low hook rate on flathead catfish?

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by ec43146, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. ec43146

    ec43146 New Member

    Messages:
    272
    State:
    Ohio
    I use some big bluegills and other big fish for bait fod shovels. My hook is a gama octupus 10. I have good runs but my ratio for hooking is mighty low. I hook them behind the dorsal towards the tail. Any comments on what I;m doing wrong?:eek:oooh:
     
  2. Bill in SC

    Bill in SC New Member

    Messages:
    4,451
    State:
    South Caro
    I think, for BIG live bait, the longer shanked 10.0 Eagle Claw King Kahles work better. Don't get me wrong, I'm Gamakatsu Octopus circles to the bone, but longer shanks work better for LARGE live bait.

    Bill in SC
     

  3. griz

    griz Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,744
    State:
    Murray Ky.
    I have much better hookups with the 10/0 king kahles when using big live baits.
     
  4. Joey6500

    Joey6500 New Member

    Messages:
    645
    State:
    Ohio
    When you start to use bigger bait the wider the baitfish is and the larger the diameter of the hook is.It will be hard to tear that hook out on a hook set unless you move your closer to the top of the fish so the hook will rip out easier:wink:
     
  5. Joey6500

    Joey6500 New Member

    Messages:
    645
    State:
    Ohio
    move your HOOK closer to the top of the fish so the hook will rip out easier:wink:
     
  6. jagdoctor1

    jagdoctor1 New Member

    Messages:
    708
    State:
    CA/AZ
    Don't forget that using larger bait can make it harder for smaller fish to swallow it. They may grab it and run off to find a spot to turn it and swallow it. If you set the hook you lose the fish.. Try downsizing your bait next time and see if you catch the little buggers.
     
  7. FATFLATTIE

    FATFLATTIE New Member

    Messages:
    2,170
    State:
    ILM, NC
    I don't know if you have them but gar mess with our baits all the time and you can almost never hook them. Another tip is to be really easy when going to get your rod and don't make any sudden movements. This can alert the weary flathead that somethings amiss and he'll drop it or have it half spit when you set the hook.
     
  8. catfishscotty

    catfishscotty Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,388
    State:
    mo
    i love to use clickers also but for more hook ups go with a sharp big circle hook and turn the clicker off and put you rod in a solid rod holder and the flatheads will hook themselfs as they turn to swim away loading the rod up then reel down on him with a few cranks until you know hes on and hooked .. dont jerk just reel and the fight will be on :wink:
     
  9. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    I have always heard the flatheads like to mouth the bait quite a bit. It is like they get the sunfish or whatever in their mouths and scale it before they swallow. Then, when they do swallow, the bait is swallowed head first. For that reason, I always hooked my bait through the lips or eyes. Also, I have not noticed them "run" with the bait... they move off slow like a freight train starting up. So, if the bait isn't in the mouth yet, you pull the hook out of the bait without a chance of hooking the lip.
     
  10. arkrivercatman

    arkrivercatman New Member

    Messages:
    4,472
    State:
    KS
    I use 7-10/O Kahle hooks for big baits. I also tight line with the rod in a rod holder.
    Rarely, if ever, do I let them run with it.
    They usually either hit it really hard or just slowly take off with it. Either way the kahles usually hook them. If not I grab the rod and take care of it.:cool2:
     
  11. jason berry

    jason berry New Member

    Messages:
    819
    State:
    Evansville
    I would go with the 10/0 hook kahle like everybody saying thats what I use but also setting the hook on a flat, can take some getting used to because they like to play with the bait and turn it and some times they will just mouth the bait like there testing it. When fishing for flats you will have a lower hook up rate then with other cats but with practice you will get where you know exactly when to nail them. Alot of times with live bait your pole will bend and bend but there not hooked yet wait to that bend thats alot stronger than all the others. I would have to say 90% of people missing flats is yanking to soon. Hope this helps.
     
  12. Flamekeeper

    Flamekeeper New Member

    Messages:
    2,314
    State:
    Louisville, Ken


    Like Lawrence said,The big boys move slow at first,knowing the baitfish is theirs, but as soon as he feels the hook, then its Whooo! Whooo! the fight is on Bro:smile2:

    I hook my 3-5" gills(the best size IMHO) right behind center below the dorsel fin with a #7-9 Gama Octopus with about a 98% being hookups.I give them a half a minute run and then set the hook, But most of the time its already set.LOL
     
  13. river scum

    river scum New Member

    Messages:
    3,474
    State:
    hooterville indiana
    your baits are too big? 4-6 inch gills are all you really need. IMO
     
  14. Catcaller

    Catcaller New Member

    Messages:
    1,511
    State:
    SoutheastKansas
    There have been MANY instances in the past where a flathead would "play" around with my bait...and there have been just as MANY that hit like a hit and run Mack truck.

    Go figure.

    When the water levels are on the rise...I've noticed that the flathead in this area gorge themselves before the big water shows up. As when it does...forage prey are spread out...and harder to come by in the torrential current.

    These bites tend to be what is traditionally perceived as a the way a flathead bites...a hard TAP!...and then a slow and steady run.

    When the water levels are more towards normal...or are low...however...I've noticed that my flatties tend to be more finicky...especially during the off peak hours of mid day and then that 1-5 AM slow bite time frame...and tend to mouth the bait for up to 10 or 15 minutes before you get the deal clinching solid run.

    I typically downsize my offering a bit...but not my hook size...for when the yellers are not immediately taking my larger offerings.

    Sometimes this works...other times they still play with it.

    I'm certain that these mouthing bites are indeed flathead because if I stay with them long enough...and coax them by allowing them to make the numerous "short" runs....I end up getting the fish before it's all over with.

    When they are mouthing your bait...look at it like this...

    It's very similar to fishing a plastic worm for a Bass...you get the "Tap"...but you wait to set the hook until you see the line begin moving sideways in a consistent fashion.

    It goes to show...even Bass fishing has similar characteristics that can be applied to other species.
     
  15. katfish ken

    katfish ken New Member

    Messages:
    4,092
    State:
    Paintsvill
    Some times I use a 2 hook rig on live bait 8/0 through the eyes and 6/0 through just in front of the tail.
     
  16. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    I played with a "stinger" rig a bit after some cold weather flatheads were toying with the bait and not moving off to get hooked up. The few fish I caught with the stinger rigs were all hooked on the primary hook, with the stinger dangling in their mouth, so I decided that was dangerous (for me when I land the fish by hand) so I don't use that rig any more.

    I tend to agree that the really big baits are prolly not necessary, unless you want to eliminate the littler fish and go only for trophies, in which case you are gonna have some misses from the smaller guys. Remember, though, that even a 20 pound flathead can suck in a full pound bluegill with no problem with room in his mouth left over. Also, the only time I ever have flatheads not just suck a bait full in their mouth and move off, is when they are cold.

    There's plenty of room for personal preference in hook style and size and yours sounds fine.

    My first best guess would be that most of your dropped runs are probably not flatheads, but blue or channel cats which have a hard time gulping down a big bait. Do you have blues and/or channels in your waters?
     
  17. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    alot of the time those runs dont always mean they are flatheads.

    gar will pick up a bait and run like crazy with it.
     
  18. ec43146

    ec43146 New Member

    Messages:
    272
    State:
    Ohio
    The lake I fish in doesn't have gars and there is plenty of channels there. It could be smaller flats or big channels, not sure
     
  19. patrickgd

    patrickgd New Member

    Messages:
    809
    State:
    Memphis TN
    I always tightline. When pole starts bouncing I cross his eyes.
     
  20. Bill in SC

    Bill in SC New Member

    Messages:
    4,451
    State:
    South Caro
    <I always tightline. When pole starts bouncing I cross his eyes.>

    LOL! I too tightline. When pole starts bouncing, them Gamakatsu 8.0 Octopus circles cross his eyes for me! Damn those hooks make fishin' easy!

    Bill in SC