Flathead depth with the seasons

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by JAinSC, May 18, 2007.

  1. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    I catch most of my flatheads in probably between 8 and 12 feet of water during most of the warm weather. In the cool down in the fall, there a couple of 20 to 30 foot holes (deepest in the area) that produce well for wintering or at least cold water staging fish.

    My question is this - I am figuring that they are at their shallowest in the spring. When things get good and hot in mid summer, do they tend to go deeper? I'm especially interested to hear what the other southerners have to say. You Minnesota/Wisconsin types never ever see hot water.

    By the way, my SC rivers are around 77 degrees now and will be in the high 80's in another couple of months.
     
  2. baitchunker

    baitchunker New Member

    Messages:
    1,689
    State:
    alabama
    i think i catch most of mine betweem 8-15 when it gets good and hot. the al river was right at 79 2 weekends ago. so i bet we are pretty similar. i gotta tell ya though, it seems like the hotter it gets the harder it is to catch em. and they usually turn up in the most boring structure (or lack of) around. maybe thats just me though.
     

  3. GETHOOKED

    GETHOOKED New Member

    Messages:
    548
    State:
    Arizona, Scott
    well it get good and HOT down here in az, most nights the low are in the low 100's!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We still catch em good in the river in 15ft and under. And in the lake under 10 feet, all the way down to 3 feet. If it is night, they just seem to cruise the shallows lookin for an easy meal.
     
  4. STUMPKNOCKER

    STUMPKNOCKER New Member

    Messages:
    200
    State:
    Georgia
    from my experience they like the deep holes with cover all year round they come up in areas around the deep holes, just depending on their activity during the hot and cool water periods, i think that extreme either way is bad for fishing.
     
  5. rivercatsc

    rivercatsc New Member

    Messages:
    1,990
    State:
    South Caro
    John I fish the pee dee river mainly and I believe it is pretty similar to the edisto and I know it is similar to the santee. First of all I am a day fisherman very rarely do I venture out at night, But most of the flatties I catch are in 15-25' in the holes as i call them all spring and summer. I always seem to catch my biggest flatties not on the big trash piles but in deeper holes with maybe 1 tree sticking out over the water. During the morning hours you will catch them on the upriver side of structure and in the afternoon on the downriver side for the most part. I have never caught a 50+lber but just last year I caught and released 11 over 40lbs. Maybe I need to try to fish at night for those huge flatties but I just never do. I hope this helps.
     
  6. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    Rivercat-
    I have caught a few daytime flatheads on the North Santee in the fall, but other than that I do the typical live baiting after dark.

    I'm not sure that you'd get any bigger fish at night. You might get a few more. Mostly it's just a different experience. Cooler. Slower. The bats come out. The owls call to each other. Kick back and look up at the stars...

    Makes me want to pop open a beer jsut thinking about it. Seeing as I'm at my desk at work, that's prolly not a great idea, though.
     
  7. fishingbuddy4

    fishingbuddy4 New Member

    Messages:
    1,564
    State:
    Warner Rob ga
    I have been fishing flathead for 20 year ,and this is my view flathead during the spring april -may will be in 10 to 20 ft ,but during the spawn in june in my home waters of truman lake they will be in 5 to 2 ft of water at night ,and that will last until the temp start reaching 100 plus then they will go alittle deeper to feed ,but always fish shallow at night if you want a big flat.
     
  8. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    First off - I'm fishing small to medium rivers for flatheads.

    I pretty much always fish the channel side of the river, where the deep (in this case 8 to 12 feet) water is right up under the trees. I read in Catfish Insider a while back that in a study some researchers found that during the day pretty much all the flatheads were in the deeper water in cover (No, duh.). At night some were up on the shallow side of the river, but still most of them were on the deeper side. Plus, it seems to me that there's more bait on the deep side near the cover than there is on shallow sand flats or up near the weeds. Maybe I'm wrong about that - depends on what you mean by 'bait" I guess - like what about small cats? suckers? other (other than sunfish) stuff like that?

    Fishinbuddy-
    When you say "fish shallow at night if you want a big flat" what exactly do you mean? How deep? How close to the bank? What kind of cover is in the area?

    I feel like maybe I should be forcing myself to try some shallower areas, but I'm not sure where to start?
     
  9. rivercatsc

    rivercatsc New Member

    Messages:
    1,990
    State:
    South Caro
    John I am with you I cant quite make myself fish those shallower waters even though sometimes I think I should. I am going to the river this friday night to give the fish a try at night and fishing sat during the day I hope to have something to report on.
     
  10. jbarnes17

    jbarnes17 New Member

    Messages:
    536
    State:
    Commerce, Oklahoma
    I usually catch mine in deeper holes and around log jams. When the river is down and there is hardly any water movement it seems to me that they like to stay in the deeper holes. Now after a good rain, and the river starts to rise it seems that they tend to work in shallower water along the bank feeding.
     
  11. Challenger

    Challenger New Member

    Messages:
    7
    State:
    florida
    I fished the apalacicola river last weekend and stayed all night in 25-30' water, (average cut bank). caught 5 fish ranging from 4 to 8lbs. I have caught fish from this same hole 20lbs+ same weekend in previous years, I didnt realize until I cleaned these fish what my mistake was, 3 out of 5 where full of roe and ready to spawn. Knowing this now I should have searched for shallower water with debris, maybe.
     
  12. criggster

    criggster New Member

    Messages:
    66
    State:
    Virginia
    Most of the cats we catch in the rivers are between 2-15 feet deep. I have seen a few flatheads at night up on top of rocks in the shallows in a foot of water.