Things To Remember When Bankfishing For Flatheads!!!

Discussion in 'LOCAL OHIO TALK' started by catfishrollo, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    Not all own a boat to cruise spot to spot in pursuit of flathead catfish. And thats fine. I often set up myself from the bank at night time, often using the boat just for transportation to the area, or even just driving to a local destination for the night with no boat involved. Bankfishermen are still able to pursue huge fish the same as the boat fisherman, if he puts his odds in his favor. I look forward in this post to get some more insight from other bank fishermen that catch big fish year after year the same as the boater. Here is some advice I would like to give from my experiences to help the bankfisherman in an attempt to better his or her odds in catching some nice fish.........

    1. Scouting and knowing the area is a must. You have to target areas where the flatheads are or are gonna be.

    2. Don't overcast your odds... Ex. I see many bankfishermen that want to cast everything as far as possible.. Most likely, the banks are the most traveled areas for flatheads after dark, and you need to have baits presented along them

    3. Bank fish the travel zones. I like to setup between what I think is a holding area ( structure or a deep hole) and a riffle area. A lot of times I'm closer to these riffle areas than the holes. Remember, flatheads when they move, move to eat! If you can setup from the bank and present baits around these feeding zones, you have a better chance at a hook up.

    4. Limit your light! I fish in the dark. Now, I know of the story of the 5 lanterns and a campfire, and catching fish, but I don't agree with it. Remember, flatheads will cruise close to the banks at night, and added light and moving shadows esp. in shallow water can and will spook a big flat.

    5. Don't run down the bank after your running bait clicker!!!
    This I feel is one of the most important mess ups I see year after year. Flatheads are very sensitive to vibration, and that vibration is carried from the bank into the water. There is plenty of time to get to a bait clicker, and most of the time these fish are gonna stay with the bait. Flatheads when hungry, eat! And don't wanna work hard to do so. So if you have a run, chances are they are gonna stay with it, giving you plenty of time to slide slowly down the bank to the pole.

    6. Don't throw the bait buckets out into the water... Same reason as above, if you can't get them in enough water without heaving them, then where a pair of hip waders so you can easily get them out into enough water.

    7. Sit and Listen!! No music or noise!! Many a nights I have sat quietly listening for tell true signs of moving flatheads. These sounds are the simple sounds of bait breaking the surface maybe along the bank, or a group of carp that where sucking scum on the surface, abruptly leaves. You can learn alot by paying attention to small details, then adjusting what your doing to have it pay off that night.

    8. Pack lightly. Bankfishing a lot of times consist on setting up on a known flathead area and waiting them out, but I still like to move some nights and hit a few different banks or sandbars. Bring only the nessessities and keep a small tackle bag. Nothing worse than being by yourself and having tackle, poles, bait, and a net to drag, along with a bunch of other things you didn't need to bring to the bank. If fishing close to your vehicle, leave food and drinks behind to get when needed, or wear a back pack to give you the hand space needed when you move.

    9. Remember to pick up your trash! I'm not saying I think bankfishermen are trashy, but it is easy to accidently leave trash in the dark to come back to see the mistake later...


    Hopefully we can get some more advice and other hints on bankfishing from some others here, that sucessfully catch big flatheads from the shore, remember you don't need a boat to fish! Just some "know how" on where and "how to fish" for them.....goodluck and goodfishing............rollo
     
  2. RetiredToFish

    RetiredToFish New Member

    Messages:
    1,186
    State:
    Newark, Ohio
    Great info Jason .... I do have a question .... if you are fishing in an area bewtween a deep hole and riffles let's say 6 feet deep and you are fishing close to the bank ....... Do you prefer fishing tightline on the bottom, with a float w/ bait on the bottom or float with bait off of the bottom and your weight still on the bottom? I am speaking about flathead fishing in general ..... Garry-
     

  3. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    Good question. Depending on the area im fishing, when river fishing I fish mostly on bottom, using a 3-way rig, suspending the baits just off bottom, but if im set up a bank in the proper way with the current and able to float baits, I will use a slipfloat to move baits down the bank suspended a foot or two off bottom usually. Not all situations on the river allow me to do that though. I always fish bait clickers also. I never tightline when flathead fishing, if I'm floating baits on the river, I just thumb the spool, and allow the float to go downsteam keeping the slack out, and then under and swim off before engaging the reel to set. On the lakes, I fish all slipfloats! And place the rods in bank rod holders with the clicker engaged. Lakes obviously have alot less current and need less attention payed to them then on the river....rollo
     
  4. catfishjohn

    catfishjohn New Member

    Messages:
    10,217
    State:
    Greenup Co. KY
    Great post Rollo! Definitely Library worthy material for us bank fishermen.....Well, when I'm able to fish again It'll be banking it.:wink::smile2:

    Thanks for the great info Buddy!!!
     
  5. JRicker

    JRicker New Member

    Messages:
    137
    State:
    Tenessee
    This has been most helpful.:big_smile:
     
  6. kitsinni

    kitsinni New Member

    Messages:
    1,573
    State:
    Ohio
    Great info and very helpful. I am already analysing my favorite bank spots based on your post. This year I made the switch from throwing out as far as I can for no apparent reason, to trying to fish the banks where these fish actually are. It took some time to get it through my thick head but I have noticed a big difference. It seems like I fish solo most of the time so I bring the dog with me, so I don't have to worry to much about the conversation getting loud. I tell you though when off in the middle of nowhere on the bank of a river I feel a lot safer with my big old dog by my side. Amazingly she doesn't seem to react in the slightest bit to fish. I have noticed though that if she slips off the leash you can forget about the catfish for a while because she is in the river within 5 seconds flat.
     
  7. neocats

    neocats New Member

    Messages:
    2,130
    State:
    Steubenvil
    I agree Jason. Very valid tips that work for me also.
     
  8. bigbengal

    bigbengal New Member

    Messages:
    53
    State:
    WV
    This is great information. I am one of those guys who let it rip, manly because when you fish the shallows here in Southern, WV the Gar will hit your minnows and cut bait. Do you deal with Gar? and how do you handle this?

    Thanks
    Pete
     
  9. kmcalester

    kmcalester Active Member

    Messages:
    1,340
    State:
    Kansas City
    This my favorite post pf the day.
     
  10. catfishbrett

    catfishbrett New Member

    Messages:
    181
    State:
    Steubenville,Ohio
    Great post Rollo

    I spend 95% of my time bankfishing for Flatheads,its not as hard as most people think to fish from shore for active Flatheads,these are a couple of area's i target and things i do to find new area's

    1. dont be afraid to ask other fisherman about fishing spots in your area! most will talk.If you fish catfish tournys ask the guys who fish it often if they know of any deep holes or sandbars next to shore.

    2. look for area's you know hold fish! in my area of the Ohio river i live 20mins away from 2 dams.Dams are a very good place to fish for Flatheads! also creek mouths are great area's to fish.I find when the water is high creek mouths seem to hold the most active fish. If you have mills, power plants,or water treatment plants in your area many of these have warm water discharges that hold shad and skipjacks year round.easy pickens for lazy Flatheads

    3. Never just fish the same old spot every time you go out! Even the best spots have bad nights. Many people new to catfishing find a spot catch a few fish and it becomes the best spot in the river! my PB Flathead came from a 8ft hole in a creek about 300 yards up from the river.havent caught that many fish in that hole,that fish just happend to be moving by that night.

    4. SNAGS! if you see an area and think man i'd hate to fish there look at all those fallen tree's or rock piles. More often than not those snaggy area's will produce more big fish then any hole in the area!

    5.BAITS! Flatheads like Big live baits! i'm not saying you cant catch a 30lb Flathead on a 2 inch minnow or gob of worms,but you will have much better odds with a bigger bait such as bluegills,creeks chubs,suckers,bullheads or just about anything that swims lol

    Give bankfishing a try!
     
  11. maddcatter

    maddcatter New Member

    Messages:
    614
    State:
    Newark, Oh
    Great post rollo!!!

    catfishbrett, Great info as well!!
     
  12. slimdaddy

    slimdaddy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,603
    State:
    Nelsonville, Oh
    Name:
    Keith
    great post rollo learn more everyday on here
     
  13. hunted

    hunted New Member

    Messages:
    1,943
    State:
    washington court house,oh
    very nice post,rollo.my only suggestion would be to go to the odnr website and find a map of the lake you are going to fish,here you can see depths along the areas you plan to hit.

    i try to adhere to all of the things that rollo has said,i have bank fished al my life,and have seen most of what he posted,thanks again for the good post.
     
  14. tcba1987

    tcba1987 New Member

    Messages:
    339
    State:
    Dennison, Ohio
    EXCELLENT post Rollo...........Thank You !!
     
  15. BassMassey

    BassMassey Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,883
    State:
    Oconee
    very good thread! one thing i would like to add, bank spots where you can pull up and you're there may not always be a good thing. these are usually the areas that are trashed up and the fishing probably isn't very good anyway. if you're boatless, go to yahoo maps and you can get a real satelite view of your river or lake and find you a good place to start scouting. once you find a spot you want to try and find it's too overgrown to throw your 10 footer, well a small hacksaw does wonders. a lil research and a lil sweat and you can have a honeyhole all to youself......just don't tell everyone in town about it. -bassmassey
     
  16. tacraft61

    tacraft61 New Member

    Messages:
    52
    State:
    Powell, Ohio, U
    thanks for the info . enough make one want to change some bad habits on the river bank :wink:
     
  17. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    some very helpful ideas in some of the posts so far. keep on posting the helpful hints... thanks, rollo
     
  18. john catfish young

    john catfish young New Member

    Messages:
    3,070
    State:
    Kentucky
    I agree about the noise and the lights especially. I was fishing a shallow sand bar a couple weeks ago and about 1:00 am went to check on a rod with a float that had washed up on shore. As my shadow from the moon passed in front of my rod ....there was a huge Flathead no more than 3 feet from the bank which exploded and left the area. Just from my shadow from the moon....no other lights were on. The huge fish was in about 2 or 3 feet of water. I went back and fished this spot and caught a 67.2 lb Flathead on 5/27/08. There have been several nice ones caught from this spot and all were CPR'd. I now know that these types of fish do not like noise or lights or shadows. I prefer to keep it quite.....keep it dark......and my chances go way up for catching another big one. I only cast out a very short distance from the bank and use lively baits only. I also was using 20lb test tri-lene XL......nothing heavier then 30lb ever for me.:eek:oooh:
     
  19. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    great post , and congrats on the huge fish! You are very right about in your stating how they spook! I have had a many nights that I did something not thinking to realize it could have cost me a or did a fish! rollo
     
  20. hunted

    hunted New Member

    Messages:
    1,943
    State:
    washington court house,oh
    i used to wear heavy work boots fishin.i would get up,and run to a pole,then the fish would spit it.i was thinking it was the clicker bothering the fish.so,i turned it off,didn't matter.one night in my sock feet,i ran to a pole,and got the fish,and,i actually started thinking about it.so now i just wear tennis shoes,unless its too muddy or rainy.

    when i am flat fishing,i always put one out about five feet off bank and 1-2 feet deep.i have seen them come up where their backs are out of the water for something to eat.