Can't Find Flathead Catfish

Discussion in 'LOCAL ILLINOIS TALK' started by SPowell, Jun 1, 2006.

  1. SPowell

    SPowell New Member

    Messages:
    20
    State:
    Illinois
    I can't seem to catch a single flathead catfish. I have been getting out fishing at 3 and 4 AM, trying the Fox River, Illinois River, Multiple Lakes, and nothing but channel cats. I look for log jams, and fish the dams, but nothing. I've been using bluegill, cut and live, and cut shad. What am I doing wrong? I've used weight, and a swivel, and just let it sit on the bottom, I've done bottom bouncers, I've done slip bobbers at multiple depths. Any advice, or any spots I should be hitting up? I fish around the Plainfield Illinois area. Thanks for any help!
     
  2. Graywolf

    Graywolf New Member

    Messages:
    136
    State:
    Peru, IL.
    Sean, sounds to me you are doing everything right. haven't caught many Flatheads, one last year and he hit a shad pocket on the Illinois at Ottawa at 12:30 in the afternoon. He weighed 12 lbs. and is the biggest fish I have ever caught. The experts say you have to fish at night with live bait to catch flatties. I don't know maybe so. You are catching Channels so hang in there and one will come along.
    I wouldn't change anything you are doing, maybe a larger bait????

    Good luck.
     

  3. Redd

    Redd New Member

    Messages:
    790
    State:
    Southeast Kansas
    If you've got a boat, I'd hit big snags in the daytime. Look at the post called "daytime logjam flatheads." There's a video under one of the posts in it. Watch that video and you'll have an idea of what to do.

    -Red
     
  4. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,227
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    pack up your gear and head to the Rock River. Its well known for its flatheads.
     
  5. Driver

    Driver New Member

    Messages:
    23
    State:
    Illinois
    Wolfman is right on about the Rock being known for flats.

    A couple of others that aren't so well known are the Spoon and Mackinaw. Access is an issue on either as state areas on them are few and far between. Pretty much left to bridge jumping or getting to know the local farmer and gaining access that way. Another good lake for flats is Powerton south of Pekin. I have seen 60#+ flats come from all three of these waters. On the Spoon and the Mackinaw my recipe for success has been a fresh killed chub on a slip rig in front of laydowns. Some laydowns are more "flatty" than others. Don't ask me how you can tell as I don't really know myself. Just something about the look, access to deep water, isolation from other laydowns and proximity to upstream riffles. Sure enough if you don't hook a flat, you can also hook into some nice blues or channels at a given laydown. If so, just move on down to the next and keep up the quest. Also, seems I have had near equal success on flats no matter if day or night fishing though I try to avoid straight up midday.

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. Shawn

    Shawn New Member

    Messages:
    408
    State:
    Illinois
    Hi Sean...

    what part of the fox are you fishing?

    i fish some between Elgin and St Charles, and there are certainly flats in there. i'm occasionally catching smaller ones up to around 10#...

    Look for wood cover in 4-6 feet of water and toss a live bluegill right in there. Just in front of the snag, in the middle and towards the inside.... and hold on!

    I think live baits best for the fox.

    Shawn
     
  7. SPowell

    SPowell New Member

    Messages:
    20
    State:
    Illinois
    Thanks fellas. You always give good advice. We'll see what this weekend holds. Good luck to all of you as well.