Help! problems hooking flathead catfish

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by back channel, Jun 9, 2006.

  1. back channel

    back channel Member

    Messages:
    231
    State:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I have been using frozen bluegill for bait on a 10 spinning glowstick with power pro line. The current were I fish is strong: carries a four once sinker. I am getting massive jerks on the rod but cant catch them. I am also using circle hooks and I am not setting the hook, I lift the rod up and start reeling to nothing. How can I catch these flathead? I can not undue the bail becuase the current just takes the line out. These bluegill are about 5 inches and the circle hook is a 10/0 king kat circle by eagle claw. Any help on how I can catch these flathead or channels would be great. I forgot I fish from the bank.

    Thanks,

    Scott
     
  2. slipbobber

    slipbobber New Member

    Messages:
    240
    State:
    Kentucky
    try a kahle hook they more or less could be used like a circle hook or a J hook..myself find that i hook more on kahles than any other hook.
     

  3. nuthinlikeacat

    nuthinlikeacat New Member

    Messages:
    517
    State:
    Eden Prairie, Minnesota
    maybe the fish trying to hit your bait are small, thus making it harder to catch them. Could possibly either be gar or turtles also.
     
  4. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    Also could be Gar to, or big turtles.
     
  5. shortbus

    shortbus New Member

    Messages:
    459
    State:
    indiana
    One thing i found about circle hooks is they absolutly have to be sharp. Right out of the bag I run a sharpening stone on mine untill they are sharp as sharp can be. Another thing,,,leave your rod in the holder untill the rod continually bounces up and down non-stop. Don't even touch the rod untill it does this.
     
  6. mspratt

    mspratt New Member

    Messages:
    173
    State:
    missouri
    Scott...Try usin a bigger sinker ,u should be able to keep that bait in one spot.I've Never used spinning reels, I like usin baitcasters with clickers that way u can leave the reel in freespool for those circles to work right. Let the fish carry the bait 4 or 5 sec,pick rod up,lock reel,let rod tip load up then start reelin.My 2 cents.....Ur humble servant beartrap and buoy:cool2:
     
  7. chubbahead

    chubbahead Member

    Messages:
    332
    State:
    Ohio
    Is the river flooded right now. Sticks and debris will float down and hit your line under the water. If you don't know what this feels like, it may feel like a hit.

    My advise though, get rid of the circles. Use one pole, hold it with one hand, use the other hand to hold your line. Leave a little slack line between your hand and the reel. When you get a hit, you will know it. Allow the fish to take the 12 inches or so slack line that you have, and nail him.
     
  8. Cat King

    Cat King New Member

    Messages:
    156
    State:
    Kentucky
    It is probaly a gar because they give me that problem
     
  9. deanc

    deanc New Member

    Messages:
    20
    State:
    GA
    We fish in very swift water also. Perhaps another ounce or 2 of weight and if you are using a baitcaster, does it have a "line out " alarm (Clicker).
    I have found that my reels won't hold on free spool alone but will hold with the line out alarm engaged. I like to use a slip sinker rig so they can carry the bait away and then the circle hook can do its job when you start reeling in. I've never had any luck with anything but "live" bait for flathheads. Good luck.
     
  10. cross_their_eyes

    cross_their_eyes New Member

    Messages:
    156
    State:
    Show Me State
    Hook a two or three inch piece of braided line on your hook with your bait. If they are Gar, you'll catch em.

    At least you'll know.
     
  11. mspratt

    mspratt New Member

    Messages:
    173
    State:
    missouri
    I'm not sure if it's gar or not,I have never had trouble with gar fishin in fast current.Allways had trouble with them in the slacker water...:eek:oooh: ur humble servant beartrap and buoy
     
  12. Gone fishin 4 kittys

    Gone fishin 4 kittys New Member

    Messages:
    678
    State:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    It sounds like the current is just pulling it
     
  13. Firecat41

    Firecat41 New Member

    Messages:
    45
    State:
    Rockton, IL
    I have had great luck this year using Mustad Ultra Point Big Gun Catfish hooks 1/0. I am headed out this weekend to purchase some larger size of the same hook. This hook was hooked three fish just under 15 lbs using large cut gills in the last week.
    Rob
     
  14. barbel

    barbel New Member

    Messages:
    486
    State:
    Somewhere
    Well, if you are using J hooks, what you could do is you could leave your drag turned WAY down where the current wont take it out, but the fish can. Then, when you get a hit, you can tighten it up and set the hook. As for circle hooks, they have to be sharp, like what was said.

    There is the other problem with gar, turtles, and debris (which was also stated) which could also be the problem. I hope you find a solution though :smile2:
     
  15. akwolf41

    akwolf41 Master Instigator of the BOC!

    Messages:
    725
    State:
    Kenai, Ala
    Back Channel;

    I agree with some that are suggesting that the hits you are getting may very well be Gar. But then again I have had simular problems and it was those damn CIRCLE HOOKS. I have since(for the last two years) switched to Kahle Hooks and have near 100% hookup rate. If I am fishing for Flatheads, I use a 7/0 or 10/0 Kahle hook, depending on how large of a bait I have on. Don't worry about using a LARGE hook as I have caught 2 and 3 #ers on a 7/0 kahle hook.

    Another thing I would do if you are targeting Flatheads is lay off the Cut Bait. Fish them bluegills live. Either hook them under the dorsal fin or up through the lips. Both work well and gills live a long time. On live bluegills I have caught channels, blues, and Flatheads. Mostly flatheads. By using kahle hooks you can set the hook if you want or let it load the rod and it will set the fish like a circle hook is supposed to do.

    just mt 2 cents worth;

    Gene
     
  16. Baitkiller

    Baitkiller New Member

    Messages:
    1,029
    State:
    Akron, Ohio
    back channel

    I fish the Ohio also about 30 miles down steam from you.

    You asked so I'll tell ya what works for me. 1) Drop the circles!!!!!!!! 2)The first time they touch it place the rod in you hand and when they pull you pull!!!! Even if it is only a lite bump. When they are in this mode on cut bait I get about a 10% hook up ratio and dang proud of it.

    :big_smile:
     
  17. fourteenfootcat

    fourteenfootcat New Member

    Messages:
    65
    State:
    Big Spirit Lake, Iowa
    I agree. Circle hooks need to be sharp. I buy mine in bulk from CatfishConnection.com and they are sharp, but I make them super sharp! That's the story, morning glory. Keep the line tight to the sinker, hooks sharp, keen eyes, and remember....

    The next World Record is only a cast away....

    James
     
  18. tkishkape

    tkishkape New Member

    Messages:
    782
    State:
    Gore, Okla
    The key is to use LIVE bluegill. Flathead love their food to be fresh... as in still moving, trying to get away.

    Frozen or dead cut bait will attract blues, but the frozen 'gill is more likely to draw strikes from a gar... and the gar is a tough cookie to hook.

    I usually catch gar when they bite my line and roll up in it. I hate gar!:roll_eyes:
     
  19. thegavel

    thegavel New Member

    Messages:
    1,317
    State:
    West Des Moines, Iowa
    Scotty, sounds like you have a case of bad luck!!!

    I don't recommend getting rid of the circle hooks, but rather as other members have suggested, sharpen them before use!!!

    I don't know much about Gar because we don't have those in Iowa, but I get the same issues with turtles and water snakes as well!

    I would also say to maybe try a baitcaster so that you can free spool the line! Huge HUGE HUGE benefit if you get a monster on the run!!! once the flat head is on the run then take him...

    Patience is key...
     
  20. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    If the fish are whacking the bait and dropping it, or pulling a bit and dropping, and you are using whole dead bluegills, then I bet it's not flatheads. Could very well be channels or ssmall blues. They like to get the bluegill half way in their mouth and start swimming off. What does the bait look like when it comes back? If it is crushed accross the middle, it's probably another kind of cat. Pin pricks or slices usually mean gar. Try using just the head or a steak out of the bluegill, you'll have a better chance of hooking up, then you'll know whos biting. As you know, flatheads prefer live bait.