depth in late fall winter

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by slikk03, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. slikk03

    slikk03 New Member

    Messages:
    2,507
    State:
    illinois
    should i still fish the banks in the fall winter time or deep, also its a cooling lake thats warm all year around
     
  2. Catcaller

    Catcaller New Member

    Messages:
    1,511
    State:
    SoutheastKansas
    Now granted...I fish the rivers for flathead...but consider that nearly every good sized lake has some type of tributary flowing into it.

    During the cooler months I target creek channels...and/or the deepest water I can manage to find.

    This might be a dam...a creek channel...scour holes behind a wingdam...outside bends of a river or tributary, around a highway bridge...or perhaps a railroad trestle.

    Prime locations are old bridge pilings near where a new bridge might have been constructed.

    These areas tend to be deeper than most stretches of the river around here.

    Especially so what makes them prime is the prescence of heavy duty gnarly cover inside the holes. (Rocks, rip rap, concrete pilings and tiles, timber, stumps, logs, ect.)

    The fabled concept of "structure within structure"...if you will.

    These things provide current breaks....but lacking this...flathead will simply seek out the deepest holes...and line up side by side inside them. (Hence the nickname "mossyback")

    However...as a side note...during this period...hibernation...flathead are extremely susceptible to snagging. (A big NO-NO when they are ripe for the picking like that)

    Easy access to shallow water makes these areas even better.

    On warmer days during a period of cold weather...flathead are notorious for coming out of finicky doldrums...or even outright hibernation to feed briefly...and sometimes ravenously and aggressively in warmer shallows.

    On these days...target wood or rock cover...boat docks are great candidates...exposed to sunlight above the water level...as they tend to soak up sunlight...and provide a suprisingly warmer surrounding area...out as far as even a few feet...by up to 7 or more degrees in water temp.

    This can make a helluva difference if the surrounding water is mid 40's or low 50's.

    Also go with a smaller presentation than normal.

    The fish in colder weather will tend to actively seek out smaller offerings to satisfy their hunger...but also will be concious of their slower metabolism.

    It takes longer to digest their food the colder the water...and they instinctively know this.

    Many people have no qualms about using dead or cutbait in cooler or cold water...I would MUCH rather use smaller offerings of live bait if it's attainable.

    Once again...as always...patience and perseverence...along with a mindful eye on the weather report can pay dividends for cold and cool water flathead.
     

  3. slikk03

    slikk03 New Member

    Messages:
    2,507
    State:
    illinois
    what about a winter hotditch is it any differant than fishing for them in the ummer or fall, im planning on hitting it in about three weeks, i dont know if there active or just staked, any info on discharge in winter
     
  4. Catcaller

    Catcaller New Member

    Messages:
    1,511
    State:
    SoutheastKansas
    We happen to have a warm water discharge here in these parts.

    There is a local electric utility co-op that has a coal fired power plant along the Spring river at Riverton, Kansas.

    In the past 30 plus years I have fished this discharge every single year multiple times per on the warmer days...always very early in the fishing season (Jan-feb)...and mainly for crappie or walleye...but also for channel cat. And I do quite nicely.

    I have caught a very few flathead in this spot tho (Even tho I routinely target them with a second or third rod)...but that is because I rarely fish this spot after the water temps leave the 40's...and they're feeling pretty sluggish...even in the discharges 8 - 10 degree advantage over the rest of the area outside this localized warm spot.

    But they can be had...especially during warm fronts that occur briefly within the colder months. (I can't stress enough how much those warmer days make a difference)

    I'm sure if a guy were to invest more time...he would find that flathead can in fact be had year round there.

    At this time...as the water temps rise...I have better and even more consistent options to explore...and I abandon the discharge until the following late winter, when options are once again thinner...but the fishing fever rages nonetheless.