The return path

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by RonSki, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. RonSki

    RonSki New Member

    Messages:
    380
    State:
    Indiana
    I fish a fairly large river. I set up in all the usual places and generally do pretty good. But I've had way too much time to think lately.:wink: If I start off the night at the head of a deep bend with lots of submerged timber, where are the fish actually GOING to? I mean, usually there'll be a little flurry of acticity right after it gets dark but then there's a long period of inactivity. Is it possible that I'm in a good spot for getting the fish as they come out of their daytime hiding spots but missing them as they go back downstream? They have to have an actual destination or a route they follow right? I'm thinking that they cruise thru the deep hole and feed thru there but when they get to the front of the hole they go across the river onto the shallow, featureless flats. Does that sound right? I can't catch a single one if I go say, 60 yards upstream of this spot, so they have to be going somewhere else. There's 2 big deep bends that I fish and once it's fully dark, the shallow flats across from these holes are full of life. I just haven't had the confidence to fish there yet. Am I missing out?? How does your location change as the night progresses to keep catching fish?
     
  2. KATTERMAN

    KATTERMAN New Member

    Messages:
    182
    State:
    OKLA
    its the same for me,i will fish close to the bank in 4' water above a 12' hole,i seem to always catch at least one fish from about 30 mins to 1 hr after dark,then nothing you can sat there alnight and never get another bite until about 1 hr before daylight,there is no doubt i am catching them when they leave and when they return,i wish i could find a place where i could catch more then one fish,i guess i will just keep trying something differant until i get it figured out
     

  3. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    Ron, I could have written that post myself! I have thought and wondered the same things myself many times, including the lack of confidence to spend much time sitting on the featureless flats.

    I have another theory, though. I believe that at least some times, it is not so much that they have gone somewhere and I don't know where, sometimes I think it is just a matter of peaks in activity. Just around dusk they become real active for a while and go and prowl around for a couple of hours. Then they settle in a bit and just sit in ambush locations. I believe that at these times they will hit a bait within a certain range, but they are not actually traveling looking for baits. I have added a couple of fish to my tally for the nights by moving around a bit - not big moves, just up or down the bank by 50 or 100 yards, so that I am showing my baits to a new piece of water. Often, in these situations, the bite in a new spot will come very quickly - like within 10 minutes - which makes me think the fish were sitting there and I got the bait pretty close.

    Actually, I don't think this is an either/or kind of situation. More than likely both things are happening (moving off somewhere else and settling back into ambush spots).

    For what it is worth, I have gotten a couple of good fish late at night on what I would call the edge of the shallow flats or just off, where they drop to the channel.

    I typically fish tidewater areas, and this is one of the reasons. Even in the middle of the night, when the tide changes, I know that that change will probably cause the fish to move around a bit, giving me another shot at mobile fish passing through.
     
  4. RonSki

    RonSki New Member

    Messages:
    380
    State:
    Indiana
    John I think you are totally right. I'm sure there are peak periods thru the night but I was just wondering if they are traveling in places that a lot of people don't normally fish. These shallow flats just have SOOO much food there I can't believe that they don't cruise up there once it's fully dark out. Guess I'll just have to fish there and find out. If they swim up current from their holding place, they have to go downcurrent at some point.
    I also agree about fish setting up in ambush spots. Still the biggest flat I've ever caught had two spots worn on top of her head that made it seem like she had her head jammed under a log for long periods of time. I think the ambush spots would be more likely where there's good current. I do move around and get one here & there, but I can't help but think that they're just not there anymore. Guess it's gonna take some experimenting.
     
  5. Mr. Foster

    Mr. Foster New Member

    Messages:
    1,352
    State:
    Kansas
    If you are a Catfish Syndicate member check out the "Fatal Funnel" vidieo. That might answer some of your questions. :wink:
     
  6. river scum

    river scum New Member

    Messages:
    3,474
    State:
    hooterville indiana
    Ron, if your hearing tail slaps and huge sucking sounds you better get over there with some baits. fish next to shore around your "daytime" holes. im convinced they spread out at night to hunt at normal river levels.