Flathead catfish help on the Alabama River

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by dcaruthers, Jun 15, 2006.

  1. dcaruthers

    dcaruthers New Member

    Messages:
    756
    State:
    Alabama
    Damn I need help. I have always fished for channels and blues but recently bought a boat and joined the BOC. You all have me excited about these flatties. I set up 5 limb lines...baiting them with live blue gills and checking them at 2 hour intervals. I fish fresh bream cut bait on noodles while waiting for the limb lines. In my last two outings I have caught a 30.5 lb channel, a 27 lb blue, and a 42 lb Paddle fish...all on the noodles. I have caught 2 channels (5-7 lbs) and thats it on the limb lines. I believe gar are tearing my live bream up and the two channels were eating the leftovers.

    Current set up is 5/0 Circle hooks on 160 lb nylon trot line. I'm selecting green limbs that have some give. Just a note: A co-worker has many pictures of flatheads caught in the Alabama river so I know they are in there.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. solomon

    solomon New Member

    Messages:
    735
    State:
    MS
    You caught a 30lb channel?? Wow. What are the river conditions you're fishin in? Are you fishing deep or shallow with the limblines?
     

  3. TxRiverman

    TxRiverman New Member

    Messages:
    324
    State:
    Lockhart Tx
    I dont know where setting your lines as they relate to cover,but if your not setting them close to some cover you may want to try that. And you could try setting more of the lines out,give the flatties some options. On my limb lines i use a bigger hook,8/0-9/0,just for the extra stength that the bigger hook will have over the smaller one. You never know when the big one will hit.
     
  4. dcaruthers

    dcaruthers New Member

    Messages:
    756
    State:
    Alabama
    Yeah it is one of my biggest channels so far. I normally don't catch those on cut bait and was very surprised. I have the noodles set at about 4 ft deep in ten foot of water where the river creates a huge pond/lake called Cooter's Pond (Prattville, AL). There is almost no current and many avenues for the preditors to leave the current to forage for food. I'll post pics as soon as I finish the role they are on.

    As far as the hook size, I don't expect over 50 lbs and have never had any trouble landing or hooking huge blues on 5/0.

    I plan on setting out more limb lines. I'll try to vary the spots in relation to cover. This river is slam full of gar and I mean some of them are huge. I'd like to find something that the flatheads eat that the gar do not.

    No time for limb lining tonight, but my boss and I will be setting out 35 noodles (chicken liver and fresh bream cutbait). I have discovered that there are some sorry SOBs around. Sunday night, my wife and I set out 10 noodles in Cooter's pond, loaded the limb lines, and then went down river about 1/4 mile to rod fish the main channel. We fished for about 4 hours and then checked everything on the way back to the dock.

    Someone stole 7 of our noodles (we looked for an hour and there isn't any way for them to leave the pond). Two had moved out into the channel and towards our direction with the 27 lb blue and 42 lb Paddle fish on.

    Man if I catch someone with those noodles I'll need bail money.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  5. Rtpcat

    Rtpcat New Member

    Messages:
    72
    State:
    Alabama
    Farther south on the Alabama like 2 dams downstream we catch flatheads on limblines when the water is high, mostly in the spring, never had much luck on flatheads this time of year and water down. We fish the same stretch of river and if spring when water is still cool can catch blues on the limblines, no flatheads, let the water come up 4 or 5ft and the river get swift and the flatheads are being caught on limblines. I do better running short trotlines over shallow drop offs with bream for yellows until summer hits. The gar are bad and will get your bait, espcially if it is a bright night, If the cover allows you can fish your bait just off the bottom as gar seem to feed in the top layer of water. Not sure what the how deep the water is but if you can get into some current breaks and the water moves good at night you may still be able to get some flatheads.