First Flathead Trip

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by Traveller, Jun 27, 2008.

  1. Traveller

    Traveller New Member

    Messages:
    4
    State:
    Oklahoma
    Hey all, this is my first post on the forum.

    I am about to go on my first flathead trip on a tiny river that experiences dramatic water level fluctuation. I know there are flatheads there, because I called the fish and game department and have seen others fishing for flatheads.

    There are two places I am thinking of fishing. The first place is a large bend in the river, yet is heavily fished. The other place is farther up, with more brush, yet slightly shallower water, and receives little to no pressure due to a long hike. The whole river is extremely muddy. Which place would you suggest fishing?

    Also, I am aiming for twenty pounds, because the fish don't get incredibly large on this river, and there are decent channel cats on the river. Should I use cut bait, or or live bait?

    Last question, which might sound a bit stupid: when should I set the hook, instantly, or let it run?:smile2:

    I would greatly appreciate the help! Thanks!
     
  2. River_monster91

    River_monster91 New Member

    Messages:
    2,233
    State:
    central kansas
    live baits a must for flatheads, let the rod load up and then set the hook if your using a j hook, if you using a circle hook let the fish set the hook on their own, i would fish the cover with shallow water, oughta be a flathead laying up in there.
     

  3. Traveller

    Traveller New Member

    Messages:
    4
    State:
    Oklahoma
    I forgot on thing. How often do you check the bait to make sure you aren't hung up or your bait got off?

    Thanks channelkatman for the quick response!
     
  4. jagdoctor1

    jagdoctor1 New Member

    Messages:
    708
    State:
    CA/AZ
    As far as bait, I would put out one pole live and one pole cut. I usually get my first hit on bluegill head and the largest I bring in is usually on a live. Either one is good. Your two places sound good. The first place that is heavily fished is probably a decent spot or it wouldn't be heavily fished. The second spot sounds good as well. I don't ever really rule out a place like you are trying to do, just save them for later. If your on a short trip, fish the easy to get to one. When your on a bigger trip where you have time for the hike go try out the harder spot. Hook setting is totally and completely variable to me so I wont comment there. I hope you have lots of fun. Shooting for 20 pds shouldn't be a hard goal. Flathead can at times grow 10-15 pds per year so even a young fish can fulfill your goal.
     
  5. brother hilljack

    brother hilljack New Member

    Messages:
    7,305
    State:
    Shelbyville, TN
    I am going to say, use circle hooks and let the fish set the hook. Live bait is best for the flats, bluegill are the best for that. Hook them through the nose and clip their tails. Wounded fish are the most appetizing.
     
  6. Traveller

    Traveller New Member

    Messages:
    4
    State:
    Oklahoma
    Thanks for the helpful advice!

    I went out on Sunday for about five hours. I had a ton of bites and strikes, but I doubt they were flatheads. I am guessing they were channels playing with the bait.

    Despite the lack of luck, I had a blast!
     
  7. kickflip484

    kickflip484 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    State:
    Ohio/Virginia
    Did you try setting the hook when you went out and got all them bites?? Ive went out 2 weekends in a row and had some major bites, but never got the hook set. I didnt know if i tried too soon or what. So any advice from participants in this thread would be appreciated.
     
  8. jagdoctor1

    jagdoctor1 New Member

    Messages:
    708
    State:
    CA/AZ
    Try downsizing your bait when you are getting missed runs on flathead. I try a smaller bluegill or going to just a bluegill head, this often results in me catching a 1-4 pd flathead that just couldn't get the larger bluegill down.
     
  9. kickflip484

    kickflip484 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    State:
    Ohio/Virginia
    Ok, i will give that a try next time. Like i was saying it seems like i go to set the hook and it pulls outta their mouth and i see the swirl from the fish and off he goes with my bait, sneaky little bastards. lol
     
  10. jagdoctor1

    jagdoctor1 New Member

    Messages:
    708
    State:
    CA/AZ
    Yep sounds about right. I had a spot or 2 like that last year. Then one night I couldn't get bluegill or talapia so I was using small goldfish and damn if I didn't hook up with a few smaller ones.
     
  11. Traveller

    Traveller New Member

    Messages:
    4
    State:
    Oklahoma
    Ok, I wil try that next time. Thanks!