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Flathead catfish in Home Pond

39168 Views 26 Replies 22 Participants Last post by  kat in the hat
Dear Catfishers,I have a small pond on my property its about 5 to 6 years old according to neighbors,we have been here 2.Anyways,I haved fished it on a regular basis,allways catch and release so they could grow larger.Well,I never have caught any C.F.,so It got me to thinking maybe there were never any put in.So as I have been catching them I have been bringing them home and putting them in.All varietys,well I was telling someone about a large Flatty I had caught 10#'s ,26 inches long,and they ask if I had put it in there,I said yes,but he is still on a stringer cause I wanted to take some more pics.Well,they began to tell me it would be the worst thing I could do for my pond unless I was gonna make it strictly catfish only with the majority of them being Flattys.they went on to tell me it,they, will eat everything it can find,all my bass,bluegill,grass carp,channels,bulls,minnows,and other flattys.They made it sound like Flattys were the most ferocious fish in the world and it would completely take over my pond.I wanted to get some feedback from some experienced Flatheaders whether on not this is true,and should I discontinue putting in more Flattys?Your help would be appreciated,thanks JON
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Yes, it's true. One can make a dent. More than one could ruin it.
I consider the flathead to be the Great White Shark of the river systems. They will destroy the fish population in a small pond, even one can have a devestating effect.
So to answer your question NO I would not recomend it. Unless of course you want to get rid of the fish that are in it already.
I know you want to have them in there but they are not a good pond fish if you know what I mean!!!
The flathead is a predator,they eat what they want ,when they want.I don't think I'd go that route. :glare:
the great-white of fresh water is a great comparasion.

it would eat everything in sight.
I think one would be fine to control the population of the fish in there, I know one thing, if you dont have a predator or two in there then the fish in the pond will only get to a cirtain size because there would be too many of them and not enough food to go around to let them get bigger. At least then you could possible catch the monster flathead every now and then.
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since they stopped stocking this pond near me the sunfish population has gotten out of control, same for the crappies. since there are so many they cant get of any size. May throw in some flats, how many should i put in?
They are also like pitbulls, they don't play well with others :rolleyes: ,LMAO!!!
I can speak from experience also, I fish weekend tournaments in a couple of stocked ponds in my area. Several years ago you were pestered by alot of small bullheads in the ponds and the kids could catch bluegills all day long. The owner started buying large blues and flatheads which had been caught in the river and stocking them in about three years ago. Now you never catch a fish in either pond less than 3 lbs. channel, blue, or flathead, and we have to go to other ponds to catch gills for bait. The big flatheads, some of them up to sixty lbs. have eaten everything they can get in their mouths. I have to agree the Great White of freshwater is a pretty good description but what a fight. Nothing more exciting than a good Catfight.
We use live bream for bait. The flathead will eat them. Never had much luch on bass though. We only tried it once, no bites. Bad choice to put flatheads or blues in a pond with other small fish. You could put some channel cats in there, they won't bother the other fish. Well, unless they got really big.
I would also make sure the pond is plenty deep. A friend of min put 10-15 large flatheads in a pond that was about 1 acre. It was a real shallow pond and it actually turned over in july this year. All the big flats were floating along with some 5-6lb bass. It was a mess. Not sure if the big fish had something to do with it or not.
One other things about flatties, they will also hit anything that comes into their "territory". Thats one thing to remember about them.
Everyone's advice is pretty much true on flatheads in ponds. One or two though will not destroy a ecosystem in a pond. My buddy had only a one acre pond that we had put way too many large flathead and big blues in. We did stock the pond though with shad from the river and had a heathly population of shad reproducing in the pond for forage. Three months ago we drained the pond since it was over 70 years old with lots of silt that needed to be cleaned out. We drained the pond down to about two feet and pulled out over 30 flatheads and 50 big blue cats. My largest flathead ever at 52.5 pounds had been living the the pond for four years. I had never caught him again even though he was only in a one acre pond. When we did weigh him the fish only weighed 47 pounds, so in four years he had lost five pounds. There was too many big fish in this pond but there was also tons of perch, shad and even some bass still in the pond. They didn't seem to have a shortage of food but didn't eat like they should. When the pond is finished there will probably be one or two flatheads but no more. Here's a pic of the breaking of the dam. Lots of fish were cleaned at now reside in the freezer or were transported to other ponds. The 55 pound grass carp that resided in the pond was fun to catch.


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I caught a 55lb Flatty in the lake of the ozarks and we put it in a yellow trash bag. We drove 3 1/2 hours home with it and it was still alive, we took it out to my cousins pond and we plan on catching it back in September. Do you tihnk he could be much bigger? (I caught it back in April or so!)
It matters where you live a mature flathead grows about 2 to 3 lbs per year in the South. And by the way I don't think that I would put the flats in the pond you. It is true what they all have said The Great White Shark of freshwater!
i dont kare what anyone dream is to have a decent size pond....a couple grass carp to keep it clean.....all the blue gill i can keep in it......and as many flat heads i can catch i will throw in........i dont care too much about bass or it anyway possible to have a healthy pond habitat for many flat heads?? how big would the pond have to be??
Flatheads is a big no no!
If you are going to build a pond to hold all the Flatheads you want to throw in there, What size are you planing on building, If you want to have a 50 Acer lake then I say go for it do what you want !!

But if you want a 1 or 2 acer pond for your benefit and you want to put more then 4 or 5 Flatheads in it then you might be reaching a little. remember when Flatheads are growing the can gouge themselves and sometimes they kill for the heck of it not cause there hungry.

You will not see affects right away it may take a year if you got enough feed in there for them but after awhile you will see what happens, what is the problem in leaving them where you catch them at and go back another time for them.. ??

I am lost on why people think they got to have them in there pond beside them, if they want one or two for a acer pond then fine but don't over do it cause you will kill the fish you brought home to put in your pond that I will guarantee.

Just think if I took 100 people and put in your house and put one pound of ham and 60 cans of soup and 20 cases of pop how long would you 100 people last.. ?????

Give it some thought before you go out and do this !!
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yeah, i see what ur only 24 and dont have the money or the land at the moment for just thinking in the future.....maybe a pond full of flatties is a bad idea........but how about a couple nice flatties and a nice channel cat population?? and maybe even some bass, lol
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