Flathead Catfish Comparisons

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by Salmonid, Feb 4, 2006.

  1. Salmonid

    Salmonid New Member

    Messages:
    1,833
    State:
    SW Ohio
    Ok, while Im no expert about Flatheads, I would consider myself an expert on Brown Trout and Id like to make a comparison to what I believe to be the 2 species are quite similar from what I understand in riverine systems.
    I guess from what I post regarding the Flathead side, Im cuious if my beliefs are correct. Im sure some will correct me if my logic is wrong and I invite them too.

    As smaller fish, tend to be more outgoing and allow simillar sized fish to school with them.

    Aged 2-3 finds fish starting to leave the home range and search out a new territory to call home.

    As they get older, tend to become more noctournal and less tolerant of competition of similar sized fish.

    Both are carnivourous and will eat there own young, or smaller fish of the same species given the opportunity

    Both prefer live bait but are "opportunistic" feeders when it comes to scavenging.

    Both may travel several miles nightly to feed

    Both tend to look for 1 single larger meal per several days vs feeding nonstop.

    When larger (spawning size), become complete loaners and will find a home and tend to live out its entire life there.

    At spawning time, tends to migrate ( upstream usually, but not always)to learned spawning grounds looking for partners in spawning.

    At this particular Pre and Post spawning time, large numbers of fish tend to congregate in these spawning areas.

    These groups of fish are very competitive and will fight for breeding rights

    These congregations of fish are easy to catch and must be released at this time to ensure future successful populations.

    After Post spawn tend to migrate back to there home Range

    Both feast heavily in prespawn and tend to rest during postspawn recovering and living off there reserves.

    Tend to use the same spawning areas year after year

    The bigger the fish, the more eggs produced

    Healthiest spawning fish are aged from 3-6 years of age ( in trout) anyone know what the best ages are for brood stock with Flatties? I know they need to be about 4 years old to spawn.

    I was just thinking about this but if anyone else knows of any other simmilarities, Id be most interested in hearing about them. Again, on the flathead side, this is what I have learned and believe to be correct, if im wrong, please help me paint a better picture for myself and others as I am hoping to use my Trouting skills to help me in my quest for River Flatheads.

    Salmonid
     
  2. pendog66

    pendog66 New Member

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    2,121
    State:
    Brookville OH
    great post Mark :thumbsup:
     

  3. BigCatSteve

    BigCatSteve New Member

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    638
    State:
    Huber Heights,Ohio
    great post mark.never knew how similar they were.i learn something new everyday
     
  4. Salmonid

    Salmonid New Member

    Messages:
    1,833
    State:
    SW Ohio
    1 more thought, both are true predators and at the Top of the Food chain within there respective waters, dont nothing mess with these guys!;)

    Salmonid
     
  5. flatheadhunterx

    flatheadhunterx Active Member

    Messages:
    1,374
    State:
    South Carolina
    i dont know adout best age group but i read that a flatty can lay up to 1000 per pound of body weight. the male will thrash in to her with his head to kinda force the eggs then she will leave and he will fertilize them and stay and guard them till they leave the nest, about a couple of weeks. they say he doesnt eat during this time unless another fish comes along that he cant run off then he will consume it.
     
  6. flatheadhunterx

    flatheadhunterx Active Member

    Messages:
    1,374
    State:
    South Carolina
    also while the male is guarding the nest he will constantly fan the eggs with his tail to give them oxygen and to keep them from being buried with dirt and silt.
     
  7. Fishgeek

    Fishgeek Active Member

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    1,149
    State:
    Indiana
    I don't think I can argue with that Mark! Sounds good. Good post!
     
  8. rockbass

    rockbass New Member

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    1,107
    State:
    Ohio
    Awesome post for sure. :)
     
  9. HoosierPoleCat

    HoosierPoleCat New Member

    Messages:
    207
    State:
    Indiana
    Mark in my experiences you have covered the major factors of the flathead. As for the Brown Im not as educated as most. But it is very good info to know about the Brown :p
     
  10. comanchero

    comanchero New Member

    Messages:
    119
    State:
    Minnesota
    Interesting post so I thought I would add to it. I would draw your attention to two flathead articles that will help define some of the points you have made. The April/May issue of In-Fisherman had an article titled "Tracking Flatheads" by Dr. Jason Vokoun. He also had another article in the February 2006 In-Fisherman titled "24-Hour Flatheads". These are must read articles for the hardcore flathead chaser.
    Dr Vokoun participated in a project by the University of Missouri, the U.S.G.S. Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, and the Missouri Department of Conservation by tracking flathead catfish in two Missouri watersheds. The first article in the April/May issue focused on seasonal movements; migration patterns; and exploitation. The February 2006 article focused on flathead daily patterns.
    I was able to read the complete doctoral thesis Dr Vokoun wrote based on this project. It was not the easiest read I ever attempted but it did provide some interesting fishing applications. Here is what I gleaned from his research:

    - When water temperatures rose above 10 degrees centigrade (50 degrees Fahrenheit) flatheads began to leave overwintering areas and began migrations toward areas that would be used during the prespawn / spawning period.
    - Individual fish moved upstream and downstream during the prespawn / spawning period, although the general trend was upstream.
    - Beginning in mid-July fish made movements toward areas where they then spent the summer / fall restricted movement period.
    -The summer / fall restricted movement period occurred from late July until mid-October.
    -During the 24-hour continuous tracking, fish movement consisted of extended periods of inactivity punctuated by quick, discrete movements to distinct physical habitat features such as log complexes, single submerged logs, or clay points. When added up over 24 hours, the 6 tracked fish spent between 22.25 and 23.50 hours holding still. Time spent moving ranged only from 0.50 to 1.75 hours.
    -The fish tracked tended to concentrate in good habitat.
    -His implications for anglers:
    **Fish tight to habitat features, as the flathead apparently spend most of their time associated with cover.
    **Understand that flatheads are moving around from structure to structure, so fish all such structures before moving on. Give the fish several baits to look at. You can't be sure which habitat feature the fish might be found on.
    **Fish made essentially straight-line movements from one habitat feature to another. No wandering or "swimming around" was observed during these summer tracking sessions. Unique locations were places where fish held still for extended periods of time. The trick to fishing flatheads is identifying the unique locations they will hold in and then presenting bait to those locations.

    This is kind of a long post but I thought you might find this information from a formal flathead tracking project interesting.
     
  11. Fry Guy

    Fry Guy New Member

    Messages:
    330
    State:
    Warrensburg Missouri
    What exactly do you meen by unique locations? Do you just meen cover? If not could you maybe give me some examples. Thanks great post.
     
  12. bigpapa15206

    bigpapa15206 New Member

    Messages:
    220
    State:
    Pittsburgh
    I have also read both of these articles and have found them to be verr true. By unique locations, i think he means they will pick specific structures and covers as feeding grounds and frequent between them. Just like Man, i frequent between 4 specific feeding grounds.........McDonalds, Pizza shops, Manchu Wok and my Refridgerator. If a fish were to ever want to catch me, all he would have to do is wait at one of these locations unitl i decide to feed. Like in the article I will travel straight to a feeding ground and do little wandering. LoL I fish there for I Am!
     
  13. s_man

    s_man New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    That was too funny bigpapa, I never thought of it like that before. But we are like the creatures we seek. Does anyone know where the flathead nudie bar is.That has to be a hot spot.
     
  14. flatcatnightmare

    flatcatnightmare New Member

    Messages:
    77
    State:
    south east Indiana
    I find this to be true , though I havent read the articles, I will often fish from structure to structure and in between, and have more success doing this.
     
  15. comanchero

    comanchero New Member

    Messages:
    119
    State:
    Minnesota
    I think Bigpapa hit it right on the head. His analogy is perfect. What I drew from the studies is to concentrate placing your bait on specific structure holding positions (good logjams; a strategic looking root wad; a large single log in a good bait ambush position; etc). I think a word of caution should be made about some of these unique structure positions - sometimes they may be TOO unique and if we fished them we would lose a lot of fish to snags. The trick then is to set up in an ambush position to get fish as they approach or leave the structure - just far enough away to keep the fish from getting to the snag.
     
  16. comanchero

    comanchero New Member

    Messages:
    119
    State:
    Minnesota
    Fry Guy - You asked for some specific examples of unique locations. Let me give you a technique that I am working on to catalog my fishing spots and to help myself figure out where to fish and where not to fish.
    I was watching golf one weekend and I was watching Tiger Woods as he prepared to hit his next shot. His caddy pulls out this small book from his back pocket and it is tabbed and indexed for each hole with pictures and diagrams with distances to obstacles and good spots to hit to and bad spots to avoid. I thought to myself - I need one of those books for my good flathead spots.
    During our low water period last summer, I went out and took digital photos of my favorite flathead spots. I made special note of unique cover (root wads; undercut banks; large logjams that would be submerged during moderate to high water; etc; etc). A lot of our prespawn / spawn period we have high to moderate levels of water. My new Cat Book is going to help me visualize what it is like under that particular spot. I will be able to visualize those unique cover locations that we are talking about.
    Attached is a photo of one unique spot I am talking about. Notice the undercut bank and the cavity in the root wad. That is where those fish go during high to moderate water levels. Hopefully the picture is going to help me remember those spots and help me place my bait to be most effective. I hope this helps you with identifying unique locations. Good Luck.
     

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