Small River Flathead catfish

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by catfishinmagician, Jul 8, 2006.

  1. catfishinmagician

    catfishinmagician New Member

    Messages:
    22
    State:
    North Carolina
    Ok fellas, I need some suggestions, advice, tips, whatever you got!! Heres the situation. There's two small rivers (more or less, they are very large creeks) in my area that I would like to target flatheads in. They both connect to larger rivers (in fact they both connect to the same big river) I know flatheads are in the big river, which is the Yadkin/Pee Dee, by the way. I also know that flatheads will move up into the feeder creeks. My question is, how far up into these feeders will the flatheads move? The areas on one particular creek that i could fish would be anywhere from 15-30 miles from where it joins the big river. On the other river, the areas i would be fishing would be anywhere from 6-7 miles or less from where it joins the big river. Strangly enough, the section of the one river that is 15-30 miles from the larger river produces some HUGE flatheads (i know of several over 40 and a couple over 70, but these were caught by fellas that were grabbling) To my knowledge, most of the rivers are relatively shallow, with some scattered deeper holes and plenty of log jams. My second question, how should I go about fishing these rivers, because i will be stuck to the bank. Any help would be greatly appreciated!! Rigging options, time of year, time of day, high water or low water, etc etc.
     
  2. s_man

    s_man New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    I'd fish the one that produces 70 pounders if I was you. If you know how grabbing works, they prowl the banks ( shallow water ) looking for undercuts in the bank or logs or log jambs to probe around in/under. If you can find one or more of these features close to each other thats where to start. Wood cover is best. A stretch with logs/timber, laying along the bank for 50 to 100 yards or more is a prime location for multiple hits. Fish on the bank and out to 20 feet off, the big ones will be looking for a meal along there. Use the largest live-baits you can throw ( for the 40-70 pounders) or 3 to 5 inch baits for numbers of smaller ones. Preferably something caught from the river you are going to fish. Fish quietly no stopming around on the bank, talk in whispers if you have to,no camp fire, no radio. give it a couple tries before you give up they don't hit every night but if you can find prime habitat they will be in there. Oh one other thing use the stoutest rods and reels and line you can, cause if you hook a 40 lb range river flathead he will show you how weak your stuff is. Good luck.
     

  3. catfishinmagician

    catfishinmagician New Member

    Messages:
    22
    State:
    North Carolina
    Thanks fellas. The one that the BIG BIG ones have came out of, i've tried fishing it for bait with no sucess. The other, however, i've smallmouth fished, and i usually wade. Tons of sunnies in there, very rocky, lots of wood cover on the banks. And because i wade that river, i know exactly where some of the holes are.
     
  4. shortshank

    shortshank New Member

    Messages:
    389
    State:
    Oregon
    Fish the one you know. Put yourself in the best position to be successful to begin with. Get to those holes and brush piles a good hour or two before dark, toss your bait right where the current will take and present it to Mr. Flattie in a natural manner. You will probably loose some gear but it's better than not getting any bites. As far as your other (bigger) creek I'd use the bait from the creek you are in. Both have a common link, but that shouldn't matter at all...Food is food, if they are hungry they'll nail it! I use gills and chubs out of a small creek (three feet wide) to fish in a river 20 miles away. Good luck and take some pictures.
    Don
     
  5. kccats

    kccats New Member

    Messages:
    634
    State:
    Olathe, Kansas
    I would imagine that there are flatheads that live there, and flatheads that regularly visit by coming upstream.
     
  6. suddawg

    suddawg New Member

    The main river myself and TA2D fish in is a shallow sandy bottom river. It flows into the Missouri river about 15-20 miles from where we fish, and we catch flatheads all the time. But mainly ones between 5-6 lbs. So definately there should be flatheads in your river/creek.

    During the day we use live bluegills, chubs, or green sunfish near large cover like trees and brush piles for flatheads. At night they start to come out into the shallows and we'll take them on just about anything we put on the hook sometimes.

    Good Luck

    SudDawg
     
  7. catfishinmagician

    catfishinmagician New Member

    Messages:
    22
    State:
    North Carolina
    thanks guys. In the river that i wade, i can get to two what i would call very good spots by wading. One of them, which i think would be the better one, is at the tail end of a LONG slow, i mean very slow, deep hole (at least 10 foot, whereas the rest of the river is around 3 or 4). There is an even smaller creek coming into the river with a very large brush pile built up where the two join. (caught several nice smallmouth from the area and a 6 pound largemouth from that tree) I'm thinking there should be one laying in there. Now i've got another question for the river fishin guys. Should i place baits near the head of the cover, or towards the tail of it? The only way i can fish the spot is casting from downstream, the water gets too deep to wade any farther. I've heard that i should fish the upstream side of it, but do you think it would matter a whole lot? I plan to fish it during the daytime, so i know i need to get it as close to their front-door as possible.
     
  8. suddawg

    suddawg New Member

    When we fish near brush we try and get the bait as close to the pile as possible, and the same with other structure. Be ready for the strike though, because once they take it, they're heading back to that brush pile. Good luck

    SudDawg
     
  9. blackhorse83

    blackhorse83 New Member

    Messages:
    1,008
    State:
    missouri
    The best thing I can tell you is flats like all types of cover, and if you are not getting hung up once in a while you most likly aren't where they want to be. Rocks, brush piles, timber, ect. thats a place to start.
     
  10. CBH

    CBH New Member

    Messages:
    263
    State:
    WV
    I took my wife and our daughter to a small stream last night for some flathead fishing, and we were not disappointed! The section of this stream that we were fishing is about 20 yards across, with very little visible structure. I set out 6 lines, covering about a 40 yard stretch of water. The depth was anywhere from 3' to 10' deep. We fished for 4 hours and caught 4 flatheads, and lost another one! All four fish that we caught hit cut bluegill between 9:10 pm and 10:15 pm, (right around moonrise). I had out live bluegill and a big shiner, and they did not get a sniff! Most of the fish were in the 5 and 6 pound range, but my daughter did get a nice 15 lb. 35 incher. (See Photo)
    Truthfully, I was suprised with the success that we had. Now that I've seen the action that a small stream can have, I'll be looking for more of them to fish!
     

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  11. CBH

    CBH New Member

    Messages:
    263
    State:
    WV
    We went back to the small stream last night, and we caught a couple more flatties. A 30" 10 lb, and a 34" that was 16.5 lb. These aren't big fish, but it sure is a fun change of pace to "discover" hole of water that nobody else fishes, and catch some decent fish!
    I found out that the best way to fish this certain area is to position our baits just upstream of the deepest stretch of water in this stream. I tried fishing right in the deep water, but nearly all of the bites we've been getting is in that shallow water above the deep hole. Since the stream is so narrow, and the fish don't have room to make a run, some of the fish pick up the bait and move "slowly" to your left or right while the reels clicker makes only one or two clicks! If you hear a click, you have to go look at the line to see if it's moving. The majority of the time it will be headed back towards the deepest water.
    One other thing... I don't know why, but I can't get a hit on anything but cut 'gill. They don't want a live bait!! I've been diagonally cutting a bluegill in half, and there has been no preference to the head or the tail section.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. catfishinmagician

    catfishinmagician New Member

    Messages:
    22
    State:
    North Carolina
    Chris, have you fished that spot during the day at all? I love night fishing, but i am a little worried about doing it out at this particular river. Its in a national forest, so there is hardly any development around it in the first place, and nobody fishes there hardly, which are actually good things, but..... the area is loaded, and i mean LOADED with snakes. Its not the king snakes or water snakes that bother me, its the 6 foot rattlers and the cottonmouths that i'm worried about. I know i would fare better in the evening or at night, but do you suppose it would matter a whole lot, as long as I positioned my bait in the right place?
     
  13. CBH

    CBH New Member

    Messages:
    263
    State:
    WV
    LOADED WITH SNAKES!!! :crazy: That would be a perfect reason for me to stay far away from that area!! Each time that I've fished this certain stream, I've got set up 1 to 2 hours before dark and I've not had a fish hit until dusk. The best times have been right around moon rise. I would think that if a bait is put right in front of a fishes nose, he'll eat it in the daylight or dark! The advantage of darkness is that the fish will move around more in search of a meal.
     
  14. David Knotts

    David Knotts New Member

    Messages:
    2,569
    State:
    Bossier City, La
    I have a big creek like that, that I want to fish, problem is the skeeters drink Deep woods off for mouth wash. I know there are some big flats there, I guess I need to suck it up, and go fishin.
     
  15. CBH

    CBH New Member

    Messages:
    263
    State:
    WV
    Get yourself some "Repel 100% DEET". It's good stuff. WalMart has is for about $3.87, and a little bit goes a long way! I'm pretty sure it won't keep those dang snakes away though!!!!
     
  16. rushing

    rushing New Member

    Messages:
    561
    State:
    Minnesota
    Fishing in Minnesota skeets are almost always an issue. 100% deet works well but the amount of deet just means how long it will last not the so much on the repelling effect. Skeets wont stop me from fishin anywhere. Snakes on the other hand would probably keep me away from the river! Glad Minnesota doesnt have poisonous snakes!:lol:

    In these small creeks if you can fnd the edge of rocks or woodnear deeper water is where I would fish.
     
  17. Redd

    Redd New Member

    Messages:
    790
    State:
    Southeast Kansas
    That's good info there. Stick to that and you'll have yourself a flattie in no time!

    -Red
     
  18. suddawg

    suddawg New Member

    In Nebraska, I think what you call small creeks we call rivers :lol:

    It's been so dry there for the past 3-4 years, all the water levels have dropped significantly. Of course irrigation makes it worse, but got to have the crops.

    SudDawg