Flathead fishing in the south

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by vegasryder, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. vegasryder

    vegasryder New Member

    Messages:
    324
    State:
    illinois
    Just wanted to know if the Flats get dormant down south just like they do up north. If they do...how long until they start hitting again. If not, does the bite slow down? Are the same tactics used in the winter months as in the summer? I'm taking a brave guess that different tactics are used...I`d really like to hear some opinions especially from the fellow Texas, NM, Arizona anglers...
     
  2. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    Things deffinately slow down here in South Carolina, although I suspect that if you really worked at it you could catch flatheads pretty much all winter. I have caught flatheads during daylight on cut bait during December and early January while targeting blue cats. A few of those I suspect were in wintering holes. I also have a couple of wintering holes (or at least staging holes) that I target in November with livebait at night - traditional stuff.

    A big difficulty for me would be getting the livebaits to fish for them during the colder weather. I have been tempted to try cut bait at night in some of these river holes to see if I could get on the fish. Frankly it's just easier to wait the couple of months for spring. It may not be Illinois, but sitting in a boat at 30 or 40 degrees at night is still pretty darn chilly!

    In a few weeks the American shad run will start, and that gets me through sometime in March when the real fishing starts again.
     

  3. vegasryder

    vegasryder New Member

    Messages:
    324
    State:
    illinois
    Thanks for your input...Now do you think they just totally shut down during the winter months or just slow down in your state? I was trying to figure out if they have the same routine all over the country. Or if the 50+ degree weather down south keeps them from shutting down.
     
  4. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    Personally, I don't believe they really shut down in SC. Probably during a cold spell they are "off," but I bet a few warm days get them thinking about a snack. Fish's feeding is tied to their metablism and their metabolism is controlled mostly by temperature.

    A week and a hlaf ago the rivers were about 55 degrees. The recent sold spell brought them down to 50 or a bit less. Cold for us, but not for many others.
     
  5. sambo

    sambo New Member

    Messages:
    59
    State:
    alabama
    I live in the heart of dixie and I have not even seen a flathead since tne middle of summer.The main fish i have been seeing are all small blues and channels. The water temp. here is similar to what it is in SC.
     
  6. Plowboy411

    Plowboy411 New Member

    Messages:
    918
    State:
    Georgia
    Here on the Altamaha river the river level is the main factor.if the river is way up stay home if not you should be ok.
     
  7. Tim Digerness

    Tim Digerness New Member

    Messages:
    4
    State:
    Tennessee
    Here in Tn. we are just coming off a cold spell, the moon pahse will peak on the 8th and the temp. is supposed to be in the 60's!! The water should temp should come up a bit and my guess is the blues and flatheads should bite, it's been a bit slow here the last couple weeks, the're about due for a snack!!
     
  8. catfishrus

    catfishrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,569
    State:
    north carolina
    here in nc they really start to slow down to the point we dont mess with them until spring. the blues bite picks up and we change over to them. i have noticed if we get heavy rains and the floods gates are opened on the dam at our lakes that some flats will get caught in the winter months. seem to be smaller flats though. dont really know maybe they getting washed out of there wintering holes in these conditions.
     
  9. coolarrow2

    coolarrow2 New Member

    Messages:
    249
    State:
    Texas
    Down here is south east Texas they get really slow when the water get close to 50 and below. But as long as it's in the mid 50's and stable or rising I will fish for them. Some of the biggest flats I've seen came in Jan. and Feb. down here. I'm talking fish in the 80lb class. When the water falls into the low 50's I pull off the flats and hit the blues which are on in the winter big time.
     
  10. FATFLATTIE

    FATFLATTIE New Member

    Messages:
    2,170
    State:
    ILM, NC
    Well, the water temperature in the river yesterday was 48.7 and a buddy of mine caught two flatheads, one was around 10lbs and the other was a biggun', probably in the 50lb class. The only place that I've ever caught them in the winter is in a power plant lake, but that doesn't really count. I'm sure they can be caught though if you're in the right place. My buddy caught those two yesterday in deep holes in creeks off the main river. 30-45ft holes not too far from the main channel.
     
  11. vegasryder

    vegasryder New Member

    Messages:
    324
    State:
    illinois
    You dont know how lucky you guys/gals are down south!!! While you're out fishin'...i`m at home cleaning my tackle boxes.:smile2:

    Just by reading the posts you guys have made...i take it that the Flats don't go into their dormant state like they do up here. I`ve heard Flats getting caught in the winter months here, but they say majority of the time they are snagged. True/false...i don't know. But I guess there are videos out there that were taken in their wintering holes that shows that they are stacked on top of each other. Not moving, basically hibernating. This is were the snagging comes into play. Now if this is true...thats a sad way to catch these fish.

    Hopefully when i get back to Nevada, i can enjoy some wintertime Flathead fishing just like you guys!!!
     
  12. lee

    lee Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,887
    State:
    missouri
    the same is true here in missouri...the flats slow downbelow50degree waters but can be caught year round like blues...
    lee