Muskingum River Spawning Flatheads!!!

Discussion in 'OHIO RIVERS TALK' started by catfishrollo, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Well, after a long cold winter and a wild early spring the flatheads are back in action. Atleast they seemed to be. The fast and furious bite, seems to quickly slow up when water temps climb into the 70's and 80's each year triggering many of these fish to start their seasonal spawning habits. Not all fish spawn at the same time, and are often seperated by weeks depending on the area and weather patterns that can drastically change and dictate these spawning conditions. So where do these fish go? Well, not much is known about their spawning habits, and how they react this time of year. But, these fish will feed still during the spawn if you can find their whereabouts and present baits to them. Places I try to target them when I think they are spawning include, heavy timbered logjams, steep dropping mud cutbanks, small detailed eddy areas with some sort of structure, root systems from overhanging trees that they may be able to burrow up under, and one of my favorites....large boulder or rock piles. Not saying I know where they go or im even fishing where I should be, but when things drastically slow up bite wise for me, it seems year after year if I go to the rock and boulders I usually find them. I also really like to fish the root systems along the banks usually ranging in 4-6ft. of water. As I don't think bait selection matters much for flatheads, I do like to use lively brown bullheads in the 6 to 10 inch range this time of the year. The flatheads seem to get more aggressive with them and I have caught many flats on them this time of the year. Fishing during the spawn can be frustrating, it is difficult at times to locate these fish, and even then getting them to bite. My suggestion is to move and move more often than usual fishing each and every spot for a short while, moving baits around these areas, to try to get your baits presented close enough to the nesting flatheads to get them to react in defense often eating your bait. How long will the spawn last? It is hard to say. Usually, around a month on the Muskingum and the bite starts increasing again. How I know the spawn is about over, is when you are catching good numbers of these fish that have red sores on them, and are scared up from them moving rocks around and making these nesting areas, along with the fighting with other fish I supose. These fish will be really beat-up looking at times, and often slender in weight by now. But, they will be active to feed heavily again. So, are some of these spots they spawn in regular summer holding spots? Yes, they can and do spawn in areas that you would normally catch them in, not all but some.... I do think these fish go deeper into these structure areas, or up under the banks more for the nesting protection though. They aren't sitting on the outskirts looking to ambush fish. So, its important likesaid to move and fish alittle different than usual. goodluck.....rollo
  2. tcba1987

    tcba1987 New Member

    Dennison, Ohio
    GREAT post Rollo..............ive got a few spots in mind to try on the Tusc after reading your post !!!