Flathead catfish....Where and Why!?

Discussion in 'LOCAL OHIO TALK' started by catfishrollo, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    I started the Flathead Q @A for this same reason in the Flathead section months ago... Transitional movements and how to target them... I have been targeting flatheads for pretty much 20 years now, and have to say, there is alot to sit down and talk about even now!!!!! Let's talk about late seasonal patterns now!..... I will start this tip for those, when water temps drop into the mid 60's, start looking at areas that have less current, and have areas where these flats can not only hang out during the day, but feed close by shortly after dark! Flatheads use current, like channels to there advantage, but seem to steer away and look for slightly different scenarios later in the year!! rollo
     
  2. tbull

    tbull New Member

    Messages:
    3,318
    State:
    SW Ohio
    Dont want me to give any tips I suck at catching flatheads!:eek:oooh::smile2::smile2:
     

  3. ohio hilljack

    ohio hilljack New Member

    Messages:
    943
    State:
    ohio
    I'M WITH T-BULL I DON'T KNOW THAT MUCH ABOUT FLATHEAD HABITS. THE ONLY DIFFERENCE IS I'VE CAUGHT HUNDREDS OF THEM. BUT I'VE SPENT A LIFETIME CATCHING THEM IN THE SAME HOLES JUST BECAUSE I KNEW THE WATER . I NEVER USED A ELECTRONIC DEVICE BEFORE THIS YEAR SO I BASICLY USED A ANCHOR ROPE AS A DEPTH FINDER. I NEVER TOOK ANY NOTE OF TIMES OR SEASONS JUST WENT FISHING AND OVER THE YEARS KNEW WHERE THE FISH WOULD BE JUST BECAUSE THAT IS WHERE THEY ALWAYS WERE. THE PROBLEM WITH THIS IS IF YOU EVER TRAVEL TO A UNKNOWN PLACE YOU ARE LOST. YOU PICK A HOLE THAT IS SIMILAR TO WHAT YOU WOULD FISH IN YOUR HOME WATERS BUT HAVE NO IDEA WEATHER OR NOT IT HAS ALL THE SAME CHARACTORISTICS AS THE OTHER HOLE. ALL HOLES THAT ARE THE SAME DEPTH OR AT THE TOP OF A HOLE ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL, YOU HAVE NO WAY OF KNOWING IF OTHER FACTORS THAT ENTER INTO THE EQUATION ARE PRESENT UNLESS YOU KNOW WHAT THOSE FACTORS ARE. SO MY TIP WOULD BE ,READ WHAT THE EXPERTS HAVE TO SAY THEN RESTRUCTURE YOUR THINKING SO THAT YOU UNDERSTAND YOUR QUARRY. YOU WILL CATCH MORE FISH AND YOU WILL DO IT ALL THE TIME NOT JUST WHEN YOU ARE FISHING KNOWN WATERS.
     
  4. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    One thing I have found out about late seasons flatheads is they are either on or off...What I mean is I have found that they feed for shorted periods each day untill the water gets to cold...You may fish 12 stright hrs and catch 4 flatheads in a 1hr time frame.
     
  5. Flootie16

    Flootie16 New Member

    Messages:
    1,268
    State:
    Indiana
    Yeah it does seem that the flathead feeding times tighten up dramaticaly late in the year. I have been out many times and fished a hole for four hours straight knowing there was fish and get ready to pull up anchors and the clickers take off. Ill catch them for about thirty mins to an hour and then they are off again just as quickly as they were on
     
  6. jason berry

    jason berry New Member

    Messages:
    819
    State:
    Evansville
    My river flathead spots for late in the year usually are around a deep channel that comes close to the bank with a nice drop off or alot of cover. I have also found that flatheads love eddies around this time of year. I fish three different areas in the river that produce flatheads pretty well. But, like you guys say I dont catch alot of them and they do turn on and off which makes me sit for a long period of time. I always like areas with less current for them also. I have found if you can find a deeper hole compared to other areas of depth around near a place holding bait fish (shallow water) usually for me in less current with some structure around you will do well. I have spoke to a few of you about fish mouthing the bait in the fall and playing with it and not really taking the bait but laying on the bottom with it and then when you reel in hes on their. I think the reason for this is its cut bait and I havent figured out another reason yet except maybe hes just waitng on another opportunity to arise before he waist any more energy . But with the water temp dropping now I know I will have this happening to me alot more now. I only fish rivers now for flatheads so this is mostly what I have been talking about for fall flats. Most of the flats I catch are also around these deep holes not actually in the deep holes.
     
  7. brother hilljack

    brother hilljack New Member

    Messages:
    7,305
    State:
    Shelbyville, TN
    I am with the Ohio HIlljack on this one. I have never caught a flathead outside of my home waters (except 1 dink in the ohio river)??? Seems kind of strange with the amount of fishing that I do. I will be interested in reading what everyone has to say.
     
  8. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    Heres an example of what I was saying.

    Last October I hit a big dry spell, I was fishing my favorite hole from 5pm till about 10 pm..Fished it six stright times without a hit..Then Towards the end of the month I got to my spot a little bit earlier around 3pm, an and caught 3 over 20 within an hr and they totally shut off..I never caught another one from that spot the rest of the year.

    Some people swear by the fall feeding frenzy..I find the fishing this time of the year can be fantastic, or very, very poor.

    I have much better luck in the prespawn, and then agin in August right after the spawn
     
  9. neocats

    neocats New Member

    Messages:
    2,130
    State:
    Steubenvil
    What about lake fishing this time of year? Have the Flats already headed into the deep for good or are they still feeding shallow?
     
  10. jolie

    jolie New Member

    Messages:
    828
    State:
    PA
    are you sure this is totally limited to flats??

    the channels seem to be following this pattern for me. right after spawn they were consistant. Now it seems like life rocks (a little) or really is dead (a lot).
    how do you guys adapt? do you move more in the fall? what about daytime fishing??

    the idea that my favorite hole might suddenly turn on (yield a few) and then go out completely (for the rest of the year) is sobering. what if you miss that 'ON' day?

    it seems as if your saying that over the years you look for new fall spots , rather than try new tricks at prespawn or postspawn spots...

    perhaps cuz channels continue to feed during cold weather- I can't read too much into this post, when it comes to my obsessive search for channels in local waters.
     
  11. brother hilljack

    brother hilljack New Member

    Messages:
    7,305
    State:
    Shelbyville, TN
    Thanks for all the great insight, I look forward to following this post
     
  12. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    Lake flats probably are still in the same areas probably Jeff including shallow. I haven't had much time to go lately, so it would be wrong for me to post, and im still learning lake tendencies. River flats from experience, will start moving more and more soon with the weather the way its been... 41 for a low tonight, with 10-20 winds. A few nights of that will throw them a bone for fall time habits, and their behaviors will change quickly! rollo
     
  13. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    my favorite spots are opposite what one may think... I like places where the river hole is adjacent or away from the main channel that causes hard current. I agree with ya, they start looking for the slack areas more and more inclusing eddies, and seem to hole-up accordingly! I always try areas that are deeper spots in the fall, but... I have learned a certain pattern to go by, and catch flats sometimes late up till christmas by a simple method......rollo
     
  14. bw69r

    bw69r Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,816
    State:
    West Newton, PA
    don't keep us in suspense. that method is ....?
     
  15. Desode

    Desode New Member

    Messages:
    185
    State:
    Ohio
    The river has always been on and off for me in the fall. I agree that they are picky about when they eat and once they do eat that can be it for the evening. I personally think it has to do with what the barometric pressure is doing even more so in the fall for flats. I do my best fall flat fishing by watching it. I swear I'm like a women watching her temp when she is trying to have a baby ! :crazy: I carry my fishing barometer every were to the point of obsession ! I will just about bet that if the pressure is going up and down thats when their feeding and it may be the only time that they are feeding for that evening in that area. Last year I caught more flats in the month of oct during the early evening hrs (3pm to 5pm) then I caught in the whole year on the OH river. My Favorite spot has a 30 foot drop off rising gradually and then running into a sand bar followed by shallow 3 to 4 foot till it drops into a 43 ft hole. I have seen them come up from the drop off and feed for a hour in the shallow then go into the deep hole and no more action at all, unless a big barge comes by going up the river and then you'll see one or two moving through the shallow back up river to the drop off. Last year when the water temp dropped below 70 they came to that spot and stayed there till november 11th and then they were gone.

    This year the water at my part of the oh river is really low compared to the conditions the last few years, so I don't know what their going to do, or if that is going to affect their habits compared to the last couple of years. I got the rest of the week off and I'm going to go every second I can, but if their not at my fall river spots then I'll be hitting the lakes (tappen, piedmont,clendening). For me they seem to do a lot more night time activity at the lakes then in my part of the oh river. I don't know why that seems to be the case ? and it has just about drove me crazy trying to figure it out.

    I'm really curious as to what this month is going to be like at the River with the water so low, It may be amazing and it may be FUGLY. I really don't know. One thing is for sure, I will be watching the barometric pressure gauge closer than I do any other time of the year.
    Matt, AKA DESODE
     
  16. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    downsize my livebaits, and fish areas more thorough where I think they are around by moving around the area, trying to present baits every few feet of the hole until I get a run.. Flats seem to bunch up more in the fall-time, and if you can find and area thats offering them an easy meal whether it be a school of shad, or other baitfish that may be holding together closely, you can catch a bunch of fish around them.. Alot of these fish are in the smaller young adult variety it seems 5-15 pound range, but alot of fun.. I remember fishing a certain area a few years back one night from my boat in the fall, another buddy was within 100yrds. or so in another boat, at end of the night we combined to catch 21 flats, all were released. I think you just have to fish more methodical, and really pay attention to where you are placing baits on each cast. BTW, chubs, shiners, small bass are my bait of choice. They seem to stay with the smaller slender baits better for me in the fall over the big bulky baits at times... rollo
     
  17. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    I find the bite best one hour before dusk and one hour after. I think it may be due to that the water is still warm.

    Big baits don't get as many hits as cut bait.

    Like Rollo said, most fish are 5 to 15lb range.