Question About Flathead Catfish

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by river_rat_42, May 18, 2006.

  1. river_rat_42

    river_rat_42 New Member

    I have a question about my luck with flathead catfishin'. I don't have a boat that I can get out on very often, so I do lots of my fishin' from a few docks where I have some pretty good luck fishin' on the Ohio River. Pretty good luck with blues and channels, but not flatheads. I fish with cut shad whenever I can get my hands on it, otherwise I just use nightcrawlers. I fish pretty far out in the river too. Any replies to why flatheads are so rare fishin' the way that I do.

    BIGCAT DADDY 71 New Member

    i'am with baitfish. i myself use live softcrawls, nightcrawlers and any bait fish thats, alive. the flathead in my avatar was caught in a river, on a big ball of live nightcrawlers.

  3. treddinwater

    treddinwater Well-Known Member

    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Live baits the ticket as previously posted. And remember, you don't always have to cast out as far as you can get it, if there's baitfish around the docks, try casting not too far off the docks cause the flatheads will come up there to pick off a snack or 2. Especially at night, if there's more then one dock, try casting between 2 docks or just about 5 feet off the end of one or the other.
  4. Baitkiller

    Baitkiller New Member

    Akron, Ohio
    Opinion from what I've seen using live & cut on the Ohio River in N E Ohio.

    I consider myself "STILL WET BEHIND THE EARS"!!

    I started in "03" using only live bait. In late "04" I started using both Fresh cut Shad and live and let the Flatheads make the choice!!!!!!!! All the Tabby Cats in "05" went with the cut Shad. From what I've experenced I'd guess from what the Shovels told me is that Fresh cut Shad is about 5 times better than live up here.

    Watch for this for it makes all the difference for me. With FRESH cut Shad they will, do, & continue to play with, lite bite, peck & mouth the cut baits for me about 85% of the time. They may continue to do this & alot of times only twice will they touch it and than leave the baits. When they are in this here "Lite-Bite mode I may only get about a 10% hook-up ratio and I'm dang pround of it tooooo :big_smile: !!!!!! When they are in this "Lite-Bite" mode they will not run with the baits. They were doing this to me again on 5/16 & 5/17/06. When they are doing this you MUST GO FOR THEM!!!!

    One tip that works most of the time for me is IF they quit pecking/ "lite-bite, etc is to move the bait a foot or so and they start the the process all over again.

    My opinion is you MAY/Should find a spot with stucture also.

    This will help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  5. catchinghogs

    catchinghogs Well-Known Member

    As all of the previous answers stated LIVE BAIT! But i have caught large flatheads on dead bait.Most of all be patient.
  6. bammabuck

    bammabuck New Member

    I saw some noodlers a few summers back work down the side of a boat ramp,reach up in a hole under the side and pull 2 flatheads out, 15 to 20 pounds apeice.might try and fish a live bream down the side at night.I will try it when I'm on my 4 day weekend coming up next week and let you know how it goes.maybe it will give you an option to try.
  7. tdpasser

    tdpasser New Member

    Gilbert AZ
    If on shore fish with live gills if possible and also throw a rod out with corn and catch the baby carp for bait. Chum some corn and stock up on the carp they are good bait cut or babys whole.

    I feel if you fish with live bait and have corn chumed in the area the carp and other bait fish are going to be all around you then when the flattie comes he has food to chase but run in to yours which can't get too far so he'll attack your distress live bait first.
  8. IL Hunter

    IL Hunter New Member

    Normal, IL
    I'm going to agree with Baitfish...In my experience live bait can be an indicator of when the fish might strike. Sometimes the bait will get nervous and swim around a lot if it senses something is about to eat it.
  9. seaark

    seaark New Member

    North Carolina
    Live bait is the best way to go. What ever the predominate bait fish in your river is usually the best, but a bluegill, bream or perch is hard to beat. A flathead will sometimes just sit and watch the bait for hours before he will take it. Then all of a sudden you might have 2 or 3 rods go down at once. They are preditor fish that love to hunt and kill. You can catch them on fresh cut bait, but you have to make sure you change that bait often. Sucker or red horse is a really good cut bait in rivers for flatheads. The main thing that you have to have is patience and fish around some kind of structure, preferably a log jam in a river. In a lake, you will want to usually fish shallow flats at night. I fish in water from 3 ft down to 9 feet at night. During the day, go deeper. If you can find some stucture such as trees, or a depression such as an old pond, that is where they usually are. Just anchor over the top of them and drop straight down about a foot above the bottom. Good luck.
  10. s_man

    s_man New Member

    south east ohio
    You might have more luck if you can find a hole near the bank. Without a boat trip that will be hard, but you might talk to some boaters at the ramp and see if they can point one out to you. Another place to find a hole is the downstream side of a creek or river coming in to the main river. When the water is high these streams dig out a hole in the main river. There is always some sort of hole there so check that out.