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Hola everyone!

This year, for the first time, I have had the chance to try alot of different flathead live baits.

To name a few:

Gizzard Shad
Bluegills and (All Sunfish)
Suckers (Wild)
Suckers (Store)
Largemouth Bass (Oops!)
Shiners (Store)
Goldfish (Store)

I've learned a few things along the way that suprised me.

Starting out is with the Shad. When I first started fishing for flatheads last year almost all the info I got on the internet and forums was that if I am going to use live bait for flatheads to "STEER CLEAR" of shad, because they are TOO hard to keep alive. And then if I was to use them anyway, then MAKE SURE to use a ROUND container, because they will constantly bang their noses on the 4 corners of a traditional cooler then die.

I have found none of this true. First off, will they die sooner on a hook than a Bluegill and bullhead? OF COURSE. It's hard to beat those guys. But a guide I fish with, fishes with live gizzards all the time. And he keeps them in a square cooler. They don't bang their noses like others say, at least not after they learn not to, and they stay healthy througouht the day with a little water treatment and aeration. The other reason they seem to be a good live bait, is because they have to constantly be moving to stay alive. So while they don't live as long as the other troopers, while they are alive they are constantly moving.

The second thing I was really suprized about was STORE BOUGHT Goldfish. I've heard alot of people use these for flatheads with good results, but when they said store bought Goldfish where HARDY I pretty muched laughed at that until yesterday when I stoppped into the shop and they had some. They had the orange ones and the dark gold colored ones. I have never seen them anywhere so I decided to get some and try. I had two rods out that I wasnt paying much attention to all night, then I went to bring them in 5 hours later to leave for the night. Those two buggers where as lively and kickin as when I first put them on. Who knows how long they would have stayed alive. Unfortunately that shows I didnt catch anything that night. But I aslo learned something even though I didnt. That I can count on those goldfish to be a lively addition to my flathead arsenal.

I know I'm singing to the choir here, but it's just exciting to me when I learn something new, especially with flathead fishing.

Have a great week everyone and God Bless!


Ray
 

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Smaller shad seem easy to keep alive. The bigger 10-18" seem hard to keep alive for me. I can usually keep 2 alive long enough to get to my first spot then once I get them in the water i can keep them alive for a long time. Kept one alive for 3hrs and 3 locations one day in December
 

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One of the often overlooked requirements keeping bait fish a alive is temperature. An insulated container and a little ice will do wonders.
 

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One of the often overlooked requirements keeping bait fish a alive is temperature. An insulated container and a little ice will do wonders.
It does help a lot, but be sure to climatize the bait to the water your fishing. Too much of a temperature change and your bait will go belly up before it hits the bottom
 

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Bill, in OkC
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This is an old post but still good info. Bait is still the big issue.
Exactly.
I have found older threads in the “recommended reading “ that are are as pertinent today as when first posted in, say, 2004 !

Last Summer, I put a goldfishon a hook, cast it out, left it out… 7 hours later when the grandsons were ready to go home, that goldfish was still alive and active.
Then, last week, we were fishing the North Canadian River. The boys caught 32 bluegills of various sizes. I put one on a hook. Three hours later, they wanted to go home, the bluegill was still going strong. So, I took him off the hook and put him in the bait bucket. When I got back to the lake, I rehooked the little dude and put him back in the water.
Sad to say, when I was ready to go home, that bloody fish was still going strong. I , as gently as I could, removed the hook and relesed him.
Heck, if he’s tough enough for 7-8 hours with a hook through him, he’s got my respect and deserves to be released.
 

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Steven from Georgia
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I think theres a misconception about the non round tank. I used to striper fish alot. Its about stress. If the bait fish are stressed in any way it will make them die. I think a non round tank just makes it worse. If you watch them. They get in the corner and the kind of panic. Its just ups the stress factor on them.

My new boat has a non aireated, non filtered, 30 gal bait tank. During late fall thru spring. I can keep a few good sized gizzards alive in it. You have to do a 50% water change about every hour though. Its not round.

Are the corners a factor. I think so. But im thinking its more about water quality than anything else.
 

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I think there are other factors besides the shape of the tank that are more important! I have a round tank but it because I found a perfect size one that just happened to be round. As stated above, replacing the water often, keeping it cool “I freeze a milk jug of water”, and I run a dual stone air pump” bubble maker” in it. When I get in the water. They go in the live well which also has a bubbler in it. Now I’m using perch and bull heads. I never had any luck with keeping shad alive. Fresh on ice for my shad.
 

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Bill, in OkC
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I’m going out to Overholser for some nighttime fishing. Gonna get a few goldfish and maybe some shrimp. Can’t do any worse that I’ve been doing.


Been here almost 7 hours. Dag blasted skunk so far. Got a couple light nibbles. They won’t take a hook.
 
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Bill, in OkC
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Bill are the catfish spawning there?
I kinda think they are. All I’ve seen anybody catch lately is small ones. Blues.
BUT, I caught a 3# carp a while ago. Cut him for bait.
The way I figure, it’s worth a try. 😀

95A4C3F7-8C49-44A7-86C8-507D1A4135F3.jpeg

19” long. About 3” thick.
 

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Stacee from Indiana
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Them carp are fun to catch on lighter tackle.
I might have to throw out some corn to see what I can get.
 

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Bill, in OkC
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I’ve been catching them on worms. They do fight a bit.
What size hook do you use with corn?
I’ve been catching them with 2/0 & 3/0 circle hooks.
 

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Stacee from Indiana
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I have just used any hook small enough to hold 3 to 4 kernels of corn.
A small bait holder hook works good. I believe it is a #4 or #6 hook.
Open your bail or put reel in free spool with clicker on because If a big carp eats the corn they will take your rod straight into the water right before your eyes.
 

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Bill, in OkC
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I have just used any hook small enough to hold 3 to 4 kernels of corn.
A small bait holder hook works good. I believe it is a #4 or #6 hook.
Open your bail or put reel in free spool with clicker on because If a big carp eats the corn they will take your rod straight into the water right before your eyes.
Yeah. That one yesterday hit like a freight train. And tried to head for Dallas.
😀😀😀
 

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Stacee from Indiana
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Spent an hour at a small pond and got this on corn.
Sometimes they bite just like a flathead.
324859


We can't use live carp in Indiana for bait but I don't catch any carp small enough. A big bloody carp head I think would be good.
Hoping to catch some bullheads they are a very lively bait and flatheads seem to love them.
 

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Bill, in OkC
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I went to Academy to get some hooks to follow your advice on catching carp.
MISTAKE ! Like a kid in a candy store.
I bought a 7’ MH/MF ProCat rod/reel combo. Baitcaster. I bought PLine Floroclear line for it. Ten pound, 300 yards.
I never expected it would all fit on the reel. But it did.
They were out of size 4 & 6 hooks. So I bought Eagle Claw size 1 and Team Crappie 1/0.
I figured one of the two would work.
D4950FE2-D64D-4284-A0DF-32F228C5925F.jpeg
 

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bill if you fill your spool all the way it will cast farther and wont spin as fast so less backlashes.
 

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Bill, in OkC
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bill if you fill your spool all the way it will cast farther and wont spin as fast so less backlashes.
I realize that. But, not knowing what the reel holds, I bought the 300 yard spool (never expected it to hold even that much). When it emptied the spool, I thought, “I’ll just have to be careful casting it.”
 
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