Flathead Hunting

Discussion in 'Catfishing Library' started by Whistler, Aug 30, 2005.

  1. Whistler

    Whistler Well-Known Member

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    Original post made by Brian McKee(Brimcowa) on September 9, 2002

    Flathead Hunting

    You gotta know the holes...find the biggest and baddest looking driftpile...one that's really got the water foaming and turned around. The heavier it looks the better. The weight will force more water around than through and as the water goes under and scours out the bottom, the whole mess settles even further! I've stood on driftpiles and 'sounded' for the bottom on a medium-sized river and found the hole to be at least 30ft deep under the big piles, before thumping bottom. That's where the oldest and the wisest flatties are, lounging around waiting for something to draw their attention like a gob of crawlers, a lipped breem, three or four leeches squirming like mad, or some poor frog off the bank that can't quite get away 'cause he's missing half a leg and you got him hooked through the other, or in the lips!! Even when they're resting in the middle of the day...no monster flat is gonna pass on a free meal that requires little effort on his part...that's how he got to be so big in the first place.

    Pay Lakes can't compare to a "River-wise" flathead who's been cruising around for a dozen years in the current like a huge vacuum cleaner, chewing on anything that he has a mind to. I've found "pretty" rocks in their bellies! Ninety per-cent of the time they'll be under those piles or hanging in front of a large obstruction waiting for something hapless creature to mosey by and then a flick of the tail and bam!...they're resting again...check in front of old bridge pilings, stumps, undercut banks, large stones, don't even bother with the inside of a bend...too shallow! Go for the outside edge of the bends and search out the driftpiles and I guarentee you'll find the biggest flats that river has to offer, day or night! At night, you're better off fishing upstream in the flats or shallows just above the big piles where your bait's scent will entice the monsters out and come right for your 'live' presentation.
     
  2. Whistler

    Whistler Well-Known Member

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    3,084
    State:
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    Original post made by Brian McKee(Brimcowa) on February 12, 2003

    I'm under the impression, and always have been, that flatties (not to mention channels) like to hunker down during the day. That they have a favorite holding spot and don't stray far from that spot until low-light levels coax them out. At this point they begin to roam. Why then? Several reasons have been conjectured. Cooler water, the light bothers them, etc. We have all heard these sorts of remarks, and I suppose, all of them have some level of merit. But I think it's more subtle than that!

    This is the time of day when bugs wake up! Compare your skeeter bites at noon to the count at sundown. This activity triggers the food chain into action at the microscopic level all the way up to the big boys, and us included! So this obvious escalation of activity (in direct relation to the location of his bedroom) determines where this cat goes. It may not be far and wide (in most instances) if there is abundant forage due to the seasonal cycle, but they will roam wherever they know their favorite supper is hanging out! And this roaming will encompass several forms of slack-water, whether it be boulders, boils, eddies, pilings, logjams, tributary confluences, wing dams, sand bar dunes or other structure that all tend to congregate this food chain activiy, they are all points of reference in the cat's roamings.

    These haunts can all be affected by the simplest of things such as water temp and clarity, which in essence determines the location of prey at any given moment (let alone, night) and hence, the motivation and direction of their search for this prey, to the point there can never be a guarantee that the big boys will be in any given spot on any given night. With that said, sure! You can catch a cat in a pool at night but I would not feel that this was the proper, or likely pattern for future successes. It may be that the catch was on his way upstream during the course of his roamings and happened upon the morsel that happened to have a hook in it! Might be that he just as easily could have blown right by it if he had a particular flavor in mind. More luck than cool planning, I think!

    So, on that note, I am more apt to search out likely ambush spots that will [invariably] happen to bring the wandering cats my way! My favorite spots (more times than not) are upstream of a deep pool. I have noticed at dusk, along a stretch of sandbar, little submerged depressions holding schools of little fry. If a cat comes along and finds this banquet, my chances of success have just dropped dramatically! So there's alot of luck involved with night fishing but you can't have any luck if you don't work at it (as the old saying goes).