Got THUMPED!!!

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by primitive, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. primitive

    primitive Member

    Messages:
    261
    State:
    Dav. Ia.
    New to flathead fishing, I read all the posts and in August the guys were talking about the THUMP when a flat head sucks in the bait. I wasn't quite sure what that would be like till last week on the Miss. I swear the whole boat viberated when it happened. I wasn't looking directly at the pole but I knew what it had to be. The tip was only down about three inches with tension. Picked it up and it was snugging down slowly. When I hauld back on it I felt the line sawing on a obstruction of some sort. The fight was short when the new 30# mono snapped I was glad I was still sitting or I might have fallen hard. Shook me up for sure, I will never forget the THUMP ever.
    I've been fishing in heavy log cover and have caught a lot of flatheads this summer and fall, problem is they have been 3# up to a big of13#. Besides OL THUMPER as I have named him I'm sure I have had a few big flats on and lost them right away to the snags, and I can't even guess how many hooks and rigs I have lost this year. As much as I enjoy fishing the log jams I have to try something different next year such as night fishing the flats near but not directly in the logs in order to boat a big one. So far I haven't figured out how to flat head fish the wing dams but I'm sure they are there also.
     
  2. patrickgd

    patrickgd New Member

    Messages:
    809
    State:
    Memphis TN
    Thanks for sharing the story Ron.

    The best suggestion for you that immediately comes to mind is to use heavier line, especially when your fishing heavy cover. I fish the Miss. allot myself and prefer 2 types. I use 80-100lb. Power Pro or Stren super braid. These lines are tougher than nails and have the diameter of 20 lb. test mono. These types of lines accompanied by a good tough rod and reel will give you the turning power you need to win battles against big muscled up Flatheads in heavy cover.

    When I saw the price on these lines I was initially reluctant to use them but they have proved to be an invaluable investment.
     

  3. kenlaw76

    kenlaw76 New Member

    Messages:
    2,323
    State:
    S.E. Pa.
    I also use #100 Power Pro, with a stout rod. I have broke the timber off the tree and still landed the fish.
     
  4. thecatman

    thecatman New Member

    Messages:
    1,763
    State:
    Graham, Texas,
    ouch gotta hate when they break ya off like that you might want to try and switch to braid its a little more expensive but it saves ya on the big fish more times than not
     
  5. Bill in SC

    Bill in SC New Member

    Messages:
    4,451
    State:
    South Caro
    EVERYBODY is correct with their advice thus far. Get yourself some heavy braid. I use Power Pro 100#, and suggest a fluorocarbon leader of 50 or 60 pounds. I'm reppin' everyone who has responded thus far, if I don't run out of reps. :)
    Bill in SC
     
  6. kenlaw76

    kenlaw76 New Member

    Messages:
    2,323
    State:
    S.E. Pa.
    I also use a 10', #80 shock leader tied with a uni-uni knot. So if there are rocks down there a cat don't cut me off on them.
     
  7. brother hilljack

    brother hilljack New Member

    Messages:
    7,305
    State:
    Shelbyville, TN
    Great story, I wish you could have hauled that one in. Hit it again soon and keep us posted
     
  8. Apache Flats

    Apache Flats New Member

    Messages:
    687
    State:
    Tucson, Az
    I also use nothing less than 80 to 100lb braid and at least a med heavy rated rod with a solid baitcasting reel. In heavy cover try using a break away weight with ligher line tied to a three way swivel. Good luck on ol thumper:wink:
     
  9. Mid TN

    Mid TN New Member

    Messages:
    6
    State:
    Tennessee
    Ron, Great story and hang in there, they will still be there! May need to "Gear Up" some. Might want to back off from those snags a little more till you find the right "catching" distance. Keep them stories coming, lots of experience on here!
     
  10. Ghosth

    Ghosth New Member

    Messages:
    241
    State:
    North Dakota
    Ordinarily you won't find me encouraging people to go to heavier gear. But in your case I'd at least move up to a 50# braid instead of the 30# mono.
     
  11. primitive

    primitive Member

    Messages:
    261
    State:
    Dav. Ia.
    Well, it looks unanimous on the heavy braid, and I respect you folks cause of your experience. I think my rods and reels are stout enough ( 209 s ). What about trying the shallower flats near logs and snags at night? These guys that consistantly catch huge flats surely don't winch them out of log jams right? My reflexes probably a little slow but I know I can't give them any line as they seem to just settle back under the logs after they slurp my bluegill. I release all the fish anyway. I don't know much but, if you lower a real lively bait into a log jam during the day, odds are the smaller flatheads can't stand not hitting them, and you shouldn't have to wait long if they are down there. THANKS.
     
  12. thegavel

    thegavel New Member

    Messages:
    1,317
    State:
    West Des Moines, Iowa
    Took a few mins and read the whole thread, here are a few thoughts from me...

    1) We are running pretty much the same set ups as you as far as reels, we usually run 309's, but I personally prefer my abu garcias, but only because I can cast them out when I need them. Everyone is correct in saying up the line, but no one is telling you why. We are running 65lb power pro... you don't need to go any higher then that because if you do hook deep into a log jam, you do want to be able to atleast salvage something, if not line, then your hands. There is nothing in the sippi that can not be landed on 65lb power pro. Heck, I landed my 33 and 37lb on 25lbs mono, but had a lot of stretch...

    The benefits of using braided line is that when fishing snags, it doesn't cut as easy as mono, it usually just rolls over without any knicks in the line, in other words, it doesn't get weak like mono. My guess is you lost that one in the story because of the mono hitting sticks and rocks and breaking during the stretch...

    2) We usually run our clickers, listen for the scream, pick up the rods and flip the lever down, raising the tip just enough to make sure there is no slack. Keep it high and tight and you got your Thumper :wink:

    3) Leaders - some of us use them, some don't. I have lost big fish because of them. If you are running heavy bread, I often times just cut a piece of that and use that as my leader... why run 100lb line and a 80lb leader? I miss the logic on that... to each their own though.

    4) When in a fight with a big fish, don't be afraid to use your drag. With the penns it is a little harder, but if he wants to run on you, give him a little line, then take it back. Not only does this make it a better fight to remember, but it also allows the fish to wear itself out and your line and gear doesn't take the thrashing it would if you were to just wench them in full force when they are running the opposite direction! Get them turned and "guide" them to you!

    5) We do wench them out of log jams as well. We have a rule... "The 3 second" rule... the battle with big flatties is won in the first 3 seconds... when fishing heavy cover like that make sure that you get them turned and out of there in the first couple of seconds. If not they will lay at the bottom causing a lot of problems!!!.

    6) As the weather gets colder, flathead aren't going to be going to very shallow waters to feed anymore, they are going to become more opportunistic. We had our great night (259lbs total) all fishing in about 8-15 ft of water next to a current break.

    7) Most of my flathead fishing is done during the night. Or atleast that is when I am most successful anyhow. usually from 8:00pm - 2:00 am and 4:00am to 8:00 am... not sure why but give or take a few mins those seem to be power times for us.

    Tight Lines!!!
    Chris
     
  13. kenlaw76

    kenlaw76 New Member

    Messages:
    2,323
    State:
    S.E. Pa.
    I like to a #80 mono leader instead of a braid leader cause I don't have a boat and if I get snagged up I can break my line. When I break off, my mono breakes before my braid and I save alot of money that way. If you are fishing close to bridges and a fish takes you around the cement brige piller and you don't have a mono leader that piller will cut your line. That's just the way I do it. I use the same set-up fishing for grouper in Fl. and I can rip them out of the reef with out breaking off.
     
  14. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    I am lucky enough to be able to get away with lighter line than most folks in my favorite river. I have landed several flatheads over 50 pounds with 15 pound mono, and I'm sure I could handel an even much larger fish.

    The whole secret for me is that I fish near cover, not in it. Most of the woody cover in my river is right along the banks, and I can fish near the cover - like 10 or less feet away. I am convinced that my flatheads do not intentionally seek out cover to break me off. If they did I would never land one. When one does get me snagged now and then, it just seems like he was running to the deep water or following the channel and happened to cross the cover on the way.

    So, what I am saying is that if you have mostly clear areas near the cover, then your tackle is plenty heavy enough. Maybe part of the secret is that when the fish is hooked, he is going to start out by just heading away or deeper - if you are beside the cover and the cover is not between him and deeper water, you should be OK. If you are right up stream of the cover, he will probably head right into it. (This is a brand new theory of mine.)
     
  15. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    I used to use 65lb Power Pro on my reels. After many instant break offs:embarassed: due to the braid have no abrasion resistant, I switched over to 30lb and 40lb mono and have never hadthose heartache instant break off again:smile2:. ]

    If a big flat is gonna take you into a snag, there's not much you can do but use your fisherman instincts.

    As for the THUMP, it's just a flat flaring it's gills and vacuuming something in it's large mouth.