Catfish Angler Forum at USCA banner

Flathead catfishing - using carp 4 to 5lbs on balloons?

3680 Views 19 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  CatBusster
guys i am a bluecat man this is my specialty but i know there are some giant flatheads out there swimming around, would it be crazy for me to try the carp on balloons or am i going overboard

any suggestions and has anybody tried this before
the giant wells catfish primarily feeds on live carp some weighing over 20lbs
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
I would just like to know how big of a balloon. A 4-5 pound carp i would think swim around with that balloon pretty easy. Guess there would be a lot of waiting for a fish with size to take it. Would be very cool to see though.
well i was thinking if i could use him in a shallow cove, thats the idea let him swim hopefully attracting a big fish with the balloon bouncing around because obviously thats what would happen right? if not then ill throw him deep on bottom with i guess a 12 to 13oz sinker and hope for the best
hey man give it a try and let us know if it works. You never know about that ole 100lb swimming around may be looking for some big carp the night you put it out. Nobody really knows what a big flathead wants and when he wants it so give it a try.
I believe a monster flat would take a 4-5lb. carp. "Yeah almost for sure !"
A lot of people around here use suckers... "part of the carp family"
They use them about 12" long and do well one them !!!

" When i was little my friend and i were at a pay pond for catfishing. And We pulled a dead flat in about 60 lbs. "Actually snagged it floating on the water, we were kids lol" But anyways the owner of the ponds seen us and cut the stomach open of the fish and there was a 3-4lbs. channel cat in its stomach

We always sayed it choked to death... lol
i believe from research on the male flathead that he will eat or try to kill anything around his bed including a small carp 1 to 5lbs. now the female whem the male kicks her out of the bed she will move out a little farther and feed not leaving the nest site (which is probably 60yds away) for a short period
I do know in these parts ole Flathead will eat "anything" it can gets it's mouth around. Including large carp. But not excluding household cats :p
Do the balloon thang. I've tried a technique similar to this with very large suckers in reservoirs, and it seems to work well. Be careful though, make sure your wife/girlfriend/significant other can pick out THEIR choice of color (pink), so you don't get the ol' "O! I wanted to use that color... now you did it... you ruined the whole fishing trip for me..."


My bulldog doesn't care what balloon we put on his line, just as long as his water dish is full, his bone is meaty, and he gets all excited when I reel one in... Ah... The joys of man and beast together... Makes one wonder though... Which is man and which is beast....?!?!?

well i gonna try it next year when the males start to build nests and see if the research ive read about and advice from you will turn out positive results
I use live gills under balloons. about 4-6" in dia. works well in these parts. good luck :cool:
i think 4 or 5 pounds might be to big. a 60 pound cat will not pass up a 1/2 pound carp. maybe even 1 or 2 pounds
It will sometimes simply amaze a guy how big of a fish even a small flathead will eat. Literally if it will fit into its mouth and doesn't eat the flattie first...the flat will eat it. Ever seen the mouth of even a 20 or 30lb flat? It could easily eat a 3 lb carp or bass. Not to mention a 50 pounder....they eat pretty much what they want to as the top predator.
I agree with catcaller. I have caught small flats on bream that would not fit in their mouths. Just got lucky and they got just enough bream in their mouth to get the hook.
I see your point an wanting to eliminate the small fish and target directly in on the larger predators. But I think that bait is a little to big. Its been proven that even the largest of flatheads can be caught on the smallest baits. So I wouldn't see the large bait as a way to attract trophy fish but rather a way to keep the smaller fish off of it. Even a 1 pound bait would be too big for most fish, which would accomplish the same thing. We use whole Gizzard Shad up to a pound quite frequently with a lot of success. But we've also tried much larger bait and the hookups drop dramatically. It's not that a flathead couldn't eat a bait that big. Its just that all fish have a prefered prey size, just like us. Just because we can take a huge bite doesn't mean we do that on a regular basis. So using a large bait to keep the smaller fish off is good, but you also want to try and keep it from exceeding the prefered prey size for each fish. This will vary from fish to fish and its hard to say exactly what the prefered size is for each fish, but we generally try and keep one pound or smaller. Hope this helps and good luck with the Balloon Fishing, we do alot of balloon fishing ourselves. :)
See less See more
this reminds me of this spring i think it was, someone(sorry i just can't remember who) posted on here a sheephead that they had used for bait that was maybe 3 lbs if i remember correctly, and it got beat up but no hook was set. Just look at the pics people post on here of little flatties trying to eat shad the same size as them... with a 4-5 lb carp u would probably have to wait a long time but the reward would likely be a great catch... good luck
My grandpa used to fish commercially as a way to feed his family. It's not an easy living to say the least, not back then anyway.
Anyhow, he used whatever bait they could seine from bar pits(Caruthersville, Mo). Sometimes that's exactly what he caught were carp in the 4-5lb range. AND CAUGHT FISH ON THEM! I only wish I had more pictures of the fish he'd caught.
So, in short, will you catch a fish on them?---- yes! How long you would have to wait would--as always--depend on where ya put that bait, and if ol' flattie was hungry when he came by.
Hey Gary, do you live in caruthersville? There is some great fishing down there on the mighty mississippi. I bet your grandpa caught some big blues and flats.
I once read an article in In-Fishermen magazine about a study on flathead, and how big a bait they will take. They had proven information from the study that a Flathead will and commonly does take a bait 1/3 the size of their own body weight. Hence a 30 pound Flathead could easily eat a 10 pound carp. Obviously that is true with alot of the pictures that are posted on this site, and what about the guys story here that his three inch Flathead ate his two inch Channel, that is proof that they will eat something even bigger if forced to. The bottom line is try it. You never know what could happen. Good luck and don't be disappointed if you only catch a 15 pounder on a five pound carp. It just might happen!!! Post a picture if you get one!!!
i use them that big on set lines every summer. works better be packing some mean line
Kewl your in a shallow cove, I would freeline a carp with the hooklink determining the depth you want to fish. Your mainline and hooklink meet at the swivel, from this swivel you tie a weak link of say 4lb nylon to a tree or bankstick on the far margin of the cove. Ensure your weak link is longer than your hooklink as your this ensures good bite indication. Have your rod verticle and when the weaklink breaks your da man. I like presenting a single hook on one flank securing the fish by rubber band.
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.