Help out us newbies

Discussion in 'LOCAL PENNSYLVANIA TALK' started by mikeozo, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. mikeozo

    mikeozo New Member

    I guess I am not a newbie, but to serious big catfishing, I am. I have fished SW PA for +20 years....I am currently 31.

    I have really got interested in targeting bigger cats, Flatheads in particular. I have found a great deal of info on the site already from you guys and you have all been helpful. Especially with bait.

    I also recently obtained a 21' Sea Ray so I will now be able to hit the Monongehela River instead of just bank fishing.

    My questions are mostly dealing with gear, rigs and terminal tackle. I grew up using hook and split shots on everything and maybe a slip sinker. I was hoping I could hear some advice on complete set ups for river fishing....Rod n Reels, Line weight and type, and what kind of rigs...And a picture of how you set up your favorite rig would be awesome. I would also like to know how you guys hook different baits like blue gills, chubs, etc.

    I am not trying to steal anybodys way of doing things, but I want to get started on the right track if I am going to put the time and money into it.

    Thanks for any help you can give me!
  2. stoney53

    stoney53 Well-Known Member

    welcome to the BOC south western pa here ,your get alot of info from people here , great people here willing to help

  3. Jollymon

    Jollymon Well-Known Member

    Wilm .N.C
    MIKE WELCOME TO THE B.O.C. the best site on the web. Check out quick links at top of page FAQ ,also check the members library,lot of info in there:wink:
  4. alpal16

    alpal16 New Member

    Philly, PA
    First, welcome to the BOC, Mike, and congrats on the new boat. I am by no means that experienced, but I can give you a rundown on what I use and how I use it. I am targeting flats in my local river and have had some success (and lots of failures), so I will let you know what I do.

    Equipment: I use Team Catfish rods (which I really like), they are MH-H action (a 3/4 ton and 1 ton model---I think I like the 1 ton model better, which is a H action, 8 ft. casting model). Both of my rods are casting---using heavier, but not insane, baitcasters. One is a Shimano Tekaota 600 and the other is a Abu Garcia 7000 iC3 Pro rocket. I was using Abu 6000's but found they were a bit too small. I like the higher line capacity and bigger cranking power. A lot of guys use Ugly Sticks or other type rods. Can't help you from a boat, but the longer rods are good for casting from the bank. Rods in the muskie class seem to be popular.

    For line, I use Power Pro braid--80#-100# test, matched to a 50# flurocarbon leader (rigging I will get to i a bit). For sinkers, I use no-roll sinkers in a 3 oz.-8 oz. size depending on the current (this site is a good source: You will need a variety of different sizes in order to hold bottom in different currents. I will use a barrel swivel (1/0 size) for rigging as well. For hooks, I am still trying to figure out what I like the best. I use a combination of Team Catfish Double Action hooks and Gammakatzu 4x strong circle hooks--both in 8/0 size, as well as, king kahles in 10/0 size. Can't really say what I like the best, but I am leaning toward the kahles. Circles are a little tricky to use and I think it depends on the size baits, how the fish are hitting, and other factors I haven't quite figured out yet.

    This is how I rig---a simple Carolina rig (I try to use the K.I.S.S. principle whenever I can---keep it simple, stupid). Here goes the description (Sorry for no pics, but I am away from my equipment right now)---place no-roll sinker on the main line, followed by a plastic bead (helps protect the knot). Tie to barrel swivel (I use a improved clinch knot, but others are different). On the other end of the barrel swivel tie-on about 18"-24" of leader material (using a palomar knot). At the other end of the leader, I have my hook, tied on using a uni-snell knot. This has held up well for me.

    As far as hooking the baits, I almost exclusively hook through the lips and out through the nose. I know others hook through the dorsal or tail fin in weak current.

    Anyway, that's my story, and I am sticking to it. Hope this helps you figure things out a bit better. Others will do it different, but this is what I am most comfortable with. You know the old saying--ask 10 fisherman and you will get 15 opinions (I do not know if that is really an old saying, but I like it).
  5. lendog

    lendog New Member

    berks, PA
    yea what alpal16 said :wink:
  6. mikeozo

    mikeozo New Member

    Just wandering why such heavy line? 80 pound seems huge to me. And even the 50 pound leader sounds big. I'm not saying its wrong, I am just askin. What the heck you do when you get a snag? I have trouble snapping 18 pound mono off sometimes lol.
  7. waynesburgjay

    waynesburgjay New Member

    Most people use the 65 or 80 lb. braid, it's a lot smaller diameter and you can get more on the spool. You have to wrap something like a piece of wood around braid to break it.
    You'll want a heavy mono leader when your fishing in the mon with all the snags, and why take the chance of losing a big 40 or 50

    If your just gonna use mono than 30 lb. will work I guess.
  8. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Philadelphia, P

    First, spend the next week reading over old threads in this forum. I consider the BOC the Holy Bible of catfishing. Plenty of great information to read and find in here, it just takes some time.

    Second, go out to flathead proven waters and take what you have learned out there with you.

    If you are not catching 40lb flatheads in your fist month of fishing, please don't be discouraged! Do you expect to catch a 7lb bass or 10lb walleye right away?:wink::smile2:

    My suggestion is patience, persistence, trial and error, and TIME ON THE WATER!:cool2:

    If you fish once on the weekend for the next 4 months, you might get lucky, but if you fish 4 nights a week, you're percentage of running into a monster just went up!
  9. Bigfish4me

    Bigfish4me New Member

    Conshy Pa
    Welcome to B.O.C, the types of rigs i use are usually determined by the baits, structure and depth i am fishing. I fish chubs primarily and hook them the same no matter where i am fishing them.....through the top jaw its a live one or a stomped one(popped belly). Where i fish on the schuylkill you would be lucky to find 15' of water.....most is in the 4-10' range so tons of led are not needed while fishing from the boat....unless your fishing a 12" bait:wink:. I like to follow the "k.i.s.s." method as said earlier......egg sinkers, no roll sinkers and sinker can keep them, i have not found a situation where i couldnt hold bottom with 4 or 5 big split shot's.....usually its only 2 or 3 max. If i was fishing 20' of heavy current then i would use the other weight methods.....i just dont because we dont have those conditions where we fish.

    As far as tackle goes.....i use 30 lb power pro on medium fast action rods, my reels hold 300 yards of braid plus mono backing......if that fish gets 300 yards away from the boat before we have to break anchor to chase him.....were doing something wrong. With that being said i have landed flatheads up to 34 lbs and only ever had to break anchor once.....that fish took us up and down the same 100 yard stretch for 30 minutes before it straightened the hook:angry:....its the only time a fish has ever gotten me into the backing and it was about 6 or 7 years ago. I fish 2 types of rigs...remember "KISS", a float rig which is a 4/0 hook with a 40lb leader and a 3" float......its your basic striper rig you can buy around here already pre packaged.....and a 1/0 double leadered eagle claw, that light leader gets bit 10 times more than the heavy long as your drag is smooth and your technique is can land a BIG fish on that little 20 lb leader.

    Here is where i stray from the norm.......i fish way more cut and freshly dead bait than live, my numbers are nothing to sneeze at either....when i can get out that is:angry:....fist choice is the stomper chub.....take a fresh and frisky 3-5" chub out of the bucket and take your thumb and pop his belly so its guts hang long as its not a stiff one thats been floating in the bucket for a while you will get bit on this me. The sunnies and blue gills i cut in half....heads are the way to go, fished on the float rig they are deadly.

    If you search my posts you will be able to find the clothes pin rig......if your not fishing bait runners or reels with clickers its a simple and extremely effective way to turn an ordinary spinning reel into one.....and actually i get far less fish dropping the bait when using that method. I guess its really something that needs to be seen to believe but NorthPortTroller has seen it in action and the results when done right speak for themselves. My last tip......and this one is a biggy......a stern anchor, you aint gonna catch squat if your dragging your baits all over because the boat is swinging.......get the bow anchor set and cut the wheel one way untill the boat swings a little, lower the stern anchor straight down and leave a little slack and cut the wheel the oppisite direction untill it pulls the stern anchor line tight and leave it turned that way. This will keep tension on the stern line so when the wind is blowing up the river your not doing donuts out there. Oops i forgot one more thing......designate someone to pull that stern anchor when you lay into a big fish......sure its a pain but its worth the many, many extra bites youll get as opposed to not using one.

    Good luck and take some pics of the flatties you catch and share them with us....hope some of this helps



    I use 7 ft heavy action boat rods,80 to 120 lb braid and Abu 7000 reels or 30 size saltwater reels.The 80lb braids only gonna take up the same room on your reel as 17lb mono.I fish some snaggy areas.Lot of nights,I still feel like I,m bringing a knife to a gun fight!No such thing as overkill when your flatting.I never went home 1 night and said,Damn,I wish I would have had lighter line and smaller rod and reel.I like 10/0 Mustad J hooks too,never had bait that was too big either.:crazy:
  11. Excellent post Shawn:tounge_out:, very detailed, and yes, I am a witness and believer in your preaching.:wink:

    Not to say I haven't tried many other setups, and I must say, I guess fishing from a boat in our area, the lighter tackle definately gets more bites, and the smaller hooks actually have hooked better than the bigger ones.:eek:oooh:

    I am always open minded to try new things and bait setups/types. I have spent more time tying up fancy rigs and heavier tackle, and for the most part, the area we fish anyway, the lighter, simpler setups have been productive, and easier to deal with.

    I guess everybody has thier own way, but everybody is different:roll_eyes:, and fishes different ways, and different waters,from the bank, boat, etc.

    I have had plenty of nights when I whised I had fished lighter and heavier tackle, and wished I had used the other as well.:confused2:

    In my opinion, it is just a matter of being there at the right time, with the right presentation for the situation.:wink:
  12. mikeozo

    mikeozo New Member

    Those posts helped out a great deal...I am now going to take a lot of your advice and go back and read past posts to get some further ideas.

    Heading out tomorrow with my dad to the Mon Rivers bank fishing at my favorite lock and dam.

    Me and my 2 year old are handing to gander and Cabelas tomorrow morning to pick up some different line and terminal tackle.

    Again, thanks for your help...Below are tomorrow nights victims to the hungry flats of the mon!

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