desprately seeking flathead catfish

Discussion in 'LOCAL MISSOURI TALK' started by TheMadCatter, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. TheMadCatter

    TheMadCatter New Member

    Messages:
    539
    State:
    missouri
    first off i want to say a very anticipated goodbye to winter. i have spent all winter dreaming of this day when its officially over. though i did catch a surprising number of catfish, channel catfish. and some of them where way bigger than i thought i would get. but now that the warm weather is returning and i no longer have to freeze my butt off fishing and i want to move up the catfish food chain to flatheads.
    i have tried but without any success. its fair to say my chances are limited without a boat, but i know it can be done without one. maybe my bait selection isnt right, i genrally use live goldfish, minnows, crawdads, and frogs (when i can catch them).
    now im not expecting anyone to give up thier super secret spots, just some help in locating them. see i come from california and i spent much of my life there on the delta and the feather river where it dosent take much past dropping in alomost any kind of bait and pulling out a monster. but here in missouri you gotta work for it it seems, and i like that.
    i now spend most of my time on the missouri river trying to learn anything i can about catfishing. so if anyone at all can throw me an idea of where to look or what to look for in order to get a chance at flatheads i would very much appreciate it.
    thanks guys, please be safe out there.
     
  2. psychomekanik

    psychomekanik New Member

    Messages:
    2,534
    State:
    Illinois
    Welcome to the B.O.C. mad. Your bait selection is missing what I think is the flatheads favorite food. The bluegill, or more specific. The green sunfish. You should be able to find flatheads from the bank in your area. Find the river and look for rocky banks, rip-rap, or any other kind of structure near the bank. Use lowlight and fish at night and you should be able to hook into some old shovelheads. I wish I lived in your area. The rivers around me are a tad smaller and harder to pinpoint bigger fish. I hope you catch them, good luck!
     

  3. TheMadCatter

    TheMadCatter New Member

    Messages:
    539
    State:
    missouri
    hey man thanks alot for that info ill definately give it a try maybe tonight. if your ever in the area drop me a message and maybe we can wet a line together.
     
  4. BKS72

    BKS72 New Member

    Messages:
    3,361
    State:
    East of KC
    Like Mark said, blugill or sunfish, bigger the better. Live shad are also good, but a hassle to keep alive. Flats are crazy ambitious and I continue to be surprised at how small of a flathead will take a large, live bait. I usually only fish specifically for flatheads in May and June, and then I like creek mouths, rip rap banks, and woody structure. I prefer night fishing, but on a rainy, overcast day the daytime bite can be good. Good luck!
     
  5. FLOAT TRIP WILLIE

    FLOAT TRIP WILLIE Active Member

    Messages:
    2,405
    State:
    St. Louis
    U would also have good luck using 8in bullheads or bigger it depends on the flathead population... I hooked into some monster flats with that bait
     
  6. Welder

    Welder New Member

    Messages:
    4,834
    State:
    Missouri
    I used to live in St.James the upper bourbuse river has some nice bank fishen for flats. I have caught some nice 10 to 20lbs out of pickers and Redbird off hwy B north out of St. James. Another good bank fishen spot is on the Gasconade just down from the Gasconade city boat ramp fish about 70 yards down past the railroad bridge theres a good hole there for flats up to 20lbs. The 3rd dike up the mo river from the mouth of the Gasconade on the south side is good for nice flatheads 20 to 60 lbs. Just anchor or tie off on the dike and fish a good live bait green perch, live shad, big creekminners or small carp. Make shure your on the north side of the slot in the dike about 30 yards and fishen back to the slot cut in the dike. You can also get MO river navigation charts from the Army Corps of engineers for $15 bucks. I use the maps when I fish a part of the river I dont know.:smile2: Welcome to the BOC
     
  7. TheMadCatter

    TheMadCatter New Member

    Messages:
    539
    State:
    missouri
    so i went out last night and caught a dozen or so bluegill and i cant wait to try em out. any recomendation on how to rig? i have allways just hooked them through the lips or eyes. but some one mentioned brideling them, or tieing them to the hook. is this a smart alternative to mouth or eye hooking them?
     
  8. Welder

    Welder New Member

    Messages:
    4,834
    State:
    Missouri
    Green sunfish have a spot right @ the back of the dorsalfin that is great for hooken em. hook em about a 1/4 inch deep. I have had em live on a line all night and stay alive. I have aslo had em live on a trotline for 3 days. Just make shure any sunfish green perch, Gills, ect, Is under 5 inches long so if a conservation agent checks ys you dont get fined.
     
  9. crazy

    crazy New Member

    Messages:
    2,090
    State:
    Kansas CIty, MO
    I know a lot of people on here use live bait for there flatheads. That being said. I have better luck with cut bait fishing close to the bank in the rocks on the channel side. Another spot is the front side of dykes in the rocks. I'm sure live bait works as well I just don't have good luck with it on the missouri. When using live bait on the missouri. The only way I have found to keep it a live is hooking them in the lips. This pins there mouth shut and makes it so there head is pointed up river. Hooking them in the tail or any other place is just going to have current wash though there gills the wrong direction.
     
  10. ljensen

    ljensen New Member

    Messages:
    84
    State:
    mo
    Question if the bait is caught on rod and reel does the length count
     
  11. BKS72

    BKS72 New Member

    Messages:
    3,361
    State:
    East of KC
    This is from section 3 CSR 10-6.605 (Live Bait) of the Code of State regulations - methods prescribed in this rule and the applicable length limits are below. Since pole and line is described in the methods and it specifically says that any bluegill/green sunfish/bullheads over 5" taken by the methods prescribed have to be returned to the water unharmed, I'd read it as bluegill/green sunfish/bullheads over 5" no matter how you catch them are illegal bait. I'm not a conservation officer, though, and they may read it differently.

    (2) Methods.
    (A) Live bait may be taken by a trap with
    throat opening not to exceed one and one-half
    inches (1 1/2") in any dimension, dip net,
    throw net, pole and line, or a seine not more
    than twenty feet (20') long and four feet (4')
    deep, of a mesh not more than one-half inch
    (1/2") bar measure.
    (B) Live bait, except fish, may be taken by
    hand.
    (C) Crayfish may also be taken by trap
    with an opening not to exceed one and onehalf
    inches (1 1/2") by eighteen inches (18").

    (4) Length Limits: All bluegill, green sunfish
    and bullheads more than five inches (5") in
    total length and other fish more than twelve
    inches (12") in total length must be returned
    to the water immediately after being caught
    by the methods prescribed in this rule
    , except
    there are no length limits for bighead carp,
    common carp, gizzard shad, goldfish, grass
    carp and silver carp.


    How's that for my best Mr. T impersonation?:wink:
     
  12. GaryF

    GaryF New Member

    Messages:
    3,649
    State:
    O.P., KS
  13. SkipEye

    SkipEye Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,525
    State:
    Winfield, MO
    Name:
    Darryl
    I am thinking that if you catch your bait with a rod and reel that those length limits do not apply. I need to read up on it though or wait for Marty to pop in. LOL!!!!
     
  14. BKS72

    BKS72 New Member

    Messages:
    3,361
    State:
    East of KC
    I'm just posting the regs - pole and line is listed as a bait-catching method and it says that the length limits apply to bait caught by these methods. That part is simple - the beauty of MO regs is that it's all open to interpretation..........:wink:
     
  15. crazy

    crazy New Member

    Messages:
    2,090
    State:
    Kansas CIty, MO
    Sounds to me that once a bluegill is over 5" they think it's for eating and not fishing. Sounds simple to me.
     
  16. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    You mean to tell me that you boys haven't read my FAQ on Missouri Regs??:confused2:

    http://www.catfish1.com/forums/showthread.php?t=63156

    I cover the live bait issue pretty well, I must say... It's covered on p. 4 of the document I wrote... :wink:

    (And I'll have to disagree with you, Branden - there's no room for creative interpretation in the Missouri fishing regulations. It's all pretty much black-and-white, but understanding a particular rule often requires a lot of reading and understanding several related rules and - in particular - the definitions of various terms as given elsewhere in the regulations... )
     
  17. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    I also just noticed the question about 5" bluegill and sunfish as bait is covered very nicely in the new MDC "Summary of Missouri Fishing Regulations" booklet on page 12.

    http://mdc4.mdc.mo.gov/Documents/2115.pdf
     
  18. BKS72

    BKS72 New Member

    Messages:
    3,361
    State:
    East of KC
    So where does it specifically say I can use bluegill/green sunfish/bullheads over 5" if caught on rod and reel?

    The regs I posted clearly state pole and line as a method for catching live bait and then specifically say that bluegill/green sunfish/bullheads caught by those methods in that section cannot be used as live bait if over 5".

    I read the definition of pole and line, and that pretty clearly includes any fishing pole you'd use to catch bait.

    Not trying to start a contest here since you're much more well versed in this than I am (I spent a week going over a lot of this for another project, but it was specific to what I wanted to do) but I would like to see where the language is that states you can use buegill over 5" if caught on rod and reel. The regs my not be open to inerpretation, but they can be seemingly contradictory from section to section and if it comes down to a regulation question with a conservation officer it would be helpful to know what section of the regs to reference when/if caught using bluegill/green sunfish/bullheads over 5".
     
  19. BKS72

    BKS72 New Member

    Messages:
    3,361
    State:
    East of KC
    Sorry, you're post came in as I was typing mine:wink: Either they changed the reg or someone interpreted it because the language in the regs I quoted are pretty cut and dried...:smile2:
     
  20. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    The regs you quoted are definitely clear, no question.

    The problem is, there's a different regulation that needs to be considered.

    3 CSR 10-6.550 Other Fish talks about all fish other than those specifically called out elsewhere in the regs (gamefish, primarily), and 3 CSR 10-6.550(3) says that fish taken under the rules of that section may be used as bait.

    So, since green sunfish, bluegill and bullheads are covered under that section, you can use ones over 5" long as bait, provided that you caught them on pole and line.

    If you catch them in a throw net and they're over 5" long, however, you cannot use them as bait, since you weren't using a method allowed in 3 CSR 10.6-550, and since the Live Bait section (3 CSR 10-6.605) says they can't be used over 5"...

    I suppose you could argue that there's some ambiguity in the wildlife code, since both the section on "Live Bait" and the section on "Other Fish" list "pole and line" as an acceptable method. But my guess is the MDC has a reason for including "pole and line" in both sections....