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Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by leftemptyhanded, Feb 3, 2009.
are flats more of a live bait fish?
it depends on location, as well as personal opinion, but yes the general consensus among flathead fisherman is that flats prefer good lively bait, preferably from the body of water that you will be fishing
Flathead catfish prefer live bait in most areas. I had always used live bait for them and have been fishing for flatheads for years. However, after getting to know there habits and getting advice from others I learned I could catch flatheads really well late in the year with fresh cut skipjack in the Ohio River. But out west on the Colorado River I strictly used live bait.
yea, Live bait is the only way here in bgky and so many people take them out by noodlein its hard to get them at all.
yes,live bait is the first choice.although up here,we have a guy who fishes nothing but cut shad and catches all kinds of nice flats fishin rivers.
As the other guys have said, your best bet is to throw live bait for flatheads until you really become proficient in catching them and knowing their preferences. Lately, I've kina become frustrated with finding and keeping bait alive and have experimented with cut bait, particularly cut shad, and I've had some great results.
Using live bait is probably one of the top 3 cardinal rules of flathead fishing. Good luck!
Live bait is the way to go most of the year, but come fall, whole dead shad will outfish any live bait in my opinion. That is here in my area at least.
Just depends on how/where/what time you're fishing. Some guys will say only use live bait and others will say only use cut. I use some of both every time I'm out after flatheads and catch just about a 50/50 ration on cut to live. Funny thing is most of the bigger fish come on cut bait.
IMO Flatties are oppurtunistic feeders. Live bait, cut bait it doesn't matter if they come across it they are going to eat it. I have caught them on live gills and the one in my avatar came on a 2" piece of cut shad. This question also coincides on a question asked on an earlier thread... day or night for flatties. It's all just a matter of each persons preference.
yes live bait is key. the only luck I've had on dead was whole trolling them from shore
I always prefer a lively bait when after flatheads, but after a while I sometimes reel my bait in and cut it in half and toss it back out. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
I fish for Flatheads with live baits at night. Thats the only way for me. I have tried cutbaits and even fishing during light...but no luck.oooh:
On the river I fish, fresh cut bait, mainly shad, sometimes suckers, or even cut bass will out fish live bait 100 to 1.
I stoped the hassel of catching live bait and keeping it alive years ago.
When I found out I could catch more and bigger fish on fresh cut bait.
Even fishing side by side in the same hole, live bait would go untouched why they slammed the cut bait.
Good points...BUT YOU KNOW DAYTIME, AT "THE HOLE" is the best time.
Are you sure that cutbait out fishes livebait on the entire river Jack, or just in "The Hole" during the daytime? I can see where a different enviroment could have its benefits on a bait preference such as a fresh smelly piece of cut to call them out throughout the daytime, when they are probably staging somewhere in the depths. However, I don't believe all monster flatheads in the river you fish simply would prefer all cutbait or 100-1. They certainly don't swim around going,,, " Umm, nope don't want that one its still alive". LOL.. You get my drift:wink: rollo
I might needle flathunter once in awhile about his all cut bait all the time approach but the sad fact is I did catch a 33 lb and a 41 lb flat last year on cut shad. I almost never use cut bait but I wanted to see for myself if it was worthwhile so I started putting out at least one cut bait about half my trips last fall and it worked lol.
This year I'll always have one rod out with cut, just to cover all my bases.
I know I'm goin with one rod live gill one rod cut gill most likely the head,unless I start getting too many channel cats then I'll go both live gills
Although it's not impossible to catch a big flat on cutbait, I believe they predominatly are attracted to live bait. Most times smaller flatheads say 6lbs and under will hit a larger spectrum of various types of baits, however the ratio of big, or trophy flatheads are gonna zero in on live bait.
Panfish, are the best in my area for the flathead, and goldfish, or Koi, chubs, small carp, it's so hard to keep shad alive so I only use them as a cutbait. bullheads are also a favorite of the flathead or yellowbelly's as they are called in some areas.
I will say if you do use a cutbait, fresh is always best.
A trick I have learned works well is too use a live bluegill with about an inch or so of his tail section's scales removed to release a larger amount of the bait's amino acids into the water. I have had better success when employing that tactic with my fishing.
Most generally all fish over 10lbs are gonna target other live fish for their food supply, it's just the natural order of things in the water.
Good luck with your fishing, I would suggest using both and discovering what works best for you in your home waters.
I started using cutbait only about 6 years ago, long before I found the hole.
I have fished several areas of the scioto, paint creek, and the great miami river..Cut bait out produces live bait for flatheads on all those systems.
All the dayton guys biggest flatheads from the great miami river have come on cut shad.
Heres an example, 4 years ago when I caught my first 50-lb flathead I was fishing a farily shallow hole 12 feet at the base of a riffel.
I fished there for 4 hrs with live sucker and live gilll, no hits...I realed the rod in with the sucker, cut the head off and casted out the head in the exact same spot.
I reached down to reel my other rod in and my clicker started going off on the cut sucker, and I caught my first 50-lb flathead within 30 seconds of casting out the cutbait, in the same spot that live bait had caught nothing in 4hrs.
I dont fish just cutbait, at my hole, but any spot I have fished in the last 6 years..And it has always out produced live bait, "for me".