I managed to get out last Sunday to try for a flathead on the lower Santee River. The weather is tstill a bit too hot for my liking, but it did cool down some: the forecast was for a high of 92 with a clear night around 75. Besides, it was the night of the new moon, with a meteor shower forecast on top of that! I got to the river around 2PM and scouted out a couple of spots to fish for cats, before I started collecting baits. The sunfishing was a bit slow, but with a bit of red worm on a 1/32nd oz jig head below a slip float I managed to put about 25 or so sunfish in the livewell - mostly bluegills and redbreast with a couple of stumpknockers thrown in. I also got four small (1/2 to 1 pound) blue cats on the same ultralight rig while fishing for the sunfish - always a challenging bonus. I like to start fishing for flatheads around dusk near the cover where I believe they have spent the day - to try to intercept them on their way out to feed. The problem with that line of thought on the Santee is that there is lots of deep water and virtually all of it is jammed up with woody cover. So... I just headed for a section of river where I had caught fish before. A shallow sandflat reaches about half way across the river gradually deepening to around 10 feet, then it drops more quickly to almost 15 feet and levels off there for a bit before dropping into a more than 20 foot deep channel that is full of wood. I anchored on the 15 foot step between the deep and shallow stuff at 8:00 PM, and threw one bait straight back, one to the deep side, and one shallower. Nothing happened until just about the time it was getting to be full dark (8:45), and then the rod with the deeper bait bent over double. When I picked up the rod, I thought at first that I might be wrapped up, then the fish moved a bit. At one point in the fight, I could feel the line rubbing on a snag, but with my heavy gear (20 pound test Trilene Big Game - the other outfits are spooled with 15) I was able to pull the fish free. After that it was just a mstter of passing the rod under the other lines that were still out, swatting a few mosquitos, putting on a glove, swatting mosquitos, grabbing the fish by the lower jaw, and hauling him aboard. It was a lovely, healthy 47 inch long fish with a 31 inch girth. It pulled my scale down to 22 and 1/2 kilos, which converts to 49.5 pounds. When nothing else happened there for about an hour, I moved to another spot I had scouted out earlier. The new spot was close to the area where I caught all of my baits, which I thought might be a plus. It featured an even shallower sandflat, that ran most of the way across the river at 3 to 5 feet deep before giving way to a 11 foot channel that hugged one bank. These sort of areas are my favorites - they are natural funnels that moving fish will follow while also containing the cover for fish to hold in. I had barely gotten the baits out and settled into my bean bag chair to watch for shooting stars when the inside bait was taken. While I was fighting this fish the rear rod also bent down. I got the fish in the boat (20 pound flathead), but when I picked up the other rod I found that that fish had gotten into cover and I ended up breaking it off. A little while later I got my third and final fish for the night, a 10 pounder. I messed around a bit more here and there, with no more success, and headed for the landing around 12:30. Over the course of the evening I saw maybe 15 shooting stars, including 3 or 4 nice ones, and got to listen to the sounds of the nighttime swamp like the crickets, frogs, and barred owls. A very pleasant evening, I must say. By the way, water temp was 90.3 degrees F at dusk.