Flathead Location with a Small Population

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by ahotka007, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. ahotka007

    ahotka007 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    State:
    Indiana
    Hello everyone,
    I currently fish a highly developed reservoir in Indiana. This lake is probally around 95% developed with all homes.It's average depth is around 10 feet and pushing 30 by the dam. None the less it is a great channel cat spot. I fish from a boat (anchored, trolling, drifting)usually catching nice channels on cut bait around 6 to 10 lbs.
    As far as flatheads go it seems that they do not reproduce due to there small numbers in this reservoir, so the ones that are in there are all big. I only caught one last year just above 22lbs on a bluegill head. I talked to two other anglers that boated them. One angler got a 60 and a 40. The other got a 20. The bottom of this lake seems to hold no brushpiles with an all mud bottom. We pulled our flathead out from underneathe the marina docks being one of the only places with structure. My question is being that the lake's deepest spot is only thirty feet is it likely that the flatheads are in that deep section (the dam) with no cover other than a river channel. Or on the other hand since it is a shallow lake would they adjust and live with the shallower water with a 10 to 15 foot depth. I am just having trouble locating them and I would like some info for anyone that has been in situations like this. I tried to be thorough in my description of the environment to help, but any info, ideas, or even thoughts are welcome. If I am asking the wrong questions then feel free to tell me something I don't know.
    Thanks
     
  2. DAREWOOD11

    DAREWOOD11 Member

    Messages:
    793
    State:
    IOWA
    i dont think that the depth really matters all that much...around where i live there are rivers with an average depth of 3 feet and if i find a hole with 6 to 8 feet of water i can catch half a dozen flatheads out of it...up to 30 pounds and ive seen some caught up to 50...u could always add some structure by draggin limbs out on the ice and tieing cinder blocks to them so they dont float...u should try fishing the channel and look for ledges or any kind of underwater shelf or anything like that...other than that try the edges with underwater grass...they sometimes feed on the baitfish holding in those areas...hope i could help...good luck
     

  3. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,297
    State:
    Coshocton,
    We have a lake like that here. It is an old manmade turn around for the Erie Canal. They seem to use the old channel as a highway. I would also try some VERY shallow areas. I have pulled a boat across that lake (Buckeye) by the anchor rope and there is contour even on a mud flat. In your case a hole could be a 6 inch bowl shaped depression 2-3 feet across. It is my experience that it is a tough read. I look for cover from the top, meaning look fo vegetation on top. The stems offer cover for the baitfish and the predators are sometimes close.

    Good Luck, I know this wasn't much help, but.... like I said, That would be a tough lake for me.
     
  4. s_man

    s_man New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    Just like the one you caught, they will use floating docks as overhead cover. I'd assume that areas with the least amount of boat traffic would produce better. Docks closest to the channel might also be better. Or docks near substantial rip rap. The bad thing is the flatheads are few and far between, so it may just take many more nights to catch the same amount on another body of water.
     
  5. river scum

    river scum New Member

    Messages:
    3,474
    State:
    hooterville indiana
    what res are you talking about? im sure i can give you some good info on it if i know which one. if you would rather not say, try running trot lines to gain insight as to where they hang out. trot lines are a great learning tool, just not as fun as rods n reels.
     
  6. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    I agree don't worry that much about depth. Even in clear water 10 feet is plenty for a warm weather flathead. With decent cover (floating dock overhead), just a few feet of water is plenty. Look for the biat. Where's the most food for those flatheads? Are there weed beds full of bluegills? Fish the fringes.

    Also, don't be so sure they are not reproducing. If there's one male and one female, nature will find a way...
     
  7. ahotka007

    ahotka007 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    State:
    Indiana
    The reservoir I'm refering to is geist. There are alot of straw grass areas that may have some pontential cover but they are all around 2-4 feet deep. When I fish these spots I catch channels all day long. The problem I seem to be having may just be solved by patience, but at the same time there has to be something to help. I am a college student and I have no job so I literally spend 4 days a week fishing. It has just been terribly hard to boat one, even with the endless time spent on the reservoir. I haven't been fishing because of the weather but with the warm season coming I figure I should get a start early. Geist has a good fish population and large channels are always constant but nothing beats a flathead. When you say I shouldn't worry about depth do you mean I should avoid the deeper strutureless areas and solely look for structure and baitfish. Also some more information on how they use the channels for highways would be great info. How far they travel, how often, what there using them for, what time, or just any good experience in channel travel patterns would be awesome. Thanks for the replies it was some good stuff. Thanks
     
  8. biga

    biga Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,111
    State:
    evansville
    first off welcome to the boc!!!!! if you are catching cannels you might want to step up to a bigger bait that the smaller channels wont mess with.. that would be my fist plan.....
     
  9. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    May have jumped ahead a bit - to target the flatheads, I would get good live biats (sunfish are always good) and fish with them after dark. Find an area that has good daytime cover (someplace for them to hide out during the day like a few good docks with decent depth - like 5 to 10 feet) and then an area nearby with good food - like weedbeds full of sunfish, or brushpiles sunk around the docks? Fish the deeper edge of the weedbed or fish near the brushpiles with the live baitfish from just before dusk until you catch a fish or can't stand it anymore.

    Depth - Flatheads will hunt actively in as little as a couple of feet of water after dark if it's quiet. During day time they mostly settle into a secure spot that makes them feel safe, like a good stump or downed tree or under a dock, etc. If the cover is good enough they can be comfortable in a few feet of water, if there's no real good cover, they'll go deeper for security. You can coax them to eat during the day, but mostly they are just hanging out and waiting until it gets dark again.
     
  10. bigfish08

    bigfish08 New Member

    Messages:
    375
    State:
    ohio
    right on, the only thing i would add would be don't be afraid to use bait up to twelve in. long, some people use bigger than that, so no minnows, no smaller than 4 in.
     
  11. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,297
    State:
    Coshocton,
    As far as using the channels as a highway, we know they may find deeper water for security. In a mainly featureless lake, the channel may only be 6-12 inches deeper than the flat. They will use this and swim in the "channel" and ambush prey right off of it. If the channel is the most secure spot, then that is where they will be travelling from some type of structure or daytime spot (which could be that channel) to the "supper table".
     
  12. crazyjet1

    crazyjet1 New Member

    Messages:
    366
    State:
    Indiana
    Your totaly right about there not being very many flatheads in geist but honestly man we have tried to stock that lake with my father and i putting in over 300 flatheads from 2 to 45lbs but seems no reproduce. That lake is fished so hard and everybody takes everything they catch so we gave up on putting more in there. Bet advice i would give you would be head to monroe if you want to stay in the resevoir or hit white river at riverside park downtown indy at 29th and 30th street. Be careful in your boat if you hit the river thoe.
     
  13. river scum

    river scum New Member

    Messages:
    3,474
    State:
    hooterville indiana
    alex

    i would have to agree that geist is a hard water for numbers of flats. the few times i have fished it didnt turn anything up. the channel cats are a different story though. some real nice fish in there. the best we did was bobbers at night in the mouths of coves. i seam to remember passing under a narrow bridge then islands to the rite was a favorite stop. sorry its been a long time.