never caught a flat

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by switchback, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. switchback

    switchback New Member

    Messages:
    212
    State:
    Illinois
    All rigt i live about an hour away from rend lake which has some awesome flatheads in it. I dont fish there often but i do throw out a live gill or shad or even a drum if i have one small enough, useally whatever i can get my hands on. The problems i have is do i let it run for a while then set the hook or do i set it as soon as it starts running? I have heard both and tried both the only thing i can think of now is my hook size, but still want to know a better answer for wait or not.
     
  2. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    Well Nathan, there are a few things to consider when targeting flatheads, the first one is keep it simple. You don't need the most expensive gear to catch fish. I mostly use all livebaits when going after them. I use 8-10/0 Gamukatsu Octupus J-Style hooks, and hook my baits under the dorsel fin on the back or through the lips! I place them on baitclicker and put them in rod holders either on the boat or bank. Sit back and wait for the music! When you get a run, be very patient. Flatheads epsecially larger ones are very optimisic feeders usually, and will stay with bait most of the time. No need to hurry, allow for the time needed for it to place the bait and hook in the mouth properly set the. ( really need to consider this when fishing extremely large baits. IMO) Next engage the reel, and wait for the rod to start loading, then bust him! If the rod isn't loading, DON'T set the hook! Flatheads are notorious sometimes for turning the bait and making a couple runs in the process. They swallow livebaits head first so they can get the dorsel to lay down, if they ambushed the bait, they made need to turn it. goodluck to you let me know how it goes!

    BTW... remember the key word is PATIENCE! Flathead fishing action is alot different than other fishing, and you may spend alot of time at it before you have luck.... rollo
     

  3. arkrivercatman

    arkrivercatman New Member

    Messages:
    4,472
    State:
    KS
    What size/type of hook are you using? What size of bait. If using circles let him load up and hook himself. If using kahles you can let him do it or you can set it yourself. With regular J hooks, turn his head as soon as you know he has it.Make sure your hook is sized according to your bait and that it is hooked properly, with no scales covering the hook.
     
  4. switchback

    switchback New Member

    Messages:
    212
    State:
    Illinois
    well use some circle and some kahle mostly with smaller baitfish something like about four or so inches that way my options are open as far as catching something as far as size of hook since im useing smaller bait i use about a 6/o circle and about a 3/0 kahle. I use a medium heavy lightning rod and an abu 6000 with 15 lb mono that way if i get snagged i dont loose so much line but still can fight the fish pretty decent, and even sometimes i will break out my penn on a medium heavy tiger rod with thirty pound mono if i have bigger bait but useally i stick to the abu its what i trust. another question slip bobber or on bottom ive seen both work off of the bonnie damn so was wandering which is better
     
  5. arkrivercatman

    arkrivercatman New Member

    Messages:
    4,472
    State:
    KS
    You should be set as far as gear, you may just want to wait a lil longer to set the hook with the kahles. As far as the slip bobber, it varies. I use a 3 way most of the time for flatheads because it keeps the bait off of the bottom. That is why floats are effective for flatheads, it makes it easier for them to come up and snatch the bait. I like to use floats around log jams during the day and use them mid depth of the shallow flats I fish at night. Check out the Kat Bobbers from Gene, they work great with circles and kahles.
     
  6. switchback

    switchback New Member

    Messages:
    212
    State:
    Illinois
    thanks guys i need all the help for flats i can t get
     
  7. switchback

    switchback New Member

    Messages:
    212
    State:
    Illinois
    can get sorry a little rusty on the key board
     
  8. patrickgd

    patrickgd New Member

    Messages:
    809
    State:
    Memphis TN
    I know exactly where your coming from Nathan. Just last weekend I caught my first Flatheads. I was using Carolina Rigs with 7/0 Gamakatsu Octopus hooks. I had on 3-5" inch Bluegill. I was tightlining with spinning reels. The first 2 I caught just slammed the baits and bent my rod over and they were on but the third one either had taken the bait and was just sitting on it OR hit it right when I started to reel in. All 3 were caught 20 - 30 feet from the bank and in the morning time. Also there was allot of surface small fish activity going on close to the area. Hang in there and keep trying just when I was beginning to think I'd never catch one it happened. :0a26:
     
  9. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    Your gear sounds fine to me. I have caught a bunch of flats, including some very nice ones, on 4 to 5 inch sunfish with a 3/0 or 4/0 kahle hook and 15 pound line. (That will land a real good fish as long as you drag is set properly and you have room to fight the fish. If you have to muscle it away from cover, that's another story.)

    How you put the hook in the bait is important, too , though. You want the hook to just go through the edge of the baits tail or it's nose, so that most of the hook bend and point are open and exposed so you can get a good hookset. With fairly small baits like that the flathead will suck the whole thing right in, so waiting for them to position it is not that big a deal.

    I love kahle hooks - they can be fished like a circle and will hook up very well with the reel engaged and the rod in a holder so the fish hook themselves. If you are setting the hook with kahles, though, it is absolutely vital that you are tight to the fish before you try to set the hook. If you try to set the hook with even a bit of slack, it will just pull the hook out of their mouth.
     
  10. switchback

    switchback New Member

    Messages:
    212
    State:
    Illinois
    i try to useually hook the bait through the eyes they live for a long time and anytime anything gets near them they freak, i learned this crappie fishing with minnows