How would you fish this water?

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by uglymike, Mar 16, 2008.

  1. uglymike

    uglymike New Member

    Messages:
    52
    State:
    Nebraska
    Here's the layout of the water I'm fishing. It's a series if reservoirs 10-20 miles apart interconnected by a canal that in total goes for 100+ miles. The water level fluctuates a lot due to draw down for irrigation purposes, can drop close 1' overnight sometimes. I'm fishing the canal sections, and have had good success catching flatheads at night. The canal normally is about 10' deep, but there are occasionally holes 25'-30' deep. Some of the holes are small, 30yrds.by30yrds, some of them are 3 times that big. I'd like to try catching them during the daytime. The only structure is concrete rip-rap on the banks in some places, a FEW trees in the water. The trees barely extend into the water, usually less than 3-4' of water. A 4-5mph current running through it during irrigation season. Thanks for any advice/input :confused2: Mike
     
  2. poisonpits

    poisonpits Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,756
    State:
    arkansas
    Name:
    johnnie
    id fish the canals just above the holes late evening and nite.thos trees in 4 to 6 foot of water should shine after dark.probe the deeper holes in the day time.structure whether it be wood rock or rip rap will hide bait fish and this will call the flatheads.
     

  3. zeboman

    zeboman New Member

    Messages:
    2,883
    State:
    Pennsylvan
    I agree,fish the deeper holes during the day.
     
  4. river scum

    river scum New Member

    Messages:
    3,474
    State:
    hooterville indiana
    going to be hit n miss without cover to fish. just have to hole hop i would say if your going to locate them in the day.
     
  5. comanchero

    comanchero New Member

    Messages:
    119
    State:
    Minnesota
    Well you are having good success at night so you know that you have flatheads in your piece of water. So the question is "Where to they go during the day?' and "How do you present a bait to them?". Based on your information I would say the holes are your target. They must settle in those holes during the day and then hunt out of those holes up onto the flats.

    I would recommend drifting and trolling bait through those holes. With a 4-5 mph current you will want to slowly slip your boat with the current and bounce your bait back through the hole. There is an excellent In-Fisherman article that covers an excellent drifting technique which may be just what you are looking for. In the January 2006 In-Fisherman magazine there is an article titled: "Controlled Drifting for Catfish" which may be exactly what you need. I would give that a try - let us know how you do.

    I have home library in which I have saved all these kind of cat fishing articles. You would be surprised how often I dig them out to see if somebody else has already come up with a solution to a particular challenge I am facing.
     
  6. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,297
    State:
    Coshocton,
    During the day I would target not so obvious structure. While they may go deep as present knowlege dictates, realize that a non active cat is going to find a resting spot where they can, well.... rest. A catfish is not very tall and I would probe ANYTHING that breaks the current whether it be a rock, wood, or a variation of depth such as a depression. Your biggest may very well be in the hardest piece of cover to identify, which may only be an 18" by 48" depression with a 6" depth change.

    Good Luck,

    Shawn

    PS, this type of fishing is where bobber fishing comes into its own. Just ask Poisonpits.
     
  7. Wolfdog

    Wolfdog New Member

    Messages:
    181
    State:
    Iowa
    I agree with loanwizard, when you find the right spot it will surprise you.
     
  8. uglymike

    uglymike New Member

    Messages:
    52
    State:
    Nebraska
    I forgot to add, there's a wooden bridge every mile or 2 so the farmer/rancher has access to his land. Have tried fishing just downstream of the pilings, VERY snaggy.
     
  9. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,297
    State:
    Coshocton,
    Very snaggy = use big bobber! :wink:
     
  10. Pappy B

    Pappy B Guest

    Out here in the desert my son and I call this " Pocket Fishing ".
    It takes some time to figure out but,during the day keep hitting the deeper holes.Start at the front then hit the middle and finally the tail of the hole.Move often. Find a rig,sometimes small and light to bounce into and around the cover that will move slowly but,keeps moving around and into the cover.You will loose some rigs but,once you get a consistent bite you can bulk up your gear.My son will use 8# line and a light weight with a small #6 hook probing the holes around cover until he figures out a pattern and then we drop our bigger baits in with a light weight and it really has paid off.We've been fishing the holes this way for ten years and normally once you find some good holes they will always produce even in the winter time.Don't be afraid of loosing a few fish when you are looking for these prime spots with light gear.Once you've located the hidding spots use heavy gear with the weight set so the action is the same as with the light gear.There are times when we will fish with nothing more than 1/4 oz of weight with a 6" piece of cut bait on a 9/0 circle hook to get the bait to flutter into and under log jams.I hope this helps.Good luck.
    Pappy B.