Deep Water Flatheads

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by e5catfish, Sep 16, 2005.

  1. e5catfish

    e5catfish New Member

    Messages:
    65
    State:
    Smilax, KY
    Brothers: Most posts recommend going shallow for flatheads at night, presumably in the Spring I would imagine. Do any of you fish deep in reservoirs for the big ones and if so, how deep? I mainly only get smaller fish around the banks in 12' of water or less but I'm gonna try some lines that extend way on out in the lake to 35' deep. I set throwlines that have 5 hooks each on them and are maybe about 35' long. They're probably only in 15 - 20' of water when I drop 'em down. Have been wondering if my lines are long enough to get out there where the bigger ones hang out.

    Bobby

    "Knowledge is the key to success"
     
  2. lookinfurabiggun

    lookinfurabiggun New Member

    Messages:
    49
    State:
    Illinois
    My Big flattie was caught at night in at least 25 ft of water. I think It just depends on the day, if they aren't biting shallow try deeper waters.
     

  3. highwayman582004

    highwayman582004 New Member

    Messages:
    13
    i fish the lakes in northern Ar. a lot--Ive caught flatheads anywhere from 2 feet deep to almost forty ft. My biggest fish last year was 32 lbs. I fix my lines with 25 6-0 hooks placing a weight with a float about ever 6 hooks. the weight holds the line down and the float holds the hooks up off the bottom --my wieght lines are about 1 ft longer then my drops that the hooks are tied to. there for holding my bait 1 foot off the bottom. i look for places with large rocks and clay banks or at least heavy cover of somekind. fishing live prech or bream i always seem to catch a few--hope some of that might help.
     
  4. e5catfish

    e5catfish New Member

    Messages:
    65
    State:
    Smilax, KY
    Highway: Your lines sound like mine. I mainly use throwlines and jugs but I just made a brand new 20 hooker I'm gonna try next weekend, Lord willing. Can't wait to start hittin that deep water and try to put in more time looking for structure with my fish finder instead of just using it to see how deep the water is.
     
  5. MUDHOLE KID

    MUDHOLE KID New Member

    Messages:
    1,178
    State:
    Anderson,S.C.
    :D Finally,I'm glad to see ya'll posting.I've made post upon post on catching Deep Flatheads and they never seem to take off.I catch alot of my better fish deep.25-40 feet depending on the weather and water conditions.I love it because these fish are never harassed.I like it even better when it's cold out and no one wants to be on the lake.I made the same post months back and it got hammered pretty good,so it does me good to see ya'll posting up.It's seems it's something that alot of folks over look.I had rather catch fish like this than I had durning spawn.Most of the fish I posted in my gallery were caught deep.I suffer alot of times too,but when I find them deep it's a world of fun. Maybe this post will be a true deep water post and not turn into a Shallow Water post. :DI don't set throw lines or anything like that because it's not legal here ,I fish rod and reel from a boat ,but deep is deep no matter how you fish it. :D
     
  6. e5catfish

    e5catfish New Member

    Messages:
    65
    State:
    Smilax, KY
    Mudhole: I'm afraid I may have been overlooking the big ones all these years by setting my lines too shallow! I'm very curious about setting them in 35' of water. My only concern is the thermocline. In my lakes, it's usually from 25 - 35 '. If you set below the thermocline, there aint nothing down there. If you're catching fish down to 40' (assuming this is in a lake), then you're probably not having any trouble with the thermocline. You say you like it cold. Is October a good time for deeper lines? I'm starting to come to the conclusion that I need not set lines based on what I see above the water, but what sonar shows me under the water, far away from the bank!
     
  7. MUDHOLE KID

    MUDHOLE KID New Member

    Messages:
    1,178
    State:
    Anderson,S.C.
    I fish deep most of the time.If I catch fish,good,if I don't I use it as a learning tool.We haven't had any rain the whole month of sept.Katrinea was the last little sprinkle we had.This is causing the bite to slow a little.The generation has slowed so the current up in the rivers has slowed also.There's usally no problem with theromcline up in the river arms if they're pulling water hard.I just fish deep cover,always have always will.After the water starts it's cooling down stage I'll come out of the river arms and move back out in the open water of the lake.I fish all winter.Some folks are under the impression you can't catch flatheads in the winter.Depending on your location and how cold the water gets tells the story.As long as the water temp will hold in the mid to even low 50's I think I have a fighting chance.This year for example,the water temp,. was 56 degrees on News Years Day.Me and my son caught 3 fish that weighed 73 pounds total.2 of the best fish where flatheads and the other was a blue.Water temp is key.If it's in the 50's I think it's a go.This is only my experince and I haven't wrote any books or made any tv programs,but it happens. :D
     
  8. e5catfish

    e5catfish New Member

    Messages:
    65
    State:
    Smilax, KY
    Mudhole: How big is the cat you're holding? I've probably trotlined my whole life waiting for a fish that big. I believe you said you fish Santee Cooper. It must be nice to get to fish catfish paradise any time you want to! That's one of my dream fishing spots. Unfortunately, it's about 9 hours from where I live. Maybe someday. The last time I was in South Carolina was in 86 when I was in boot camp. I'm anxiously waiting for this weekend. I've got a trip planned and if I can get enough bait, I'm definately going deep. What I'm gonna look for are laydowns and that channel edge in 35' of water. I set a deep line once before but when I dropped the end of it, it was in about 75' of water. Too deep! All the bluegill were still on it, ice cold, and graveyard dead. That was my first discouraging lesson in setting a deep line below the thermocline.
     
  9. highwayman582004

    highwayman582004 New Member

    Messages:
    13
    e5catfish. I live in the north central part of Ar. I fish norfork lake and bull shoals both. In this aera catfish go on bed about the first of June and there off by the first of July. Water tempture will be close to 60 degrees by the middle of May. i always fish the second and third weekend of May no matter what.I use my graff to make sure i dont let my lines fall off a deep bluff. if my last hoook is in 40 ft. of water i leave at least a 100 ft tail line on my trot lines to be sure when i checking my lines im able to get to the last hook without moving my anchor weight.Ive caught lots of flathead over thirty pounds in the last 35 yrs in in over 30 ft of water without looseing (to much bait). Dont mean to sound like a know-it-all just figured it might be worth your time to try again.
     
  10. lookinfurabiggun

    lookinfurabiggun New Member

    Messages:
    49
    State:
    Illinois
    You are right mudhole. I am sick of everyone talking about flats only biting shallow. Both of my monsters were caught deep. 25# and 60# I really stick to my theory on it depends on the day and the weather. I hate fishing shallow, and since I do more bank fishing than anything, I would much rather fight my monsters with 40 yds or more of line out then 10 or 20. Know what I mean.
     
  11. e5catfish

    e5catfish New Member

    Messages:
    65
    State:
    Smilax, KY
    Highway: Thanks for the info. That's exactly what I'm talking about. Big cats in 35 - 40' of water. Wasn't aware that Arkansas had lakes that deep. Still planning on going Sunday after church, right about the time that cold front hits from that hurricane. I'll probably have a bad night Sunday night.
     
  12. highwayman582004

    highwayman582004 New Member

    Messages:
    13
    e5catfish. I checked some lake levels befor i got on today--weve got some pretty deep lakes up here. Bull shoals was 647 norfork was543 and greers ferry was 453. I went to norfork yesterday just to graff some new places to trot line this fall. the surface tempture was 84 degrees and all the fish i could find on the graff was between 37 and 42 ft of water. i think they were mostly strippers but didnt find any fish shawlloer than 35 ft--most of the fish suspending at 40 in over 100 ft of water.last yr in Oct i caught some nice high fin blues floating my line at 40ft in 70 ft of water. [thirty foot drop lines for my weights with a small float over my weights to hold the line at 40 ft.] if your not tryed this in hot weather you might want to--works well for me.
     
  13. highwayman582004

    highwayman582004 New Member

    Messages:
    13
    oh yeah--and im wondering how they figure rank levels lol. im almost 50 yrs old--fished all my life and im still an initiate lol
     
  14. e5catfish

    e5catfish New Member

    Messages:
    65
    State:
    Smilax, KY
    Highway: Don't know about the rank structure. I can't even figure out how to post a picture! When you guys fish deep, what do you look for? Anybody can stay close to the bank and guess where to set lines by what they see above the water (which I'm beginning to learn is probably my biggest mistake), but when you're out in the middle of the lake watching your fish finder, what are you looking for? Do you find the channel first then look for the edge of it or look for a certain depth then look for some kind of structure like laydowns, stumps or rocks? Can you actually see the fish on your fish finder? I'm still skeptical. I bought a brand new Humminbird 565 this year and am still trying to get used to it and learn how to use it.
     
  15. highwayman582004

    highwayman582004 New Member

    Messages:
    13
    e5catfish. norfork lake has over 550 miles of shore line and covers in excess of 30,000 acres. Making it almost impossible to graff with out some indication of where to start. I look for places on the banks with large boulders and bluffs sloping off into the water before even turning my graff on. I like to fish the edges of the old river channel that drops off into deep water. Sometimes i spend as much time finding the places as i do fishing them. But as long as im the water im happy. And for the other question about seeing the fish on the graff the answer is yes. buts its just a guess as to what kind of fish im seeing.
     
  16. fourteenfootcat

    fourteenfootcat New Member

    Messages:
    65
    State:
    Big Spirit Lake, Iowa
    Flatheads in 60 feet of water... and 2-5 feet of water. Right now, in South Dakota, temperatures at night are nearing the low 40s. During the day, the low 70s. If I fish above the Gavins Point Dam in Yankton, South Dakota, I'm assured flatheads anywhere from the bank to 60 ft. I set multiple lines, but bring along multiple people that can handle a flathead anywhere from the low 20s to the high 50s and everything in between. We are only allowed two poles per person, no jugs, no limbs, only two hooks per pole. The only competent people that won't piss me off at 2:00 AM to 5:00 AM are women, believe it or not. Soap, I bring me mum, a girlie womanly friend or two or five, sit on a comfy chair, go into a sugar coma from the Original Coca-Cola at ~ 2:30 AM and fall asleep at three....

    Only to be woken by the screaming of Garcia 7000s and big Akuma reels....

    My attitude: big bait for deep water. Smaller bait for shallower water. I can now honestly say that I have used 1 - 2.5 lb carp with great success, but it was only yesterday that I experienced this sucess, your experiences may differ. I love to use sheephead (freshwater drum) as well as LARGE suckers and gargantuan bullheads in deep water. Shallow water: moderate size suckers, bluegills, big creek chubs, and a partridge in a pear tree.....

    or something like that...

    My advice: Bring a woman fishing. It seems THEY understand Selective Harvest far better than most DNR agencies I talk to. And, the best part, they don't drink your beer. They have their own. :p I'm a Guiness type of guy with an occasional Sam Adams when the fishing, and the weather, turn mighty cold: like right now.

    Take care,

    J.A. McGlasson

    PS: NEVER NEVER NEVER Drink, Fish, and then Drive. Known of some guys that drove their pickups into the Missouri... never to be seen again. Be smart. Have a designated driver.
     
  17. davesoutfishing

    davesoutfishing New Member

    Messages:
    479
    State:
    Menominee Michigan
    lol I know that feeling of bringing a women with I have 2 teen daughters and a grouchy wife wish me luck......pleaseeeeeeeeeee?
     
  18. fourteenfootcat

    fourteenfootcat New Member

    Messages:
    65
    State:
    Big Spirit Lake, Iowa
    ....All the best to ya! :D

    Teaching Selective Harvest is vital for the preservation of our fine sport. Without it, we are left with water, weeds, rocks, and sad faces. Not my way to preserve fishing for future cat anglers around the world.

    Children aren't the anglers of the future. They're the anglers of today.

    All the Best, Always,

    James
     
  19. fourteenfootcat

    fourteenfootcat New Member

    Messages:
    65
    State:
    Big Spirit Lake, Iowa
    Flatheads in 60 feet of water... and 2-5 feet of water. Right now, in South Dakota, temperatures at night are nearing the low 40s. During the day, the low 70s. If I fish above the Gavins Point Dam in Yankton, South Dakota, I'm assured flatheads anywhere from the bank to 60 ft. I set multiple lines, but bring along multiple people that can handle a flathead anywhere from the low 20s to the high 50s and everything in between. We are only allowed two poles per person, no jugs, no limbs, only two hooks per pole. The only competent people that won't piss me off at 2:00 AM to 5:00 AM are women, believe it or not. Soap, I bring me mum, a girlie womanly friend or two or five, sit on a comfy chair, go into a sugar coma from the Original Coca-Cola at ~ 2:30 AM and fall asleep at three....

    Only to be woken by the screaming of Garcia 7000s and BIG Okuma reels....

    My attitude: big bait for deep water. Smaller bait for shallower water. I can now honestly say that I have used 1 - 2.5 lb carp with great success, but it was only yesterday that I experienced this sucess, your experiences may differ. I love to use sheephead (freshwater drum) as well as LARGE suckers and gargantuan bullheads in deep water. Shallow water: moderate size suckers, bluegills, big creek chubs, and a partridge in a pear tree.....

    or something like that...

    My advice: Bring a woman fishing. It seems THEY understand Selective Harvest far better than most DNR agencies I talk to. And, the best part, they don't drink your beer. They have their own. :p I'm a Guiness type of guy with an occasional Sam Adams when the fishing, and the weather, turn mighty cold: like right now.

    Take care,

    J.A. McGlasson

    PS: NEVER NEVER NEVER Drink, Fish, and then Drive. Known of some guys that drove their pickups into the Missouri... never to be seen again. Be smart. Have a designated driver.
     
  20. fourteenfootcat

    fourteenfootcat New Member

    Messages:
    65
    State:
    Big Spirit Lake, Iowa
    Flatheads in 60 feet of water... and 2-5 feet of water. Right now, in South Dakota, temperatures at night are nearing the low 40s. During the day, the low 70s. If I fish above the Gavins Point Dam in Yankton, South Dakota, I'm assured flatheads anywhere from the bank to 60 ft. I set multiple lines, but bring along multiple people that can handle a flathead anywhere from the low 20s to the high 50s and everything in between. We are only allowed two poles per person, no jugs, no limbs, only two hooks per pole. The only competent people that won't piss me off at 2:00 AM to 5:00 AM are women, believe it or not. Soap, I bring me mum, a girlie womanly friend or two or five, sit on a comfy chair, go into a sugar coma from the Original Coca-Cola at ~ 2:30 AM and fall asleep at three....

    Only to be woken by the screaming of Garcia 7000s and BIG Okuma reels....

    My attitude: big bait for deep water. Smaller bait for shallower water. I can now honestly say that I have used 1 - 2.5 lb carp with great success, but it was only yesterday that I experienced this sucess, your experiences may differ. I love to use sheephead (freshwater drum) as well as LARGE suckers and gargantuan bullheads in deep water. Shallow water: moderate size suckers, bluegills, big creek chubs, and a partridge in a pear tree.....

    or something like that...

    My advice: Bring a woman fishing. It seems THEY understand Selective Harvest far better than most DNR agencies I talk to. And, the best part, they don't drink your beer. They have their own. :p I'm a Guiness type of guy with an occasional Sam Adams when the fishing, and the weather, turn mighty cold: like right now.

    Take care,

    J.A. McGlasson

    PS: NEVER NEVER NEVER Drink, Fish, and then Drive. Known of some guys that drove their pickups into the Missouri... never to be seen again. Be smart. Have a designated driver.