Not getting hooked up with 'gills ?

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by kyron4, Jul 7, 2009.

  1. kyron4

    kyron4 New Member

    Messages:
    185
    State:
    Indiana
    The last few times I went out flathead fishing , I set up with a 4"-5" gill hooked through the lips with a 5/0 Kahle hook. The clicker would go off and line would peel off at slow steady pace. I'd let it pull off about 50-60yds. of line and set the hook. In all cases I'd "feel" the fish for a split second or see a splash at the surface, but never made one hook up. The 'gill would come back crushed with the scales scraped off . One night this happened three times in 40 mins , so I put a piece of cut gill on and threw it back. Within 20 mins. I hooked up with a smaller 3-4 lbs. channel cat. How much line should I give them (reel only hold 150 yds, ) ? I hate to give them line just to have them swim into a log snag. A flatty, even a small one, peels line off fairly quickly compared to what I'm getting. Is this common with smaller channels and flats or could it be gars (our gars run 20"-30" here) also ? It seems whem fishing with this size bait I get 24"+ flatties or these false runs ? Any advice or opinions welcomed.- Thanks
    :angry: :confused2: :angry:
     
  2. Fishgeek

    Fishgeek Active Member

    Messages:
    1,149
    State:
    Indiana
    Mike,

    From my experience on the Wabash, gar & channels typically hit the bait quite different. Gar & channels grab the bait & run fast, hard, & long...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzztt. The flathead seem to take the bait slow, steady & pulse-like... zzzzzzt..zzzzzzzt..zzzzzzzt..zzzzzt. When I hear that I turn off the clicker, engage the reel, reel down to take up as much slack as possible, and then when I feel that firm steady tug, set the hook hard.

    When I started fishing for flatheads I had the same problem with missing fish. I think most of it was due to my hook being too small. I used to use a 5/0 too but once I switched to 7/0 I started catching fish. Now I don't use anything smaller than a 7/0. I haven't found anyplace around here that sells big kahles so you'll probably have to order them from Catfish Connection or Bass Pro. Wal-Mart there in Wabash typically has 7/0 Gamakatsu octopus hooks in stock (I just bought 3 packs last night & caught 3 flatheads with them). $2.66 for a 6-pack. You'll have to snell those hooks, but its easy. For comparison, I just ordered a box of 50 7/0 kahles from BPS for about $8.

    Oh, almost forgot. We hook the gills on the back right about where the spiny dorsal fin meets the soft dorsal fin. You need to hook low enough to get under the set of bone that holds the fins in place, but high enough not to damage the gill's spine. I'll also hook them the same way but at the anal fin. Not as tough an area but I think it allows the gill a little more freedom to swing.
     

  3. indycatman

    indycatman New Member

    Messages:
    1,002
    State:
    Greenwood, Indi
    mike i would agree with matt yes channel and gar slam the hell out of the bait and flatheads do zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz on the bait also i would go larger on hook size hooks i use a 10/0 gama hook but other people have the own hook size
     
  4. cat6028

    cat6028 New Member

    Messages:
    138
    State:
    Indiana
    i can't say ive ever caught a gar or even had one hit my bait that i know of, but as for channels and flatties i do notice a big difference in the pace of the bite. and as for hooks lately im useing the team catfish 8/0 dual action hooks, they do pretty good
     
  5. Kansas Tree Rat

    Kansas Tree Rat New Member

    Messages:
    486
    State:
    Waverly, Kansas
    My experience Flats will CHOMP the bait first. If you are holding the rod you wll feel something almost like a shock run up the rod. Then they move off slow most of the time, make sure you feel the rod start to load before you set the hook.
    Around here if a fish just picks up the bait and starts to move off without the CHOMP then 99% chance it is a gar.
    If like you said the bait was smashed and no teath marks then I would say it was cahnnel cats. First thing would be to use smaller baits. I have caught most of my bigger fish on smaller bait anyway and a channel is more likly to be able to get it in its mouth.
    Second hook through the back not the lips.
    Good luck.
     
  6. mcseal2

    mcseal2 Active Member

    Messages:
    503
    State:
    Kansas
    I agree with the others, I use 8/0 king kahle hooks for bait that size on rod and reel. If you are having gar trouble you can take twisted trotline cord, not the braided stuff and tie it into your hook eye then unravel everything below the knot making kind of a rope skirt. The gar will often get those little needle teeth caught in the strands even if you don't get them hooked. Then you can land them and make sure they don't steal your bait again. The skirt doesn't seem to bother catfish either, they bite just like always.
     
  7. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    Nothing wrong with your hooks. I almost never use anything larger than a 5/0 kahle unless the bluegills are in the 9" long range - real full size baits that you can barely get your hand around. A 4 or 5" sunfish is not that big. I might even go to a 4/0 with them. I go in the open mouth and then up through just the top of the nose, about 1/4 to 3/8" back from the tip of the nose. I personally feel that a bigger hook will weigh down the bait so it can't swim around, and I have no problems with hookups or keeping the cats on the hook. To each his own, I guess.

    Unless the water you are fishing is real shallow, the fish splashing on top on the attempted hook set sound a lot like gar - they tend to move off on the surface. A lot of times you can see the whole gar jump out of the water. In shallow water (like under 3 feet) smaller cats like blues and channels of a few pounds may break the surface.

    Personally, I would put your rods in solid holders with the reels engaged and not touch them until the fish is hooked up. Flatheads will have no problem hooking themselves and the others will pull a bit and then let go. When I am fishing for flatheads, I do not want to catch the others.
     
  8. RPnKC

    RPnKC New Member

    Messages:
    399
    State:
    Kansas
    My experience is similar to others' replies, gar and channels make fast runs with the bait. Slow pulls are tell-tale flathead.
    I do not understand giving that much line, 50-60 yds. is much more than I would ever let out.
    As far as hook size?????? Most important is that the point is well exposed and doesn't have a scale on it, or the point reinserted somewhere in the body of the bait.....hate it when that happens.
    Here is a 5/0 Gama Circle, that was in the biggest bluegill I've ever tied to a line, easily 9" long. This fish didn't get 10 yards of line.
    http://www.catfish1.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=94&c=6&userid=124
    Persistance is key, but try something a little different.
     
  9. biglope

    biglope New Member

    Messages:
    65
    State:
    Kansas
    When you guys say snell your hook what does that mean?
     
  10. biglope

    biglope New Member

    Messages:
    65
    State:
    Kansas
    nevermind I just googled it.