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I have been fishing for flats for 25 years and still dont have them figured out.

Some people think that flatheads are always feeding.

Some think if a big ole flat catches him a big fish say 1-2lbs he may not feed agin for a week.

Whats your thoughts?
 

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Any answer I give would just be a guess. I always had the idea when the water was cold they might feed heavy about once a week or so but in the summer I think they are on the hunt every night....
 

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I can't say what the frequency is. If they only caught a small gill or shad the night before they would probably eat again the next night. I caught a 25lb flat once on a 4lb drum. That flat wouldn't need to eat for two weeks. If it had been a 60 pounder in the summer he could go a week I'd think.
I have fished a snag I knew had a flat in it, and he didn't hit for days in a row. Then I caught him. Was it because he had eaten earlier in the week? Or eaten something else those nights before he came across my bait and left it alone? Hard to say IMHO.

If anybody tells you he has Flatheads figured out, He's feeding you line lol.
 

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I don't think they feed constantly or else they would be easier to catch. I think their habits probably resemble our eating habits on Thanksgiving Day. They stuff themselves when they can and then go take a nap.
 

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I bet they eat every day, You got to remember a flathead is one of the most aggressive fish there is. They are a top predator in the underwater world. They also have a big mouth to fit a very large fish relative to there size in it. Now they maybe active for a couple hours out of a 24 hour day. But you go putting a bait in front of them or a fish gets to close why pass it up.
 

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One night I caught a 19 pound flathead that had a partially rusted hook in his mouth and released him. The very next evening I caught that same flathead in the exact same spot only about 3 hours earlier from the previous night. I never caught him again after that.
 

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The ones I keep, I always check to see whats in their stomach to see if there is something different they are feeding on. Usually there aint much in them, usually the smaller fish that are inside them are starting to breakdown. They must have a faster digestive system than we do. I would guess the same, that if they fill up it may be a day or two before they eat a 'meal' but may eat small stuff like we would a snack between meals. Just my opinion.
 

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very good thread jack!!!!

well i watched a video of a guys saying "they are killing machines". he said "they just kill for the fun of it"! wow really! lmao no i dont believe that, but i do believe they can feed every night in the warmest months. i also believe their apetites are influenced by the environment. things like rain, temp, moon, berometric preasure influence them enough to effect feeding habits. IMO

i hope to never figure them out fully because then i would loose interest. lol keep the posts comin guys n gals.
 

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The ones I keep, I always check to see whats in their stomach to see if there is something different they are feeding on. Usually there aint much in them, usually the smaller fish that are inside them are starting to breakdown. They must have a faster digestive system than we do. I would guess the same, that if they fill up it may be a day or two before they eat a 'meal' but may eat small stuff like we would a snack between meals. Just my opinion.
To me this would seem that they would stock up on food and when running low would eat again.. the reason you cought them they were trying to stalk up again , not saying your wrong just anyther way to look at it.
 

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if your talking BIG flatheads my opinion is that they are like a fat man on the couch, once in a while they get up, when they get up they get alot of food, however if you put a bowl of ice cream next to him on the couch i bet he eats it, thats my analogy..lol i think its pretty accurate.:big_smile:
 

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If anybody tells you he has Flatheads figured out, He's feeding you line lol.
Yep. I think that is about right. There are just too many variables involved to make much more than general observations. One thing I've noticed in the lakes I fish is quite often a good flathead bite is on about every third night. If you happen to have two slow nights in a row, the third is usually good. That's just talking about the bite in general though and not about a specific fish feeding. Anyone else ever notice that?
 

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I say they eat constantly unless there going in a dormant state. Theres a big reason I say this I have kept catfish in aquariums and studied there habits. I had a hollow log at the bottom the catfish would stay in the the log almost the entire day until the light in the room was dim or you shut off all the lights. Also for the feeding question I kept goldfish in the tank constantly every day when I woke up there were goldfish missing. Flatheads this is my guess probably feed every day because they keep growing and exerting lots of energy. The only time a flathead might not feed is maybe if hes dormant or hes already got a fish in his mouth or he just consumed a large fish a couple hours before.They just might not be as an aggressive feeder on some days.
 

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I think flatheads are a lot like me when I get to the bottom of my Sonic sack. I may not eat another chili-dawg, if someone gave it to me, but that little mint looks pretty good.

Then again, if I had flatheads figured out, there would be one in my avatar!
 

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I hold my flathead catch in a artisian fish tank for the DNR to tag or record the fish . Most we release some we eat . All of them barf up the hard head parts of previous digested baitfish , it isn't much . The ones I eat don't have much in there guts , they either digest there prey real fast or dont eat that often . I use 10inch to 12 inch suckers most times for bait .They think barfing up remains is a stress thing in captivity .
I bait 8 hooks every nite , catch a couple of flats a week , however my baits are mostly gone every morning ,some just have the heads left . I do catch some turtles ,but something is cleaning off my baits real regular .
jay jay
 

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I suppose we will never know for sure. But I think theres just too many different factors to figure into the question to get one answer.

I think flatheads don't eat every night but thats just guessing. I do think if ones not eating tonight theres another one that is. Nothing in nature ever happens at the same time on cue so I would assume thats the same way with flatheads and their eating habits. I just go and hope a hungry one bumps into my baits.

I have noticed there is usually but not always a better bite if the weathers been the same for 3 days in a row. Doesn't need to be good weather just 3 days of the same.
Does that mean on day 1 and 2 they aren't feeding? Or does that just mean on day 3 there are more feeding?
 

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in my opinion the flaties are eat alot at a time fish then relax when i fish alot of times we miss a few and then the ones we catch have the baits we lost in there stomache so i figure on a good night they feed heavy then relax
for instance i caught 4 flaties in a hole last summer one after another but the night before i didnt get a single bite and i fished the same way
 
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