high water flathead catfish?

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by hock_paul, Jul 6, 2009.

  1. hock_paul

    hock_paul New Member

    Messages:
    246
    State:
    illinois
    Went fishing on my local river on friday and found that it had dropped about 2 feet since last tuesday. The water continued to drop 6" while we were fishing. Needless to say, we only caught one fish at 6lbs.. It rained pretty good on saturday, but I didn't think it would raise the river too quick. I was pumped to get out on sunday, but when we got there, the river had risen 5 ft. and the current was rollin' at 10 mph. It was very hard to fish because the biggest sinkers I'll use are 5 oz. and the current just wouldn't let the bait sit where I wanted it to. It was also very hard to position the boat where I wanted and even the drift sock couldn't keep the boat from swaying.
    I was just wondering what you guys do when conditions are like this. Personally, I usually won't go if I have to use more than 4 oz., but my friend has never caught a flatty and he was determined to go. I know a lot of you have said that a rising river is best, but when it comes up like that what do you do? By the way, there aren't many oxbows or feeder creeks that feed this part of the river, we tried the only one I could get into and didn't get a strike. THANX GUYS and GOOD LUCK!
     
  2. shortbus

    shortbus New Member

    Messages:
    459
    State:
    indiana
    Look for current breaks and eddy's. Even underwater current breaks. Heavy structure is whats holding them now and that breaks the current up. Just remember surface current is faster than the current at the bottom.
     

  3. bw69r

    bw69r Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,816
    State:
    West Newton, PA
    you could try behind bridge pilings, old barges, anything that cuts the current flow. fishing closer to the bank is also an option.
     
  4. mcseal2

    mcseal2 Active Member

    Messages:
    503
    State:
    Kansas
    Pretty much what everyone else is saying, anything to cut current. My favorite spots in these conditions are the back sides of big logjams right on the current break, or the mouth of feeder creeks that are backed up right on the clearer side of the mudline from the main current. A guy I was fishing with caught a 44lb flat that way a couple weeks ago, the flats lay in the muddy water and ambush food in the clearer water.
     
  5. patrickgd

    patrickgd New Member

    Messages:
    809
    State:
    Memphis TN
    Earler this year when the water was high around here I had good luck fishing back current areas straight down steep ledge banks with lots of submerged structure.
     
  6. hock_paul

    hock_paul New Member

    Messages:
    246
    State:
    illinois
    Thanks for the tip, but I wasn't drifting. I use a drift sock off the transom of the boat when I'm fishing where my boat is swaying back and forth from the current. If the boat moves around too much, it'll pull your baits off of the structure that you want to fish. Normally, the drift sock will keep your boat solid as a rock in the current , or keep it stationary when the wind wants to blow your boat upstream while anchored. Thanks A.J.:big_smile:
     
  7. recordbreakin1

    recordbreakin1 New Member

    Messages:
    746
    State:
    texas
    Any break in the current is most likely where there hiding.Me and my bro had the same problem few weeks ago the river was out of the banks about 20 yards from the main river and we coulsd se the flats in about a foot of water hnting for bait fish.
     
  8. USCA-RECLAIMED-ACCOUNT

    USCA-RECLAIMED-ACCOUNT New Member

    Messages:
    3,020
    If the current was up to 10 miles an hour,I,d be fishing really close to shore next to or behind a good current break.:wink:
     
  9. mcseal2

    mcseal2 Active Member

    Messages:
    503
    State:
    Kansas
    I use the drift sock in current too, as long as my anchor will hold. It really keeps the boat lined out when it works.
     
  10. jagdoctor1

    jagdoctor1 New Member

    Messages:
    708
    State:
    CA/AZ
    When the level is normal the bait tries to hide in shallow spots the flats can't get to easily. When the current comes up the flats come up and terrorize those baitfish who no longer have their comfort spots. I'd use your boat to find a nice shore spot with some structure that used to be shallow and is now deep and sit in a comfortable spot and fish from shore. Fishing from shore has it's benefits. First... no drift sock necessary. Second no worries about setting an ancor... Third you can use less weight because you are using the current to bring your rig into the structure as opposed to trying to place it directly behind it and make it hold there like in a boat. You know the current is going to bring you rig in to the shore so just line up the distance from upstream and let the current put you right in there.
     
  11. DTro

    DTro Active Member

    Messages:
    243
    State:
    Minnesota
    I love fishing high water, for me it seems easier to find the fish as they will concentrate in key areas.

    However fishing a fast rise is very tough. Once the water level stabilizes (there should be some sort of gauge you can check online) the fishing will pick up.

    Like others have said, current breaks/seams are the key. My favorite spots during this period are creek mouths. Not only do they normally provide a nice current break, they also can have cleaner water and hold baitfish. Even the biggest flat will go up the creek in only a couple feet of water to grab a bite to eat. The mouth of the creek provides a good ambush spot to place your bait.
     
  12. varmint_sniper

    varmint_sniper New Member

    Messages:
    700
    State:
    OHIO
    well said my oppion exactily
     
  13. ncriverrat

    ncriverrat New Member

    Messages:
    333
    State:
    Trinity, NC
    i agree with shortbus, i would stay out of the main current and fish eddys and slack water ares, and current breaks. flatheads dont really like a lot of current,current breaks around large rocks seem to be best 4 me with little current, but when i have to fish the current i try to get up river from some rocks or log jams and just let it wash strait in to bank. i get hung up a bit, but i think if im not getting hung i might not be in a good spot!!!! have caught numerous fish in 20 and 30lb class like this, but the biggest ones in the eddys. good luck
     
  14. CatHunterSteve

    CatHunterSteve New Member

    Messages:
    456
    State:
    Snowville, Va
    You may also want to try tieing off the front of the boat to the structure on the bank if there is something hanging out far enough to do that and eliminate the anchor, this will sometime stablize the boat better than anchoring in very swift water. or even try tieing off both corners of the front of the boat to stablize it, seems to work for me under high water, high current conditions.
     
  15. catfishinsc

    catfishinsc New Member

    Messages:
    507
    State:
    SC
    I've had some of my best river fishing when the water was up fishing right behind islands. I like to cast in the swift water and let it swing my bait around to where the swift water meets the eddy behind the island. Sometimes even throw up on the island where it's normally out of the water and catch some.

    I have been there when the water was really too high to fish behind the islands. I don't like fishing it like that though. Never caught much like that either.

    If you don't have islands you'll have to look for anything that can break the current.

    I agree with Steve on tying up. When the river's up we usually forget about the anchor. You're probably going to be close to trees if you're in slack water, so just tie off. Just make sure you leave plenty of extra rope to account for water level change or at least check it often and adjust it as needed.