Early morning flathead catfish?

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by dinkbuster1, Jun 6, 2007.

  1. dinkbuster1

    dinkbuster1 New Member

    anyone have any luck catching BIG flatties in the wee hours of the morning fishing small/medium rivers? say, from 330am till just after daylight? if so where do you find them? for years i have read about how those hours are best but after experimenting deep, shallow, surface, ledges, drop offs, snags, etc, we gave up a few years back and started leaving after 3am or so, just wasnt worth staying. it seemed everything but dinks shut down after that! the articles i read were refering to BIG rivers and reservoirs, and this weekend a freind and i developed a far out theory that maybe in smaller rivers the flatties can catch food easier and therefore fill up quicker. ????????
  2. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    South Carolina
    Good question and I'm interested to hear the responses.

    Personally, I catch most of my fish and my biggest fish between dusk and maybe 1:00 or 2:00 AM. I don't often stay through till dawn, but the few times I have it didn't do me any good.

    By the way, I am fishing what I'd call small to medium rivers, too.

    It seems like if I keep moving around every 30 minutes or hour, I can still pick up a few fish later in the night, but generally nothing great. I believe that the fish come out of their lairs at dusk and move about for a bit, then settle back into holding areas. It seems like they will still take a bait put close enough to them, but they aren't moving much. And, frankly, at 3:00 AM, who really feels like pulling up anchor and moving to another spot? Sometimes I'll just set up in a good spot (from past experience) and kick back for a nap, but my confidence is not high at that point.

  3. CBH

    CBH New Member

    Just a while back, when I stayed out all night long on the Ohio river, my last flathead of the night was caught at 2:30 am. I caught 4 that night and missed a couple others, all between 10 pm and 2:30 am.
  4. SSgt Fishslayer

    SSgt Fishslayer New Member

    south carolina
    Me and my lovely bride went out about 2 weeks ago, got out around 1930 and started getting bit around 2100. We kept catching until we left at 0430. we were getting bit constantly every 15 to 20 minutes. i fish a small branch of the Colorado out here, not more than 40 or 50 feet wide and about 12 feet deep inthe middle. there is a large pool though that the current slacks off in and some brush and sticks hanging over in the water. i cant say that it happens all of the time, sometimes they will turn on for an hour or 2, sometimes they will be on all night. it all depends on what the fishy's are doing. i know this isnt much help but its my experience

    GETHOOKED New Member

    Arizona, Scott
    I'll tell ya what here, we fish big resev. with small creek/rivers coming into it, and also on bank up that same river. There really isnt enough great spots to pick up and move every so often so we usually find a spot we think holds fish and set up for the night. We catch fish all night, the same is true that we catch good fish from 8-12, then ALWAYS a good run or two around 2-4 am. We never leave, always fish thru the night and seem to catch the nicer fish around that 2-4am mark. We have even had good runs right at the magic hour at dawn. SO we here in AZ fish the night and seem to do pretty good. Maybe you should plan out two different spots one for the early bite and then a nice flat or deep hole for a "set up - get a nap it" spot and hope that good ol whiskers will come a cruisin by early am!! hope this helps.:smile2:
  6. dewboy24us

    dewboy24us New Member

    as my wife would tell you (mabye in some not so nice words) i like light to light fishing. getting to the fishin hole with enough light to set up all my gear and staying till thereis enough light to gather it all back up. there is usually a dead spot or two during the night but i have found that the bite turns on again about an hour before the sun comes up in false light of dawn.
    while its not always productive for huge fish, it can be some of the busiest fish of the night having problems keeping 2 poles in the water.
    will i say it works 100% of the time? no , but its a fair bet that if you hang on the extra few hours theres a good chance to improve your stringer.
  7. s_man

    s_man New Member

    south east ohio
    In river fishing I have to agree with dewboy. I have said this before but in the river at certain places the fish come thru in "waves". If the area is say a spot like rip rap, with crawfish and river minnows hovering around, you can use the minnies as bait and catch saugeye for an hor or so then the drum move in then all you'll catch is channels then all the sudden every thing seems to shut down no more bites on the minnies. Thats cause the flatheads have moved in for their hour or so and all the other fish leave pronto. I have caught , or "hooked" alot of 30+ pound flatheads after 3 AM. I have a down period between midnight and 2am. But from 2 till 8am I have hooked big flats. I only had one at 8am but I pulled him in from 75yrds away out in the middle of the river to right under my feet on the dock in 12 ft of water and I couldn't get him off the bottom with 20lb test. (back in the early days) lol But I catch a bunch of flats between 3 and 6 am. 90% of those I am alone in the boat. It must be my partners talking that keeps me fishless those other times.
  8. massa_jorge

    massa_jorge New Member

    i have never really paid attention to what time i have hooked into flatties, other than after 10 pm. in my area, we can go 5 or 6 times and catch 2 or 3 fish. they are very sparse here. on the sabine or red or trinity rivers when i was younger though, it was almost a guarantee we would catch them. on the flats at night after 10 pm and before sunup, and in full sun right around cover with live bait, usually perch.
    wish i was of more help, but you're talking about the most difficult cat to pattern!
  9. walleye086

    walleye086 New Member

    Here in Philly, it's not rare to catch them throughout the day if your fishing at the base of a dam, or a deep hole. Other than that it's just futile.
  10. cats gone wild

    cats gone wild Member

    canal winchester, ohio
    I caught my largest flathead last year, a 35lber., around 5:30 a.m.
  11. pk_powell

    pk_powell New Member

    You all remind me of the time when as a child I went fishing at a small river with my Uncle and my Cousin and their friends.Now you must remember that I was raised in the generation of folks who thought a ladies place was in the home.Going fishing was considered strictly a male activity(Thank God, times have changed)Anyway I was allowed to go with my Uncle only one time a year and that was on July 4Th.Anyway we went to this small river,probaby not more than 7 foot wide.I was tired of not getting any bites,everyone else was catching Carp(they were my Uncle's fish,cause my aunt would make home made Salmon patties out of canned Carp) I'm unhappy,so I reeled in and just I guess out of boredom decided to put a small amout of BeeJay on my Treble hook.Directly in front of me was a little bush sticking up out of the water,I didn't even bother to cast I just held the tip of my rod just barely across the top of this little bush and lowered my beejay down.Immediately I started getting small bites,but the fish wouldn't take it and run.It would just jerk jerk jerk,well I says to myself the next time you jerk you are going to feel a jerk.That's exactly what I did.Now remember I was a child maybe 9 or 10.My rod bent in half,I didn't know what to do so I commensed reeling.My Uncle heard my reel screaming and he came running at me screaming "quit fighting him,you've got a flathead!!!" I seen this huge tail come up and slap the water and it was gone.Needless to say I received a good ear full about girls,they don't know the first thing about fishing!! Like I said Thank God,times have changed as far as women and girls fishing.Had to tell ya all this cause all your talk about small rivers and flatheads reminded me of that time.It's nice to be reminded of good childhood memories.Especially those of fishing! Those were the days my friends!!:0a18::big_smile_2:


    Most of the flatheads i have caught have been in what me and my partner call the magic moment, kinda like deer hunting, right at dark to about an hour after dark,i have noticed when the skeeters are biting so are the flatheads, when we fished the tourny it was 26 hours str8 from lunch till 2pm the next day we caught nothing during the day, then at the magic time i caught a 15# followed by my partner hangin a monster about 5 minutes later (he lost him in a down tree) after that NOTHING all night i stayed awake moved every hour to proven holes, at 4;30 in the morning i was nodding off when my cell rang it was a friend of mine who was fishing about twenty miles down river he had just caught a 44# well it lit a fire on me and my team, but no luck untill right at lunch they started biting(it was overcast) caught 2 more withen 10 minutes, then we had to go weigh in. so i cant figure out what turns on there feeding but if one of yall do i will pay for that info. lol