bottom fishing rivers with live bait.

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by gportsbaseball, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. gportsbaseball

    gportsbaseball New Member

    Messages:
    73
    State:
    ohio - Groveport
    ok i just need to know how to hook the live bait(bluegill,shiners,ect.) im fishing with, and how do i setup my line to fish the bottom with it in a river. I think i have a general idea, like put a 1 1/2 ounce slide weight 12' up my line, and 2 split shots to hold it there? would that work? i think that would leave enough room for the fish to swim freely.

    Trying to hook up with my first flathead!
     
  2. shortbus

    shortbus New Member

    Messages:
    459
    State:
    indiana
    I use a 7/0 or bigger hook, slip sinker on the line, and put ONE splitshot 12" above your hook. It should be like this, hook, 12" line, splitshot then slip sinker. This is so the slip sinker can slide way up the line so the fish does not feel the wieght. Hook gills on the top 1/4" into the meat so it doesn't kill them. Main thing for a big flatty is to have a big hook and large lively bait.
    Keep at it and don't give up, good luck.
     

  3. Rayin Virginia

    Rayin Virginia New Member

    Messages:
    17
    State:
    virginia
    I use slip sinker and a barrel swivel with a 24-30 inch braid leader the swivel stops weight from going on down the line.
     
  4. woodchucker

    woodchucker New Member

    Messages:
    128
    State:
    La Quinta,Ca
    I would also use a heavy duty barrel swivle on the rig.And depending on current I sometimes use wieghts as heavy as 6oz.Depending on bait size and current more wieght might be needed.And I would hook the bait through the face or forehead.But I have also caught alot of flatheads hooking the bait in the tail,when there is little to no current.
    Keep at it and you will soon hook up on your first flathead,a special moment in any anglers time on the water.
    I sure remember my first flathead,here it is..about 12lbs.
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v370/woodchucker/100_1300.jpg?t=1220934449
     
  5. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    Some folks do the rig where they keep the slip sinker up away from the hook with a split shot, but just remember that your line has to be heavy enough for that rig. I use 40 or 50 pound mono leaders, so I personally would not rig that way unless my line was at least 40 pound. I use 15 and 20 pound mono on my reels, so the leader is heavier.

    Everybody (just about) will tell you that you need a great big hook. You want a hook big enough to catch the fish, but it needs to be the right size for the bait. If you hook up your live bait and put it in the water and the hook is so big and heavy that it weighs the bait right down to the bottom, then it's too big! Personally, I use 4/0 to 5/0 kahle hooks for 4 to 7 inch sunfishes for baits and have never lost a fish to a straightened hook, and have a very high hook-up ratio. If you are fishing real heavy tackle and super big baits, then you will prolly need to go to bigger hooks. As long as you have most of the hook point and bend exposed after you hook on your bait, the hook is big enough.

    One other thing: I like to hook my baits in the nose to fish in current so they stay swimming into the current, which is more natural and easier on the bait. If they are hooked in the tail or back, then eventually they get tired and the current turns them around backwards - which can drown them.

    Just my 2 cents worth...
     
  6. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P

    If you are targeting flatheads, you'll need big hooks. Keep those 1 1/2 oz weights for carpifishing. Using at least 2 and up to 5 or 6 depending on the current. You can use a fishfinder rig to allow the weight to slid but I personally prefer no-roll sinkers. Lastly you will need be able to sit quietly and wait for hours for a fish to come bite and swallow your bait.

    Good luck and let us know how you do!
     
  7. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    The above methods are excellent for slow to moderate current, and where there's not a lot of danger of hanging up. For fishing swift current, or where the bottom is extremely rocky, causing frequent hangups, or where you have trouble holding bottom, I recommend a different setup. First, buy or make some 'spider' weights, which are simply heavy sinkers that have wire prongs molded into the bottom, creating a small grappling hook. Rather than a Carolina type rig, you'll want to use a 3-way, using either a 3-way swivel, or regular swivels. Attach the weight with a light line so that when you get a bite or want to reel in, you can break the line. If you have trouble casting a heavy weight without breaking such a light line, check our library for how to make a 'sinker sacrificer'. You can make your leader from the swivel to the hook any length you want, but somewhere around 24" is a good length to start; you can always go to a longer or shorter one if you like. Also, adding a small float near the swivel can help to keep the bait up off the bottom a little bit, but again, that's a personal decision, and not absolutely necessary. You'll want to hook the baitfish through both lips to keep it from spinning, and to keep it alive. This type of rig is used a lot below dams and powerhouses here in central Arkansas.
     
  8. gportsbaseball

    gportsbaseball New Member

    Messages:
    73
    State:
    ohio - Groveport
    ill take everyones methods and advice into consideration, but i think i have a general idea now! thanks.