Cheney Lake

Discussion in 'KANSAS LAKES / RESERVOIRS TALK' started by KansasKatter, Jun 27, 2006.

  1. KansasKatter

    KansasKatter New Member

    Messages:
    807
    State:
    Wichita Kansas
    OK guys, I am stuck camping at Cheney Lake this weekend. (not really stuck, it is a very nice lake and place to camp) My only problem is I wanted to do some serious flathead fishing this weekend since it was a holiday and had 4 nights to fish instead of 1 or 2.

    Here is my question, I know there are flathead in Cheney, but where? I have seen them caught in the area we camp, (Heimerman Point), by guys fishing for walleye and white bass, so I know they are there, at least the small ones. Where would the big ones be hanging out you think?

    Has anyone else even fished for flatheads in Cheney? I know it is excellent for channel cats, I caught at 12lb three weeks ago, but I want to catch a nice flathead. It might not be a bad idea as I know there is hardly nobody that would fish for them there.
     
  2. Calvin

    Calvin New Member

    Messages:
    365
    State:
    Kansas
    If I were after flatheads at Cheney this weekend I would concentrate on the upper end of the lake. The ones that haven't spawned will be looking for holes and the ones that are finishing up will still be located in that area. Look for a good willow bank with beaver activity and you'll find flatheads. Good luck.
     

  3. kccats

    kccats New Member

    Messages:
    634
    State:
    Olathe, Kansas
    I thought that flatheads did not spawn until the end of august?
    Am I having a brain fart or what?
     
  4. Calvin

    Calvin New Member

    Messages:
    365
    State:
    Kansas
    In Kansas and Oklahoma most of them are hard on the nest by the second week in June. The spawn continues through July with some starting early and some later on. Usually by August they are finished and back looking for a meal again.
     
  5. KansasKatter

    KansasKatter New Member

    Messages:
    807
    State:
    Wichita Kansas
    I think in this general area, the majority spawn later rather than sooner. I have been catching them with eggs the last couple of weekends, and the eggs are still very small on the one fish I cleaned. I would not have cleaned her if I knew she was full of eggs, that is how small they were, she did not look full at all.

    I have always noticed them spawning from the end of July to the middle of August, and the Channels spawning from middle of June to mid July. Depends a lot on the weather and water temp as well I think. Cold, wet springs seem to push them back a little bit, hot and dry they seem to go a little early.

    Thanks for the advice guys!
     
  6. kccats

    kccats New Member

    Messages:
    634
    State:
    Olathe, Kansas
    So Calvin, being that we had an unusualy warm spring, do you think they were a couple of weeks early this year? That would mean they would be on the back end right now....

    Also, won't they be really hungrey after that?

    Also, isnt next month when the gills go on their beds?
    Seems like thats the best time to go after flattys when the gills are on their beds and the flatheads would be close by.
     
  7. KansasKatter

    KansasKatter New Member

    Messages:
    807
    State:
    Wichita Kansas
    That is a great point KC, I never even thought of that. I think the spawn varies in every body of water by maybe a week or even two, depending on a variety of factors.

    I grew up on the Walnut River, and remember fishing every summer, almost every night once I was old enough to go by myself. I used to keep track of what I caught, bait used, where I caught it, moon phase, all that good stuff. One thing that was very consistant year after year, there would be a period from then end of June to the middle of July where ALL you would catch was flatheads, no channel cat hardly at all. Then you would catch both for a couple of weeks, then the end of July through the middle of August, all you would catch would be channel cats, no flatheads, even in the same holes. Then the end of August you would start to catch both again, but the flats you caught would look like they had been through a war zone, skinney and all torn up.

    I know it is probably different in the larger rivers and especially in the lakes, there is probably not a "magic" date or condition that just makes it happen. JMHO
     
  8. Calvin

    Calvin New Member

    Messages:
    365
    State:
    Kansas
    I'm not real sure when the bluegills spawn, but I think yiou're probably right KC. Kansas Katter, where did you grow up on the Walnut? That's where I grew up fishing too.
     
  9. Calvin

    Calvin New Member

    Messages:
    365
    State:
    Kansas
    Water temperature dictates when flatheads spawn more than anything. 68F is when they usually start. That means around Memorial Day you can find them in their holes. The bigger ones tend to go on a little later. Channels are usually a couple weeks ahead of flatheads. But like everything else in nature nothing is carved in stone. I've caught them in October with eggs in them still. I think these are fish that for some reason just didn't spawn. No matter what the rule there are always exceptions. High water and availability of holes can play a role too. More than two fish might use a good hole during a season and high water can cause some holes to be unusable.
     
  10. KansasKatter

    KansasKatter New Member

    Messages:
    807
    State:
    Wichita Kansas
    Calvin,

    I grew up fishing the Walnut from Just north of Douglass (home town) and just south of Rock, and the Udall area. That is the big nut, the little nut I fished from North of Douglass to almost Augusta. Fished a lot on Muddy Creek and Rock Creek as well.

    You still in the area? There is going to be an interesting catfish tournament coming up in a couple of weeks. If you want to know details let me know.
     
  11. GaryF

    GaryF New Member

    Messages:
    3,649
    State:
    O.P., KS
    I've seen a lot of pictures of big flatheads from the Walnut over the years. If I lived close by I would sure give it a go.
     
  12. KansasKatter

    KansasKatter New Member

    Messages:
    807
    State:
    Wichita Kansas
    Gary,

    I tell you what, I will take you on the Walnut, if you take me on the big rivers up by you! LOL

    The Walnut is a very good river, especially for a smaller river. It is also a great river to start kids on, as it is fairly small, and at least the style of fishing I learned, you can do a lot of wading, and find some truley secluded spots still. The way I grew up was wading the riffles with a coffey can full of river worms (not night crawlers) tossing them into holes behind overhanging trees, logs, rocks, you name it. Man I wish I was 13 again!
     
  13. Calvin

    Calvin New Member

    Messages:
    365
    State:
    Kansas
    You and I have probably crossed paths before. I have lived all my life in the Bloomington/smileyburg area and fish Muddy Creek (where I've caught my biggest flatheads), the Little Walnut & Hickory Creek (right by my place) and the Big Walnut all over, but mainly from Gordon to Augusta. I don't know how old you are, but if you're from Douglass you probably knew Garland Bare and Claude Elliott. I grew up fishing with them. I have fished Rock Creek some but it doesn't have as many good fish as the two nuts or Muddy Creek.
     
  14. KansasKatter

    KansasKatter New Member

    Messages:
    807
    State:
    Wichita Kansas
    Calvin,

    If you fished with Garland, you know my dad. Garland practically raised my dad, and taught him everything my dad knows about fishing. Garland was the best catfisherman that I have ever known, my Dad is second. I grew up fishing his pond back behind his house out on Bloomington Road. That thing had some monster cats in it! I caught a BULLHEAD that weighted 5.5 lbs for cryin' out loud. My dad and I used to also sein crawdads out of his little pond on the corner. My grandparents lived about a half mile west of Garland and Mildred. Me and my best friend used to sit on the porch and listen to Garland tell stories about he and my dad fishing. I have a ton of pictures of he and my dad with stringers of fish.

    I cut my teeth on the Muddy and Rock Creek, caught my first flathead ever (11 years old) on Hickory Creek. These were nice creeks to fish as a kid, because they were small, you could wade almost the entire creek, and had excellent catfish. I too have caught some big flatheads out of Muddy Creek, and Muddy Creek Lake. I never had a lot of luck in that stretch of the Walnut above Gordon, not sure why. Used to kill them on the stretch north of Douglass by the old dump though.

    Now I live in Wichita, a real bummer, I have been away from Douglass so long I have lost most of my holes, or it is just not convenient to drive the 40 miles each way to fish. Can't find many good places around here, everything is so heavily fished. Most my old farm ponds have changed hands so many times, you can not get permission to fish them, especially if you pull up in Sedgwick County tags to ask for permission. I would sure like to find a couple of nice farm ponds to take my 13 year old to, and my daughter when she gets old enough to hold a pole.

    Man, you brought back some nice memories, I have not thought about Garland for a long time. He was like a grandpa to me in a way.
     
  15. Calvin

    Calvin New Member

    Messages:
    365
    State:
    Kansas
    Jeff, I remember your Dad and probably have seen you. Your Dad fished with Garland and I on several occassions. You're right about how things have changed. Everytime I drive by Garland's pond I think he is probably rolling over in his grave at the thought of it. I also know the little crawdad pond well. It was the best peeler and softshell pond I've ever seen. Garland wouldn't be happy with the way "his" holes have changed. Today he wouldn't be able to just go anywhere he wanted to like we used to. I was very fortunate to grow up around Bloomington when everyone knew everyone else and I had the run of both nuts and Hickory and Muddy Creek. Those days are gone forever with all the transplants moving out here. All my old neighbors and buddies have died off and new blood with different ideas have inherited or bought the land. Even Bences has sold. I always swore the day that happened I'd leave the country and that is probably just what I'll wind up doing. Garland was the best fisherman (for any fish) I ever knew too. Claude Elliott was better at catching big fish but I never knew anyone who could consistantly out fish Garland with a fishing pole. He could catch trout (white River) and bass (farm ponds) with the best of them. When Garland and Claude passed on I lost an important part of my life. I miss them a lot. I'm sure they are both up there along side one of God's special catfish rivers. Claude is noodling a big flathead from every hole and Garland is grumbling around and catching channels as fast as he can reel them in. You brought back some very fond memories for me too Jeff. Thanks,
     
  16. KansasKatter

    KansasKatter New Member

    Messages:
    807
    State:
    Wichita Kansas
    I remember those trips he and my Dad used to take to Arkansas, even though I was only about 3 or 4 years old. They would bring back a bunch of trout and keep them in our freezer. I used to take them out and play with them in the driveway, boy did that get me some whoopins! LOL I have a picture at home of Garland sitting in the front of the boat on one of those trips.

    I was going to tell you a quick Garland story in PM, but I am sure some of the BOC members would like to hear something about one of the catfishing legends of our area. One time Garland, my Dad, and Don D. were fishing together in February. This was their favorite time to fish, and Dad still swears that February and March are the best time to catch Channel Cat. It was frikken COLD, and I do mean COLD. The line was freezing on your line if you did not move it every so often cold. Don got a bite, he was sitting to the left of Garland, my Dad to the right. Don was a BIG OL' BOY, to put it mildly. Garland was sitting all hunched over with his hands in his coat pockets, and his chin kind of tucked down in the collar of his coat. Don went to set the hook, and missed the fish, but got snagged at the same time. He was really leaning into it, pulling his rod at an angle, not really sure if it was the fish or a snag yet. Garland had not even moved and sure enough, the hook came loose and WHAP!! Don's rod went right across the bridge of Garlands nose. You could see the welt almost instantly, Garland never even flinched, he just sat there staring at his poles. Pretty soon, you could see a single tear come from his eye and trickle down his cheek. Then he started grumbling under his breath, while my Dad and Don were almost rolling on the ground laughing! His eyes were both a little black and blue the next day. I could not imagine how bad that had to hurt or sting with it being that cold. And they used to fish with those old Eagle Claw poles that were made of fiberglass I think, so you know it whacked him a good one! He was a tough old coot!

    I also remember him showing my friend and I one time, he took a one foot piece of barbed wire laying on the floor of his old metal barn and proceeded to tie it into a knot, a tight not, with no gloves on at all, and never even made a face or whinced one time!
     
  17. Calvin

    Calvin New Member

    Messages:
    365
    State:
    Kansas
    I have a lifetime of Garland stories Jeff. If a person hadn't had the honor of knowing him they might not believe most of them. He was a CHARACTER. I'd enjoy sharing some of those stories with you sometime. Like the time his house caught fire while we were coyote hunting. We saw the smoke from over on the Little Walnut and then the fire engines came sailing down the Bloomington Road. I finally convinced him to at least go check on it. When we came over his hill two or three fire trucks were there and at least a dozen neighbors helping to put out the fire which had burnt a large hole in his roof. We drove right on by and kept hunting coyotes. Garland reasoned that it was well under control and we could check on it after we had ran a couple more draws. Poor Mildred should be a saint for her good nature and even temper. When we finally did show up he was griping because she hadn't made any homemade ice cream to put on his cherry pie which, of course, she had baked him after the fire.
     
  18. kccats

    kccats New Member

    Messages:
    634
    State:
    Olathe, Kansas
    Great story's! Thanks for sharing your memories of this obviously great man.
     
  19. KansasKatter

    KansasKatter New Member

    Messages:
    807
    State:
    Wichita Kansas
    Thanks Chris,

    He was one of the greatest, not only fishermen, but human beings in general. No matter what he was doing around the farm, my friend and I would ride up on our bikes and ask him about fishing, next thing you know we are sitting on the porch with him in his chair, us on the floor, hanging on every word. Mildred, his wife ALWAYS had something hot to eat, and cold to drink. We would sit there for hours listening to him tell us how and where to fish, and stories about fishing. I know we were keeping him from his "chores", but he would still talk as long as we wanted to listen. Mildred used to tell my dad and grandpa she swore Garland was paying us to come up there, just so he could take a break and talk about fishing.

    And to ride out bikes to his house from my grandparents house was no small feat, it was about 3/4 mile, and you talk about a hill!! It don't look near as big today as it did 30 years ago, but when your 9 years old, by the time you got to the top of that hill, you were huffing and puffing, especially in the Kansas August sun! Going back was a helluva ride though, you did not have to touch the pedals once!
     
  20. janton311

    janton311 New Member

    Messages:
    654
    State:
    Wichita Kansas
    I've caught one flathead in Cheney, in the middle around a dropoff, trolling for wiper...I doubt if that helps, but thats my only experience with a flathead there...