Flathead Catfish - Seasonal Structure Movements

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by Salmonid, Jan 11, 2006.

  1. Salmonid

    Salmonid New Member

    Messages:
    1,833
    State:
    SW Ohio
    In conjunction with FLathunters post about habitat ( I didnt want to Hijack that thread) my question relates to Spring vs Summer Flatheads.

    It has been my experience with flats and channels ( Reminder:Im no expert) that in the Spring, flats tend to be driven to the rip rapped and flat rocked areas while in post spawn, they tend to be more "wood" oriented on Mud Bottomed pools. I have noticed this through 30 years of river fishing for non cat species and now that I am truly focusing on Flats and other Cats, wanted to know if my observations were correct or not

    Im sure someone on here has a thought or two on that "theory", lets hear it!

    Salmonid
     
  2. Netmanjack

    Netmanjack New Member

    Messages:
    3,734
    State:
    Ohio
    I think your right Mark, reason being In the spring the fish are actively seeking prey,they need to build up their reserves for the spawn. So they head for the nearest cafeteria, any structure that holds bait fish,like rocks. In the summer I think they like the deeper wooded areas also.It gives them a better place to ambush prey. This time of year they don't need the extra energy for the spawn and can afford to be lazy. Waiting for the food to come to them. expending less energy.
     

  3. dinkbuster1

    dinkbuster1 New Member

    Messages:
    2,272
    State:
    Ohio
    spring till spawn they (flats and channels) will be in the shallows near wood or rock strucure scoping out spawn sites, following food, and because the shallows are warmer then. after spawning they will tend to favor deeper water and will stay there till its time to roam and feed. until a few years ago i used to have trouble catchin big fish till after the spawn, finally figured out that i was fishing the deeper areas too early.
     
  4. SangamonCatKiller

    SangamonCatKiller New Member

    Messages:
    488
    State:
    central illinois
    I think you may be on to something there. You can catch them on both structure types on our river. They seem to really hang out near the jams though.
     
  5. vlparrish

    vlparrish New Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    State:
    Bedford, Kentucky
    Salmonid, You are absolutely correct about flats being near rock in prespawn and near wood in summer and post spawn. I think you hit the nail on the head about the post spawn theory, but I think that they like the rocky areas better in prespawn not because of bait, but because of a suitable shelter to hide and make a nest. They tend to get under ledges and make holes under and between rocks for their nests. The woody areas would be unlikely for holes especially with a solid mud bottom. Vern
     
  6. FlatGetter

    FlatGetter New Member

    Messages:
    196
    State:
    Illinois
    Yeah that sounds right. I think they like wood cover all year long. I heard they really like rip-rap for spawning.
     
  7. Rob Heflin

    Rob Heflin New Member

    Messages:
    64
    State:
    Mississippi
    What changes do you fellas see when you're fishing a river with no rocky structure?

    Plenty of snags, log jams and roots, though in my local river, but no rocks whatsoever.
     
  8. blackhorse83

    blackhorse83 New Member

    Messages:
    1,008
    State:
    missouri
    I'd be in those snags and log jams they need some kind of structure
     
  9. Chief

    Chief New Member

    Messages:
    261
    State:
    Indiana
    in the summer when you get a stretch of really hot weather and the river is down look for flatheads deep during the day, also check areas that offer good shade. when the sun goes down most fish will roam the shallows to feed, but i've also caught some flatties deep late at night