High water Flathead Catfish

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by dinkbuster1, Dec 31, 2005.

  1. dinkbuster1

    dinkbuster1 New Member

    Messages:
    2,272
    State:
    Ohio
    got a question. i fish a small to medium riffle/hole/run river. i have a problem locating flats when the river is up high and muddy. channels arent a problem, they seem to be everywhere when the rivers up. i've tried eddys, extremely deep areas and such but still i cannot establish a pattern for the flats. where should i be looking?
     
  2. Pennsylvaniacatchaser

    Pennsylvaniacatchaser Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,359
    State:
    Sarver, Pa
    dinkbuster1 - I have located a spot on the river I usually fish that seems to attract a lot of fish during high/muddy conditions. It is a barge cove where the fish can escape the heavy high water current and the water clarity is usually better than that of the main river. I like to start at the entrance where there is often a mud line and then work my way inside the cove.
     

  3. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    Dink, I dont think I have ever caught a flathead during high muddy water conditions.
     
  4. warcraft1975

    warcraft1975 New Member

    Messages:
    1,190
    when the water rises around here and i run to the dam!!!the flats are always there,or next to any structre you can find
     
  5. metalman

    metalman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,456
    State:
    IN
    Name:
    Winston
    Dink,
    Pacatchaser has some good advice there. My thinking used to be that during high water they would be tight to the bottom in deep water but Doc Lange suggested just the opposite to be true. In high water I now fish tight up to the bank in places that look like they give some relief from the current. It definately works for me...W
     
  6. river scum

    river scum New Member

    Messages:
    3,474
    State:
    hooterville indiana
    dink,
    the best flathead cover when she is high is slack water. i definatly do best when the water is very high. the high water consentrates them in predictable spots were you can really lip a bunch in a short time. fish tight to bank behind large current breaks. fish the mouths of creeks 25 yrds up and down the river bank and even up in the creeks. hit the water on the rise too. the current dont have to be slack just slower than the main flow. what rivers do you fish in ohio bro.?
     
  7. Baitkiller

    Baitkiller New Member

    Messages:
    1,029
    State:
    Akron, Ohio
    dink

    Yes on what Scum said BIG TIME. My best Flattie came out of slack water when the river was high. You just have to CHANGE, BE FLEXIBLE and look for where the high water put them.

    "JOIN IN THE PURSUIT"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    <><Baitkiller><>
     
  8. SangamonCatKiller

    SangamonCatKiller New Member

    Messages:
    488
    State:
    central illinois
    Definitely agree with all the above. You have to find something or somewhere that will give them sanctuary from the current. If the water is low or oxygen depleated look more towards the current.
     
  9. Salmonid

    Salmonid New Member

    Messages:
    1,833
    State:
    SW Ohio
    I always assumed from what I have read that big cats would hold up tight to brush and trees, like waiting out the storm. Of course I really have no experience to back this up;)
    Salmonid
     
  10. truck

    truck New Member

    Messages:
    156
    State:
    williamsburg ohio
    I love high water for cats,as others have said slack water and close to the bank:)
     
  11. Catchinbiguns

    Catchinbiguns Member

    Messages:
    605
    State:
    Kansas City, Ks
    I fish shallower in high water conditioins. ]
     
  12. comanchero

    comanchero New Member

    Messages:
    119
    State:
    Minnesota
    This is a favorite high water tactic of mine. I like to fish the logjams on the point of an island during high water. Many of these type of logjams are high and dry during normal to low flows but during high water they become the head of the hole. I especially like those island points that one side of the point leads into a good backwater during normal water periods. I think the prespawn flats will move up on that island point logjam to feed.
    I start by anchoring well upstream of the point and putting bait into the front edge of the logjam. They seem to work just like a wingdam and I think there is a slack water point off the front edge of the logjam like there is on a wingdam. Then I will move in closer to the logjam and work the current seam at the tip of the jam. And lastly I will move up on the backwater side of the logjam and put a bait up close to the shore. A lot of those banks are really undercut with good root wads that should hold fish. We can fish two rods and I usually have one rigged with a bullhead for flats and one with a nice hunk of cut sucker for a channel. I've caught both channels and flats on this type of structure. Here is a photo of a typical point - this one has a large logjam that during normal water is totally high and dry and you would drive by it and never think it would hold fish. Get some high water and they are sitting there feeding.
     

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  13. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    Yup. Like they said - go shallower. Get right up near the bank. Or up on a sand bar flat.
     
  14. comanchero

    comanchero New Member

    Messages:
    119
    State:
    Minnesota
    I posted this idea earlier in "Flathead Comparisons" but this is a good spot to add it again. The trouble we have during high water is getting a good picture in our mind of what the flathead holding structure looks like in any given spot. Most of our good spots are drowned out and there seems to be too much current streaming through our best spots. What I have found is the fish are still there but they are relating to structure we probably have not given much thought to before. I've tried to photo catalog my catfish spots during low water so that when I have high to moderate water during the prespawn period I have a good idea of what the structure looks like when it is covered by high, dirty water. I got the idea after watching golf one weekend on TV. I was watching Tiger Woods prepare for a difficult shot from out of the rough and his caddy pulls this small book out of his back pocket and it is a diagram of the hole with distances to the green and specific obstacles to avoid. I thought to myself that would be a good technique for my flathead spots. During the low water period last summer I went out scouting with my digital camera and took digital photos of my preferred high water spots paying attention to well anchored logjams and root wads that were high and dry at that time but should be covered during high water. Now when I approach those spots I pull out my cat fishing spot photo album and think through how I want to fish that spot. I try to think like a hungry prespawn flathead and picture in my mind how he would set up on that spot. Here is a picture of one spot - now picture this spot under about 6' of water. This has really helped my high water fishing.
     

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  15. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,173
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    Ive been successful finding flatheads father up feeder creeks and tributaries during high water conditions. Also around old retired barges in the larger rivers are good spots.