flathead Catfish spawn

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by hock_paul, Jun 23, 2009.

  1. hock_paul

    hock_paul New Member

    Messages:
    246
    State:
    illinois
    This is only my second year specifically targeting flatheads. The place where I do most of my fishing is a medium sized river where the lower 30 miles are channelized for navigation. The rest of the river, the upper 92 miles, is a freeflowing river with logjams, winding bends, etc. This is where I concentrate most of my fishing at. The question I wanted to ask some of the more experienced flat fisherman is- Is it worth fishing during the peak of the spawn or do you guys bide your time with bluecats or channels or what have you? The reason that I ask is because I'd like to fit some time fishing in for them after work, but the river is pretty high right now and I'll only have a couple hours to fish if I go. I'd hate to be spinning my wheels, especially after catching bait and hauling my boat.
    Now I know most of you are going to tell me that "all the catfish don't spawn at the same time" and that "anytime you can go is the best time to fish". But for the most part, I'd like to see what you guys think about it. It seems last year, around this time, my catch rate dropped off like a rock over a cliff, but picked up again once the water levels dropped a little by the end of July. Keep in mind that I was catching fish before the "spawn" last year, and I'm seeing the same pattern developing this year. By-the-way, I do the bulk of my fishing during the daytime. THANX A LOT GUYS and GOOD LUCK FISHING!
     
  2. Hoopie

    Hoopie New Member

    Messages:
    818
    State:
    Ohio
    I hold off on the flats until mid to late July. I might target channels during this time just depends on how hot and humid it is. All of my flat fishing is at night.
     

  3. FLATHEAD STEVE

    FLATHEAD STEVE New Member

    Messages:
    1,772
    State:
    DESMOINES IOWA
    Bro every time I have taken breaks from fishing I hear of monsters being pulled out, so therefore... I don't take breaks anymore!:smile2: Hope this helps
     
  4. mikeozo

    mikeozo New Member

    Messages:
    127
    State:
    PA
    I think after June is best if you are targeting the big boys. If you just want to catch catfish June is pretty good.
     
  5. lendog

    lendog New Member

    Messages:
    2,141
    State:
    berks, PA
    smaller flattys are in numbers, and if your fishin from a boat you can move around a search for the bigger ones that aren't on a nest or move your baits around more and find them, it's always worth a shot in my book, beats doin yard work:wink:
     
  6. Iowa_Josh

    Iowa_Josh New Member

    Messages:
    1,463
    State:
    Central Iowa
    Stay home. Mow the lawn and stuff.
     
  7. USCA-RECLAIMED-ACCOUNT

    USCA-RECLAIMED-ACCOUNT New Member

    Messages:
    3,020
    Hit em any time you get the chance!I,ve gotten some nice cats when they weren,t supposed to be hitting.:wink:
     
  8. lookin_4_moby

    lookin_4_moby New Member

    Messages:
    1,143
    State:
    Guthrie, OK
    you can still find flatties during the spawn if you know where and what you're looking for. during the spawn you should focus your attention to logjams especailly larger ones with big root wads which is a primary spawning area, and rock piles. both places should hold big flats male and female looking to spawn or gaurding the nest. try using bullheads during this time of year because not only is it a good meal for flatties it's also a predator trying to eat it's eggs which will entice it to bite even more. hope i could help some
     
  9. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    Typically this time of year (I'm farther south than you, and I believe the flatheads around here are either in the peak of the spawn or even finishing up), I still get good numbers of fish, but no big ones. I went out last weekend and got 6 flatheads up to 21 pounds. Six fish is a good night for me, but I can usually scratch up a bigger fish if I work at it.

    Is it the spawn? Is it all just in my imagination? Personally I can't help but wonder if the "spawn time" is just the catfisherman's favorite excuse. Sounds to me like you said you did well last year when the water level stabilized. Might have nothing to do with the spawn. Anyway, you'll never know unless you try!
     
  10. daniel-delarosa

    daniel-delarosa New Member

    Messages:
    392
    State:
    seminole, oklahoma
    Is noodling legal in Illinois? If you want to get on some flatties, that is the way to do it.
     
  11. Fishgeek

    Fishgeek Active Member

    Messages:
    1,149
    State:
    Indiana
    "Is it the spawn? Is is all just in my imagination?" I think I agree with you JA. I haven't been fishing for flatheads near as long as just about all of you so feel free to shoot down my hypothesis. But I was thinking about the spawn & reading everyones posts about the woe of the flathead spawn...no hits, no fish, might as well pack it in for the month, etc. Should it really be that bad?

    Yes, they will be off the market for a while as they find their nooks & crannies and begin preparing the nest. Additionally, the males are going to stick around and guard the nest until the little ones are ready to go out into the real world. So, obviously the males won't be too interested in eating for a while. But what about the females? I would think the would be pretty active right up until the spawn -- eating like crazy to get as much nutrients in her as possible to continue to develop those precious eggs. I would think, for the females, the actual spawning process would be relatively quick. Sure there's some courtship that needs to take place, but once the mates are choosen & conditions are right, the female drops her eggs, the guy kicks her out of the house and watches over the ~8,000 buns in the oven. I would think, once again, the females will be on the prowl to eat...especially since that jerk mate of her's threw her out of the house right after they got jiggy wid it! Pissed off, hungry, and just looking for a shad to crush. What's that old saying? Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!?
     
  12. hock_paul

    hock_paul New Member

    Messages:
    246
    State:
    illinois
    Well, gonna give it a try tonight and all day sunday. I'll post on the results. Thanx for the info. guys!
     
  13. upncomincatfishking

    upncomincatfishking New Member

    Messages:
    415
    State:
    Cheviot Ohio
    the shovels are startin to spawn but at the same time the blues are comin off the nest. so they are startin to bite i just startedc to see my first couple blues caught this year the last week or so. from wat i have picked up the shovels swim up smaller feeder creeks and rivers to spawn. but after the eggs are laid the female headfs out and the male guards the nest and a yellowbelly will get any shovel who is guarding a nest or just swimmin around to hit. i say you should still be good. just target all the structure you can and i say you'll have good luck!