Flathead Catfish in a small lake.

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by BobbyR, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. BobbyR

    BobbyR New Member

    I have never caught a flat-head in my life, but, I have found a lake close to me that was used for flat-head experiments in Minn. in the early eighties.

    Now the high water after the exp. may have sent most down river, but a lake book written several years ago says there are some thirty pounders in there.

    What is the best way, and location to fish a small lake? It is a bowl shaped lake forty feet deep, only a hundred or so acres, with three creeks/ditches coming in and one going out.
    I would greatly appreciate anyones expert opinion as where to go after them.
  2. Vector

    Vector New Member

    Man.....sounds like the exact setup I'm looking at here! I'm interested to hear the responses!

    I've been looking ALL OVER this thing for woody cover and/or rocks, and have found very little to work with. I guess that's a good thing? Key in on those small areas?

    Thanks for starting this thread!


  3. smoothkip25

    smoothkip25 New Member

    Id look for structure on the banks or the bottom. The creek channels might be a good spot also. Good luck and tell us how you do.
  4. jagdoctor1

    jagdoctor1 New Member

    I'd say fish at the feeder creeks. Right at the entrances of fresh water. Especially if you can find any cover for bluegill.
  5. CatFuStyle

    CatFuStyle New Member

    Xenia, Ohio
    lakes are a totally different beast than rivers, the best advise patients patients patients, you could fish 5 days straight and only get 1 bite, and then wait a week or two and fish 5 more days straight and get a ton of bites, like the others have said, try the exit of the creek channels into the lake and try the entrance of the creek flowing out, also look for trees or any structure that locates to deep and shallow water, figure out what forage bait fish are in the lake, goldfish are usually pretty good live bait choices for lakes as well, you could go out tonight and slay them or you could go out tonight and not get one bite, ive fished the lakes i fish for a long time and have only caught a handful, but i know there in there its just harder to pinpoint the areas where there going to be unlike a river system...
  6. kitsinni

    kitsinni New Member

    If you can find an area where there is shallow water near the bank 1-3 feet with a ledge or dropoff I would try fishing up on the ledge near the bank at night.
  7. BobbyR

    BobbyR New Member

    Well gents thanks for the info.
    The lake is forty miles south of me and I hope to get time to get down there with time to fish before Memorial Day.
    I did drive down, on the way to Ma's house for Mother's Day and give it another check.
    The north side where the creek exists, if one can believe the maps, if you go out forty feet or so you are in forty feet of water, with many trees hanging over, or into the lake.
    I think that is where I will try, with some leeches, or if I can get them larger suckers or shiners.

    The south side is where the creek enters, and at this point what is mostly a ditch/creek, turns into a genuine creek coming out of a pond about eighty to one hundred feet in diameter an runs for about an eigth mile before entering the lake where water depth is more or less normal five-ten-fifteen etc, and there are lily pads.
    I did do a net search to see if the Minn. DNR had surveyed the lake recently and they did last fall.
    ODDLY, they came up with ZERO black bullheads and only a few yellow bullheads.

    I am hoping that means there are a fair number of flatties down there using them for lunch.
    Of the carp netted they were all over twenty inches.
    Hopefully after Memorial Day I can give a report of abysmal failure or success.

    While reading the DNR site, I checked on surveys of lakes in my home town region, where I used to fish as a yout.
    I checked on a lake, which is known and stocked HEAVILY for walleyes and my eyes almost bugged out.
    In the bullheads gathered in the netting, one was in the 30+ inch category.
    Sadly the survey was from 1985, other wise I wold have gone there and put a BIG chunk of liver or stink bait on a big hook and hoped that one cruised by..
  8. john catfish young

    john catfish young New Member

    Well....a lake that small could easily be fished with live bluegills on floats. Set your depth at 5 or 6 feet with no weight and just free-line some bluegills with floats. Fish at night and hang on. If there were 30 lb'ers in there a few years ago.....there are probably 40 lbers now or bigger.

    I would fish with several rods.....some on bottom and some on top. JMO.:cool2:
  9. BobbyR

    BobbyR New Member

    As I am still putting siding on the house and getting out before Memorial Day looks unlikely but I am curious about the use of sunfish.
    It is illegal in Minn. (as are multiple rods) but even the Flatheads studied in this lake (they pumped the stomachs) ate bullheads and carp (including two that were over a foot long) and little of anything else.
    Pumpkin seed and Green sunfish population took a loss, by seine returns, but the study said that Bluegill and Crappie were not found (in recognizable form) in the stomach till the last year of the five year study.
    (The lakes Bluegill population actually increased according to seine results)

    Is this just a regional occurance or because they had items they like better than Bluegills they ate the best first?
    I have a feeling I will be as likely to catch a pike, (or more likely as this lake is known for few but larger pike,) with a leeches or a sucker. (There are no suckers in the lake).
    I am tempted to catch some small green sunfish and play ignorant if a warden comes by, but by the test results these Flatheads prefer carp and bullheads. (The last seining in the lake showed zero black bullheads and only three, the never were many, yellow bullheads. I cannot legally transport live bullheads so catching them elsewhere and using them is a bigger risk than trying sunnies.
    This lake gets more than normal dnr attention due to being a former test lake.
    The Flatheads put in the lake came from Illinois, if that made a difference.)