Bluegill for flathead catfish bait - what types of bait presentations work

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by BIGBASS3638, Dec 16, 2005.

  1. BIGBASS3638

    BIGBASS3638 New Member

    Messages:
    33
    i live in nebraska. at what water temp do the flathead become most active? i like to use bluegils as bait. what typs of presentation works best for canal flatheads? any info would be grait!!!!!!!
     
  2. river scum

    river scum New Member

    Messages:
    3,474
    State:
    hooterville indiana
    i use gills for flats, because they are the easiest bait for me to get. they are also plenty hardy on the hook. i start my fishing in the spring when the water hits 45-50* and stop in the fall at same temps.
    i anchor them with 3-4 oz. tire wieghts (pics of my sinkers in the library under free lead sinkers) on a slip rig. 7/0 hook, hooked just above the anal fin, if the current isnt too strong. if water is flowing fast hookum in the fore head. if you have a non flowing water situation a large float mite be the ticket! in that case i would hookum just behind the dorsil fin.

    good luck to you bigbass!
     

  3. Bayoubear

    Bayoubear New Member

    Messages:
    425
    State:
    near that hellhole dallas
    amen to the gills. i still curse the fact all my life i swore it was illegal to use them here for bait. last year i learned better and am so glad i did. its illegal to net or trap gills for bait (except toledo bend res.) but any gill caught by hook and line is okay for bait.
     
  4. Ohio_River_Rat

    Ohio_River_Rat New Member

    Messages:
    194
    State:
    Charlestown, Indiana
    River Scum, is it legal to use gills in Indiana. I still do it but ive always heard it illegal to use game fish for bait. I also couldn't find anything sayin otherwise in the Indiana Fishing Guide.
    THanks
     
  5. tncatfishing

    tncatfishing New Member

    Messages:
    916
    State:
    clk. tn
    For presentation I use a heavy duty swivel with two leaders coming off of it one that isthree feet long to a weight in the 2 to 4 oz size and the other line about two to three feet long witha circle hokk through the nose or the very front of the eyes. Gives the bait plenty of free movement and off the bottom. You can also cut part of the tail off for more of a wounded fish presentation.
     
  6. ryang

    ryang Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,338
    State:
    Blacklick, Ohio
    Name:
    Gary
  7. dinkbuster1

    dinkbuster1 New Member

    Messages:
    2,272
    State:
    Ohio
    i personally dont like using gills till the water is above 60 degrees. between 45 and 60 ive found it best to use stoneroller suckers,chubs, or shiners because they are more active in cooler water. i wont use a gill past october around here but it all depends on your areas water temp. hook your gills no deeper than a half inch or so under the back fin, if you do you risk puncturing their air bladder. also avoid the spine.
     
  8. jrm11

    jrm11 New Member

    Messages:
    92
    State:
    Fairmont, W Va.
    Gills are my personal favorite !!

    For one i use nothing but gills bigger than my hand.
    Hook behind dorsal fin.
    (1 -2 oz.) slip weight

    "use chub's few times, catch mostly channels"
    honestly dont know why that is ?
     
  9. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    I do believe in most states you can use any fish that you legally catch for bait..
     
  10. DeerHunter01

    DeerHunter01 New Member

    Messages:
    2,113
    State:
    Kentucky
    The key word here is (Most Active)

    Anytime you go thru a winter time slump and the Flatheads don't feed, once water temps get to around 52* they start coming out of the winter holes, and they start feeding heavy, I have found that at this time of year, like in the Ohio River near Wheeling WV to Pittsburgh area this is around May 2nd to May 5th the become very active. But they do seem to still stay close to there wintering holes. During the day time they seem to stack up in deep water close to a sand bar or structure in shallow water awaiting evening to fall so they can come out of the deep and feed on the bait fish in the warmer water. This time of year is when we seem to do very good on large Flatheads. So on the North Eastern side of the United States I would say start hunting in May from the 1st on and you should see some very good results. If you can find a Island that seems to do the best on the southern end at the beginning of the year where a big sand bar runs out, in about 2-6 feet of water.

    Now this same basic thing should work in almost all states, If you keep a close eye on water temps down around 10-15 foot and when they hit 52* and above you should have active Flatheads.

    Blue gills are great bait for Flatheads in the early spring but I did see someone above mention Chubs, Large Creek chubs move first in the early spring in most waters, and that is a great bait to start out with. If you can find Chubs in the area of 6 to 10 inches you should be set to go. As the season progresses it seems its better with the bluegill. Alot of times in the spring its best to try cut bait of any sorts. Man when them Flatheads go to feed up after wintering up they seem to tear into about anything.

    I have used 40 Pound test line the past two years with a no roll slip sinker and a bead. to a swivel then come off of it with a 50# or 80 # Mono Leader to a 10/0 Big River hook or a 10/0 Kahle hook. I have found that I am liking the kahle hook a little bit better then the Big river hook for hook ups with fish.

    And then I use either cut bait or a live bluegill or Creek Chub or even a bullhead catfish.

    There is alot of members on here and they all have there own way to work something, I can tell you if you do take any advise from this web site you will not go wrong !! most of these guys that get into the fishing here on this board seem to all catch fish, no one is better then anyone else. And this year I am hoping I luck out and park right above a 100 pound flathead thats really hungry..lmao

    Good luck and hope some of these posts help you out some

    I have posted a couple of photos of my rig for you to view, I hope this will give you some Idea, Also I am posting a bait fish that my son used last spring, a 17 inch Drum in the Ohio river this fish sat all afternoon and evening and around 2AM his rod took off and was bent double, he hooked the fish for about one to two minutes and lost the battle, the flathead did not have the fish all the way into his mouth yet but it was like pulling against a brick wall that was moving the other way. and this is what his bait looked like after he lost the fish.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. DeerHunter01

    DeerHunter01 New Member

    Messages:
    2,113
    State:
    Kentucky
    I would like to add to this some, on location of the fish, If your fishing out of a boat it always helps to go out about two hours prior to your fishing best times and check your fish finder over some of these areas and try to target these Flatheads. One thing you can do is after locating what you feel is a flathead or a group of Flatheads don't go back over it much more but then start looking for some type of shallow water from the hole you have located him in or sand bars. or Structure.

    This here will make your evening better once this is known to the fishermen. if you have a targeted fish and a shallow location or structure where you feel this fish will head to its best parking the boat on the edge of the drop off and half the side of the boat is in shallow water and the other half on the drop off, Place bait on down where the drop off starts to come up one on the side about half way up. one right at the ridge of it and one up into the shallow area, this will insure that the fish as he is coming up will come over your bait. If you have waited Flatheads work a location they will cover some major area to get to the food location, and they will circle this area several times during the evening and night time.

    I start out about 4Pm in the afternoon during the spring time and try and be set up by 6PM on the location I want to fish for them, And I will stay at this location until around 10Pm before moving, you will know right away just as dark falls if your set up right or not..

    Now for Bank Fishing , I did this alot too, I would always get one of my Buddy's to take me out with a depth finder or some type of fish finder and look for this same area and then put it into my GPS and come back to the closest location that I can get to it with my poles from the bank.. I am sure you know someone that owns a boat that can take you out for a few hours, Plus I use alot of River maps and try to fish the inside of the bends where the current hits the bank above and below.
     
  12. jrm11

    jrm11 New Member

    Messages:
    92
    State:
    Fairmont, W Va.
    Appreciate the info dh !
    Im from wv and there's a few flats here and there !
    Hope to use your advice next season.

    Wish i could say i had those flats figured out but then i would be lying ! lol
    "also like your rig"
     
  13. river scum

    river scum New Member

    Messages:
    3,474
    State:
    hooterville indiana
    yes its legal bro. it states that any legaly caught fish that meets the size catch and possession limits can be used for bait, accept for carp and gizzard shad. read bait fish and crayfish on page 7.
     
  14. the_nis

    the_nis Member

    Messages:
    360
    State:
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Hey DH, where can get a good river map at? I read that you use them to locate good spots and I'd like to get my hands on one of them.
     
  15. Pennsylvaniacatchaser

    Pennsylvaniacatchaser Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,359
    State:
    Sarver, Pa
    DeerHunter01 - Great posts! I think it's awesome the way everyone here is willing to share their information. I know I certainly appreciate it! I have a couple of questions for you. 1) I have never used the no roll sinker, what is the advantage of this sinker compared to an egg sinker of the same size? 2) I see you prefer the 10/0 kahle hook, I too really like the kahle. My question is do you use the 10/0 for all bait sizes or do you use a smaller size like a 7/0 or 8/0 when using say 7" Bluegill for bait. 3) next question concerns the use of a 80# leader coming off the 40# main line. What advantage does this bring to the rig, is it for abrasion resistance in snaggy water? 4) my last question is do you ever use a 3 way rig with a lighter line going to the sinker when fishing snag infested water, if so how would you set your rig up? Thanks a lot! I'm after the Pennsylvania Flathead record in 2006! All the great information on here certainly helps out my goal! :D
     
  16. TXBlueHunter

    TXBlueHunter New Member

    Messages:
    231
    State:
    Flower Mound, Texas

    You have to watch this.

    I know there are a few states that do not allow any game fish to be used as bait. Here in Texas you can not even use the guts of a game fish for bait. However, bluegill and other sunfish are not game fish. Crappie, bass, catfish (not bullhead), and most other major fish are game fish and can not be used as bait, that goes for any part of the fish, dead or alive.

    Not sure what the other states are but I know there are more that have kind of the same regs for game fish as bait.
     
  17. balddaddy91

    balddaddy91 New Member

    Messages:
    185
    State:
    East Liverpool,Oh
    Prefer Bluegills
    :0a22: :0a22:
     
  18. Drum Andersen

    Drum Andersen New Member

    Messages:
    221
    State:
    Nebraska
    I like creek chubs and green sunfish on a 3 way rig.
     
  19. mandisue13

    mandisue13 New Member

    Messages:
    844
    State:
    louisiana
    I grew up on a canal that leads to Lake Bistineau in NW Louisiana. On the Canal or even in the lake itself we could just use small lead sinkers and a bobber. For bait we could use anything from night crawlers to bream or the gills. We even went as far as using soft dog food for bait. When it was real hot in the summer we would fish in the boat house. We would take either really smelly rotton blue cheese and bait up the hole, some cotton seed meal, or some cans of dog food with holes in it. Then we would start fishin around dark and all night long catch cats. My dad had a system set up in the boat house where if we got a fish, it would ring a bell and we had the intercom system set up and we would hear it if we were not down there. LOL. Caught many a fish like that. That worked good also when tight lining. Good luck!
     
  20. FlatGetter

    FlatGetter New Member

    Messages:
    196
    State:
    Illinois
    I think DeerHunter01 has more experience and his advice is better. I dont fish canals but the warmer the water temp. is the more flatheads eat.