Eastern PA Flatheads

Discussion in 'PENNSYLVANIA RIVERS TALK' started by Catsfurducks, Oct 7, 2005.

  1. Catsfurducks

    Catsfurducks New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Howdy all. Been lurking on the old BOC site for awhile. I see alot of western PA flathead fishermen are here. How about you eastern boys? Has anyone fished the Schuylkill River or Blue Marsh Res. for Flats. I have been fishing the Schuylkill for about three years since everyone started noticing Flats in the water. Have had some good luck. Biggest to date has only been 14 pounds but the population is pretty young. With time I expect some bigguns to show up.

    As for all you three river area guys, I have been wetting my line in your area, and your flats are a bit different from the eastern ones, quite a bit harder to catch. I have sat in one place on the Schuylkill and have caught up to five flats in the course of an hour and a half, all dam fishing mind you. Haven't had that happen on the Allegehney.

    Anyway was just wondering what us Eastern Flathead hunters have been up to.
     
  2. jigerjim

    jigerjim Member

    Messages:
    569
    State:
    North East Pa.
    For year's ago I moved to NE Pa. When I lived down there I never new there were Flat's there. We dont have them up here in NE Pa. yet, hopefully they'll get here some day. What part of Schuylkill are you fishin? with out going into pin point detail. I might have to make a road trip someday.
     

  3. Catsfurducks

    Catsfurducks New Member

    Messages:
    6
    I spoke with the fish commission, no one is sure how or when Flatheads were introduced. But judging from the size of the fish, average around 26 to 28 inches, and a good number in the 30+ inch class the fish are at least 8 to 10 years old.

    I fish most of the dams on the river. Flat Rock, Black Rock, and Norristown all have good populations of flats. It's funny the fish seem to be concentrated between Flat Rock and Black Rock. The fish commission recently sampled small mouth bass around Valley Forge National Park, I guess they didn't get many bass, but the did sample a lot of flatheads.

    Pretty much anywhere on the river has flatheads. I was going to go fishing this weekend, got a cooler full of bluegills, but I guess thats off since the river is above flood stage with all this rain. Looking forward to the drop in water, fishing should get good then.
     
  4. TIM HAGAN

    TIM HAGAN New Member

    Messages:
    1,236
    State:
    Walkersvil
    Anybody fish the Susquehanna river for cats . ACATS is having two tournament there in maryland one above the conawingo dam one below. Just looking to see if anyone in the brotherhood fish down that way. Looking for some in put places to fish bait heading down in the next week or so to do some pre fishing for next season.
     
  5. Catsfurducks

    Catsfurducks New Member

    Messages:
    6
    I'm not familiar with the tournement. What kind of cats are you fishing for? I have fished the lower susky and found the channel cat population to be very good. The word is that flatheads are in the river and have gone as far north as the York Haven Dam. Most of the fish are about 24 to 29 inches.

    As for put in locations, there are dozens in PA, your best bet is to get a boating map from the fish commission, it lists dozens of locations to launch a boat. Hope this helps.
     
  6. kaleigh

    kaleigh New Member

    Messages:
    283
    State:
    Lehigh Valley Pa
    Looking for any info on the Lehigh River.Or anywhere else,like in the Delaware or the canals?
     
  7. delawareriver

    delawareriver Member

    Messages:
    813
    State:
    bath pa
    i fish the delaware alot. i can help anyone with any questions.

    catsfurducks just wondering but do you keep 100% of the flatts you catch like the fish com. says to?

    i would hate to see flatts get into the delaware, yes it would be nice to catch them but it would hurt all of the others fish population and i personaly like catching lots of smallmouth, channel cats and panfish. IMO if you wanna catch flatts then theres places where you can but not in waters where there not native. i hope you feel the same way and im very intrested in seeing what you think on this topic.
     
  8. Catsfurducks

    Catsfurducks New Member

    Messages:
    6
    I guess my answer will tick some people off. I don't keep any of the flatheads I catch on the schuylkill. I am aware that the fish commission advises that all flatheads be kept, but I just can't bring myself to do it.

    I have been fishing the schuylkill for a long time. Started with channels and about three years ago I caught my first flathead and have been hooked ever since. There is something special about a large flathead and the idea the fish can get as large as 50 to 100 pounds keeps me fishing the river twice a week.

    I realize the fish are not native to the river. Their presence is not ecologically sound. However there are several flathead eradication projects currently in the planning stages. One project involves the creation of a synthetic pheromone of a female flathead, which could be placed in traps to catch male flatheads. If flathead catfish become a large enough problem it is my opinion that we will see an anything goes policy on catching them, everything from electrofishing to trotlining, only the future will tell.

    I have met people on the river who move flatheads, jump dams in an effort to "stock" flatheads. I am not one of them. I release the fish in the same location I caught them. No offense to other fishermen but flatheads are a trophy claliber fish with no equal.

    As for flatheads in the delaware, they are already there. They have been documented from the brackish water line in delaware county as far north as New Hope in bucks county. Since the river is not dammed it is only a matter of time before flatheads are in the entire river system.

    If other anglers wish to have flatheads removed from non-native waters I would not argue. By all means petition the fish commission and make the killing of non-native flatheads a requirement rather that a suggestion. If this happens it would make me feel less guilty about killing a small flathead before it has a chance to reach it's full potential.
     
  9. delawareriver

    delawareriver Member

    Messages:
    813
    State:
    bath pa
    i can understand your point of view even if i dont agree with it. thats why i asked your opinion. i think we should get them before it almost imopossible to get rid of them. i think its really selfish for anyone to stock the flatthead in new parts of the river. theres many other fisheries that each river has and the flattheads being the top predator will make huge changes.

    if you wanna catch flattheads then theres many rivers even in pennsylavania that can do so but dont go ruin other rivers. i personaly would love to catch a flatthead especialy a big one but the eastern river of pennsylavania is just not where they belong.
     
  10. bigpapa15206

    bigpapa15206 New Member

    Messages:
    220
    State:
    Pittsburgh
    They are native in the allegheny and still seem to control the river where i live. They are so abundant that it is not hard to catch them in the daytime. I kind of like the fact that they are so abundant and so agressive. Some may think this sounds crazy but i think they force the other fish to step it up a notch, just to keep alive. I fish the lower allegheny and at my spot all the speicies are big. I mean the only fish you catch under 13" are white bass. I went up to lock 7 where flats are not as dominent and i was catching 6-10" channels, thats un heard of a few locks down were i fish and i think it is a result of the flatheads. JMO tho some may that is totally rediculous! :D
     
  11. delawareriver

    delawareriver Member

    Messages:
    813
    State:
    bath pa
    just because the flatts have been there a long time it still isnt right. i personaly enjoy catching the trout, smallmouth, bullheads, panfish, and shad. and no one here can honestly say that a large predatpr is gonna help the populations. i dont care how long they have been there i dont want them messing the ecosystem where i fish. if i wanna catch one ill go out to the other rivers not my local one.

    if you wanted to make a comparison adding flattheads to an area is like adding bass that were never there or even snakeheads, both are large predators, i personaly dont even like how there is largemouth in every lake and pond you ever visit. they dont let the other predators acheive there full potential if they have to compete for prey.