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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Real pretty day on the river: the wild azaleas are blooming, saw a bunch of wood ducks and herons and egrets. The big bats came out at dusk, and I heard a screech owl and a few barred owls call.

The sunfishing was still a bit slow - maybe the water is still a little high - but I managed to get 15 nice redbreast and bluegills for baits.

I set up on one of my favorite spots right around sunset, and I didn't have long to wait. About 8:15 I got my first flathead of 2008: a nice 11 pounder.

I got everything back in order and settled back down and around 8:45 I got another bite. The fish just messed with a bit and I waited until he bent the rod down some before I pulled it out of the holder and set the hook. Right off I knew it was a better fish, but it came to the boat pretty easily. Then it just stayed down. I would left the fish a bit and it would take the line back. We did the back and forth for about 5 minutes until he got a bit tired and came to the surface. I put on a glove and grabbed him by the lower jaw. Fish was 49 inches long by 32 inch girth - weighed 56 pounds on my scale. After a couple of quick pics he went back in the river.

I fished until a bit after midnight, and got a couple more bites, but no more fish. All in all, a good start to the 2008 flathead season for me!
 

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Nice fish, John. I envy you - I fish the St Croix River here in Minnesota and we are still iced in. The river opened up upstream over the weekend but the water temp is only 36 degrees.

Keep your reports coming in. It helps me to stay fired up for some flathead fishing. Congratulations on the 56 lb fish - that is a trophy fish anywhere.
 

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Way to start the season John! That 56er is a beauty! Like Steve said, we are still a bit iced in in Minnesota, so we have to wait a little to get back on the water.

I see you haven't lost any of your solo photo skills this winter. :big_smile:

Thanks for the report and the pictures.
 

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hey all, I went saturday evening and fished til 3a.m. It rained all day Friday and real light rain saturday morning/afternoon. We caught 12 ranging from 12-25 lbs. Good night of fishing. This is really a good night of fishing because where I was fishing is usually a Blue spot and the Flats were just on fire. Using live and cut bream for bait. We caught several crappie over 2.5 lbs and 3 over 3lbs using small shiners. We caught 1-24lb and 1-2.5lb drum and 2 small pike. We had a great night of fishing. Oh that reminds me, I have heard that drum makes for a really good cat bait? Can anyone confirm or denie this?
 

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Jonh, you make so sick I want to puke! 56lber on the first trip. It's really, really unfair.

It be a month until we start getting them up here.

Awesome fish and I like the beard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys.

I do feel lucky - the rivers I fish have pretty good flathead populations (the sunfish guys aren't too happy about it, but OH well). Wait - no! I take that back, there are no catfish in South Carolina at all - at least not outside the Santee Cooper lakes. So ... just go there. OK?

The beard is a winter thing - usually it's gone by April, but this year I just haven't been in any hurry to shave for some reason. Don't have many flathead pics with the beard ... nice change, I guess.

Oh, and as I have said before, the "photo skills" are mostly the results of cropping the shot afterwards. I just make sure I get the whole fish in the shot and then do the rest when I get back. I have attached the original pic from before I fixed my red eyes and cropped out the wasted space... Still not a bad pic, but a bit of cropping makes it look near professional... I probably should have lightened it up a bit, too.
 

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John, i'm just now seeing this and what a beautiful fish. That definitley is large and in charge. Great job!!!! It is also great to see a man that is honest with his weights. :cool2: Aesome fish, dude!!!!
 
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