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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When fishing for flatheads, are you guys using your reels clickers and letting the fish run or do you leave the clicker off? Reason I ask is because I had alot of short runs last weekends that were over before I could get to the rod and was wondering if the clicker on was the wrong approach.
 

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I like to use the clickers,, but, I also try and keep an eye on the rods,, Sometimes you'll get a fish messing with the bait subtly, so as not to run the clicker,,That can be a catfish.
But, usually,, I've found,, that if you're getting little zips and zings, then a drop,, it's Stripers, LM or SM bass,,etc,,,, not catfish..
Just my experience,,,
I use the clickers about 100%,, just because,, but, if something starts messing with the rig,, then I will turn it off and pick up the rod/reel, and Feel what's going on..
 

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Clicker on is a must for me and for many, sometimes some of those runs is just the current moving the bait a bit, kind of hard to tell if it's a real or false alarm

When that happens to me, I get the rod out of the holder and feel the line for a few minutes, if it clicks again, I reel down again and leave it for another bit

When you have a run, most of the time it's extremely noticeable

Just don't do what my buddy did when he had his first flathead run, fish picked up the bait and took about 10 yards of line, so instead of him running for the rod, he stood there in shock and I had to yell at him to have him snap out of it :)
 

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Also, it might be a 24lb log ;)

Yes it did happen to me my first time I went out for flatheads lol

I was excited, thought I had a behemoth and it turned out to be a stupid log, it somehow crashed with the 10/0 kahle and went for a ride downstream lol
 

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Some of those little click sort runs may also be the bait itself. If you have a healthy gill, tilapia, or even goldfish like we got from that guy at Mainline, they can pull your drag a little sometimes especially if something scares them or is close to them that they want to get away from. It is not always short bites, it can also be the bait itself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Some of those little click sort runs may also be the bait itself. If you have a healthy gill, tilapia, or even goldfish like we got from that guy at Mainline, they can pull your drag a little sometimes especially if something scares them or is close to them that they want to get away from. It is not always short bites, it can also be the bait itself.
Makes sense. I did notice that right before my flat hit my bait started bouncing around.
 

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Some of those little click sort runs may also be the bait itself. If you have a healthy gill, tilapia, or even goldfish like we got from that guy at Mainline, they can pull your drag a little sometimes especially if something scares them or is close to them that they want to get away from. It is not always short bites, it can also be the bait itself.
If I have bait big enough to run the clicker,, I'll engage the spool, and back the drag off just enough to handle local current, and bait,,
As Brian mentioned, sometimes bait can aggravate your "rest" ,,LOL

but, I can listen to the "type" of click I'm getting, and tell if I'm getting, trash, ,, snagged up while the boat oscillates a bit,,, non-catfish, etc..
When a big Cat gets on,, there's Usually no doubt!!!
 

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Right on Greg......... Sorry I missed you at the river?

Got to have the clicker on..... and in free spool most of the time if the current is not so forcefull... if so... got to engage and make adjustments to drag as needed...


All said and done.. not good to do in the ocean... with big fish, but you got to do what ya got to do..




If I have bait big enough to run the clicker,, I'll engage the spool, and back the drag off just enough to handle local current, and bait,,
As Brian mentioned, sometimes bait can aggravate your "rest" ,,LOL

but, I can listen to the "type" of click I'm getting, and tell if I'm getting, trash, ,, snagged up while the boat oscillates a bit,,, non-catfish, etc..
When a big Cat gets on,, there's Usually no doubt!!!



.
 

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Another thing that can happen especially during the spawn is just the flathead moving the bait and not actively taking it. I had this happen quite a bit of times and other anglers also noticed this problem last month when the flats were into the spawn along the Palo Verde. The flats during this time and period will just mouth the bait and move it away from where the nest is or where they want to rest. They do not eat actively during this period. Watch your line sometimes and you will see it cruise to the left or to the right a bit and then stop. That is likely a flat that moved the bait. But depending on where you are at it can be a lot of variables. Turtles can mess with your bait, trash, etc. Like mentioned before you can tell if it is a fish, trash, turtle, or just the bait itself. Generally when it is the bait itself you will see the rod bending like the gills is doing it and then a short run. That is likely the bait being scared so get ready a flat may slam it shortly. Trash is like a slow run and you see your line and rod with a slight bend moving to the left or right along with the current. Mainly when a flat want it small or big it will take it without a doubt instead of playing with it. You will also see a more bend rod or more movement in your rod tip. Turtles will constantly tap your bait, you can really tell if you place your finger on the line and you will feel the short tap taps. You can pull in your bait and see it gutted out or the head messing - notorious with goldfish - the smaller grade one.
 

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i use my clicker faithfully. may be false and check like stated before so check. some places you can lock reel and using circle hook, let them hook. different strokes for different places. but love to hear the ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzz as that line goes out.
gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Great info guys. I have been using circle hooks and in theory leaving the reel in gear would cause the fish to hook itself. However, I like hearing the clicker go off. When flylining a liver for channels, I do leave the reel in gear. Only bad thing about that, I have lost a few rods when digging in the cooler for a cold one. I'm going to head down to the IV this weekend and fish so this info is great to have.
 

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Love the clickers. For flats to me it's a must. for channels not so much, they tend to easily hook themselves. I love the sound of the zzzzz, zzzzzz, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
 

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If I Am Fishing In Calm Water, I Love The Clicker. But When Fishing In Current, If
You Don't Get To The Rod Quickly You Will Have A Huge Belly In The Line, And When
You Try To Set, All You Will Be Doing Is Pulling All That Slack. I've Lost Several Fish
In This Manner. As Much As I Love That Sound, I Now Fish In Gear With Circle Hooks
And My Success Rate Has Gone Up Dramaticaly.
 

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Sounds like you have the catching down good....

Question for you... do you use additional items on the pole to help with the catching of fish..?.

Do you use bells on the pole and how about the calumine lites.... are they used at night?...



If I Am Fishing In Calm Water, I Love The Clicker. But When Fishing In Current, If
You Don't Get To The Rod Quickly You Will Have A Huge Belly In The Line, And When
You Try To Set, All You Will Be Doing Is Pulling All That Slack. I've Lost Several Fish
In This Manner. As Much As I Love That Sound, I Now Fish In Gear With Circle Hooks
And My Success Rate Has Gone Up Dramaticaly.
 

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also if you fishing strong current , you can loop the line over the reel this will help with the current setting of the clicker orr adjust your drag to super low just enough to hold bottom in the current..........also if you find a belly or sag in your line just chase the slack befor you set the hook.

example reel in a lil line and lower your rod tip, then gently pick up your rod tip and slowly as you lift up on the rod feal for the sinker or the fish bite tha weight of it any way then drop your tip and reel a lil more slack outa your line and then rip his lip off !!!!!

also if you hate the non adjustable clickers then try out the bait runners it's and open face reel with a bait clicker and second drag to help fisht the current gl guys
 

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If you are fishing tight to cover using the clicker is not advisable especially on the alamo. Its best to sit next to the rod and be on the look out and have glow sticks on the tip or a bell if you plan on napping even. However you best have the right gear and good rod holder for this. I seen rods head towards the water this way especially if its not placed at the correct angle.

With that being said though - the clicker is the way to go for me. I like to hear the unexpected screams and to dash for the rod. That is most of the fun and excitement of fishing for me - the sound of the clicker - which is why I fish with baitcasters now for the most part. Blues and flatheads.
 

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Jim I have been using glow sticks for years.. I have given them to several of the "California Boys" and down at Yuma as they are pretty cheep at a local bait shop...

The boys at Mendota use them as with all the poles that are left out while the boys are Partying, it is difficult to figure which pole is the one whose bells are ringing...

Give en a try....
 
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