Light bites

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by shortbus, Oct 14, 2006.

  1. shortbus

    shortbus New Member

    Messages:
    459
    State:
    indiana
    What do all of you do when flatheads bite real light? We have had some troubles with them just mouthing the bait here lately. They just pic it up and barely move maybe a foot or so, real slow, then nothing for about an hour. We reeled the bait in and it is definetly flathead marks on the gills. The weather here is getting cooler, it seems like the bites getting less agressive. In the past when this has happened we just let them sit and hope they eat it but they don't they just let go and leave like they just wanted to kill the bait??? What are some tricks/tactics for light biters and what do you do in a situation like this??? Thanx for any help
     
  2. Baitkiller

    Baitkiller New Member

    Messages:
    1,029
    State:
    Akron, Ohio
    Shortbus

    OPINION

    80 plus percent of the Flatheads I get now adays are on cut bait are on the "Lite- Bite". The real BIG SECRET IS WHEN THEY PULL YOU PULL!! I've seen this go on sometimes for days on the Ohio River in NE Ohio and ALL YEAR LONG tooooo!!!!

    Yes they alot of times they will when in this mode:

    1) Not move with It.
    2) Leave after they peck at it a few times and not come back!

    Shortbus this is what works best for me and any help from others on a better method that works I will give ALL MY GOLD COINS TO!!:

    1) Tight-Line, you need to see what they are doing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    2) If bank fishing you better have VERY STURDY ROD HOLDERS or you will lose poles when they change modes and slam the baits.
    3) Use a super braid so that you can keep a tight line in the heavy winds and heavy current along without having to use alot more weight. Mono is toooo thick and hampers this! This allows you to see more and helps for a faster hook-set.
    4) Use a super braid for it is MUCH FASTER when setting the hook!!!! Mono has WAY WAY TOO MUCH STRETCH and it slows the hook-set big time.
    5) No "Circle Hooks".

    When I see any sign that may be a bite I remove my rod from the holder and blance the rod in one hand just keeping a bit of tension on the line. The other hand is above the butt of the rod then when they touch it I set the hook as fast as I can but if not hooked I stop the hook-set as fast as I started it. Them Mississippi Cats love the baits when they move abit and most of the time will come back after the bait has moved some. It fact if they have tapped the baits a few times and stop before I get to the rod I wait about 15 min. and just move the cut bait a foot or less and most of the time they will start the "Lite-Bite" again.

    Shortbus, if you are tight-lining and it looks like you may have some grass on you line in the current because you see it acting different (no taps seen and no pulls seen) this may be a Shovel sitting on your bait.....go for it!!!!

    I only get about a 10% hook up ratio when they are in this mode and DANG PROUD of it too!!!

    My opinion is this should help you.

    :smile:
     

  3. Baitkiller

    Baitkiller New Member

    Messages:
    1,029
    State:
    Akron, Ohio
    Shortbus some more readin: http://www.catfish1.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6262

    My Opinion/2 cents is that alot of guys are refusing to "Play the Game" with the Yellows and are refusing to hook them. I've seen this go on for way tooo long a time and have landed tooooo many decent Flatheads when they are in this mode (most of my 100 Flatheads). No I'm not a "know it all" and I have only been fishing the Flatties since "03" but "I knows what I's Knows", lol and am willing to learn/change if it means more Flatheads (PLZ PLZ)!

    :feel_good:
     
  4. Netmanjack

    Netmanjack New Member

    Messages:
    3,734
    State:
    Ohio
    Oh No! not another lite biter! lol.
    I'll tell ya what Shortbus,you couldn't have a better man answer you post than Baitkiller, this is his specialty. I can surly attest to that. He put me on three nice flats while showing me his method, all I can say is it just plane works!
     
  5. ka_c4_boom

    ka_c4_boom New Member

    Messages:
    2,252
    State:
    Bedford,Ky
    i agree sometimes you have got to feed it to them . il pick up the rod and ease the bait towards the fish then set the hook if he isnt there il put the rod back down and wait , sometimes it helps to shake the rod , reach out grab the rod and give it a good skaking your bait will move and alot of the times the fish will think its getting away and grab it , then set the hook . when you see the light bite chances are good that the bait is in his mouth if you leave alot of the hook exposed as i do its easier to set the hook .
     

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  6. jdstraka

    jdstraka Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,688
    State:
    Council Bluffs, Iowa
    Name:
    John
    Excellent post and What a Super Responce From Sreve(Baitkiller) This is just another reason what makes the BOC. what it is. Thanks Guys. J.D.:worship:
     
  7. catfisher43

    catfisher43 New Member

    Messages:
    910
    State:
    missouri
    thanks for the info.good post.
     
  8. shortbus

    shortbus New Member

    Messages:
    459
    State:
    indiana
    Ok, what everyone has said so far makes alot of cents but is the complete opposite of the way I fish. We use our bait clickers and wait on the fish to run. I have no problem at all with using a tight line but I do have a problem with loosing a pole/reel!!LOL I'll give it a try next time out. Over this past year my fishing partener and I have caught several fish that we had no clue was even on the line,one being a 30lb fish.

    Now, here is another situation I think is related to lite bites. We've had several good, steady, slow runs but cannot hook the fish. The bait clearly had cat marks on it's side where the flaty was just carying the bait in his lips. The bait was in his mouth but the hook isn't!!! What do you do in a situation like this and why are the fish doing this?
     
  9. shortbus

    shortbus New Member

    Messages:
    459
    State:
    indiana

    Can you explain how you hook your baitfish like in the attatchment? Looks like through the eye,out the gill, back in then back out then hooked again by the tail. Also is this for fishing live bait? Seems like it would kill the bait.
     
  10. s_man

    s_man New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    If you are settin and getting your bait back, its because they strike, kill, then move off with the bait but their mouth is slightly open. Slow down, just engage your reel as soon as you pick up the rod and let the fish load up the tip till you think you'll burst. You'll feel the sinker lift off the bottom then you will feel a head shake, thats when you set and hard. What happens is the flat feels the bait slipping and he will close down on it to prevent its escape. After I figured that one out I started hooking closer to 90 percent.
     
  11. rangercatman

    rangercatman Member

    Messages:
    270
    State:
    Cameron, NC
    If you are using a hardy live bait (like a bullhead) is this lite bite method still recommended? Or is the lite bite tactic a fresh cut bait only method? Just curious...
     
  12. shortbus

    shortbus New Member

    Messages:
    459
    State:
    indiana

    Thanx for the help. Only problem is the hook is not in the fishes mouth. You can tell by the arc of the scar on the baitfish. We usually hook the bait behind the dorsal fin close to the tail. These marks on the bait clearly show that only the head was in it's mouth. Maybe we should have been hooking the bait in the nose this time? How do you hook your bait if they are mouthing it?
     
  13. slimepig

    slimepig New Member

    Messages:
    666
    State:
    Kerrville Texas
    sounds very similar to what ive heard called with speckled trout as sore mouth trout. every year the trout bite more like trash fish than normal and it lasts just a lil while. wonder if its a related happening?
     
  14. Baitkiller

    Baitkiller New Member

    Messages:
    1,029
    State:
    Akron, Ohio
    Shortbus

    If you try to figure out the why on the "Lite-Bite" it may drive you crazy like it almost did me :big_smile: . Figuring How to Hookem is time better spent and your on the right track Shortbus. Alot don't know that its even large Tabby Cats doing this!! That and from what I've been told (TY, DH) and have seen is that Mississippi Cats change how they bite from year to year!!

    I river fish and found here on the Ohio River that the Shovels chose Cut Shad over Live Bait ( plz note I said they chose)!! I find it hard to beleive that a large Flattie would lip a bait and carry it that way, its in its mouth but not far back maybe. For awhile I did think the same thing but am pretty sure they don't from what I've seen!

    You are on the right track when asking s-man about his two hook method on live baits. I'd never hook a Gill behind the dorsel due to the "Lite-Bite". I've used stingers on cut bait and they help but settled on the "Terrible" Trebles in 6/0 size for cut baits. I can place the trebles in the center of a cut bait instead of on the last part of the cut bait to go into their mouth :wink: !! I don't like to use them due to snags and I hand land the fish. When using "J" Hooks that are turned there is a right way and a wrong way when hooking up your baits. Most all the time a Mud Cat will take it head first and the turned hook can be pointing back into the bait or not after he takes it into his mouth.

    Regarding tight-lining vs free-lining you stated that they will not move or move very little or not show a sign of them even being there when you have slack line. As I stated/my OPINION from the above post that I recommended very sturdy rod holders, tight-lining and that alot of cat fishermen don't want to change. If you want them there big cats doing this its your choice Shortbus.

    I personally believe/know that everthing that we do or use fishing for the Flats can be improved and strive to do so every year and I love it.

    Between you and I, I've more than a few questions that I haven't found answers for. I hope this helps you some brother Flatheader.

    :feel_good:
     
  15. shortbus

    shortbus New Member

    Messages:
    459
    State:
    indiana

    Can you explain more on the right and wrong way of hooking bait with a j-hook like you said above?
     
  16. ka_c4_boom

    ka_c4_boom New Member

    Messages:
    2,252
    State:
    Bedford,Ky
    my method does kill the bait in most cases sorry, but some shad must die to meet my over all goal , but the way i hook them their blood serves to attract preditor fish . yes i normaly go down thruogh the mouth out the gills back in their side all the way to the gut pocket back out and in the tail leaveing as much hook exposed as i can . i use 9/0 bait holder catmaxx j-hooks .

    also you can use two hooks per line in most states this would allow you to place one hook in the head and one ine the tail .
     
  17. Baitkiller

    Baitkiller New Member

    Messages:
    1,029
    State:
    Akron, Ohio
    :0a26:
    Shortbus

    1) Put 2' of line on 1 of your turned "J" hooks.
    2) Get a small cardboard box or shoe box and set the opened side on the floor. Than decide which end is the head & the tail.
    3) Place the hook through the top edge so that it just comes out the side of the edge midway along the boxes top edge.
    4) Now pull the line back to the boxes tail.

    This will represent the hooked Live Gill inside of the Flatheads mouth, taken head first with the line coming out of the Flatheads mouth.

    The point of the "J" hook will be pointing back into the box (bad) or will be pointed away from the box. Opinion: If done right a TURNED "J" HOOK will work/hook-up better than a non-turned hook. If not done right it can lead to some misses
     
  18. beetle

    beetle New Member

    Messages:
    1,003
    State:
    Ohio
    Great question! I have run across the same problem. Thanks for the info Steve I will give your suggestion a try next time I run into them lite bitt'n.
     
  19. Baitkiller

    Baitkiller New Member

    Messages:
    1,029
    State:
    Akron, Ohio
    beetle

    My logic is that they do "Lite Bite" and that they will do it only sometimes. From what I see with cut bait on the Ohio River is that I get 80 plus percent of my Flatties while they do this.

    Regardless......IF one (me) wants to get more Flattheads why wait to set up for them in this mode????????? If you don't set up for them in this mode and you put your line in the water and that 80 lb Flathead comes up to your lose/free-line with a circle hook on and pecks at the bait and leaves you are not PREPARED!!!!!!!!

    Passing up Big Flatheads????? What the heck is that "Boy Scout Motto" plz plz???

    :sad_2a:
     
  20. kat in the hat

    kat in the hat New Member

    Messages:
    4,875
    State:
    Missouri
    Thanx baitkiller. Excellent info because I also encounter this problem, but never thought about it much. On one trip earlier this summer, I was fishing with goldfish (for lack of better bait that day) and the fish would hit, kill the bait and strip it of it's scales, and that's it, no more bite. I got frustrated, and didn't land a fish on rod and reel that weekend. Anyway, I do appreciate this info alot. I tightline also and maybe this will help.