Do flathead catfish cruise in schools

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by MON RIVER RAT, Jul 23, 2007.

  1. MON RIVER RAT

    MON RIVER RAT New Member

    Messages:
    36
    State:
    pennsylvania
    My brother and I went fishing last night. We were in a pretty good spot and caught 4 or 5 channels. Then all bites shut down for about 45 minutes to an hour. Suddenly he said he had a fish on. Almost instantly I had strikes on both my poles. Picked up the first pole and reeled in a 12 pounder helped my brother land his 15 pounder as all this is happening the line clicker on my second pole is slowly but steadily going out. I thought it was the boat drifting but my brother said I think thats a fish on there. I pick it up and give it a feel sure enough I hook into a 21 pounder. All of this action was basically at the same time. We packed up and ended on that note. But I'm sure if we would have had more poles in the water at that time we would have had more action as I'm sure we didn't catch the only three flatheads that were there
     
  2. GUNTZ

    GUNTZ New Member

    Messages:
    169
    State:
    CLEBURNE texas
    I DONT KNOW ,BUT SOUNDS LIKE ALOT OF FUN
     

  3. vlparrish

    vlparrish New Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    State:
    Bedford, Kentucky
    Aaron, I have caught several flatheads in the same locations more than once and am quite sure they will school at times. The best time to catch them like that is later in the fall, right as they are about to hole up for the winter. Vern
     
  4. jagdoctor1

    jagdoctor1 New Member

    Messages:
    708
    State:
    CA/AZ
    I've had 4 decent fish in the same area in a 3-4 hour period but nothing like what ur describing. I don't think I'd have ever made it home.
     
  5. rafter

    rafter New Member

    Messages:
    11
    State:
    AZ
    I have seen flats and channels school in the winter. Have had similar experience as you catching channels in the summer. I would guess they do.
     
  6. metalman

    metalman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,463
    State:
    IN
    Name:
    Winston
    Aaron,
    I've never had it happen in a river but it's not unusual to get more than one fish on at the same time in lakes when fishing several baits down to a group of fish you have marked...W
     
  7. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    From my knowledge of Flatheads, they don't school. However, when you have the right water temperature, the right structure and the right bait, it is understandable how you could catch them as you did. Althought they were frequenting the same area at the same time, I don't think they were schooling.
     
  8. lebeaux

    lebeaux New Member

    Messages:
    152
    State:
    ohio
    Flatheads will school up in spring and fall when heading to warmer waters. Before the OH river was dammed up, river men would report seeing pods of sometimes hundreds of flathead migrating to warmer climes. Dams have impeeded thier instinctive migratory patterns.Spring through fall they tend to be loners from, what I know and the big migrations don't happen d/t the dams.
     
  9. Cattoo

    Cattoo New Member

    Messages:
    603
    State:
    caneyville,ky.
    i don't know if they actually school or not but i believe if there is favorable structure and baitfish are plentiful in a certain area that many flats will stack up there temporarily. i caught 4 flats in 4 consecutive casts into the same hole last weekend. after the 4th one the water flow was increased through the dam and i never got another one but i wonder just how many i might have caught if that hadnt been the case.
     
  10. Goldenshinner

    Goldenshinner New Member

    dont think they school ever. I have on an occasion seen several fish holding somewhat closely in a hole. but that is far from schooling. what you are describing is more along the lines of inactive fish suddenly becoming active. i have also seen nearly the same thing happen. then all the sudden nothing for the rest of the night. we are currently on a full moon phase so that might lower the feeding preference slightly. if i storm passed over or some factor changed you could see the fish suddenly turn on. then off. early morning you will also see something similar to this as the fish all suddenly start crawling all over looking for shelter. but usualy flaties like to be secluded several fish might use an area especialy if there are lots of places for them to hole up.
     
  11. Polish Moose

    Polish Moose New Member

    Messages:
    54
    State:
    Illinois
    I suppose it depends on what you consider schooling together. I would say a school of fish is a group that travels together for hunting or safety. That being said I would say they do not school up.

    Catching a few fish in the same area doesn't mean they are schooling together it just means a few fish reside in the same or area, or are you using a similar travel route.

    Flatheads are territorial and defend their turf from other fish, including other flatheads. There may be times when flatheads are in close proximity to one another, but I'm not sure I would qualify that as a school. Just my thoughts.
     
  12. Netmanjack

    Netmanjack New Member

    Messages:
    3,734
    State:
    Ohio
    I'll have to agree with Steve. Schooling fish act as one unit either for protection or to find a meal faster. I just cant imagine a bunch of big old flats doing an under water ballet! lol :eek:oooh::smile2::smile2:
     
  13. Dadoftwo

    Dadoftwo New Member

    Messages:
    382
    State:
    Oklahoma City
    Whether they actually school or not, you were right on target with them at that time. Sounds like it would have been a great time with lots of excitement and pouding hearts.
     
  14. catfish chaser

    catfish chaser New Member

    Messages:
    674
    State:
    miamisburg, oh
    I think if you find the right structure there will be more than one fish. and your bait was in the right spot
     
  15. Plowboy411

    Plowboy411 New Member

    Messages:
    918
    State:
    Georgia
     
  16. King Flats W'loo

    King Flats W'loo New Member

    Messages:
    51
    State:
    iowa
    I fished from a railroad track pillar b4 and have seen 5 - 10 flats coming back from down river, outa that school i caught four. so imma huess that they do, depend on the sizes of em. the ones i caught was from 5lb to 15 lb:cool2:
     
  17. s_man

    s_man New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    In one of my old issues of catfish-insider, the article was on a guy that fished the kansas river system (if I'm not mistaken) He was a long time fisherman and guide. He stated in the article that one time in his youth with his dad they saw a few hundred flatheads on the surface in the spring slowly cruising upstream. I can't remember if he saw those fish in the Kansas or the Mississippi though. But If I saw a few hundred fish all going the same direction at the same time I'd call it a school. LOL

    And since this guy knew what he was talking about and had no reason to lie, It would be a good bet that at times Flatheads can be found in schools.
     
  18. yeppa

    yeppa New Member

    Messages:
    636
    State:
    Topeka, Kansas
    I've always read that Flatheads are solitary fish. Obviously, your fish weren't up on their reading. GREAT CATCH!!
     
  19. River Hobo

    River Hobo New Member

    Messages:
    207
    State:
    Pennsylvania
    And I'd certianly follow them to find out where they were going :big_smile:
     
  20. rushing

    rushing New Member

    Messages:
    561
    State:
    Minnesota
    I think just because they happen to be on the move at the same time or gathering at wintering holes isn't really schooling. Fish only have two options of travel on a river, up or down stream and there are often limited options of suitable places to winter which means they have to share. When they leave wintering holes they might just be traveling in the same direction since they might travel long distances during these times. From what I understand the only true schooling catfish species is the Bullhead catfish.

    If you are traveling down the highway and you hit a bunch of traffic are you schooling with the other drivers or if you go to a restaurant and the place is packed are you schooling up with the other people or just sharing a place that has an abundant food source?