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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I finally found (made) some time to go fishing. I've heard that the flathead have been biting at our local dam, so I took some time off and went down there. I brought chubs and gills, and didn't get a bite until I picked up one of my rods to leave and started reeling it in. WHAM, The thing hit a chub on the retrieve. The fight was on. I was on top of a tower on one side of the dam. The current is much stronger on this side than the other. I fought the fish for 30 minutes or more before I seen it. It was a big black flathead about 4 foot long with a head about 16 inches wide. I brought the fish to the top of the water and tried several times to pull it over the channel and every time he put his head down and went downstream. I'd pull it back to the center of the dam in the slack water and every time I'd have to really lean on it to get it's head off the bottom. When I started making ground again I'd try to pull it across the channel and every time it turned and headed downstream. I ended up smoking the drag washers on a 6000c abu. I tightened up the drag all I could and still had to jam my thumb into the reel to try to stop his downstream runs. Again I brought it across the current. This time something worse happened. I had my thumb jammed into the reel trying to stop it when I heard a clunk. Then another. It stripped the gears out of it. I Knew it was hooked good so I would pump the rod up, and give it slack so I could reel back down. Using my thumbs more than ever now I was handling the fish well. One more time across the current and the leader broke. So did my heart!! Evidently the fish swallowed the hook and chewed on the leader till it broke. The remainder of the leader was abraided bad from rubbing it's jaws. If that circle hook would have hooked it in the jaw I would have a pic of it to show you. I've never been so worn out from catching a single fish in my life. This happened monday and my shoulders are still sore. Both of my thumbs had the prints burnt off. What a fight!!! I was using one of my "lighter" set-ups, with 65 lb. p.p. braid, and 50 lb. flourocarbon leader. Most people that fish down there use no bigger than 30 lb. test. That fish would have spooled me if I was using 30 lb. test. I was really looking forward to taking a picture of this dude. But, **** happens, right?
 

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Bummer man, when those fish get in a swift current and know how to use it to their advantage, it becomes a real tough fight. Had it happen to me last year with a flattie that would have broke our state record, man I was broke,beat, and disgusted, just loaded up and went home feeling sorry for myself the whole way. Hard not to,those real big boys don't come around every day. But then I thought about it and he won fair and square three foot from me right near the bank. So I geared up heavier and and am back out persuing him again, besides that fishing wouldn't be the same once you caught a real monster flattie. I lost mine when he went into a death roll right at the bank,and my hook came right out of his mouth. guess we both learned something though about a flatheads ability to fight! It doesn't sound like the old abu held up very well, might have to get a bigger one or change to a different brand.
 

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sounds like its all about tuning your equiptment better,the reel needs work for sure. are you hip to the circle hooks that have an offset? where i'm at fish & game started a requirement to use circle hooks only for salmon, the tackle manufacturers (wanting to sell hooks) came out with a circle hook with the point bent out so it hooks the same way a J hook does.i always check and bend the point so it is straight to the shank of the hook. circle hook is the only way to go, these things are to valuable to kill (imo). sometimes they do just hook deep though.
 

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Head back with a bigger and meaner setup and see if you can get a shot at him. Put a shock leader of monofilament on if you are using braid, mono is more resistant to abrasives believe it or not. That sounds like it was one heck of a fight!
 

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Mark I enjoyed reading your story and could feel for you on the loss. You know where he is at and now have a good idea on the equipment it will take to catch him. Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
damn man that sux, but like pat said atleast you got a look at him and know where he's at. next time bring the 7000 with 80 lb pp..lol:cool:
My 7000's have 100 lb. pp on them. I use 80 lb. flourocarbon leaders with the 100 lb. line. I was using 65 lb. pp and 50 lb. flouro. leaders. I still think I would have landed it if the circle hook would have caught the corner of it's mouth like they usually do. But he took too much of the leader down and basically chewed through my leader. I kinda messed up my left shoulder that day. It still hurts, and I can't lift my arm above my head very easily. Man, that fish worked over my equipment and my body. LOL
 

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I don't fish that far down the Mississippi very often and most of the fish I catch are on the drift. So I have a question, when fishing in that kind of current couldn't you break anchor and track the fish rather than trying to pull it upriver?
 

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My 7000's have 100 lb. pp on them. I use 80 lb. flourocarbon leaders with the 100 lb. line. I was using 65 lb. pp and 50 lb. flouro. leaders. I still think I would have landed it if the circle hook would have caught the corner of it's mouth like they usually do. But he took too much of the leader down and basically chewed through my leader. I kinda messed up my left shoulder that day. It still hurts, and I can't lift my arm above my head very easily. Man, that fish worked over my equipment and my body. LOL

I feel your pain in loosing a big fish, now you can talk about an old fishing injury when you go back and getem. :excruciating:
 

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Hate that happened to ya man. Just one of those things that happens when fishing.

Kinda odd though...those circle hooks hook 99% of fish right in the corner of the mouth, they never swallow them. Well that's what most would lead you to believe. Happens a lot with the flatheads, with that big mouth they get it down past their teeth and the leader takes a lot of abuse. You'll get him again sometime soon, just keep at it!!
 
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