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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The sangamon river has an abundance of flathead catfish. I will share with you some of the ways that I was taught and how I continue to fish this small river, for big flatheads. The majority of this river is covered in timber and as such many log jams have formed on either side of it. This cover is used as homes to large flatheads in our river. The key is locating the right depth and the right amount of cover. Some on site scouting is required to locate the better areas (sorry google earth). Things to look for while scouting:
Although this river probably averages 4tf or less there are some deeper locations throughout. Look for breakaway banks(undercut), or in some cases you may just be in clear enough water to tell if you have the depth you need. Not just deep water will do though... these flats tend to move to the shallow flats at night, just outside of their cover to hunt, smaller baitfish. You will want to find that spot, that one spot that has it all, cover, depth (shallow and deep) and abundance of baitfish. This device can really help bankfisherman to be able to read depth more accurately.

These are some of the good and bad I have found during my experiences on this river.

Good location 1.
This area has some good depth and a ton of good cover! Although I did not get it all in the pic. The river is very winding in this area, and the shad and bluegill population are heavy here.

Good location 2.
This is one of my favorite spots and where I caught my pb. It is located just upstream of the previous pick. The water is up about 5 ft. at the time of the picture but, believe me there are alot of trees in there.

Good location 3.
different county entirely but, some of the same features. Haven't fished this yet:wink:

Now let me give you some examples of some bad locations

Bad location 1.
The cover is there but the depth is certainly not!

Bad location 2.
Just much too shallow!

I hope ive helped you with the scouting, now lets talk about the baitfish in this resevoir.

Shad- shad are by far the most abundant from the lake decatur dam, west. They can be found amost anywhere along the river and are one of the hottest flathead baits to be used.

Bluegill- my personal favorite, bluegill are quite overpopulated near the damn, but are a little more dispersed the farther west that you travel. I love them, the flatheads love them, use them.

Chubs- if you can get ahold of these, use them! I have only found the creek chubs in a few select areas, they are hardy and live for hours on the hook. I have fished them a few times and they were taken each time.

Well you know now what bait to use and what to look for in location. I hope i've helped someone out. Till next time!

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