are you going to let Josh get away with that? and are you doing any good Fishing. :p

BIGCAT GarryEads
I usally start out with live on a couple rigs & cut on 1 rig. They seem to prefer cut during the daylight hours here in the creek bottom. And whole/live during the night.
1 - 20 of 55 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.