Question - Will Flathead Catfish hit Dead Bait?

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by Rainman4u2, Feb 14, 2006.

  1. Rainman4u2

    Rainman4u2 Guest

    I'm just curious to know something. I hear and see that large live bait is wonderful for flatheads. My question is, will flat heads hit dead bait, or are they strictly a livebait eater???

    Ray
     
  2. Itch2Scratch

    Itch2Scratch New Member

    Messages:
    1,662
    State:
    Ivy Bend on LOZ, Missouri
    My fishin bud caught a 25lb flat on and 8" dead shad last fall...said he did not even know it was there till he went to reel up.
     

  3. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    99 percent of my flatheads come on dead bait, fresh cut shad has been my best producer...In fact I have fished cut shad on one rod, and live bait on another many times..The cut bait always wins..3
     
  4. JimF

    JimF New Member

    Messages:
    151
    State:
    IL
    I will have to say that they most definitly will. I think they prefer live, or at least fresh bait. Fresh dead bait in the current smells alive, it looks alive and it puts off vibrations so it sounds alive.

    I have put fresh strips of shad, bluegil, chub minnows on a big jig head and have taken some right off of structure. I bounce it off the bottom and it looks, smells, sounds like a live fish.
     
  5. Rainman4u2

    Rainman4u2 Guest

    I was wondering. I saw a few nice Flatties caught last summer, but on live bait. I seem to have problems procuring that live bait at times, that is why I was asking.

    Ray
     
  6. etipriga

    etipriga New Member

    Messages:
    96
    State:
    TX
    Like flathunter said its well known to catch flatties on cut bait, i guess its just what u have better luck with in your area. Ive never heard or seen ne one catch em on a hole dead one my im sure its happened. We usually just cut the heads and tail off, then use the middle part left over.
     
  7. bigyella

    bigyella New Member

    Messages:
    33
    State:
    Texas
    I have heard of people catching big flats on dead bait. It has never happened for me. I catch alot on live bait. I have fished several times with dead bait, when my live well took a dump and I cound not get live bait to the desired fishing location. I fish rod and reel. When I get a hit on live bait it is a strong hit and the reel spools off alot of line before I can get to it. I have been reading and talking to folks that catch them on dead bait, and they say hits are soft. Sometimes they think it is a small fish playing with the bait or they dont even know it is their untill they reel up. That has never been my experiance, but I have never caught one on dead bait either.
     
  8. Doctor

    Doctor Member

    Messages:
    378
    State:
    Springfield, Ohio
    Very few of the flats I have caught on the Ohio River have come off of live bait, I carry a 30 gallon Grayline baittank on board the boat and we keep them alive till we are ready to use them for cut, the head section is a real big producer as that spine holds a lot of blood, big chunk of the middle section or if I can get the Sumo Shad that are 16 inches long or better then the gut pocket is another option, for years I have fished with live bait and Lynn just beats the tar out of me using cutbait, one year I had two live baits out and knew that a flathead was approaching by the jumping around of the Shad on the ends of my lines only to watch Lynns poles go down, not once ,twice but 6 times till I threw the towel in and switched over to cutbait. We mainly fish the Ohio river and almost always during the daylight hours........Doc
     
  9. dinkbuster1

    dinkbuster1 New Member

    Messages:
    2,272
    State:
    Ohio
    my largest flat, and blue came off of a "dead" shad head...
     
  10. Fishgeek

    Fishgeek Active Member

    Messages:
    1,149
    State:
    Indiana
    River Scum, Polecat, & I use live & dead bluegill...FRESH dead bluegill. I have to agree with Flathunter & say that it seems that the dead works as good as, if not better than, the live bait. We had plans to keep track of our catches last year by each bait type but never got around to it...I never got the guys any good data sheets to record on. Maybe this year...
     
  11. vlparrish

    vlparrish New Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    State:
    Bedford, Kentucky
    Although, I have caught many flats on fresh dead bait rigged whole and cut, the best slams from flatties have come on live bluegill. If you guys haven't ever tried whole live gills, you should. It seems when a flathead takes a bluegill that the hit is a lot more aggressive than on dead bait. I have also had some pretty strong hits on whole live shad as well. I have had a flathead sit and suck on dead bait for over ten minutes before he committed to it. Last year in a tournament my brother and I caught two eighteen pounders and a ten pounder within 15 minutes on live gills and all the hits were outright slams. If I had my choice between fresh dead bait and live gills, I would pick the live gills any day. Vern
     
  12. BIG ONE

    BIG ONE New Member

    Messages:
    1
    State:
    North Carolina
    I have used cut blue gill to caught Flat heads.
     
  13. teaysvalleyguy

    teaysvalleyguy New Member

    Messages:
    9,751
    State:
    GC, OHIO
    I seam to have more luck catching shovelheads in the cooler months with cut bait. I think it has something to do with them being less active and the scent in the water. But, what do I know??
     
  14. memphis-cat

    memphis-cat New Member

    Messages:
    10
    State:
    tennessee
    My largest flathead came from off of a rattle trap????? Dont ask?????
     
  15. pendog66

    pendog66 New Member

    Messages:
    2,121
    State:
    Brookville OH
    Flatheads love cutbait. Especially in the fall and spring
     
  16. dwreel

    dwreel New Member

    Messages:
    554
    State:
    Southern Pines, NC
    There can be many variables, but when a cat is hungry, it will eat a lot of different baits. Kinda like fishing for Bass or crappie, you just never know what they will hit until you catch a few. Granted, it does depend on where you fish, river, lake, creek, and time of year. Weather also comes into the equation. If you fish the same water year round, you will probably see a pattern. That is reason enough to keep a log.
     
  17. HoosierPoleCat

    HoosierPoleCat New Member

    Messages:
    207
    State:
    Indiana
    rainman some of my biggest flatties have been caught on a small piece of cut bait. I usally fish with both live & cut. But the answer to your question: yes they will hit dead bait. Dont limit yourself on bait. Good luck
     
  18. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    As you have already heard, flatheads will hit live bait or dead/cut bait. If fishing dead bait, though, make sure it is absolutely fresh. I have caught flatheads on both, but live bait is deffinately more consistent and reliable.

    I think an interesting question is where and when they will hit cutbait. One of the other replies mentioned having better luck with dead bait in cool water. Most all of the flatheads that I have caught on cutbait have come in the late fall and winter, I believe as they were moving into wintering holes on thelower Santee River here in South Carolina.

    I also fish the Edisto a good deal and catch all of my flatheads there on live bream.

    Part of the difference is just in the way I fish, though. I have seldom been fortunate enough to have live bait while fishing the Santee, and I almost never fish cutbait in the Edisto.

    Short answer is: Try both and let us know!
     
  19. Mountain Cur

    Mountain Cur New Member

    Messages:
    171
    State:
    Missouri, Warsaw
    In my experience flatties will eat about anything that is in the water, but they seem to prefer "fresh" bait. The one exception is when we "drift" in the standing timber "grandma" always baits one rod with turkey liver. She has about a 60% success rate so it must work.:) I don't recall catching a flattie bigger than 12 pounds on turkey liver. All our bigger fish have been on fresh or live bait.
     
  20. Netmanjack

    Netmanjack New Member

    Messages:
    3,734
    State:
    Ohio
    Yes, yes and yes. The time of year is definitely a factor, but not a law set in stone. During pre-spawn and spawn live bait not only represents food, but danger to eggs and later, fry as well. Fish not actively feeding will chase them off of protected areas sometimes catching them. I have herd a very active live bait can call a big flathead out of cover from more than forty yards! Then again a fresh cut bait can do the same. As our brother Baitkiller has shown me many times, and insisting the blood must be red! Brown blood (from frozen bait) or no blood in a fillet won't produce nearly as well. A whole dead bait with holes poked in the gut sack and head ooze a tasty promise to a foraging cat all so. I personally caught a 17# shovel head on fresh chicken liver while fishing for channels! go figger.lol I guess my point here is, if you don't have access to live bait all of the time, don't let it discourage you. as many of our brothers have stated, big fish are and will be caught on dead bait.