Santee river again last Saturday

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by JAinSC, Sep 6, 2007.

  1. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    Santee River
    September 1, 2007
    Water 85.4 deg F at dusk

    Tim and I decided to fish the Santee. Unfortunately, it rained most of the afternoon. Know how people say that fish bite better in the rain? Wrong. Maybe it was the rain, maybe it was because the tide was a bit high starting off, but we had a hard time collecting sunfish for bait. We also heard some pigs grunting and moving about in the woods very near the creek while fishing for baits.

    We got no flatheads in the first spot but we did have some bites from something that kept killing the baits without hooking up - probably small blue cats. They'd tug a bit and scale and/or crush the bait. Figures, when we have insufficient baits to begin with… IN the nest spot, a 10 foot bit of channel near on the edge of a sand flat, Tim hooked up. He brought some heavier cat gear than usual, because of my stories of snags, and he horsed the fish up to the boat. I let it calm down a bit before pulling a nice 44.5 inch 33 pound flathead aboard.

    We got no more action there, so after another rain shower we decided to move down closer to the landing. Next spot (fairly deep, mid river) no luck – just more baits killed. After that we looked around a bit and ended up just inside the lower point of an island on the flood tide. We were anchored near a tree coming out of the river, very near cover to our east, sitting over 30 feet of water. Despite the cover, I was not confident: why should the flatheads be sitting in 30 feet of water? They were up shallower hunting, right? At least I had good baits on – we were down to our last few sunfish, so I had a large bluegill on the little rod and a very nice extra large one on the musky stick. While I was feeling less than hopeful, my smaller rod (just respooled with 30 pound Power Pro) hooked up and bent over double. I grabbed the rod, and despite my tightening down on the drag, the fish continued to take line, worrying me considering the amount of submerged wood in the area. I really leaned into the fish and tried to quickly work it back to the boat. Luckily I was able to keep him in the clear, although I did feel a couple of ticks and the fish stopped dead for a moment (snagged or just stubborn?). Once under the boat, the fish was far from done. I gradually worked him up from the deep water until Tim landed my first flathead of the night a bit before 1:00 AM: a 46 inch 45 pound beauty.

    I put the last mega-bluegill on the recently vacated hook and threw it back out. Then I realized that my other rod (the musky rod with 20 pound big game) was snagged. I tried a bit to pull it out, but decided to just leave it. Several minutes later the tip of the “snagged” rod was moving: dipping then straightening. I pulled against the snag and thought I felt a fish, so I pulled again – the line would come tight, then as I held on I could feel the line drag against a snag and loosen. Pull – tight – loosen – pull - … After repeating several times the fish popped out into the open and I hurriedly hauled him to the boat – a nice yellow 10 pound flathead that had eaten the biggest bait of the night.

    As we were out of baits and another shower seemed to be on its way, we decided to call it a night and headed to the landing a bit before 2:00 AM.


    Three flatheads. One shooting star (in the brief period without clouds). Small bats flittering about. Barred owls calling. Very nice night when it wasn't raining!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    Nice fish John! It takes me 3 years to get one over 30 and it seems like tou get a least 1 on every outing. You're killing me! But keep up the pics!
     

  3. CJ21

    CJ21 New Member

    Messages:
    4,303
    State:
    Montgomery, Alabama
    Very nice Job, John.
     
  4. Goldenshinner

    Goldenshinner New Member

    great story.thanks bro
     
  5. catfishrus

    catfishrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,569
    State:
    north carolina
    john great story. i always enjoy reading your flathead reports from them sc rivers. just wondering do you ever try live herring for them flats? i know they a pain to keep alive sometimes but in the fall thats my number one flathead bait.
     
  6. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    Catfishrus -
    No, I don't fish with herring for 2 reasons:
    1 You have to buy them
    2 They are not available along the coast, at least as far as I know. The landings and such up on the lakes carry herring, but I've never seen them down around the coast where I fish. Where do you get your herring?

    Generally, the sunfish are great. I enjoy spending the afternoon catching them, and they are tough active baits. Saturday with the rain and the high tides we just had trouble getting many.
     
  7. catfishrus

    catfishrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,569
    State:
    north carolina
    well i have to buy them when i come to santee (neds)but in the fall we catch them in a cast net here at home. they seem to make a up river run in the fall and we catch them behind the dams. we catch a few in the spring also but mostly in the fall. herring and white perch seem to work best for flats for me. i just never done real well with the sun fish unless it was spring but i dont use them very offen either...just past exp. for me i guess.
     
  8. poisonpits

    poisonpits Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,755
    State:
    arkansas
    Name:
    johnnie
    loved the pics.guy.if your releasing the big one in the third pic.reps to you if not im waiting on my invite to supper.lol
     
  9. Pennsylvaniacatchaser

    Pennsylvaniacatchaser Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,356
    State:
    Sarver, Pa
    John - Great report and pics! :cool2:
     
  10. PhillyCatcatcher4

    PhillyCatcatcher4 New Member

    Messages:
    1,596
    State:
    S.W.Phila.,Penn.
    Great fish & pics too. Thanks for sharing.
     
  11. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    Poison - yeah we release them all - just my choice. I'd rather have the chance to catch them again.
     
  12. Goldenshinner

    Goldenshinner New Member

    aggreed! again and bigger if possible.
     
  13. s_man

    s_man New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    John, Very good tale. I wish more people would tell em like that. Now you know all those "killed" baits were done in by flatheads. Next time let em soak for 15 or 20 minutes and that big flat will come back and eat that bait he just killed. Sounds like a great night.
     
  14. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    Skip - It's possible that the baits might have been killed by flatheads, but I just don't think so. There's lots of small blue cats in the river, and I'm fairly sure that's what was doing it. The way the baits were scaled and/or crushed makes me think it was blue cats. The flatheads generally just suck the bait right in. Even a good sized bluegill is no big deal for a flathead - just slurp 'em up!

    Plus, I'd much rather keep a good lively bait on rather than wait for a flathead to come back for a dead bait. Don't get me wrong, I don't real them right in and change. I always leave them out for a little while to make sure - prolly 10 or 15 minutes - then I bring them in and change out (or just move to a new spot).
     
  15. screamnclickersc

    screamnclickersc New Member

    Messages:
    755
    State:
    S.C.
    Which section of the Santee river do you fish?Rimini or down past the dam?





    quote=JAinSC;755622]Catfishrus -
    No, I don't fish with herring for 2 reasons:
    1 You have to buy them
    2 They are not available along the coast, at least as far as I know. The landings and such up on the lakes carry herring, but I've never seen them down around the coast where I fish. Where do you get your herring?

    Generally, the sunfish are great. I enjoy spending the afternoon catching them, and they are tough active baits. Saturday with the rain and the high tides we just had trouble getting many.[/quote]