need some advice

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by flatter, Apr 6, 2008.

  1. flatter

    flatter New Member

    Messages:
    20
    State:
    Missouri
    I was hoping some of you guys could give me some input on what ima doin wrong. Me and a buddy have been fishing a power plant lake for about the last 2 months. Only on the weekends cause we both work. We get there about 9 and fish till daylight. This lake is notorious for flats. The state rec. was caught by my uncle there a few years back. We have used baits such as small shad. big shad. both live. live perch, bullheads. and cut carp and we have only caught one flat about 10lbs on nightcrawlers. we fish the warm wtr dishcharge channel and a 6oz will barely hold. do you think this was may be to swift? what would you suggest trying or what tactics. If any way yall can help or give input it would be much appreciated. Good luck and good fishin
     
  2. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    To catch a flathead, you need to study the fish. Flatheads generally don't like a swift current, just a moving current. They like to stay around underwater logs, rocks, bridge pilings. They eat just about anything thats natural in water... small fish, crawfish, ducks, mussels, snakes. Occasionally they are caught on dead bait, but that's the exception - not the rule. I think I'd move down stream a little and see what happens. Oh, yes, then the cotton picking, contrary things need to be hungry.
     

  3. Bill in SC

    Bill in SC New Member

    Messages:
    4,451
    State:
    South Caro
    Welcome to the BOC! You will find all the info here and then some, not to mention all the nice folks here.
    Bill in SC
     
  4. uttatoo

    uttatoo New Member

    Messages:
    1,797
    State:
    greatbend kansas
    look for slack waters where the fish might stop to relax
     
  5. pythonjohn

    pythonjohn New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    11,533
    State:
    F L A Swamps
    Never actually fished for flatheads but this year I think I'll try them.
    Do any of you fish for them at night by yourself ???
    How do I go about finding out if the river I fish in has any ?
     
  6. chris dornbusch

    chris dornbusch New Member

    Messages:
    79
    State:
    iowa
    Start by finding the feeder fish they are eating on a reg basis,and take your time you will be there for a while Flatheads are in no hurry.(THEY WILL COME).Try putting some non lethel cuts in the back fin area.
     
  7. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,297
    State:
    Coshocton,
    To find out if your river system has a decent flathead population, hit the bait shops. Search out the pics and pick the brain of the proprietor and browse the shelves with your ears open.

    Looking for flatheads is like looking for bass, muskie, walleye, in other words predator fish.

    The biggest fish, just like people get the nicest digs. Heaven for a flathead consists of food, shelter, food, a natural highway to security and food.

    Swimming in current takes energy. To have energy takes food. If food can be eaten without a large expenditure of energy, then the predator can rest more often.

    In a discharge (deadly when the surrounding water is less than 50 degrees) you need to see the whole picture. Big flatheads love wood. If there is a log on a flat within 5-10 yards of the current, or a hump, boulder or log blocking current a big flattie will call this home.

    While inactive (not biting) the predator will be behind the obstruction resting out of the current. An attentive fish, getting more active will move off to the side and sniff the current (like a land predator sniffing the wind). A hungry predator will move to the front of the obstruction. As the current rushes to an obstruction it will push, create a roll and go over the obstruction making a perfect spot for a predator to watch sniff pounce and inhale a helpless bait stuggling in heavy current.

    You keep sticking to one spot. Study your quarry. Listen very carefully. If you want to be a successful catter go shallow. Where do baitfish go when it gets dark? Is it safer to be a gill in shallow water where you only have three sides to watch your back and a shoreline as protection or in deep water where a predator can come from 4 sides, top and bottom to eat you?

    Now, do predators know where their food is?

    Follow the food and present your bait. I would be willing to bet a large sum of money that many many more big flatheads are caught in less than 5 feet of water than more.

    Good luck and welcome to the obsession!
     
  8. gottagetabigun

    gottagetabigun New Member

    Messages:
    248
    State:
    OKLAHOMA
    is there anyone else catching fish in that area? it could be the fish aren't hanging out in that area. if there is baitfish around there usually will be fish. no biatfish=no fish. thats usually a pretty good rule of thumb.
     
  9. pythonjohn

    pythonjohn New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    11,533
    State:
    F L A Swamps
    How do you rig for them, What kinda weight ,heavy or light?
    What kinda hook ?
    Circle or J hook?
    Do I need to be on the bottom or fish witha cork?
    Thanks.
     
  10. flatter

    flatter New Member

    Messages:
    20
    State:
    Missouri
    My set up consists of 20-30 pound big game clear w. big circle hooks and kahle. My hook is tied up above my bank sinker which right now we are using 6oz because of the current. There are TONS of shad up in there right now now big ones just 2-4 inchers. I had to buy a cheap net from walmart only a 4 footer and caught enough littles ones to fish w. all night in one throw. I noticed something though this evenin i went over there just to see other spots and noticed that there was no current so im wondering if the are only generating at nite right now. I know they are there they have to be its know for the big flats. We have only caught probably 10 channels in the last month out there but they are good size ones i dont think you could say there is a big majority of feeder fish up there. late i will try to post a pic of the lake and see where yall think hotspots might be. thank yall
     
  11. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,297
    State:
    Coshocton,
    John, there are more answers to that question than there are fish in your river/lake.

    The simplest and most common rig consists of a hook, leader, swivel, bead and sinker.

    The sinker needs to be the lightest weight needed to hold the bait in place. I have used no weight to 2 8 oz sinkers (1 lb) to hold position.

    Hooks- Circle hooks hook the fish themselves. They are the best hook out there for aggressive fish. J hooks are best for less aggressive biters (tap taps).
    Kahles are advertised as the best of both worlds.

    You can fish on the bottom or with a bobber, or fish on the bottom with a bobber (no joke)

    What are you fishing, a river or a lake? What system?
     
  12. deadweight_sinkersho

    deadweight_sinkersho New Member

    Messages:
    31
    State:
    Iowa

    Man, grab ya some live blue gills or sunnys and back hook them with a circle hook and and put it in the water, stay outta fast movin waters, flattys like the slower current and stuff they can hide from that fast current,,, good luck
     
  13. brother hilljack

    brother hilljack New Member

    Messages:
    7,305
    State:
    Shelbyville, TN
    Welcome to the BOC. I would recommend going to a location where there is less current, ESPECIALLY if such a location close to your warm water discharge. The flats are going to be in deep structure that is bordered by a current channel. If there is something like this close to where you are fishing it is more than likely full of cats.
     
  14. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    I'll look forward to seeing the pic of your lake, but right off the bat, my first suggeston would be to get down a bit out of the current. That warm water discharge canal has to meet the lake someplace - can you fish on the edge of the current right where it flows into the lake? Without seeing the place, that seems to me like it might be a hot spot.
     
  15. cathooked

    cathooked New Member

    Messages:
    437
    State:
    north carolina
    Aaron welcome to the boc from north carolina..
     
  16. catfisherman_eky3

    catfisherman_eky3 New Member

    Messages:
    2,296
    State:
    Kentucky
    Welcome to the BOC from Kentucky good to have you aboard
     
  17. Pappy B

    Pappy B Guest

    Don't be afraid of the heavy current.I often use 16-20 oz of weight in a small river in AZ.It's all in the timing.Don't be in a big a hurry.Look for current breaks.A flathead likes to rest where the deep current changes/breaks.Don't be afraid of big baits.Smaller baits will catch smaller fish but bigger baits only get bit by big fish.My son and I call this pocket fishing.We look for little changes in the current that would indicate a pocket or structure down deep that a flathead can use to his advantage to rest/ambush prey.You need to learn to read to river.It takes time so don't be discouraged.P:big_smile:ratice,pratice,practice.You'll figure it out.Good Luck.
    Pappy B.
     
  18. upncomincatfishking

    upncomincatfishking New Member

    Messages:
    415
    State:
    Cheviot Ohio
    you might just be doin everything right it might not be warm enough yet. Dont know how the weather is up there in missouri. All i gotta say is dont give up on it use bigger bait but it should produce just take your time and goodluck!!!
     
  19. flatter

    flatter New Member

    Messages:
    20
    State:
    Missouri
    Sorry guys i cant get a detailed map of the lake to put on here but ill try later. Ill do my best through words. The channel im fishing is only about 30 yards wide and only two spots you can fish it from the bank. One spot you fish with the current and the other into it, however it open up into some real open water thats only about 5ft deep. the is a point right at the mouth of the channel that is accessable. do you thing that would be a good break?
    well ill put a map on hopefully and see wat yall think. i sure appreciate the help you guys are great thanx
     
  20. pythonjohn

    pythonjohn New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    11,533
    State:
    F L A Swamps
    Shawn,
    I fish a river, I don't know what you mean by "what system" ?

    Ok now to choose a hook. what kind of hook do you use mostly?
    Should I scower the area with my depth finder for strcture?

    Are flats usually aggressive biters or is that just a term you use to discribe how there biting at a given time?
    Told you I never fished for them :big_smile:

    Thanks everyone for the lesson Iam gona go and see what I learned from ya.