Flathead Catfish Gear & Rigs

Discussion in 'LOCAL ARIZONA TALK' started by Rcaarizona, Jun 3, 2009.

  1. Rcaarizona

    Rcaarizona New Member

    Messages:
    1,183
    State:
    AZ
    I have had a lot of people ask me the type of rig I use when I fish for flatties. So I figured I'd just post out here for everyone to put their successful rigs up here and help new folks out! Everyone has what works for them.

    As for myself. All my Rods are either custom or very heavy duty salt water poles, like poles that can handle 80 to 150 pound line. I mainly river fish so that will be the rig I talk about.

    Wading..... I exclusively use six foot Penn Mariner stand up rods that can take 80-150 pounds of test. All my reels are accurate bait caster salt water reels. I use the same rod, reel, and line as I do when I tuna fish. I rig up with 150 pound power pro braid, put the waders on, and off to the river I go. People laugh when they see me with 150 pound braided line, I use this line so if the catfish wraps around something, you can walk over there and get him out without breaking the line. I also go places where the rocks cut 50 pound Berkley Big game like butter. I cast into thick cover, and deeper holes, as I wade. In this scenario I use J hooks, and a two ounce bell sinker. I go like this. Line to weight, to bead, to swivel, then swivel to a 18 inch liter, then to hook, I use J-hooks that are from Mustad, they are short shanked, 8/0, J-hook, stainless steel hooks. you cannot use circle hooks in this situation, this is a "jackhammer set the hook" and horse the fish out, or through the cover and have him drag you down the river scenario, so you can not let the fish run with your line, or 100 percent of the time, he will hang you up. It is very hard to fish with poles that are larger than 6 foot, because you have to remember you are up to your chest in water at times. I hook all bluegills, behind dorsal fin, and I hook all water dogs through lips. make sure you clip the water dogs feet off, to stop it from burrowing or crawling under rocks, because they will! Look for deeper holes, bends in the river that are out of the main flow, where lots of clutter has gathered, overhangs, and really rock outcropped edges. Yes you will lose gear, the Flatheads love it there.

    Bank fishing.......same gear and bait, except longer poles. The tie up is different as well. I use very high quality 3 way swivels. I tie to the 3 way swivel, then I tie to a 5 ounce Bank sinker(depending on how fast water is moving, i typically fish fast water), the distance I usually tie the sinker is about 8-14 (usually 8) inches from the swivel, then I tie a liter onto the third position of the swivel. I usually tie a 24 inch liter to the hook. hook the fish or waterdog, cast the bait and chill out. when you throw this rig, what happens is the bluegill or waterdog is suspended 8-14 inches from the bottom, and is swimming somewhat freely from the liter.

    I leave all my reels free spooled with a tiny amount of cast control tension on the spool, then click on the bait clickers. I started recently to put a little tension on the spool, cause I was having flathead hit the line so hard that even with salt water reels, they were back lashing my reels with the bait clicker on, so a tiny and I mean tiny amount of pressure of the cast control knob settled that. Too much pressure, and the flathead will now have a leash attached to it called your fishing pole.
     
  2. Da Chummer

    Da Chummer New Member

    Messages:
    425
    State:
    Arizona
    Alost the same exact gear i use. Except from a boat. I use 5'6 Mariners and Stand up Slammers. Power pro 250 with a dacron 130 leader wrap below the swivel. I like Penn saltwater spinning reels. I have had cheap reels fall apart when fight a 50+ pound fish. Also like you i use mustad stainless J hooks. A 9/0 8/0 combo or 8/0 7/0 combo. I like big baits so usually a 4 oz disc sinker. I always use the same equipment because i fish the lake 99% of the time in slack water. Like you i fish really heavy cover and close to the boat. So my reel is on stop and i do not let them run. Like you said hammer it to em and pump them in. I like this method for several reason. They rarely make it back cover to get snagged. If so like you said they can be retreived. Also if i catch i 50lb + fish, i want to feel a 50lb fish not 20lbs of drag. A fish bailing line out is not fun to me. A fish about pulling me out of the boat is. Last they are still full of power and not run into exhaustion and can be released in good condition. I got to write an article in Arizona Outdoor Journal in 1998 and when i added to the article the equipment and method i used they thought i was nuts. After all a 124lbr was caught on 12lbs test. :roll_eyes: Bring your 12lb test out to Barttlet with me. We'll see how it goes. :smile2: Great write up man and glad to see i'm not the only one that people will think are nuts.
     

  3. Rcaarizona

    Rcaarizona New Member

    Messages:
    1,183
    State:
    AZ
    You sure we aint related? :smile2: Which Penn reels do you use, the 6500s? I have been looking to get into some spinning gear, but when you ocean fish, people talk massive crap about "coffee grinders" Definately will consider your advice on a penn spin reel
     
  4. brianthelion02

    brianthelion02 New Member

    Messages:
    993
    State:
    arizona
    And dont be standin behind the guy holdin that pole if the line breaks!!:smile2: So far all i have is a 7000 abu garcia on a long pole,lol!!Sure is some sweet stuff on ebay i been lookin at tho!:cool2:
     
  5. Rcaarizona

    Rcaarizona New Member

    Messages:
    1,183
    State:
    AZ
    Oh yeah that was me that alomost lost my head that night!! would have decapitated me had it hit me in the neck!!
     
  6. DeFZaO

    DeFZaO New Member

    Messages:
    99
    State:
    Phoenix, az
    Thanks for posting this, I have gear but nothing to brace myself exactly for BIG flathead the strongest line I have is 30 pound braided spiderwire...and I don't even want to talk about my rods...haha but then again I did catch a 27 lb. carp on half a rod and 6lb test. ( I know..fish stories ) lol again thanks.
     
  7. Overkil

    Overkil New Member

    Messages:
    462
    State:
    Arizona
    :smile2: sorry...I promise I will be more careful next time :smile2:
     
  8. FLATHEAD STEVE

    FLATHEAD STEVE New Member

    Messages:
    1,772
    State:
    DESMOINES IOWA
    GO PENN!!!! :big_smile:
     
  9. Overkil

    Overkil New Member

    Messages:
    462
    State:
    Arizona
    Travis...I'm fortunate to be able to go to alaska every summer an fish for halibut and other species. Your comment sums it up perfectly. When I tell people the first 30 seconds is to decide who keeps the rod & reel, they don't really get it, but that's what it boils down to. I've been dropped to my knees and nearly pulled over by a salmon shark and had 200lb halibut double over a 5.5 ft saltwater rod. It's a sight to see. It really is a battle. I had never had anything in AZ do that to me until the other night when the one snapped the 150lb braid that brianthelion mentioned. I smacked rob in the head pretty hard...After that night I went straight out and bought a saltwater rod & a 6/0 "coffee grinder" reel...the reel weighs alone 41oz. It is stout. I never would have believed it if Rob wouldn't have put me on that fish..
     
  10. brianthelion02

    brianthelion02 New Member

    Messages:
    993
    State:
    arizona
    Hey Leo,i have several rods i use but only the one worth mentioning!!LMAO


     
  11. brianthelion02

    brianthelion02 New Member

    Messages:
    993
    State:
    arizona
    That alaska deal sounds fun!!


     
  12. DeFZaO

    DeFZaO New Member

    Messages:
    99
    State:
    Phoenix, az
    lol
     
  13. Rcaarizona

    Rcaarizona New Member

    Messages:
    1,183
    State:
    AZ
    you keep hanging around me Brian, and I almost promise you by Summers end, we will joyfully watch that $20 setup smoke, freeze up, or flat out fall to pieces! We laugh, hell it might happen tomorrow when me you and your dad go out. Ill bring the bluegills. Whatever I catch tomorrow I want your Dad to reel it in, I want to send him back with a memory of a fight with a AZ toad Flathead!!!

    FYI we need to catch your avatar picture sometime soon!!!
     
  14. Da Chummer

    Da Chummer New Member

    Messages:
    425
    State:
    Arizona
    Sounds like we may be related LOL. I have 2 old 9500ss from about 96 or 97. I don't think they even make this model anymore. I think its now 9500ssm. I still have a few of the exploding opuses that i got for cheap from walmart that i keep around for backup/use. Coffe grinders :smile2: Never heard that before. I have never ocean fished though. Would love too.
     
  15. Da Chummer

    Da Chummer New Member

    Messages:
    425
    State:
    Arizona
    The Alaska Halibut trip is a dream trip of mine. I'll get there one day. :big_smile: Nothing like a really big Flathead fouling you up. You'll be addicted for life now. Rob made you sick for life. :cool2:
     
  16. azcataholic

    azcataholic New Member

    Messages:
    1,384
    State:
    arizona
    Hey Guys, Lots of good info on tackle and being ready for the monster cat that we stay up all night for a chance to catch. I will be back in Payson in August and can hardly wait. There is always more to learn, when Rob stated, clip their feet off on waterdogs, I have never thought of it before now. Good Luck on upcoming fishing trips!
     
  17. Da Chummer

    Da Chummer New Member

    Messages:
    425
    State:
    Arizona
    Man if i could give you rep again you would get it. That is a great way to be. :cool2:
     
  18. frontier13

    frontier13 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    State:
    arizona
    do ypu order you gear online if so what sites i live up here in the white mountains where trout fishing is king and the biggest line i can get is 50 pounds and orget about rod and reels
     
  19. Rcaarizona

    Rcaarizona New Member

    Messages:
    1,183
    State:
    AZ
    I order all my poles from a guy in Idaho, who is pretty well known for making Marlin/Tuna rods. I pour most of my own sinkers, Hooks I get at ................., or Ebay. Everything else I just keep my eyes peeled. Sometimes, my wife and I drive around early Friday mornings looking at garage sales for fishing stuff. You would be highly shocked at what kind of deals you can find at garage sales, especially the ones where the wife just found out about her husbands new girlfriend!
     
  20. AZflats

    AZflats New Member

    Messages:
    2,535
    State:
    Peoria, Arizona
    Are you the guy that bought all my tackle for a dollar?? Hey, i need that stuff back...:smile2: