Flathead Catfish Help

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by iluvnevaeh, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. iluvnevaeh

    iluvnevaeh New Member

    Messages:
    158
    State:
    Nebraska
    Ok, i'm obviously doing something wrong here fellas. I'm new to fishing for flathead, i got all the right gear and good size goldfish for bait. Let me paint the picture, the water temp has been in the lower 60's. I am fishing from the banks right where the Missouri river meets the Big Nemaha rver, and about 100 yards into the Big Nemaha there is a bridge wth log jams around the pillars, each about 15 feet from the banks. There is lots of Channel, Gar, and Carp. I've tred fshing up river from the pillars, right at the pillars, and down river. NOTHING! I know there are flatheads there because i've been told by family that there have been 40+ pounders caught around there years ago. Any ideas on what to do or where to fsh would be helpful, i've only been river catting for about a month now. Any help or ideas is GREATLY appreciated. Thank you in advance!
     
  2. catfishcatcher

    catfishcatcher New Member

    Messages:
    493
    State:
    indiana
    Well where do I start. First you need to experiment with different types of bait like shad and bluegills. Also the other types of bait fish that may be in you river system. Secondly there may not be a huge pouplation of flatheads in your river. Just because you heard of someone catching one years ago doesnt mean that there is a large population of them. The river system I mainly fish does have some flathead but I have only caught 1 there in the many years that I have fished it. Heck, we have only caught a few blues as well mainly channels just like you. I realized that I wasnt necessarily doing any thing wrong or my gear or bait was wrong but the body of water wasnt holding them in large populations. I wanted a big flathead and now want a big blue cat so I researched and decided to fish where they are and for me it was the Ohio river. I caught a forty lb flathead on my first trip ever to a body of water that I never fished. Keep this in mind and try different things, the fish will come eventually. Good luck.
     

  3. Hoopie

    Hoopie New Member

    Messages:
    818
    State:
    Ohio
    The first thing I would do is try different baits chubs, bluegills. shad, alive and cut up. This will help you out tremendously.
     
  4. Welder

    Welder New Member

    Messages:
    4,834
    State:
    Missouri
    The flats may not have moved out of the deep water wintering holes on the MO river yet. No one here that I know of in gasconade Mo has caught one yet this year and the gasconade river is @ 59 deg and the osage today was 54deg. And the poulation might be less. Let the water warm up more then fish with the big live baits around that log jamb you will get 1.:wink:
     
  5. bnorth

    bnorth New Member

    Messages:
    539
    State:
    Indiana
    I think you've already gotten the best answer...try changing bait. Shad and 'Gills would be at the top of my list, try them live and cut.

    They say Muskie are the fish of a thousand casts...if thats true then Flatheads may be the fish of 5000 casts. Be patient. Flatheads aren't like channels, sometimes even when everything is just right, they still won't bite.
     
  6. rushing

    rushing New Member

    Messages:
    561
    State:
    Minnesota
    Like said before changing up baits and more importantly...patients, patients, patients. You are fishing for an apex predator. I have fished with people that it took two season before they even saw their first flathead.

    Good luck and stick with it!
     
  7. catoon

    catoon Board Clown!

    Messages:
    1,387
    State:
    whiteville
    try fishing 100 yards above the river coming in to the other river
     
  8. iluvnevaeh

    iluvnevaeh New Member

    Messages:
    158
    State:
    Nebraska
    thank you guys, im looking to go out and try the new ideas tomorrow....weather permiting. catoon, did you mean the big nemaha river meeting with the MO? so i would be fishing the Big Nemaha? any other ideas guys would be helpful....The water temperature is now up to 64....:cool2:
     
  9. jason berry

    jason berry New Member

    Messages:
    819
    State:
    Evansville
    Flats are hittin here with water temp at 56 degrees, youve got the right advice. Flathead fishing is slow starting until you get the hang. Patience, try fishing at night, pillars are great, change up the bait. I have tried bluegill and goldfish at my river spot and the flats just wont hit them good so I use skipjack, shad would also be good. Use natural baits, baby carp are awesome flathead bait.
     
  10. drpepper

    drpepper New Member

    Messages:
    6,133
    State:
    Indiana
    havent seen anyone mention TIME.
    It will become significantly easier on you if you fish the RIGHT time.
    I call it bite thirty. A flathead is a flathead... you can make rocket science out of catching them- even fishing in the right spot, OR- you can have your bait (live gill) in the right spot (log jams, near holes, etc) at the RIGHT TIME..here it's like clock work- right at dark -When pink leaves the sky, be ready... bait in the water, situated and quite... and for about an hour- if your lucky, an hour inna half, They will slam you.... After that you may poke one or two if you have a couple other spots that you can creep up on. works 4 out of 7 days of the week on average given that all other condions of weather are normal... better in rain and rising water.
    If your new to flatties and your after them in daylight you may just get burned out before you get one.... I won't fish in the sun... SOME do though and I don't know why- too much work. lol.
    I woundnt expect too much til that water warms up a bit..... you'll work harder and alot more luck than in 70 degree (at night) water.
     
  11. rhuffman

    rhuffman New Member

    Messages:
    58
    State:
    pa
    I would try useing cutbait stuffed with stinkbait. If there are flats there you should catch some of the smaller ones when the hit pics up. Then switch to live baits. Good luck
     
  12. USE TO BE

    USE TO BE New Member

    Messages:
    130
    State:
    Ohio
    Just keep at it, trying diffent things. Once you catch one, more will follow. With each one you catch, so comes a learning experience and knowledge is power when targeting the trophy Flatheads.
     
  13. Snagged2

    Snagged2 New Member

    Messages:
    6,252
    State:
    Verde Valley AZ
    Dr Pepper called it pretty good,,, Time, of day
    Time on the water,, Try different baits,,, Location,,,,,

    I like to fish when it's dark, quiet, have my best luck then,, About the time I doze off into a nap, that's when they try and steal my bait!! Gotta love those clickers,,
    I seem to mainly catch Flats between 8:30 PM and about 3:30 AM
    I've caught a few during the day,Still haven't TARGETED one successfully during daylight hours,, and I've been at it about 30 yrs,, Never, said I was any good at it!!!!:wink:
    But, It keeps me going after them!!!:smile2:
     
  14. iluvnevaeh

    iluvnevaeh New Member

    Messages:
    158
    State:
    Nebraska
    i've been trying but still no luck, heres a few pics of the area that im fishing, to the right in the pics is the MO river about 100 yards down from the bridge adn pillars there.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. john catfish young

    john catfish young New Member

    Messages:
    3,070
    State:
    Kentucky
    James....your spot looks great and I'm sure there are some big flats in there too. Keep on using live baits and if you havent already tried it.....take one of your poles and cast out only a few feet off the bank and fish all night! I have caught many near the bank at night in shallow waters. I've been at this a long time and I have only caught 1 flat during daylight hours and it was in 40' water. But I've caught several nice ones in the darkness of night near the bank! Good Luck!:wink:
     
  16. drpepper

    drpepper New Member

    Messages:
    6,133
    State:
    Indiana
    I see a little stick jam... are there any deep holes? Looks like just a straight run.
    Man I'll tell ya, it'll be tough on ya tied to the bank and NOT knowing what the bottom is.... the spot you want to get to is probably a rough hike or no-mans-land on foot. Best thing you could possibly do is GET A BOAT and a cheap sonar.... look for log jams near holes around current breaks.
     
  17. iluvnevaeh

    iluvnevaeh New Member

    Messages:
    158
    State:
    Nebraska
    yeah i dont know if theres holes, thers a shallow flat i was able to see when water leel was down just to the right of the log jam under the pillar. thats the way to the MO bout 100 yards down and the left is a str8 shot with a sheer faced cliff on the side so no bank
     
  18. Iowa_Josh

    Iowa_Josh New Member

    Messages:
    1,463
    State:
    Central Iowa
    find some more spots and put the pics up. If that little pile is only in 2' of water, it isn't that attractive. The mud island in the background is a bad sign too.

    You can change baits till you are blue in the face but if you're in a bad spot, it's all a waste of time. Some parts of the MO are littered with wing dams and that would be a major attraction compared to that spot. It's also early in the year for the logjam approach?
     
  19. FLATHEAD STEVE

    FLATHEAD STEVE New Member

    Messages:
    1,772
    State:
    DESMOINES IOWA
    Agreed, might still be a little early for that spot if it is as shallow as it looks, but in the warmer months I would definately give it a shot with large live baits. When I say LARGE it is because that spot will hold alot of channel cats to and they will not hit LARGE live baits as "much" giving you the oppertunity to leave a bait out longer waiting for mr. flattie to find it
     
  20. iluvnevaeh

    iluvnevaeh New Member

    Messages:
    158
    State:
    Nebraska
    I was goin through my old posts and found this one form a few months ago. I finally caught my firts flathead and it was from the spot i posted pics of. I just wanted to say thank you very much for yalls help, i listened to wat yall said and tried each different spot i was told and used a process of elimintation and finally hooked a 15# flattie!! Thank yall again and appreciated the help and info for this new river fisherman!!!