Net or Bare Hands? How do you land trophy flathead catfish?

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by catfish_clayton, Dec 21, 2008.

Net or bare hands?

  1. Net

  2. Bare hands

  3. Other

Multiple votes are allowed.
Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. catfish_clayton

    catfish_clayton New Member

    Catania, Italy,
    I was wondering how you all land your trophy flatheads?

    I personally use my bare hands. I trust them more than someone messing with a net. I usually don't lose any flatheads landing them this way.

    What's your opinion?
  2. katkiller77

    katkiller77 New Member

    dayton ohio
    i use a net myself I do not want to lose a trophy flathead rick

  3. Wabash River Bear

    Wabash River Bear New Member

    I like to bare hand landing fish, it's like giving them one last chance to get even with ya. That, and I'm too cheap to buy an x-large landing net. LMAO!
  4. andrew76

    andrew76 New Member

    southwest ohio
    well after brakin my x large 70$ net i use my hands now.:eek:oooh:
  5. john catfish young

    john catfish young New Member

    I always use a net!:big_smile:
  6. JimmyJonny

    JimmyJonny Well-Known Member

    I haven't caught a large one yet , only a #20'er but he and all my Pb blues have been landed by hand , including my friends #60 blue . The flats don't have power biting down, only up for sucking in. Blues and channels biting force is downwards therefore they bite...and some bite really hard. So fishing for blues ends up with bloody hands.

    For me , if I can get my hands on it , he is done, spent , suckin air on the deck ...he aint going no-where. But....Ive been on boats where there is no way to lean over and mouth him without him pulling me in. When I landed my friends #60 blue , he was a thrashin machine , and my #160 arse wasn't enough to get him up and over into the deck...... I got him in but I had to go in after him...thats a whole other story in it's own . We had a big net , so we thought , but apparently not big enough .

    If I'm bank fishing I can walk to the shoreline so I never use a net there .

    So for me , if possible , I use my hands to land all my fish but because I love it....It's kinda like that " hurts so good" thing .

    To me it's obvious that a big, strong net and net man is the best way to go. Get him in the net and pull him in by the rim .....Just my 2 cents.
  7. Smellycat

    Smellycat New Member

    Harrison Arkans
    Well, so far we have used a net on fish up to 35 lbs. Not sure how big a fish we can land with the net we have, maybe 60lb. After that I`m sure would have to grab em in the ol mouth. I have used gloves, which helped.
  8. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Four Oaks, NC
    Dont need a net. It's always been that the hook has to make way because a hand is coming in there too.

    I have to wonder about people who fear catfish bites.
    Me, I fear the hooks:big_smile:

    Being brought up fishing my dad never netted fish at the boat.
    Later as a member of BASS and the Federation fishing sanctioned tournaments one of the rules was a no net rule. I think they have changed that since but nothing stays pristine forever unfortunately.

    I dont care to have a net in the boat and in the way. I sure aint humping one in a mile or two on the river by foot and wading. I'd rather carry the beer and leave the net and deal with scraped knuckles like a man.
  9. Flatheadhunter33

    Flatheadhunter33 New Member

    Yuma, Arizona
    Since I fish from a pontoon, I have to use a net.
  10. arkrivercatman

    arkrivercatman New Member

    For flatheads I bare hand them. I have never had a problem.
    Blues and channels are another story. I would prefer to net them.
    However, when I bank fish I dont carry a net. Like Mark J said, I have more important stuff to carry. Plus nets are just too bulky and they get in the way too much.
    For boat fishing I would prefer to have a net. Not required but prefered. I will still grab a fish if I have to. You have alot deeper water and netting a fish is easier than grabbing them. On the bank, where I fish, it is usually shallow and you cant scoop them up, so I man handle them.:wink:
  11. Backlashed

    Backlashed New Member

    Derby, Kansas
    Same here.

    I generally use one bank fishing as well because the bank is either steep or muddy, and I would rather not go swimming. Besides, my anchor wench also doubles as a net toter. :roll_eyes:
  12. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Boat fishing I carry a huge net.. Bankfishing, I barehand em...rollo
  13. stumpjumper

    stumpjumper New Member

    Dallas, GA
    I used to use my hands when I fished from the bank. Now, I always use a net from the boat.
  14. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Triadelphia, WV
    Walter Flack
    Ive had a couple aluminum nets break in half on me. I prefer to use my bare hands.
  15. Bill in SC

    Bill in SC New Member

    South Caro
    < I got him in but I had to go in after him...thats a whole other story in it's own .>

    The legend of Jimmy Johnny LIVES!! :wink:

    Bill in SC
  16. catfishcrazy256

    catfishcrazy256 New Member

  17. lendog

    lendog New Member

    berks, PA
    so far i've been bare handing it, this spring i'll bring the net just in case its a real nice one, gett'um in the boat would be easier with the net especially when their rollin around
  18. Pastor E

    Pastor E New Member

    Beebe AR
    Net I have lost to many fish not useing one:0a18:
  19. Flamekeeper

    Flamekeeper New Member

    Louisville, Ken
    I thought I was reading this wrong :confused2:
    Do you think a flathead is going to chase a 6" bluegill around ( sucking/opening his mouth all day for his meal..Your wrong Bro...
    :eek:oooh::big_smile::big_smile::big_smile::big_smile:I'm LMHO..I disagree with you on this one totally Bro,

    So you don't think a flathead clamps down huh?...You just need to let a good one grab ya:big_smile:The flathead has enough force in his bite ( kinda like a pit bull ) When a 35-60# Dr locks down on your ( WRIST )after you stick your hand down there for that hook, and it takes 4 or 5 minutes for it to calm down enough to release the pressure SO YOU CAN HAVE your hand BACK. And then you look at your arm and hand only to see!! all the white meat and the blood starting to pour out..You will learn that a flathead not only bites down He CLAMPS down..:big_smile:

    I've had them hit 6-7" bluegills and cut them in half missing the hook only by 1/8" or so.several times, Posted a Pic of that here somewhere,and I know I am not the only one has seen this when it comes to a flathead,Blue's as well, and it don't need to be a big'en neither. were speaking Flatheads though etc...

    I once had a 5-6" bluegill out by a stump and the line took off the clicker clk clk clk clk for a second and stopped,clk clk clk clk again and again then just stopped and the line was just jumping up and down, like he was shaking his head at me; jerking on the chain sort a speak.

    I walked down and set the hook, just to have it come right in with a 11-12" flathead clamped onto the bluegill just up to the eyes that was almost twice as big as he was, That little fellow Didn't Suck that bluegill in its mouth, thats for sure.He hit,Bit down hard and didn't let go until I pulled the bluegill free:eek:oooh:

    That my Friend is what really got me to take a closer/real long look at these eating machines. overs 25yrs or so ago. I have read and studied just about everything I could about the behavior/spawing and eating patterns of flatheads/Fishing for them.
    I have never read what you have stated above,they do suck in a small bait fish when they swim by,Biting down at the same time,But when the big boy starts chaseing his next meal , HE BITES DOWNS HARD .. My scarred up forearms and hands can prove it.

    Thats why I bought a BIG net..:big_smile::cool2:

    just my 2 cts:cool2:
  20. JimmyJonny

    JimmyJonny Well-Known Member

    Well I did state I've never caught a big one. My largest is around #30+ but I consider my #20 my Pb because I have the pic and weight .

    Now perhaps I didn't make myself bad. I never said flats don't bit , or they don't bite hard , that they feed by only sucking fish in , or that they don't eat with their teeth. I only said they don't bite as hard...... perhaps I'm wrong there. All the data I've read ( some here on the BoC ) has all said that flats have a different mouth structure than blues and channels . Even there mouth shape is different , reason being they are more built to be able to suck in fish as they open their mouth . This method helps them suck in bait that's just out of teeth range " if needed ". They open their mouth really hard and fast creating a suction . The water comes in their mouth and gets pushed out their gill plates .....pulling the fish to their teeth . The suction is NOT for its main feeding purposes, it only works in tandem with its teeth . It actually has a edge over blues and channels .

    So again , I didn't say flats don't bite or that they go around sucking their baits in, LOL ( just sounds funny to say )... If that's the way you took it...I would disagree also....They are top predator for a reason ; ) and I believe their mouth structure has a lot to do with it . I wouldn't say the fish with the harder bite win's but I would say the fish who has more methods to get fish in their mouth does ; )

    The reason I even said it is because the thread was about flats...and I don't catch giant flats like some but I do chase Blues . More importantly the thread was about nets and I wanted to let folks know I'm a blue fisher and my netting methods with them.

    On the other hand I've caught many, many flats under #20 , with that said.... IMO blues bite way, way harder....I'll even go out on a limb here...pound for pound ( IMO ) a channels bites pretty darn hard too..harder than a flathead .

    So I will clear it up so people don't think I don't know squat, LOL.

    I know flats bite , they bite hard, they will make ya bleed, they don't go around sucking bait in all day long , they eat really big baits , they do bite there prey , they don't always just suck the bait in..they do , and do it a lot of the time , just grab it and sit there...hence the typical flathead tap,tap,tap...

    I was just trying to share something I've learned with others . I've been cattin for a long time also, maybe didn't chase the big ones , but I have been cattin for over 25 years , fished salt water 10 years before that ( since I was 6 ). Over the years I've grow by hands on exp , and from reading . This information I didn't know about until around a year ago and now I see the same info around more and more , and I do believe it to be true . With this in mind I wont say its not true just because I never read about it anywhere for 35 years . If I run across it I will Pm it to ya but I wont go crazy looking for it ; )