Bullhead Catfish for Flathead Catfish bait

Discussion in 'LOCAL PENNSYLVANIA TALK' started by Fishing Addict, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. Fishing Addict

    Fishing Addict Member

    Messages:
    200
    State:
    Spring Church, Pa
    Any of yins ever use bullheads for flats here in Pa? I've read that they're good bait in other parts of the country, but wasent sure about here. Ive had good luck with gills but at times bullhead would be easier to get than a dozen good sized gills. Just wonderin if anyone has used them and if so if theyd had any luck with them:confused2::wink:
     
  2. lendog

    lendog New Member

    Messages:
    2,141
    State:
    berks, PA
    i personally haven't used any bullheads yet, i have a couple good spots to catch 20-30 sunnies and gills in an hour so thats what i stick with, some members around here have used bullheads with success, i would like to throw a few trout in my bait tank once trout season starts and use them for bait, but if i do come across some nice 7-10 inch bullheads while bait catchin they'll be in my bait bucket:wink:
     

  3. Pip

    Pip New Member

    Messages:
    1,670
    State:
    pa
    Might be giving them a try this year. the one river I fish is loaded with them. Easy pickings for the most part. When I head out to Morgantown for the Cabela's tourney i'm gonna have them with me. Talked to a gentleman who has been using them out there and doing real good the last couple years.
     
  4. Pennsylvaniacatchaser

    Pennsylvaniacatchaser Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,360
    State:
    Sarver, Pa
    I have wanted to try Bullheads for a long time but don't have easy access to them. I know of a few lakes that have them but it comes down to spending the evening trying to catch them or getting some quick Gills and heading to the river. I do hope someday this year though to give them a try. I have a In-Fisherman Flathead DVD and Doug Stange & Steve Hoffman use the Bullheads with great success! :cool2:
     
  5. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    Not a Yin, but I have some input on bullhead catfish for flathead bait. I, myself, year back used to mainly stick with the traditional flathead baits of sunfish. Grew up fishing the Wabash, White, and Ohio targeting flats using sunfish. Heck, that's what everyone suggested and that's what I used.

    Until I grew up and the invention of the world wide web. Everywhere all over the country from Ohio, Missouri, Alabama, and West Virginia, guys were speaking highly of how bullheads are great bait for BIG flatheads. I doubted the effectiveness of bullheads for monster flatheads until one August night in 2005. I was fishing a little catfish derby and the night before, it rained and the creeks where I get my bait was washed out and the only thing that could be caught were 5 to 8 inch bullheads. I fished with sunfish from 7PM to midnight with only a 10lber to show for. By 1 am we were out of sunfish and only had 3 bullheads that I reluctantly threw into the baitbucket just for emergency situations. In desperation, I put one on a hook and 20 minutes later caught a 27lber and it was enough to take first prize.

    So yes, bullheads work! Using bullheads will not get you many bites, but when you do, you know it's gonna be a nice one. My only suggestion is to only use big bullhead like the 1 and 2 pounders during the summer time. Give it a try, and you will be surprised what you drag on the bank.
     
  6. ste6168

    ste6168 New Member

    Messages:
    622
    State:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I have used them a couple times here and there. Like others have said I have no real access to them and the only time I use them is when I "accidentally" catch one while fishing for gills. I have had hookups with them, but never caught anything great. I guarantee if you know of a lake/pond that has abundant amount of them, using them in the 3 rivers would be great!
     
  7. readingcatfisher

    readingcatfisher New Member

    Messages:
    3,748
    State:
    Berks coun
    I'm gonna try to get some bullheads for us Lenny any bait I get is yours you know that also if I catch any more river chubs them bad boys are gonna get the red carpet treatment to try to keep them alive perch rock bass all little stuff goes in the bucket:wink:
     
  8. Fishing Addict

    Fishing Addict Member

    Messages:
    200
    State:
    Spring Church, Pa
    I can catch them when Im crappie fishin same with gills during the day before I go after flats a night Or get the during a rain before work during the week, with the bait tank up and runnin I can stock up during the week and concentrate on flats on the weekend not worring about getin a few baits each day:wink:
     
  9. Pip

    Pip New Member

    Messages:
    1,670
    State:
    pa
    I'm going to have to look for an article I read the other month if I can find it. The guy was saying that the small bullheads( I also call them mudcats) will swim right up to the flatheads. The guy was saying it almost seemed like the baby bullheads were looking at the flathead as a protector or part of the family of sorts. I guess to an extent there could be logic to it. I'm gonna have to try to find the article, like I said. If I can find it I'll pass it a long. It was a good read.

    I'm definitely no authority of flatheads, as I've never really fished for them. Locally we just never had them. Only caught my first flathead last year while fishing the susky. Then caught several more this past January above Conowingo Dam at the warm water discharge. But there have been reports of them showing up in the upper Potomac close to me the last couple years. This is also the waters that are over run with the mudcats that I was talking about.

    Got one question you guys might be able to answer. Eels. I know the blue cats will hammer live eels about a foot long. Ever heard of the Flatheads chomping down on them?
     
  10. jolie

    jolie New Member

    Messages:
    828
    State:
    PA
    wouldn't know but I have two comments 'bout this...

    first, a baby flatheads looks a heck of alot LIKE a baby flathead. Perhaps, people observing these fish don't know tween baby flats and bullheads... OR maybe just the big flats were feeling motherly and decided not to chomp on these little guys for fear that they WERE baby flats.:smile2:

    but then again, maybe these guys got no bigger than babies for a reason:smile2::smile2::smile2:

    as for bullheads for bait; its been done and is mentioned from time to time. I rather doubt that the idea isn't a good one as much as it has been mentioned. I think IMHO, Flats must be generally dangerous to the health of a nearby bullheads or bullheads would never be mentioned so often (as flathead bait).

    bullheads just seem to weather buckets real good, and mine are always alive.. hours and hours after I catch them; even with no aeration and even with larger individuals. that would be the appeal of bullheads:wink:
     
  11. kenlaw76

    kenlaw76 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,323
    State:
    S.E. Pa.
    I was thinking the same Pip. The only thing I don't know about is thos suckers snaggin you up every cast. I was thinking about using them from a boat on a slip float. Set that bad boy 2 feet off the bottom and get ready. You have to figure that the eels and flats share the same habitat and have to cross paths. I have to say though, I haven't caught any eels at my Flathead spots.
     
  12. Pip

    Pip New Member

    Messages:
    1,670
    State:
    pa
    Think I might play around with it this year. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I got pretty good access to eels.. and bullheads. Do a couple marathon trips and find out.:smile2:
     
  13. DIESELkat

    DIESELkat New Member

    Messages:
    1,931
    State:
    PA
    Like most Westerners have said, the real problem with them is catching them. Ive used them a few times, but only when I happened to catch them while getting other bait. If I could catch them more regularly I would use them without hesitation. Like Jason said, they live forever and arent floatin by the time I get to the river. The only down side that Ive seen with the few times Ive used them is they WILL find anything they can get to and snag you up, unlike dumb pond gills that forgot they arent the top of the food chain.
     
  14. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P

    The only eels will catch you is nice big ROCK or SNAGG:confused2:. I've used them striper fishing. Same technique and equipment. As soon as that eel hits the water is head to the bottom and wedge itself in any rock or nook and cranny. This is only a warnng and will save much heartbreak and plenty of tackle:wink::smile2:
     
  15. Fishing Addict

    Fishing Addict Member

    Messages:
    200
    State:
    Spring Church, Pa
    Dont have to many eels on the west side, Ive only seen one get caught bout ten years ago. As far as using them for bait I dont see why they wouldnt work if you could keep em out of the snags.
     
  16. jolie

    jolie New Member

    Messages:
    828
    State:
    PA
    IS THERE eels on the west side??:tounge_out:

    Someone said there were eels in Lake Erie, but I have never seen an eel...
     
  17. Fishing Addict

    Fishing Addict Member

    Messages:
    200
    State:
    Spring Church, Pa
    I was fishin with a freind bout 10 yrs ago below lock #7 on the allegheny and he caught one on a nightcrawler, probably 30". That was the only one I've ever seen. Thought it was a snake at first till we saw it had pectorial fins.
     
  18. readingcatfisher

    readingcatfisher New Member

    Messages:
    3,748
    State:
    Berks coun
    I've caught one about that size on the Skuke near the Reading waste plant
     
  19. kenlaw76

    kenlaw76 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,323
    State:
    S.E. Pa.
    I know of a spot in the big D where they spawn. In the spring if you are there at the right time you can fill a 5 gal. bucket in 1 swipe of the net. I discovered this one year while going after Helgramites. They were all about 8"-10". I thought about getting some and seeing if they work for Flats. If not I will save them for Stripers.
     
  20. readingcatfisher

    readingcatfisher New Member

    Messages:
    3,748
    State:
    Berks coun
    Now I have never seen those hellgramites in the wild and I was in some prime areas for them.nasty lookin buggers fish sure seem to like em a lot a little bait shop guy was charging 15 bucks a doz. I just caught crayfish and used shrimp and crawlers and had a great night:wink: