Neuse River Flathead Catfish

Discussion in 'NORTH CAROLINA RIVERS TALK' started by Cattn-Jeep, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. Cattn-Jeep

    Cattn-Jeep New Member

    Messages:
    236
    State:
    NC
    I tried all last summer to catch a flathead. I failed. The only big fish was a gar that I tangled with every other weekend or so. I was planning on landing it this spring, but I recently found out that a coworker was bow fishing in that area and took a 25(ish) pound gar. SO, back to the flatheads...

    I usually fish between Kinston and Goldsboro...where should I start?

    I spent last summer bank fishing, but have since picked up a boat. So I am game for bank of boat fishing. There is an area downstream from Seven Springs that I've been looking at with Google Maps. That's actually why I bought a boat.

    Any advice would be MUCH appreciated!! :smile2:
     
  2. cliu

    cliu Member

    Messages:
    99
    State:
    North Carolina
    You shouldn't have any problem catching a flathead where you are fishing depends on what bait. There are plenty of flatheads around there. When it get a little warmer.
     

  3. Cattn-Jeep

    Cattn-Jeep New Member

    Messages:
    236
    State:
    NC
    I've used big minnows, goldfish, and eels...is there something better?
     
  4. Cathunter Pete

    Cathunter Pete New Member

    Messages:
    352
    State:
    Fayetteville NC
    If you target the log jams that have shallow water within close proximety concentrate on those areas. During the daytime the flattie will hold up in the logs, and right before night and throughout the night they will go to the shallow areas looking for baitfish. The best thing I've found on the Cape Fear in Fayetteville is using whole, live brim/bluegills. However the my PB Flattie caught last year was 45# on a chunk of eel about 4'' long. I caught him adjacent a log pile, in water that was about 1-2 foot deep. IMO though the best bait is brim/bluegill. Good luck to you fellow cathunter!
     
  5. Cattn-Jeep

    Cattn-Jeep New Member

    Messages:
    236
    State:
    NC
    Brim & Bluegills....I used to catch them all the time when I was a kid...that was back in PA. I have not found a natural source of them between Kinston and Goldsboro. Maybe I'm not looking in the right spots? Can I buy them somewhere?
     
  6. mack in n.c.

    mack in n.c. Member

    Messages:
    287
    State:
    cary nc
    the river is full of them...use crickets and fish any slack water...best is a creek or gut coming into the river.....right now if iwas on the neuse i would be catching hickory shad with ..white or yellow jigs and using them as cut bait,.....flatheads dont bite good till warmer water.....blues will........i also like bream as the best bait for flatheads though i have caught them on cutbait..............also this time of year bream are harder to catch but can be caught....fish on bottom for bream and you may also catch yellow perch or white perch too......white perch make xcellant bait as they live for a long time on a hook...mack
     
  7. Cattn-Jeep

    Cattn-Jeep New Member

    Messages:
    236
    State:
    NC
    Hey, thanks a lot Mack, I will definitely keep that in mind. I hope this summer is my summer to catch nothing but flatheads. :smile2:
     
  8. Cathunter Pete

    Cathunter Pete New Member

    Messages:
    352
    State:
    Fayetteville NC
    Cattn Jeep, I'm from Pa originally as well. The fishing down here is way better that Pa for cats. When targeting bluegills/brim when the water gets warmer you want to fish the bank of the river around logs. The water shouldn't be anymore than 3-4 ft deep. I use catawba worms or nightcrawlers on trout hooks, with a split shot 2 ft above the hook. Slack water is good as well just make sure it's not very deep. I've had best luck fishing logs that you can seen under the water in 2-4ft of water. Good luck brother.
     
  9. Cattn-Jeep

    Cattn-Jeep New Member

    Messages:
    236
    State:
    NC
    What is a catawba worm? I grew up sight fishing for bluegill, pumpkin seeds, and trout in creeks with my grandpa. I also did a bit of pier and lagoon fishing on Lake Erie for bass (tried my best to avoid sheepheads). I don't have a lot of river experience and have not been able to spot and any sunfish yet. I know a couple places that sound good by what you say. I just don't see how they can be that easy to find when water visibility is less than 6 inches...
     
  10. Cathunter Pete

    Cathunter Pete New Member

    Messages:
    352
    State:
    Fayetteville NC
    Catawba worms usually hatch from Catawba trees in June, they are about 2" long and look like catepillars. These trees have large green leaves on them and can be found in swampy areas or near water. The worms when they hatch will eat all the leaves off of the tree. It'll like gypsy moths have been eating the trees when they hatch in Pa. Catawba worms can be frozen in bags and used later, and they work great to catch bluegills, and even channel cats. When your on the river look for along the banks for shallow water that has a log in the water. The bluegills will stay around the log and try to hide from predator fish ie. cats. If you catch one blue gill from the area there will be at least a few more there. If you have a boat just use the trolling motor and go along the edges or float all along the edge. Sometimes I'll pull the front of the boat on the bank and fish for the bluegills. You don't really have to see the fish or spot the bluegills in the water, that's very hard to do pending upon the depth and water quality/levels. Just key on logs that are along the bank in shallow water and there will be bluegills/brim there. As another member stated earilier it's difficult to catch them now, however it can be done. Once the water warms up it'll be easy to catch them for bait.
     
  11. Cattn-Jeep

    Cattn-Jeep New Member

    Messages:
    236
    State:
    NC
    Do catawba worms make tents too? Or, do you have to hunt for them?
     
  12. Cathunter Pete

    Cathunter Pete New Member

    Messages:
    352
    State:
    Fayetteville NC
    I've never seen them make tents like gypsie moths. The best way to find them is to look in areas that have water, such as small streams. In June you'll look for large tree (mainly), they will hatch on smaller catawba trees however. They'll only be out for a week to 2 weeks tops. You'll want to look for a tree that have large green leaves. When they hatch they'll eat all the leaves off of the trees, this is when you know they're hatched. The tree itself will be a lighter in color (trunk). They don't hatch every year. There wasn't any catawba worms last year in the Fayetteville area. However, when June rolls around they should hatch this year. If they do hatch I'll let you know, and if you'd like we could meet up in Fayetteville and I'll take you to the trees that I know of. There are many on Fort Bragg.
     
  13. Cattn-Jeep

    Cattn-Jeep New Member

    Messages:
    236
    State:
    NC
    Sounds great...I'd love to do some fishing on the Cape Fear too...:smile2:

    Fort Bragg is the one that has a good portion of it open to the public right?
     
  14. Cathunter Pete

    Cathunter Pete New Member

    Messages:
    352
    State:
    Fayetteville NC
    If you get your vehicle searched it's open to the public. The public with a permit can hunt and fish. I don't reccomend the fishing on Bragg. I'd be more than happy to take you out on the Cape Fear fishing. Can't guarantee anything, however 90% of the time I get at least one 20lber in the boat. The biggest last year was a flattie at 45#, and that night we my brother and me lost another one just as big if not bigger, however on 11 cats we had 180lbs. It was the best night I've had on the river. Be safe and good luck fishing. I don't eat fish, therefore I catch and release all of them, I just enjoy fishing for them, and taking pics of them.
     
  15. mack in n.c.

    mack in n.c. Member

    Messages:
    287
    State:
    cary nc
    they are actually catalpa worms....come people do call them cawtaba worms but they only can eat the leaves of the southern catalpa tree or the northern catalpa tree.........they are actually catapillars that hat5ch here in central nc around late june as 1in or less and buy july 4th are usually 3- 4 inches long.........they will not and cannot eat another type of plant.....the tree and catapillar have asybiotic relationship......they do not spin webs or cocoons also..........i grow them and plant them in various places just like the cypress trees i have planted at jordan.........also they will eat the tree usually bare and then go off and do they moth thing......the leaves come back and in august you get another crop.........i have had 3 crops sometimes.......that means the tree greww 4 sets of leaves!....tough trees!.........i am problay the only person in cary, n.c. that has a catalpa tree in there front yard....i also have 2 planted at my moms on the haw in alamance co and various ones i planted at strategic locations..............i pick them and put them in ice water for 10 mins or so...this locks in their color.....i then put them on paper towels and pat them dry ... i then put 10 each to a ziploc bag with flour or corn meal and freeze them...this keeps them form freezing together.........10 will last a long time on a trip..........most people reccommed that you cut the "worm" in half and then put the hook at the end and push the worm inside out..........i have found no difference...so i use 1/2 of 1 and hook it through the cut end then back once more........when i was a kid growing up on the haw the first time i used 1 (1/2) i caught 7 bream and 1 crappie off of 1/2 of 1.........thats how tough they are..........freezed ones can also be used off of piers for spots etc..........i will root some this spring so if you want one come see me this fall and i will give you a tree...................there is one on the lake behind my house that i need to go and prune.......i should have anywhere from 5 to 10 trees in pots this spring and summer...........they grow fast also.....mack
     
  16. mack in n.c.

    mack in n.c. Member

    Messages:
    287
    State:
    cary nc
    added>>>as a word of caution.....my wife and neighbors hate this tree as the droppings get on the sidewalk and the neighbors are worried about them getting into their plants and eating them....i assured them that they will not and cannot eat another plant......also 1 joked that they were going to spry my tree.......told them fine...spray my tree and i will spray your car with acetone!........also you cannot use grub control in your yard around the trees.........its better to have it not in your front yard but i could not help myself.....they also have nice white flowers in summer.....mack