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Day Time Flathead Catfish

4197 Views 27 Replies 24 Participants Last post by  Shawn
Could anyone give me any tips on fishing for flats in the day time, I have a boat so location is not a problem. I'm fishing the mon river in PA and the water temps are starting to go down
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I've beeen fishing the Ohio River from the 43 mile marker in East Liverpool, Oh down just passed the New Cumberland by Toronto, Oh. Back in May early June the best times for me was 4 AM till about 8 AM and and again about 3 hours before dark till 2 hours after dark. With the cooler water temps just around the corner my GUESS would be that it waould be about the same on the cut bait for the Tabby Cats.

"Join in the pursuit"!
they are pretty scaterd now in my rivers. just have to move around ,fish deep and shallow cover. you will figure out a pattern in a few trips. if posible go when the river is rising to up your odds!

good luck bro.
Good luck Dude, I've never done any good in the daytime. All my Flatties seem to come between 10 pm and 2 am. I love a good Catfight.
i catch them in the daytime.
deep-shaded holes work well for me.
I have caught tons of cats in the daytime, mostly in the deeper or shaded areas and shallows at night.
All my flathead have came in the daylight. Although I don't catch many. When I do catch them it's always in a hole.
Either find a nice deep hole, or go find some timber.
Cut bait for daytime flats. I always start with dead bait in the day because they arent "actively hunting". Then as soon as night falls straight to live bait. Find deep shaded holes and fish as close to the cover as possible.
I usually use 2" to 4" punkinseeds as my choice bait, I rig up useing a three way swivel with 4 pound test hooked to a 3 ounce sinker and only about 4" leader to the hook.l so if i snag up i can just break off the sinker, this is important because i fish a medium sized river almost weekly for flats in the middle of the day and the trick is to find the deepest darkest cover and drop your bait right in the middle of it. Your going to go thru a ton of sinkers and quite a few hooks :cursing: , but its worth it. Make sure your using stout gear when fishing this way i use a 8' heavy action rod and at least 40 pound line, i prefer spiderwire, last is the hook i'm a firm believer in circle hooks but this type of fishing in my opinion requires a good old heavy guage J hook, believe me you won't have time to let a big flat load the rod for circle hooks without him snaggin up in the cover.

Lastly the most important thing when fishing this style is to fish fast don't spend a lot of time at each spot, those cats will be lazy hiding under cover to get away from the daylight...kinda like me during a colts game i'm not about to go chase something to eat but say a couple dozen hot wings show up right in front of me i'm certainly goin to chow down :D , and thats the trick you have to get the food right in FRONT OF THE FISH!!

Good Luck, and Good Fishing!
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I've caught alot of heavy flatheads in the early morning hours up till noon or so.I'm going to start my daylight fishing this Friday.It's still a little early I think ,but I'm going to start.The fall and late fall is always good day time fishing.I don't do it in spring or summer I always wait till fall season starts. Anyway good luck.Just try it and you'll see if it's for you or not :D
Mudhole, where are you going to start looking for those fall flatheads in the deep or shallows? I fish the Mo. a lot and not a lot of cover so to say out there..
I like those punkinseeds for bait too. Theres just certain kinds of perch and sunfish that are more hardy than others. A punkinseed or a black perch will outlast a bluegill everytime. If my baitwell is full of either of those two, it's not the baits fault if we dont catch fish. I've had black perch and punkinseed both that stayed on the hook over 3 hours...and when I put on a fresh bait...the one I took off swam away. I primarily fish for my flathead and my bluecat during the daylight hours since I work the 3 rd shift. The Neosho river...which is for the most part a shallow least our section of it is. Ten or twelve feet is considered the deepest of the deep holes here. There is a low water dam here that blocks the progress of any migrating fish that is moving upstream from a large reservoir down south 40 or so miles away. We'll start sometimes at daylight wading the riffles below the dam fishing for blue cats and channel left over from the previous night that are still lingering around in the shallow water. For them most any bait will work...liver, beef melt, shad, perch, shiners, crawfish, hellgramites, nightcrawlers...these fish are still hungry and will grab any quick meal that they can because they are fixing to head back to hold in deeper water for the rest of the day and they know it. We'll drift our presentation weightless if necessary in order to allow the bait to travel with the current bouncing along on the bottom. Typically, the wade fishing action cuts off around 10 or 11 am. After that we crawl out of the river...clean our a quick snack...and then launch the boat there at the dam first. We'll anchor directly below the dam in front of one the of dozens of rockpiles and holes or in the main channel. The honey hole there is a huge rock pile in the deepest of the water there below the dam....9'. It always holds some yellers. I've seen some mighty nice flats come out of that hole...some of them have been mine. We'll toss a 2 or 3 oz pyramid or flat no roll sinker and a 7/0 or 8/0 Gamakatsu octopus circle hook rigged carolina style with a 3 - 5" punkinseed or black perch impaled on it. Sometimes the wait is a long one. We'll sometimes stay put there for 5 hours without a bite because we have confidence in that spot. More times than not the wait is made worth it in the end in that particular place. If we get ancy and decide to go somewhere else...we'll pull anchor....jet downstream...and set up shop somewheres else. We'll concentrate mainly on holes that also happen to have brush, logs, or rocks in them. Creek and tributary inlets and runoffs also produce...especially if they have cover located within them. We dont spend nearly as much time on this isolated cover as we do at the dam where the migrating fish arent able to pass over the dam and as a result are more concentrated than the spread out "resident" flatheads are. These isolated pockets of cover do pay off however. But in order to cash in on these payoffs you have to be willing to be mobile and you need to be able to assess correctly how long you should spend in these spots without getting a bite before you decide to move on to the next one. Sometimes it's a waiting game you can win...more often you lose. The truest testament I have ever heard on that subject came in the form of my grandpas words to me when I was a young boy and he'd take me out catfishing on the same waters that I fish with my kids now...We'd be sitting in the same spot for an imagined eternity with no action and I'd be squirming around...whining that I was bored and asking why cant we move...He'd hiss...."Thats why they call it fishing and not catching. Now shut up're scaring the fish." That image is burned into my brain....and everytime I go to pull up anchor I remember it and ask myself if I gave the spot I'm preparing to leave a fair enough shake. I can almost feel his glare shooting down at me over his nose with his head tilted back at those times.
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I'm fishing ledges near the old river been right now,creek junctions,deep trees,deep rock piles,.I'm in the 35-40 ' mark now,with the surface temp of high 80's.I use a method alot of folks fish.I'll anchor so I can fish about 6 rods deep and 4-6 rods in the 15-20' range.All the fish I've caught in the past 2-3 weeks have been in aleast 30 feet deep or better.The 2 heavy fish were 30 and 31lbs.All the others were in the 15-20lb range with a bunch of small ones also.I'm in a lake so it's different in alot of folks area so ,it may not be for you.The last time I posted this type info I was told I was telling folks to fish deep.I'm not telling Dave to fish deep,But I am :D Good luck finding them Dave,Finding them is the best part, catching them ,,,,,,,,Well you know :D
I want to thank everyone for there input on this, I'm going to fish all day Sat and into Sat night, I have a few spots to try, I will let you know how I do
tdfish G/L keep a log record book of your trips. You know water temp,clarity,air temp,barometer....ect. this is a very good tool. And you can always look back. And you will find a pattern that works for you. I have 3-4 books of info on my fishing trips. And I found out when fishing with river scum is he dont bring enough bait.:cursing:
Hey Hoosier, are you bringing River Scum with you to the Indiana gathering next weekend? It should be fun. As far as daytime flatheads go, fish deep!! All of my flats have been night time, but my bro has caught some during the day in deep holes. You better get baited up cause next weekend we are going to tear em up!! :D
joe I'm gonna be stuck @ work as for river scum I'm not sure but I think he has a car show that he is working at. I want to see some pic's. Hate to miss the gathering just to meet everyone would be great. Good luck & have fun. :cool:
I am not sure if this is the right place for this, but I think it will get you the picture. I have a bait tank. It is an old claw foot tub and I have one of those long (approx 12" aerator stones) and it is next to the drain. I didn't have a drain plug but I had a section of wet dry vac handle, you know the tube thingy? I stuck that down in the hole and presto! Anyhow, a few weeks back Netman gave me some bullheads after we were done fishin. My daughter won't let me use him because he now belongs to her :mad: . Last week I also added some bluegill. Upshot of it is, is that this is like a small lake and the only structure is the aerator and the tube (kinda like a tree and a downed log). I have NEVER seen that catfish, or the bluegill (the wild fish) anywhere but snug against the structure. The goldfish are all over. Course I am looking at them only in daylight (I have them at work). I have thought that I fish structure, but after observing these fish I would say that you need to be very presise in your presentation. When I drop a worm in there it has to be within 2-3 inches of the structure for the bullhead to grab it. Bass fisherman do it all the time when they are flipping.In other words, just like when bait fishing for gills, by observation only, I would suggest knowing exactly where that log starts and ends and actually tuck that bait in. I haven't been able to prove it on the river, but I have to believe that baitfish act similarly to their bigger cousins.
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ive never caught one in the day but have only tried a few times in a lake here.

i have a video that shows a guide catch 6-7 fish during the day. 25-40#ers. fishing rock and heavy cover with live baits. they caught 13 flatheads in the trip from mid morn till early eve.

as a matter of fact this is the guy from dixon il.
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