lake vs river

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by rcbbracing, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. rcbbracing

    rcbbracing New Member

    Messages:
    757
    State:
    Ohio
    We fished lakes all year and we generally caught 1 fish per night. Me and varmint sniper each caught one in the 40lb range and the rest were all 20's...only one thing was consistant, we never caught a flathead under 19lbs...so yes flatheads in lakes seem to be bigger and less abundant than in rivers but ide like to hear the reasoning why. Do they not reproduce as productively in lakes thus causing less fish but bigger fish? Do the smaller flatheads run a pattern in which they arent consistantly caught in lakes? Are the small flats just too small to brag about? Do people mistake them for bullheads? This topic interests me, i wish i knew the answer. What do you all think?
     
  2. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    Honestly, I think flats in most lakes we fish Dave have such an abundant supply of shad, panfish etc. Fish in the teens, or single digits, don't need to eat as much to eat to get the amino acids, and high protein that they need. That said, larger flatheads eat more. Not saying they eat daily, but consume larger quantitys perhaps, and have a broder or longer feeding window when they do decide to feed. I may be wrong, but this is my thinking behind the subject! rollo
     

  3. kenlaw76

    kenlaw76 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,323
    State:
    S.E. Pa.
    I just started fishing a lake and I have caught some Flats., but the biggest is about #10. I think that I might have had a nicer one on eairlier in the night but the hook pulled.
     
  4. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    Forgot to add, being baitfish are so plentyful, they don't have to work as much to find a good meal also. :wink: rollo
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2009
  5. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,297
    State:
    Coshocton,
    I believe that there are probably more fish per acre in a lake over a river. I think the reason we catch more fish in a river is because the boundary is much smaller on a stretch of river than on a lake. We are trained to fish structure so we concentrate on the shoreline. In a lake there is a lot of unseen structure changes such as winding channels from the old creekbed, subtle depressions in a flat, etc.... In rivers, there is a riffle, a hole and a run with repetition so each section is broken down. We highly trained catfish people see spots that may be different but because of a river structure, are typical. We pattern these fish which actually prowl the shoreline and thus catch more, even though there may be less fish per acre. In other words lake flats may be less concentrated.

    Geez! I am rambling, did any of that even make sense? Whatever.... I pattern em and can't find anyway!
     
  6. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    But what about the size average? I have never averaged a 26 pound/per fish average on the river over an entire season....rollo
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2009
  7. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,297
    State:
    Coshocton,
    I don't think there is any question that where we fish, the average flathead is larger in a lake than a river. In my opinion Lake fish have easier forage, no current and a larger territory lending to pure size.... fat... like Americans....

    River fish fight current less abundant bait and have a smaller area (Hole, run, riffle).

    They say in a larger aquarium you can support a larger fish? Wouldn't it be the same on the large scale?
     
  8. USCA-RECLAIMED-ACCOUNT

    USCA-RECLAIMED-ACCOUNT New Member

    Messages:
    3,020
    I think you just happen to be fishing the best structure in the lake.Being as the lake is more stable than the river,the big boys continue to hang around the same spots.When river fishing,I usually don,t find the little guys mixed in with the bigger ones.When I start catching all smaller ones out of a hole,I switch spots til I find where the big ones are.I just feel that the prime spots on the river move more due to the flucuations in the current.IMO-The big boys are always gonna be in the prime spots.At 19# plus,you,re sitting on their favorite cover.I,d keep this spot under my hat if I were you!:wink:.
     
  9. Widemouth

    Widemouth New Member

    Messages:
    57
    State:
    Arizona
    I'm probably a bit biased since I've done most of my catfishing on the Colorado River; but I'd have to say that there are some large cats to be had in the larger rivers. Maybe not as many, but then, I think that they're just a little easier to find (without the aide of technical assistance, that is). I figure that to fish a lake properly you almost need a fish finder or some other kind of sonar to read the bottom features. But with a little bit of experience, the average person can grab a fishing pole and learn to read a river. Rivers have current, and that makes all the difference. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out where to expect deep holes, eddies, underwater brush accumulation, shade, shallows, riffles, and drops, the whole nine yards. For me, knowing how to find the fish is half the fun. Now I don't mean to say that lake fishing is any less an art to be learned. I'm sure some of you could school me good. I'm just saying that the river is what I know, and those lakes just look like big vast flat bodies of water to me.
     
  10. BubbaCat

    BubbaCat New Member

    Messages:
    5,868
    State:
    Arizona
    I like a happy medium :big_smile:where the river comes into the lake:wink:
     
  11. Widemouth

    Widemouth New Member

    Messages:
    57
    State:
    Arizona
    I like your answer! You can't beat the eddies that form at the entrance to a backwater lake. A lot of the best places I've found are like that. Big cats are sure to move into the best spots on the river, and if you find a really good one, and catch the biggest cat in the County, the second biggest will be there the next day, (assuming you didn't throw the biggest one back).
     
  12. CatFuStyle

    CatFuStyle New Member

    Messages:
    211
    State:
    Xenia, Ohio
    I fish lakes mainly and im thinking youve found the honey hole for this year atleast, next year it could totally change, the one major thing i have found out about lake flats is they follow the baitfish and setup shop where the bait fish set up, if the lake is full of baitfish then that spot and hole suits the flathead catfish the best, could be ledges, dropoffs, a hole, old creek channel, etc... plus a lake to a flathead is like a 5 star hotel with an all you can eat sign at the door.:smile2::smile2::smile2:
     
  13. flatheadslayer

    flatheadslayer New Member

    Messages:
    5,834
    State:
    Thomaston, Geor
    it seems around where im from the rivers produce the biggest fish.i only got to hit my spot 3 or 4 times this year but the average weight was right at 25 pds.i'm sure if i would've got to go more that average would have dropped.i guess i'm just lost in a lake,would'nt know where to start fishing one for flats.
     
  14. katfish ken

    katfish ken New Member

    Messages:
    4,092
    State:
    Paintsvill
    I think if you find the bait you find the flatheads, for the most part. I've hears that 10% of the water holds 90% of the fish. I think that in a lake the flatheads are line up for all you can eat buffet, Where the river flathead is more of a predator having to hunt for its meal. I think the flats in a lake grow faster than the same fish would in a river because of a plentiful food supply.In the lakes good electronics are a must have item to find the structure the flatheads like. I think that the smaller flatheads a less structure oriented than the larger one. I know I have caught small flat and channels in the same area on different occasions.Usually if you find big flats you don't find a lot of smaller fish. JMO hope it helps.
     
  15. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    Just my opinion, but rivers have current which aides in the development of eggs and at the same time keeps mud, silt, and sand off the eggs. Lakes have no current which results in low numbers of successful spawn?
     
  16. varmint_sniper

    varmint_sniper New Member

    Messages:
    700
    State:
    OHIO
    Was a Hell of a yr 2009 wasnt it dave had a good fishing season with you and ,matt by my side this yr will be different were all do better i have a feeling ....sniper