Midsummer flathead catfish in the heat

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by JAinSC, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    Well, it's that time of year again - midsummer. Our days have been over 90 for weeks and our water temps are in the high 80's. What is the consensus this time of year - shallow or deep?

    I seem to recall someone saying that they fish shallower the hotter it gets, but I tend to look for deeper water during extreme conditions (real hot, or cold).

    BTW, if it matters, I am fishing small to medium rivers.

    (Please don't say "fish near the bank" - I know places where theres 30 feet of water near the bank, so "near the bank" doesn't really tell me how deep.)
     
  2. BigOBear

    BigOBear New Member

    Messages:
    463
    State:
    TX
    The ones we've caught on the lake the last two weekends have been coming into coves with standing timber about 6-12' deep. I had some out around 2-6' but didn't even lose baits on those.
     

  3. bigcatmaniac

    bigcatmaniac New Member

    Messages:
    459
    State:
    California Miss
    Lately my buddies have been catchin good sized flatheads in 6-10ft of water at the hottest parts of the day, when it cools off a little (early morning and evening) they tend to move to shallower water to feed, they will feed throughout the night then return to the deeper part for the heat of the day. But they have caught some dandy flatheads outta two of my deepest holes so far this year. they caught a 44lber out of a 35ft hole and a 53lber outta a 26ft hole. Both of those fish were caught between 1 and 3 in the afternoon. It just depends on the weather, were the bait is, and most importantly the thermocline, fish cant live below it so if you find it you will find the fish.
     
  4. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    In the mid summer heat, I fish the first hour (dusk) deep then I fish around 5 to 10 yards off the bank around dark.
     
  5. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    I fish a couple shallow rivers as well, I usually stay away from the deeper holes though during the post spawn. The rivers I fish they seem to move back to summer areas. However, when water temps soar I try to fish where oxygen contents are higher.. lowhead dams, shallow riffles etc....rollo
     
  6. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,227
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    I like to find deep holes 20'-40' in slack water or current breaks. Drop big live baits in them and wait for the big ones. I mostly fish the Ohio river
     
  7. Sunday Money

    Sunday Money New Member

    Messages:
    81
    State:
    north carolina
    I understand what the thermocline is and the importance of finding it, but what is the easiest way to go about locating it. Do i fish with live bait and keep checking it to see if its alive at different depts, or what do i look for on my fishfinder. I would appreciate some help.
     
  8. kat king

    kat king New Member

    Messages:
    388
    State:
    hutchinson,ks
    yes fish with live bait and check it every 30 minutes to an hour live is very important you might go threw 30 live baits put its very important to have..hope this helps..:cool2:
     
  9. waynesburgjay

    waynesburgjay New Member

    Messages:
    1,960
    State:
    Pennsylvan
    You might try turning the sensitivity or gain up on your finder to find the thermocline
     
  10. brother hilljack

    brother hilljack New Member

    Messages:
    7,305
    State:
    Shelbyville, TN
    I think the water depth depends on the time that you are fishing. If its at night they are moving up to feed, daytime deep water
     
  11. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    Thanks, guys, for the suggestions. I guess it makes sense, like any other fish, that they would hide deeper from the heat and come up shallower to feed when it cools down a bit.

    My rivers are basically flatland rivers - no riffles - where I fish, and they are shallow and well mixed enough that I doubt there's any thermocline. I'm thinking that I may want to fish the shallow feeding areas near deep water (fishing at night, of course).

    Upriver a ways, the Edisto does get small and shallow enough and there are real riffles, with the water tumbling through some rocky shallows (down by the coast, where I live and usually fish, there are no rocks - except the ones people truck in for rip rap, etc). If I make it up that way, I may have to give it a try fishing around those.

    I've attached two pictures of the Edisto. The dawn shot is of the tidal area I fish downriver. Along the treed bank on the right, the water is 8 to 12 feet deep, but if you head over to the left, most of the width of the river only averages about 3 feet deep and is a big sand flat. The shot of the riffle upriver is pretty self-explanatory: above and below the riffle it is a few feet deep, but there are holes in the area that go to almost 20 feet. I know that there are at least some flatheads in the upriver area, but have never caught anything up there over about 6 pounds.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. FLATHEAD STEVE

    FLATHEAD STEVE New Member

    Messages:
    1,772
    State:
    DESMOINES IOWA
    "next to the bank" in 3-7 feet of water next to alot of cover.

    deep slackwater next to the main channel or channels:wink:
     
  13. catfishscotty

    catfishscotty Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,388
    State:
    mo
    i would fish shallow structure of some kind 1 1/2 foot to 10 foot

    as far as fishing close to the bank them 30 foot deep banks will still hold flatheads shallow cast to the bank closely with a slip float set 3 to 15 foot deep because a ledge , root wad , hole, ect will hold them there it makes a great ambush point for them.

    got to rember tho a good heavy rain in any smaller river will change there feeding grounds and bring in new oxygen for a few days to week so deep water could be the key . when it back to normal and settled change back to shallow if no good fish have been caught in deeper water.