Questions about flathead catfish near dams

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by Kowegi, Feb 15, 2008.

  1. Kowegi

    Kowegi New Member

    Messages:
    56
    State:
    Tennessee
    I was just wondering what is the recomended bait, way to use it, rigs, and tactics to catch flatheads near dams.
     
  2. Reel_Blues

    Reel_Blues New Member

    Messages:
    824
    State:
    Virginia
    Your are talking about fishing from the bank right?
     

  3. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    ALso think we need to know whether you are asking about just above the dam or below in the tailrace.

    Sure someone will chime in though. That's the great thing about this board - there's always someone with the experience and happy to help!
     
  4. SSgt Fishslayer

    SSgt Fishslayer New Member

    Messages:
    1,241
    State:
    south carolina
    well are you fishing from the bank? are you fishing in current? are you fishing in a lake? all of these play a factor in how i present my baits. a little more info would help us narrow it down for you a little.
     
  5. postbeetle

    postbeetle New Member

    Messages:
    6,598
    State:
    Iowa
    The best place to fish dams is where the lock master won't let you go.
     
  6. SSgt Fishslayer

    SSgt Fishslayer New Member

    Messages:
    1,241
    State:
    south carolina
    wow john, sounds like you have had some experience with that. maybe you could find a female lock master and sweet talk her into letting you back there. :wink:
     
  7. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    If it's small lowhead dams like the one's I fish, I tend to put my baits at the base of the dam. The current will create a scour hole at the base of the dam and flatheads love to lay in it to avoid the main current from the dam.

    I bulk up my terminal tackle using a 8 to 10 oz weight to hold bottom. I also do no recommend using mono. Braid will allow to feel the bottom better and the low stretch line will help you distinguish bites and current.
     
  8. brother hilljack

    brother hilljack New Member

    Messages:
    7,305
    State:
    Shelbyville, TN
    Flatheads love calm, deep, water with lots of cover so Look for cover or structure that is just barely outside of the current. The water will be fast so be careful how long you make your leader as it will be moving all over the place. If you are close to structure anything over 6 inches will get tangled quite easily. I would use a good sized bluegill hooked through the nose.
     
  9. Kowegi

    Kowegi New Member

    Messages:
    56
    State:
    Tennessee
    oh i forgot to add details...

    I mean fishing on a bank above the dam in a river.
    Theres lot of trees there and plenty of them are sunken providing cover. I don't think theres a lockmaster. The water is stained and murky with little current (like alot of the water in tennessee:wink:). And the depth is about 20 feet deep right next to the dam.

    Thanks.
     
  10. psychomekanik

    psychomekanik New Member

    Messages:
    2,534
    State:
    Illinois
    I used to fish a lot from the 2 lowhead dams we have here in town. the absolute best spot i've found is at night in the shallower water in the rocks. the baitfish tend to hang around the rocks, and so do the hungry brutes. during the daytime they'll be in deeper water, or nestled in heavy cover...
     
  11. whitney weese

    whitney weese New Member

    Messages:
    104
    State:
    oklahoma
    It might sound strange but try a weightless 5/0 buck tail jig. it works great around hydro dams. here is eastern oklahoma on the ark river. red, yellow and green are good colores. and if you use blue. you might pick up a striper or two.
     
  12. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,081
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    Both cut and live baits will catch flatheads. Be sure to take plenty of it though, dams tend to hold a lot bait-rippin gars. :eek:oooh:
     
  13. s_man

    s_man New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    I have spent alot of nights fishing low head dams for flatheads. I have caught them in the center of the scour hole. On the lip of the tail-out where the water gets shallow, on the center of the tail-out, at the base of the tail-out where the hole just starts to come back up. I have caught them directly under the dam where the water pours over. All my years fishing these dams on this river I have never caught a flathead on cut bait. Always live. I always put out both just in case, but in ten or so years I only catch channels on the cut and channels and flats on the live. You have to search the bottom with your live baits to find the areas with less current. I know it all looks the same on top, whitewater and turbulence. But on the bottom its totally different. You probe around enough and you can find pockets of slak current that will hold big channels and even bigger flatheads.
     
  14. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    Just to add Skip's comment, the bases of these lowhead dams are deeper than you think. Years of mad flow coming down the dams will wash away bottom and create a hole.

    Again, the water at the base of the these dams may look turbulent and choppy on top, but it's a different story on the bottom.

    Dams are the best to fish during late spring when flathead migrate upstream. The love these dams because of the baitfish and adequate habitat for them. But they are there because they can't ay further because the river is dammed.

    The lowhead dams we have here on the Schuykill are not like the big dams in the midwest ad south, they are pathetic puny dams. At my 2 favorite dams to fish, the base of the dams are about 7 feet deep. The the water gets 2 to 4 feet deep for about 20 yards. We just wade out to the middle of the river ad cast our biatfish in the boil.
     
  15. riv56

    riv56 New Member

    Messages:
    99
    State:
    pennsylvania
    Try your luck below the dam where there is some current, them big old flat heads seem to like a little air in there water, an any fish that swim up river cant go any farther that makes em stack up an easier for the flatheads to catch em. Use some heavy tackle because there are some big old boys laying in there, preferably at nite
     
  16. NCHawghunter

    NCHawghunter New Member

    Messages:
    21
    State:
    Alamance County North Car
    Where I fish below the dam, I rig up a live bluegill and let him swim at about 18 ft of water under a cork. Seems to work, even when the weather bust hot.