Live bait presented in current?

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by duck_killr, Feb 3, 2008.

  1. duck_killr

    duck_killr New Member

    Messages:
    94
    State:
    il
    I fish the missippi river a few hours north of St. Louis. Most of my flat heads have come off cut bait when i was fishing for Blues or Channels. I have never fished live bait (gills or suckers) in current conditions. I have don well in lake with live fish for bait. Anny ways i was wondering how much current you guys fish bluegills in and do you hook them through the nose or what?
     
  2. neocats

    neocats New Member

    Messages:
    2,130
    State:
    Steubenvil
    On the Ohio River, I have used bluegill a little but have caught more flatheads on shad and skipjack heads hooked throught the eyes.
     

  3. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    I do all my flathead fishing in rivers and, yes, I always hook the live baits in the nose. A bait hooked farther back (in the tail or the back) will eventually get tired in the current and get turned around, then it will drown. Besides, I get a great hook-up rate with baits hooked in the nose. Just go in their open mouth and out the top of the nose, just far enough back so they won't tear off, but not far enough back to kill the bait or everfill the hook gap (and interefere with getting the hook in a catfish).
     
  4. brother hilljack

    brother hilljack New Member

    Messages:
    7,305
    State:
    Shelbyville, TN
    I like to hook through the nose as it allows my presentation to look as natural as possible. I even use this approach when hooking up the heads of my cut bait. Just a personal preference, but I feel it works better. When using live bait (not very often) I also like to cut off a portion of the lower tail to leave a nice blood trail in the water. It don't take much and too much will kill your fish so be careful.
     
  5. comanchero

    comanchero New Member

    Messages:
    119
    State:
    Minnesota
    A quick question for John - When you hook them through the mouth what size hooks are you using? Do you use circle hooks for any of your live bait presentations?
     
  6. duck_killr

    duck_killr New Member

    Messages:
    94
    State:
    il
    in lakes I have been hooking my fish through the back. I have not fished with live bait in the river yet. I would like to try and go after flathead a lot more this year because the river is ten minutes from my house and the lake is an hour. Also we have more big flatheads up here than we do blue cats. most guys i know that trophy fish are fishing cut bait , which is what i have been doing the last couple of years. this site and some friend i have made here at home have increase my catfishing skills 100%. But i feel i am missing out on some good flat fishing
     
  7. duck_killr

    duck_killr New Member

    Messages:
    94
    State:
    il
    O ya most of the time i am fishing circle hooks.
     
  8. veryama1975

    veryama1975 New Member

    Messages:
    191
    State:
    South West Mich
    I've always heard/read that live bait is a must for flatheads. I've read that cut bait just won't catch the bigger flatties. Apparently, what I've read isn't completely accurate, huh?

    I'm not arguing with anybody. I just want to know because I don't have much experience with flatheads.
     
  9. SSgt Fishslayer

    SSgt Fishslayer New Member

    Messages:
    1,241
    State:
    south carolina
    my PB flatty came on cut bait. it was a 31# flatty taken on a cut gill head. i have caught quite a few in the mid 20 lbs range on cut bait.
     
  10. SSgt Fishslayer

    SSgt Fishslayer New Member

    Messages:
    1,241
    State:
    south carolina
    for current fishing i like to hook my gills thgouth the mouth. run the hook in the mouth and up through the top lip, where the tough part is, so that you dont rip his lip off when you cast out. this wy they can still breath in the current. if you dont, they will drown really quick, or they will spin i the current and it will kill them. this is my personal favorite.
     
  11. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    I use pretty normal size sunfish (mostly bluegills and red breast) from about 5 to 7 inches long - some a little smaller and some maybe a bit bigger. I use all kahle hooks and I think, from other posts I've seen, that I use smaller hooks than some people. For the smaller sunfish, I'll go down to a 3/0 and for the biggest bluegills I use I'll go us to a 5/0 kahle. I picked up some 6/0 last year and I intend to use then for the really nice big brim.

    I don't like to go too big on hooks, because I am afraid the bigger hooks will weigh down the bait so it's not swimming around and that way it won't attract a flathead. On a balanced outfit, hooks that size will land any flathead around, but if you put a 3/0 hook on 80 pound braid on a real heavy rod and try to horse the fish, then you will straighten some hooks.
     
  12. jagdoctor1

    jagdoctor1 New Member

    Messages:
    708
    State:
    CA/AZ
    From what I can tell reading this site for the last several months, the live bait cut bait seems to be a regional issue. I personally cannot get a hit from a flathead over 4 pds on cut bait here in southern Ca at all. I read some people in lakes and rivers in other parts of the country that get the opposite effect and have even given up using live bait completely. I say read back through all the discussions and try to find the opinions of the people in your area and then do a little bit of experimenting to verify that it applies to your waters.
     
  13. prostreetS10

    prostreetS10 New Member

    Messages:
    898
    State:
    ohio
    I usually hook my live bluegills through the back just over the spine so they are hooked good and they will stay alive really long. But chubs and suckers i like to hook up through the bottom lip through the top.
     
  14. john catfish young

    john catfish young New Member

    Messages:
    3,070
    State:
    Kentucky
    In little or no current I like to hook live bluegils under the dorsal fin about half way back. In stronger currents I hook them through the lip or nose.
     
  15. river scum

    river scum New Member

    Messages:
    3,474
    State:
    hooterville indiana
    in current i hook the gills in the forehead. IMO, it gives me more meat to hold the hook on a cast. in slack water the hook goes just above the anal fin. this gives the bait a more naturall look when tethered to the bottom. under a float i hook them under and behind the dorsil fin for the same reason(to keep a natural presentation)
     
  16. river scum

    river scum New Member

    Messages:
    3,474
    State:
    hooterville indiana

    well, veryama this is my take on cut bait for you. the first rule is it has to be fresh! old dry stinky cut will not do. i keep my bait live till it hits the scissors. i always start with a live bait and two cut baits (we are aloud three rods)and let the fish tell me what they want. if the fish are active they will go for the live baits first. if the fish are in a very negative mood they will take the cut baits. you also have to realy get the bait deep into cover when they are hunkered down aka negative.
     
  17. poisonpits

    poisonpits Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,791
    State:
    arkansas
    Name:
    johnnie
    most of the flats ive caught on cut bait was cut chubs.they were fresh and i was fishing in fair currant so i think they thought it was alive.have not caught any flats on cut bait in lakes but i dont fish it much in lakes.then again i dont catch any flats over 20 lbs.
     
  18. catfishcrazy256

    catfishcrazy256 New Member

    Messages:
    2,648
    State:
    Indiana
    I HOOK THEM THRU THE NOSE IN HEAVY CURENT AND IN THE BACK WHEN IT NOT AS SWIFT
     
  19. Katatonik

    Katatonik New Member

    Messages:
    1,262
    State:
    Ogden, Kansas,
    We can speak about flathead preferences as a matter of statistics or
    put up with a long winded story from yours truly. During spring in a
    dammed up river in Kansas, the winter kill has left a lot of dead gizzard
    shad floating around. The flatheads are in large groups usually in deep
    water in a semi-conscious state( one could say Katatonik ). As the water
    temperature warms, the cats start to smell dead shad in advancing states
    of decay. Now in your memory conjure up the last time you woke up with
    your head on sideways. Yes, massive ingestion of cereal malt beverages
    could be involved here. You blunder around the kitchen trying to make some coffee
    and find a plate of stale hushpuppies. Not your usual breakfast but
    you feel like eating something might help. But its there now and you couldn't
    pry her out of bed with a crowbar. That's sort of the situation that a big cat is in at iceout.
    You take what's there, doesn't move much and will do until the coffee restores normal function
    to the system. If you chase after something that you might not be able to catch,
    the food lying around will only be fit for channel cats, turtles and crawdads.
    So eat your hushpuppies and don't make much noise. If momma aint havin' a good day,then
    NOBODY will have a good day.
     
  20. Reel_Blues

    Reel_Blues New Member

    Messages:
    824
    State:
    Virginia
    I hook them through the top off the back. The current is medium to heavy.