I want to thank a new friend and member, River Cat, for inviting me along on a flathead fishing trip to the Great Pee Dee River yesterday. I usually fish the lower Santee River and the Santee Cooper Lakes System, but primarily target blues, with some channels mixed in, and very rarely, a flathead will be taken, too. I love the way the flats fight; purely mean and muscle, so after talking with James some, we agreed to meet up at a landing on the river early on Thursday morning. I was there about a half hour early, eager to get going. Just about the agreed time, I saw a truck come over a small rise on the dirt road leading to the boat landing, and it had a bunch of poles sticking up in the air behind it, so I figured that had to be River Cat coming my way. Grabbed my small cooler with food and drink, camera, and a towel to wipe my hands on, stepped out of my vehicle, and met him upon his arrival. After some cursory introductions and small talk, all the while prepping the boat for launching, we were in the water. The sun was barely up as we left the landing for a cool, cloudy morning on the river. A couple of boats were already fishing for pan fish near the landing as we left, and we would see only one additional boat for the rest of our day. I was anticipating a good day. We stopped just a very short distance up the river and set up for the first spot. James took a few moments to show me how he baits up and sets out his rigs, three rods with three different baits on each side of the boat angling back behind us in the current, and then we teamed up on em the rest of the day. We continued this pattern as we worked our way downriver during the course of the day, probably traveling 10-12 miles or so, hitting a lot of different holes that river cat had in his memory. We would give each spot a few minutes, then move if we didnt get a bite. This method paid off well. I think we got as many as 3 fish out of one spot, but most would only yield one or two (or none). James boated 35# and 10# flatheads. I landed a 22#er, which was my biggest in a long, long time, but sadly, I lost two other big flats that most likely were in the 30+# class. When fishing the kind of cover we fished, that is to be expected, along with losing lots of rigging, but it hurts to have a really nice fish on and feel him wrap up tight and break free, as happened in one instance. The other one was a terminal connection failure. The knot appeared to have come free from the hook eye. Occasionally, a hook eye wont be completed closed, and that will happen. I usually check that, especially when using smaller diameter braided lines, but I missed it, I guess. As for other fish, we also managed to boat 4 blue cats up to ~8-10#s, and a channel in the 5# range. It was interesting to see how the different baits performed. We used live bream, shiners, and eels. The flats seemed to prefer bream on this day, although we did catch one on an eel. The blues stayed with the shiner and eels. The lone channel cat took a shiner, as I recall. All of our fish were released to catch another day. Again, thanks for the invite, River Cat. I had a ball. We traded a lot of information and I learned quite a bit more about flathead fishing, and using eels in particular, which Ive been curious about. I want to give special thanks to River Cats wife. She called him a couple of times on the cell phone, and we immediately got a good hook-up both times. That lady is GOOD LUCK!