High water Flathead catfish

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by Pylodictis Olivaris, Sep 15, 2006.

  1. Pylodictis Olivaris

    Pylodictis Olivaris New Member

    Messages:
    257
    State:
    Iowa
    I've heard many things from many people about high water and the affects it has on fishing. I have fished many times during high water and have done very well and in return there has been many times during high water that I have done very poor. I have fished a river while it is rising and I have fished while it is falling and I have fished during the time where it isn't really rising or falling but rather just running high. During all of these times I have done both rather well at times and pretty poorly at times. From my experiences I have had mixed luck with all types of water levels. So for me it is tough to rule out something because of one bad experience, since at some point during the same conditions I have had a better experience......I guess what I am trying to get at is this, I am not asking for fishing advice, I have been doing it for many years and I have a handle on that part of it, but I am asking more for your experiences during different water levels and the success or failure that came with it. I want to see if there is any pattern or similarities to what other people have experienced. For instance I have always been told to fish a river on the rise and not on the fall.....well some of my best fishing has come shortly after high water when the river was going back to normal stages. So to me, that statement means nothing since I have proven it wrong.
    Let me know.
     
  2. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    Todd,

    Just llike you, I have caught and got skunked in many different type of situations. One patttern I follow is fishing sucks during a full moon and when the water level in the river is falling. The rest of the time, I cast and keeep my fingers crossed.

    peace out!!
     

  3. Pylodictis Olivaris

    Pylodictis Olivaris New Member

    Messages:
    257
    State:
    Iowa
    The moon thing is another thing I forgot to mention....I have heard people swear up an down that it matters and it does make a difference....I don't know because I will fish regardless and I have had luck with and without a moon. Does a full moon actually keep some people from not fishing all together? I wouldn't have the will power to not try.
     
  4. just cats

    just cats New Member

    Messages:
    325
    State:
    Leslie Missouri
    I would rather fish for Flatheads during high water than any other time. It's no guarantee that they will bite but it definetly puts the odds in your favor. That is just about the one and only pattern that I've come to really believe in over the years. As far as river rising/ river falling/ river steady, full moon/ dark of the moon/ wind from the east/west/ south/north, all of those theorys have not proven to mean much in my experience. I have caught and not caught fish under all of the above situations. So no matter what the conditions ,I go just about every weekend since that is the only time I get to go usually. If we get high water during the week I take vacation time and hit it extra hard. And I do like fishing a full moon simply because I can see what I'm doing out there without using lights. Sometimes they bite and sometimes they don't. Does anyone really know what triggers fish to turn on and off like they do. I sure don't and I've been tryin to figure them out for a lifetime. I guess you could say that I've been outsmarted by the fish many many times. But heck, I guess that's part of what makes it so interesting. I am learning new stuff here on the BOC every day though so maybe someday I'll outsmart the fish more than they outsmart me!:big_smile:
     
  5. serb

    serb New Member

    Messages:
    55
    State:
    Drexel Hill, PA
    I would be out on the local river tonight, but could not make it... so when I go tomorrow while it is dropping, it will be the right time to go since it will be the time I am going - ha.

    I like high water since most people shy away from it and I think replenishes old sunny fishing holes for bait.
     
  6. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    Tonight was tought, but did manage a 19lber.
     
  7. smoke

    smoke New Member

    Messages:
    107
    State:
    Indiana
    not sure what is better high water or not all i know is if i can get to the water i hope it is good. When ever i can go high water low water full moon or no moon you never know if they will bite if your line is not in the water...
     
  8. Pylodictis Olivaris

    Pylodictis Olivaris New Member

    Messages:
    257
    State:
    Iowa
    I fished tonight in central Iowa from 8:00 to 10:00 on a smaller river that is on the fall from higher water and I caught a 6 and an 18 pounder along with about 5 or 6 runs that I didn't connect on. All in all it was okay for the short amount of time I was out....the whole time I was out there I never once worried about high water, low water, wind direction, moon, no moon so on and so on. I am starting to not believe in and worry about all of the so called theories and beliefs of certain fishing conditions. For me anytime is a good time and I will do my best to beat the odds.
     
  9. grizzly

    grizzly New Member

    Messages:
    229
    State:
    Griffithville, Arkansas
    Most of my experience comes from trotlines on small slow moving bayous. What I have found is as follows; When at normal level with very little or no current I catch 6#-8# flatheads fairly regularly, but rarely anything larger; When on a rise after a rain even a small rise produces larger fish in the 15-30# range along with the smaller fish. If it is a bigger rise, 2-3 or even 4 feet and holds a while the fishing is usually good. On this bayou when the water falls it usually falls out fast and the fishing is very poor until it levels off. I have never noticed the moon making much difference under these conditions, the fish come out to feed when the oppourtunity arises. It may make more of a difference on a lake where the water level stays fairly stable. The bayou now is about afoot low and not moving, rain is forecast for tomorrow and the next day. If it does rain and puts on any rise I will have to fish it. If not, then friday I will go to a lake 55 miles away that has a tremendous flathead population and fish it in the dark of the moon. The main reason for this is that me and my fishing buddy are both disabled and on fixed incomes. We save and pool our money for one trip away from home a month. Just hoping the dark of the moon helps our odds, it seemed to work last month with the largest flathead weighing 30#. It may have been just dumb luck, but I'll take any help I can get. grizzly
     
  10. serb

    serb New Member

    Messages:
    55
    State:
    Drexel Hill, PA
    Well went out with the water level up, tons of debris floating downstream and I had a perfect spot in mind since it is a natural barrier and there must have been a flathead party tonight. Left around 7:30pm since I was out of bait, but did manage to land a 24lb fish that is in the avatar and some others that were very nice. I lost one at the bank and its mouth was bigger then the 24lber... just wish I could have see his whole body due to the muddy water.

    The water was actually lowering today, but checking the water gauges on the river, it went back up another half foot - alright by me. :smile2:
     
  11. Goldenshinner

    Goldenshinner New Member

    I am under the impression that moon phase does influence their movement some to. they seem to move more without it. as to high water. I fish many spots it seems that they allways bite, just in different spots. move and try a different spot if your not getting a bite in your high water conditions
     
  12. kyredneck

    kyredneck New Member

    Messages:
    1,021
    State:
    Kentucky
    My experience comes strictly from trotlining the Ky River. I've come to make a distinction between the slower, clearer rise & fall and the sudden, muddier, trashier rise & fall. From my experience, the clear rises stimulate the bigger fish to bite with the best fishing occuring on the fall. My theory on this is that there is a delay in the arrival of food washed in from the rains upstream that are usually the cause of the slower, clearer rise in the first place. The sudden muddy rises are usually the result of local rains, which means an immediate arrival of food being washed in with the best fishing being on the rise. The old timers here say, "When the water dogs start biting, quit fishing". I've found this to be true, with the water dogs being active and the bigger fish inactive on the sudden, muddy falls (I caught 18 water dogs and one channel cat on a trotline once during one of these falls). Water dogs are a major food source for the bigger fish and I suspect they try to hide when the biguns are on the prowl. Bottom line is, when the biguns get their bellies full they're gonna stop feeding and go somewhere to digest, period.
     
  13. MattShannon

    MattShannon New Member

    Messages:
    829
    State:
    WV
    After reading this thread it sounds as if the different conditions do matter; however, they affect each location differently.
     
  14. kyredneck

    kyredneck New Member

    Messages:
    1,021
    State:
    Kentucky
    I forgot to mention: another thing to consider here is the frequency of the occurrence of these rises & falls. It stands to reason that the longer the interval of time between the influx of fresh water from rains, the more the affect on big fish activity. Bottom line: if they ain't hungry, they ain't gonna bite.
     
  15. Pylodictis Olivaris

    Pylodictis Olivaris New Member

    Messages:
    257
    State:
    Iowa
    Good posts, it is interesting to hear other peoples thoughts on this topic.
     
  16. whiteriverbigcats

    whiteriverbigcats New Member

    Messages:
    3,452
    State:
    Indiana
    to me the only thing i catch when water is high is blues... but i know for a fact that they will not bite ( and i dont care who you ask ) they will not bite without bait... lol... I think as long as there is water and baitfish, there is catfish... everything else dont matter....