Tactic for catching flatties in flooded rivers

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by SangamonCatKiller, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. SangamonCatKiller

    SangamonCatKiller New Member

    Messages:
    488
    State:
    central illinois
    I can remember two years ago,me and a younger partner of mine had set out for a night/day on the river. We arrived to see the dam had been released and thus flooded out the river, it was up a good 6 ft. Well I had a pair of hip waders with me so we decided to walk in and see if we could find a location worth fishing. After one brutal walk we happened upon a feeder creek. The creek was full of water but the current was totally cut off. The creek at normal pull was probably a few inches deep, but at this point in time it was more like 3 or 4 ft. We placed lines just inside the mouth of the creek where the current cut off and sure enough landed two nice (25 and 30lbs) flatheads in a matter of an hour. It was daylight and we decided to leave early as we had to walk through a ft of water just to reach this little piece of land that was sticking up out of it. I guess I am saying to really look to slackwater areas or feeder creeks that run into the river, that are otherwise current free. Flats will wait at the edge of the creek waiting for whatever to drift by struggling in the harsh currents. If you can get back to them or across and in front of the mouth, you may just have found yourself a high-water level hole, which are very, hard to find!

    SCK
     
  2. brother hilljack

    brother hilljack New Member

    Messages:
    7,305
    State:
    Shelbyville, TN
    Sounds right to me, one note to add is that if the water is up that much, then it will be muddy so the bloodier/stinkier the bait the better your chances will be. Even though flats normally prefer live bait.
     

  3. SangamonCatKiller

    SangamonCatKiller New Member

    Messages:
    488
    State:
    central illinois
    We were using live still, although scent probably does play an increased role when the water clouds, catfishes are using this sense constantly. I prefer not to go the stinky route if at all possible as we have turtle issues here.
     
  4. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    In flooded river conditions, I fish below dams. I look for eddys and slack water.
     
  5. SangamonCatKiller

    SangamonCatKiller New Member

    Messages:
    488
    State:
    central illinois
    yah, i almost forgot that blacky, reps to you!
     
  6. comanchero

    comanchero New Member

    Messages:
    119
    State:
    Minnesota
    My first few years chasing flats I really struggled during high water periods. I learned my lesson on how to read water during the high water period by using my digital camera.

    A few years ago during late summer when we were at our lowest flow - I took my digital camera out on a scouting trip and shot digital photos of all my prime catfish spots and of all the main channel and backwater spots that are really affected during high water. I paid special attention to island points, shoreline areas with down timber and large exposed root wads that would be under water during high flows. Looking at the shoreline and islands during low water you can get a mental picture of what if would look like under water.

    Now during the early season high water I take out my photo album and I can find each spot and tell you what timber is under water - I can pretty well interpret what the current is doing on that piece of shoreline structure and where some of the best cat holding areas will be. It really does work - I'm not just stabbing in the dark anymore - I can now fish on high value target areas.

    Here is a photo from one of my areas - picture this with 5 more feet of water on it. Where do you think that channel cat or flathead is sitting waiting for supper.
     

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  7. river scum

    river scum New Member

    Messages:
    3,474
    State:
    hooterville indiana
    behind the stump:wink:
     
  8. yeppa

    yeppa New Member

    Messages:
    636
    State:
    Topeka, Kansas
    Thanks for reminding me about the good results I've had , fishing backwaters during flood conditions. HOWEVER, you are NOT gonna find me putting on some drownin' boots (waders) and walking through muddy floodwaters. Fatboys float, but not that good.
     
  9. uttatoo

    uttatoo New Member

    Messages:
    1,797
    State:
    greatbend kansas
    i like flood time i usaually catch alot of channels right in the thick of log jams while they take a breather from the current and usaully catch them all on live baite
     
  10. MVFB52

    MVFB52 New Member

    Messages:
    55
    State:
    Mt. Vernon, Iowa
    As mentioned before, I always try to hit the feeder streams when the rivers are up. Any slack water seems to be great for cats and carp.
     
  11. DAREWOOD11

    DAREWOOD11 Member

    Messages:
    793
    State:
    IOWA
    WHEN FISHING HEAVY CURRENT AT A DAM WHAT TYPES OF THINGS DO U LOOK FOR WHEN POSITIONING UR BAIT?? WHAT DO EDDYS LOOK LIKE??? CAN U GUYS HELP ME OUT??
     
  12. uttatoo

    uttatoo New Member

    Messages:
    1,797
    State:
    greatbend kansas
    go to mega cat crew .com and he has pictures and talks about stuff like this
    anyways an eddy is a place where the water spins or does not have current
    usually is over a hole and the current goes by it fish like it because the meal comes to them i hope i helped and hope i explained it
    i have a hard time with words sometimes