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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Brand new to the site. Looks like a great resource! Thanks to all that have made it so.

I live near St. Louis but travel to Dixon, IL once or twice a year to fish the Rock for catfish with a friend that grew up there. We have concentrated on channels and have done pretty well, but we wanted to try to get some flathead this year. I have heard that bullhead make a great bait for flathead but I can't find any place that sells them. I would be happy to catch my own but I don't know any areas where I live (Edwardsville), where my buddy lives (Peoria) or where we are fishing (Dixon) that we can easily get some. Any thoughts? If bullhead are unavailable, what bait should we use for flathead instead?

BTW. We fished the Rock last year just before the fish kill. This weekend will be our first time back. Not sure what to expect be we are going to give it a try anyway.
 

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You might want to stop by Bunny's Bait shop and ask him, the last time I was there he was telling someone else where to fish for flathead. (The place I heard was behind the high school by the boat ramp.) If the river ever comes down a bit my dad said to also try for channels straight across the river from that boat ramp and right up next to the dam on the YMCA side.
 

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We have had alot of luck the last month with bluegill for flatheads. I dont know of anywhere in Illinois where you can buy live bullheads? Some swear by 3"-8" goldfish and you can buy them. I know alot of guys like to cut the livebait to make it bleed etc but we prefer to keep it as lively as possible. Flatheads are a top predator here and I dont think they really need anything extra done to the bait besides hooking it and dropping it in by brush etc. We like bullheads for live bait but getting many of them can be a problem. We like to eat the bigger ones so we prefer to use bluegill anymore. I think bullhead are a little tougher and we have caught more then one flathead on one bullehad before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the free advice. We typically put in at Lowell Park and fish above the dam although we have fished below the dam before. Thought we would try by the bluffs for flathead which has also been good for channel. A stop by Bunny's is definitely on the agenda.

You might want to stop by Bunny's Bait shop and ask him, the last time I was there he was telling someone else where to fish for flathead. (The place I heard was behind the high school by the boat ramp.) If the river ever comes down a bit my dad said to also try for channels straight across the river from that boat ramp and right up next to the dam on the YMCA side.
 

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Hey Matt, welcome to the club!!!!! I use green sunfish, bluegills, and goldfish for flatheads. You can catch green sunfish in almost any fertile creek, even ones that meander through town. I also agree that live bait should be kept as lively as possible. You can make a portable bait tank out of a cube style cooler, a bilge pump, some bilge hose, some 1/2'' PVC, and a battery. I can keep 30 sunnies and more goldfish alive than I care to have on a 3 day weekend. Just make sure you change the water, keep it clean, and keep it cool.
For more info. on flats just search this forum. Good luck Matt!!!!
 
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