Hot day and night of flathead catfishing

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by JAinSC, Jun 11, 2007.

  1. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    Edisto River
    June 9, 2007
    Water Temp = 88.5 deg F at dark

    It was a hot one, boy. The temps got up above 90 for the second day in a row. The sunfishing started out OK today, but then slowed down as the tide got up. I resorted to a slip float and worm around high tide to get the last few baits.

    At dusk, on the early ebb tide, I set up about 50 yards upstream from the new spot from last trip (bit of a bump downstream of all the houses) that looked even better: just below the canal that borders the last houses. I got nothing there so I started working my way down river. At the Leaning Tree Trunk Hole: 1 nice blue about 15 pounds, no flatheads. At the Top of the Bump downriver: another blue, no flatheads. At the top of the Channel Above the Mansion: nothing. In the Fast Water Above the Landing: nothing. By the tip of the Carp Tree (still ebbing): nothing.

    I got in some stargazing, and the fireflies put on a show in the trees on the riverbanks, but it stayed uncomfortably hot even after sundown. Anyway, it was about 1:00 AM, and I was getting a bit discouraged to not have caught a flathead. Since my usually productive spots had not produced, I decided to try something a bit different and headed downriver. I went down to the deep tree where I generally fish for the cool weather flatheads in November. It wasn’t long before I got my first flathead of the night on the deep bait: 14 pounds. As I was landing that fish, I missed a bite on the bait near the cover. I rebaited that rod and was rewarded with a 12 pound flathead (which I had to pull anchor to retrieve from the snag).

    It was getting late, so I moved back upriver toward the landing and try the Carp Tree now that the tide was flooding. Before long I got an 8 pound flathead and then a 3 pounder. I wasn’t too thrilled with the size progression (did you notice: 14, 12, 8, 3…?) By now it was after 3:00 AM, and I was seriously thinking about packing it in, but still wishing for one more (hopefully decent) fish to cap things off. Silhouetted against the night sky, the tip of the outside rod (with a bait tossed out away from the bank) bent down gently and then straightened. I shined my little light on the rod tip and watched. Was the angle of the line changing? Was a fish carrying the bait in toward the tree behind the boat? I gently pushed the button to disengage the spool and quietly removed the rod from the holder, before re-engaging the reel. Sure enough, I could feel a fish, so I tightened down and set the hook. Fish on! She headed for the tree, but I steered her away from it and worked her back to the boat. She came up to the surface, still way too green to try to land on my 15 pound gear, and splashed and threw water all over me. A few minutes later she calmed down and I got a gloved hand into her mouth and hauled her aboard. My first thought was, “That’s the longest skinniest flathead I have ever seen!” She was 47” long (or maybe 46.5”). So what would that make her weight? 60 pounds? For sure 55 anyway, right? I weighed her: just over 36 pounds! I measured the girth – the most I could get was 27 inches. She looked healthy, just skinny. I’m guessing she just finished the spawn.

    Nothing left to hang around for then, so I released the leftover baits and headed for the landing. I got home and cleaned up just a bit and fed the cats their supper a bit late – like about 12 hours late (my wife and son were out of town visiting Grandma) - and got to bed about 6:00 AM. Once again, straight perverse perseverance paid off.

    The second picture, with my head cut off, gives you a better idea how skinny the fish was.
     

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  2. Polish Moose

    Polish Moose New Member

    Messages:
    54
    State:
    Illinois
    Sweet fish! My home river does not have fish like that very often. I hope to someday have more chances at fish like that. Keep the good info coming and tight lines!
     

  3. catchinghogs

    catchinghogs Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,558
    State:
    Pennsylvania
    Great story. At least you waited it out and got a decent fish.
     
  4. shelbygt1979

    shelbygt1979 New Member

    Messages:
    1,989
    State:
    Olathe, KS
    Wonderful Story Great Flathead Thanks For Sharing
     
  5. g.kempf

    g.kempf New Member

    Messages:
    34
    State:
    Iowa
    great flattie and awsome story it's a good feeling when it pays off and you get a big one like that.
     
  6. cats gone wild

    cats gone wild Member

    Messages:
    452
    State:
    canal winchester, ohio
    Nice fish John. Looks like your having a very good year. I have'nt been doing too good. Since the 44 I caught May 19th, I've only managed a 15. I'm getting a little discouraged but I'll keep it up.
     
  7. STUMPKNOCKER

    STUMPKNOCKER New Member

    Messages:
    200
    State:
    Georgia
    Nice fish, it is odd about the girth, did she fight like her size, or did you think she was bigger or smaller, cause i have caught short fat ones that dont fight real hard and have caught others longer but the the same weight (around 15#) that fight like they are 30#?
     
  8. catman73

    catman73 New Member

    Messages:
    142
    State:
    Lawrence Kansas
    Great Story. Thanks for sharing.
     
  9. silsbyj

    silsbyj New Member

    Messages:
    37
    State:
    Kansas
    Thanks for sharing. Sounds like a good night...even with the heat.
     
  10. BAMA_CAT

    BAMA_CAT New Member

    Messages:
    474
    State:
    Boaz,ALABAMA
    Great story and FISH! Thanks for sharing it!!
     
  11. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    Stump,
    After a bit I could tell it was a little better fish, but I really never thought it was real big. My initial guess woul've been maybe high 20's from the way she was fighting. I know you've caught your share of big flatheads, so you'll know what I mean - you know with a real good fish sometimes you just can't move them? You lean into them and it's almost like you're tied to a car or something? Well, this fish never felt like that. When I would put on presure, I could move her. So, long story short - she fought more like her wieght than her length, I guess.
     
  12. river scum

    river scum New Member

    Messages:
    3,474
    State:
    hooterville indiana
    nice fish bro. thanks for the story.
     
  13. metalman

    metalman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,447
    State:
    IN
    Name:
    Winston
    Can't beat that night fishing. Good story...W
     
  14. Cat Man Joe

    Cat Man Joe New Member

    Messages:
    308
    State:
    Illinois
    Nice story John, way to hang in there. Thanks for the pics also. Glad to see you had a good night out! Thanks for sharin'
     
  15. Scott Daw

    Scott Daw New Member

    Messages:
    2,002
    State:
    Allentown, Pennsylvania

    She was probably tired from spawning and in need of rest and a full belly. I sure we had flattys on my side of PA. Congratulations!
     
  16. CJ21

    CJ21 New Member

    Messages:
    4,303
    State:
    Montgomery, Alabama
    Very nice Flathead John.
     
  17. The J-Man!

    The J-Man! New Member

    Messages:
    321
    State:
    St.Paul, MN
    Way to go John! Perseverance really can pay off! Did you do the photos solo again? You did a great job. That first pic really looks like a 55+ pounder! I am sure she was hungry being so slim and all. Maybe you can catch her again soon. Thanks as always for the great story and pics.