Master Angler Discussion

Discussion in 'LOCAL MICHIGAN TALK' started by Whiskerwhacker, Apr 7, 2007.

  1. Whiskerwhacker

    Whiskerwhacker New Member

    Messages:
    149
    State:
    Michigan
    I was reading through the 2006 MA reports this morning and thought I would throw a few things out there for debate. I noticed that all but one or two of the flatheads caught last year were caught on cut bait or something other than live bait. This goes against everything I have ever read or talked about with Tony or Sal or anyone else I respect on the issue. Are these accidental catches or do people actually target them in this manner? Even the biggest fish were caught this way. I have no opinion personally as I have never caught one, I only think I know what I know.

    On a similar note, if anyone knows anyone in the St. Joseph river area, maybe some CPR discussions would be useful. There were some very LARGE flatheads put in freezers last year. A couple of them would rival the state record this year or next. It seems like if poeple understood the benefits for everyone they might be a little more inclined to let them go and let them grow. JMO

    On the fish stocking data page of the DNR I noticed several lakes that I had never heard of had large stockings of channels since the 90's. Maybe we could pick a couple of lakes that look good, do some research, and then plan to hit them with a few boats on a saturday or something. We could cover the lake pretty well with a few guys and maybe fine tune a few new fishing holes. It would be fun at the very least.
     
  2. Sparky Larson

    Sparky Larson New Member

    Messages:
    539
    State:
    Marlette Michigan
    Steve,
    I don't know the true answer to your question either, cause i'm a rookie Flatheader myself. There was a young man most of us know from the Southwest corner of the State (Steve, I mean Jim), anyway he is in Indiana now. He fished the Kalamazoo River alot, and his best bait if I'm not mistaked, was the head of a bluegill with the gut sac still intacked. He has caught quite a few Flatteis on this bait.
    From what I understand, most Flathead fisherman prefer Live bait, But they have all caught Flatties on cut bait at one time or another.
    Some of our Southern brothers that fish flatties all the time, have caught their biggest fish on cut bait. I guess the jury is still out on the subject. Myself, this year I plan on fishing the Grand a little more than last year, and you can be sure that I will have plenty of live bait.
    Sparky
     

  3. jross1901

    jross1901 New Member

    Messages:
    113
    State:
    IL
    well early in the year cut bluegill,chub,sucker, or anyother kind of baitfish seems to get those flatties going earlier for me. live bait seems to produce in the summer months and for night fishing.
    the cut bait i usually fish during the day next to heavy wood cover and it seems to be the ticket for me.

    the st. joe will be one of my holes this year, i will pass along info asap.
    hope theis helps

    -jim(steve):smile2:
     
  4. fishallday927

    fishallday927 New Member

    Messages:
    64
    State:
    illinois
    theres a chain of lakes in waconda illinois that i used to fish in the summer we went to a spot only eh maybe 5 6 feet deet and caught flatties all night off of nightcrawlers and shiners
     
  5. bwanatony

    bwanatony New Member

    Messages:
    580
    State:
    Grand River Valley, Weste
    Hi Steve, Sparky, & Jim,
    First off, I'm all over the idea of hitting a lake with six guys and three boats as soon as the dadburned windchill makes it above the teens. I think we may find some eater channels in some smaller lakes before the river levels drop & the water warms a bit. First warm Saturday, lets do it.

    As for cut bait, I have caught exactly one flathead on cut sucker, but that's
    mostly because I rarely fish with it. When you're allowed just two poles, its hard to fish cut bait when you have confidence in live bait- and you want to offer a bluegill, a bullhead, or a sucker- and you have to choose. Jim's right on, I believe, that early in the year would be the time to fish cut bait. I'm also a little wierd about flatheading, too. I'd rather fish "Big Fish Only" baits and go fishless than sit there unhooking runts caught on small or cut baits all night. Maybe you can catch big fish on cut bait, but I KNOW I can catch big fish on live baits.

    As for Master Angler flathead entries, you can get in with a 10 pound fish, so my instinct is that a lot of folks get so geeked when they accidentally catch a 15 pound flathead, that they jump all over the entry form- while a hard core flatheader slips a 22 pounder back in the water and hopes for one much bigger! I was on a salmon charter once, and the skipper told us that they catch big flats on J-Plugs & such pretty regular.

    And yes, Steve, the St Joe Master Angler entries have a lot shorter life expectancy than the ones in the Grand! I hope those folks like eating all that oil, pesticide & fertilizer those fish have been soaking up for 25 years! That river, like the Grand and others, drains millions of acres of farmland, golf courses, and Walmart parking lots. I'll eat the 2 & 3 pounders, thank you very much.

    I'm so sick of this extended winter, I'd go nuts without this forum. Good post Steve, you helped take my mind off the blizzard for a while...
     
  6. RiverKat

    RiverKat New Member

    Messages:
    191
    State:
    Michigan
    I landed somewhere around a dozen flatheads last season over 20 lbs. At least half were caught on cut bait, maybe more. This includes the largest fish of last season, a 32lb'er. Many were caught during daylight hours to boot! Hows that for going against popular belief. I think "The Book" on flathead fishing is in it's 1st chapters. Folks like all of us on this site are out there writing it every Summer. Some of the tactics the old boys swear buy arent always the only way. Cut bait works Spring and Summer. It's just darn hard to keep all the channel cats off it in Spring though. Livebait is still the staple, but cut bait has deffinately earned a spot as a viable flathead producer. Especially if you can be in the right place at the right time. :lol:

    Dan
     
  7. Sparky Larson

    Sparky Larson New Member

    Messages:
    539
    State:
    Marlette Michigan
    Well Steve, good post. You just heard from three pretty good Michigan Flathead fisherman. Does that clear up anything for you. From what I gather, I think a lot of it is being in the right place at the right time.
    Sparky
     
  8. hear_kitty

    hear_kitty New Member

    Messages:
    545
    State:
    Vassar Mi
    Any of you see the master angler entry for the grand in january 07 on jig and minnow
     
  9. bwanatony

    bwanatony New Member

    Messages:
    580
    State:
    Grand River Valley, Weste
    Wise words, Sparky, and I would add one more thing:
    We all have preferences- like & dislikes, that affect our opinions, as well as our own individual experiences that formed those preferences.
    We fish a certain way because we enjoy it that way, or because it has worked for us in the past, or both.
    If I could catch 30 pound flats all day just by standing under the Sixth Street dam casting Little Cleos, I wouldn't do it, because I wouldn't enjoy it.
    This year I'm going to try a bunch of new things like lake fishing for channels, and "running & gunning" from one river brushpile to the next in daylight searching for active fish, but ya know what? When the time is right, I'll be anchored above a big snag somewhere, waiting silently, enjoying the peace & quiet while I let a bullhead and a bluegill do the work for me. That will still be my favorite way to watch the sun go down.
    Ohhhhh, come on spring!!!

    PS: There actually are folks who target flatheads by deep trolling crankbaits in plain states reservoirs, but I've never ever heard of anyone doing so around here.
     
  10. bwanatony

    bwanatony New Member

    Messages:
    580
    State:
    Grand River Valley, Weste
    According to the DNR website, the fish was caught "stillfishing" a jig & minnow?
    At 33 inches, I would guess the fish at 13 pounds or so that early in the year, but thats just a guess because I've never caught a flathead in January.
     
  11. RiverKat

    RiverKat New Member

    Messages:
    191
    State:
    Michigan
    Very well put Tony. How about this for running and gunning. We bounce from brushpile to brushpile during the evening hours backtrolling big Hot n Tots. Back those crankbaits right in front of the brush and let the current make them go nuts for a good minute or so before slowly letting them slip out and around the cover. WHAM!! 50lb flattie inhales Hot n Tot. I've been doing exactly this for the past month or so catching steelhead. I've been conjuring up images of flatheads coming out of the brush to take those crankbaits.:big_smile:

    Dan