Smith Mtn Flathead Catfish Report... its 'bout that time.

Discussion in 'VIRGINIA LAKES / RESERVOIRS' started by CatsNstripers, Sep 20, 2009.

  1. CatsNstripers

    CatsNstripers New Member

    Messages:
    297
    State:
    Smith Mountain
    Its about that time for that fall flathead bite to get hot! I belive smith mtn lake is in its summer/fall transition. The past couple trips, the bite in shallow water has slowed to a crawl. While the deeper water bite has been OK. we have picked up a few fish in each. Water temp 19th and 20th varied from 75-76, so it should be about right, soon. I LOVE that fall time flathead bite...

    The Past few weeks have been good in shallow water. Except a few days during that full moon. Mostly just as my last report. I've been focusing my search in water from 2-12ft. Looking for natural shorelines, with a soft bottom i find best. But rocky areas also produce well. Using Mostly Live Shad. Although some fish have came from live greensunfish and fresh cutshad. Channel cats seem to love those smaller sized live greenies. The fish have been decent in size although no monsters. With most fish between 12-20lbs.... But good in numbers. One evening from 7:30-10:30 in one area we had 9 flatheads that weighed a total of 124lbs, which for Smith Mtn lake, is an awesome weight..... And the way my luck has been this year for big fish. I'll throw in my sad stories,... Two big fish lost in just a 3 day period. The first, when i set the hook, made that rod, crack and pop like an ugly stik shouldnt. Had him for a short while, hooked pulled. The second, 2 days later. Had him on, this sucker took a live 12inch gizzard shad. To only get wrapped up in an underwater snag.

    The past 2-3 trips, we focused in a 'lil deeper water. The bite has been slow, but in the following weeks is should improve greatly. Like i stated before, i belive the fish are in transition, moving and setting up in there fall patterns... Looking at 10-25ft of water. that dropping into deeper water. I'm also changing up my habitat styles. I'm looking for slow tapering area's such as underwater humps and long points. The closer to a creek or the main river channel the best. Areas that consist of a flat that meets a channel and tapers off into the deepers water can be killer. dont over look old road beds either. Same baits, but i prefer to use more live shad over, sunfish this time of the year. Other than just casting out lines, i like to place out 1-4downlines aswell. Being your covering the water around you, but without downlines your not covering the water beneath you.

    Bundle up, and get out there... it can be awesome!

    check out a few pics from the past few weeks...
     

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  2. CatsNstripers

    CatsNstripers New Member

    Messages:
    297
    State:
    Smith Mountain
    and a few more......
     

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  3. Paraguayguy

    Paraguayguy New Member

    Messages:
    1,650
    State:
    Virginia
    I swear that Snapping Turtle is grinning in the picture. Those are good eating. We ate loads growing up. I haven't had one in years. I guy I used to sell fur to in Pungo VA, Sidney Beale used to trap turtles in the Intercostal Waterway. He had a fenced in mudhole behind his fur shed. When he had a pickup load of live turtles, he would drive them to PA and sell them to Campbell's Soup. He stacked the turtles one on top the other in barrels. Campbell's paid him $1.50 a pound live back in the 70's.
     
  4. CatsNstripers

    CatsNstripers New Member

    Messages:
    297
    State:
    Smith Mountain
    Mans that wild. never heard of that. But yea, we eat them too... Grew up that way. Eating all the Weird Sh**, as i once was told....

    We was actually out setting turtle hooks that night, and everyone keep in mind..... this is not a method i practice on main bodies of water. I set my lines (usually just 10) by all methods of the law. I DO NOT set lines for catfish, and when i do have a line with a hooked cat, most if not all are released!


    We set out 10 bushlines way up the back waters of a creek arm, deepest water roughly 2-4feet. ended up with 4 turtles. That dawg was the largest... roughly round 25-30lbs. 2nd largest was a 20lber then two around 10-12lbs. Set those two smaller guys lose.


    Its alot of fun to step back down the High-fa'looting ladder. and Get back to the roots of were we got started..... I love it!
     
  5. Quint

    Quint New Member

    Messages:
    293
    State:
    N.C.
    A friend has a big turtle cooking every year it should be comeing up soon!
     
  6. screamnreels

    screamnreels Member

    Messages:
    599
    State:
    Halifax county
    I love turtle, it's some of the best meat you can get for free. IMO
     
  7. rclark

    rclark New Member

    Messages:
    218
    State:
    Virginia
    Its alot of fun to step back down the High-fa'looting ladder. and Get back to the roots of were we got started..... I love it![/QUOTE]

    Hey Travis glad you make your way down that ladder sometimes:wink:

    I sure like readin your reports!!!!!
     
  8. slammer123

    slammer123 New Member

    Messages:
    14
    State:
    virginia
    Hey Travis this is SLAMMER from Va striper. Just got on this board recently to do some catfish talking! Glad to see you here!Im trying to get a few catfishing trips in before I tow my boat back to Smith for the rest of the year.I may come up to the state park and camp in late October some and bowhunt and try to jig up some stripers.Stripers doing anything now at Smith? Heres a couple cats my buddies caught with me down on the James last week.
     

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  9. jeremiad

    jeremiad Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,207
    State:
    Virginia
    Thanks for another great report, Travis.

    It's good to see you on board the BOC, Mark! :0a25:
     
  10. npenson

    npenson New Member

    Messages:
    11
    State:
    va
    Travis, How far up smith are you flathead fishing.. I just started catfishing again this year a couple weeks ago, and the areas we fished last year just not doing anything. So we have been working are way further up but still not getting anything over 6-7lbs. We have only been as far as marker 62,

    thanks
    nick
     
  11. CatsNstripers

    CatsNstripers New Member

    Messages:
    297
    State:
    Smith Mountain
    your in the right areas if your fishing from the bridge up to R62. Read this report again and mostly focus on the part about the Fall bite, offically the summer bite on Smith Mtn is over. Its time to focus on the Fall bite for flatheads. I havent been out except for a few times, took a few days for regular maitnence to the boat, and went to Martinsville and watched the Modified Cars. But the Times i did make it out. I fished some new areas, that i scouted out over the summer, some produced some didnt. All the areas are like i described in my report. But the areas that did, let me know the Flatheads as establish fairly well into there Fall time habits, and feeding good..


    Fishing for Channel cats though has been scattered some deep, some shallow and they'll stay like that until water gets below 55degrees. I belive the channel cats dont really focus on certain depths this time of the year, but they prowl certain areas that they know hold food. Weather its deep or shallow or both. There just hungry i guess...

    Also what kinda boat are you fishing out of? Next time i See ya out there i'll stop by and say hello, and see if i can help........
     
  12. npenson

    npenson New Member

    Messages:
    11
    State:
    va
    Me and a good friend of mine are usually out in a 85 17ft sea nymph (center console) side console now lol. We just started fishing SM last year the last month we have been getting out atleast one day a week. Just havent had a fantastic days yet but some ok days. We usually fish with sunfish, and chicken livers, and started using frozen shrimp and it has worked well. I was mainly wondering if further up past marker 62 is better or not. Would think up would give up your honey holes lol

    thanks for the info
    nick
     
  13. JPritch

    JPritch New Member

    Messages:
    1,852
    State:
    Lynchburg, VA
    Seeing that snapping turtle makes me reconsider ever noodling in SML.

    Thanks for the report Travis!

    Kenneth - I swear you need to write a book about your life. It would be a good read. You remind me of J Pederman from Seinfeld with all his stories.:smile2:
     
  14. jeremiad

    jeremiad Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,207
    State:
    Virginia
  15. CatsNstripers

    CatsNstripers New Member

    Messages:
    297
    State:
    Smith Mountain
    I'd be to scared to noodle anywere. I have found some boxes that was set over the lake at Smith Mtn. I dont know how long they have been there, but i've never seen anybody around them, i've never tried reaching my hands up in them either..

    Theres turtles like that in most bodies of water. Largest we caught was on the blackwater side of the lake. Weighed in at 47lbs (this was years back). Monster he was. His Shell would fit into a wash tub but his legs wouldnt! We placed the wash tub over him, then placed cinder blocks ontop, it wasnt nothing for that sucker to flip over the tub and cinders and go strolling through the other house trailers back towards the lake...

    Now a'days i wouldnt keep such a critter. Would simply turn him lose, I just wonder how old that sucker could have been.

    Npenson, is that the Jon style Sea Nymph, dark green? I've seen a boat like that I remember, but could be somebody else. Keep at it, if you've had luck at certain spots, go back and try them again. Also when you do catch a fish, take not of the depth, and bait you caught him on. and if you get several hits, take note of the time and whats going around you such as dark, day, sunset, cloudy, no moon etc etc. That really helps you focus on your next trip as well... But take the information i've given you and try to apply it and find areas similiar to that to were you plan to fish. Like i Said, your fishing in good areas. I wouldnt change that, I'm surprised you havent seen my boat somewere in those areas. Tan Colored Skiff, holler if you do...
     
  16. npenson

    npenson New Member

    Messages:
    11
    State:
    va
    Na its a white v-bottom boat. I think I may have seen you out there though. We suppose to go all day Friday, but if I see you I will give you a yell. Thanks for all the info though your reports help alot being I dont know fish habits on SM.

    nick
     
  17. mister_whiskers

    mister_whiskers New Member

    Messages:
    28
    State:
    nc
    good luck this fall up there guys