Tips and flathead first timers

Discussion in 'PENNSYLVANIA RIVERS TALK' started by ssskinner27, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. ssskinner27

    ssskinner27 New Member

    Messages:
    143
    State:
    pennsylvania
    Hey guys please post some of your tips and things that someone who never fished for flatheads could do to start flathead fishing in PA.
    I saw a good post on the OHIO section I will repost for beginners.
     
  2. ssskinner27

    ssskinner27 New Member

    Messages:
    143
    State:
    pennsylvania
    FIVE THINGS THAT A FISHERMAN NEW TO FLATHEADS NEEDS TO KNOW!!!

    1. For the most part flatheads are nocturnal, meaning they feed after dark!

    2. Flatheads for the most part only feed on livebait, such as fish like shad, bluegills, carp, bass etc. my suggestion would be consider what is indigenous to your waters that the cats are in, and try to get some of them baits.

    3. You need to have a decent outfit with atleast a med/hev. rod that can handle line up to 20-30lb. rod pref. over 6' in length. with a reel that is capable of holding around 100yrds. of 20-30lb. mono. if spinning rod/reel...you can learn to use the drag on the top for a baitclicker, if it isn't a baitrunner reel with both.. if using a baitcast type reel i would suggest buying one with a baitclicker/ fighting drag..... doesn't have to be expensive for a starter...remember...you are learning and need an outfit that will work.. Wal-Mart has these for less than 60 bucks for the whole combo!!!

    4. 20-30/lb. line of decent quality like Berkely Big Game.. even 40lb. line if mono.. i wouldn't suggest a braid until you learn the wrath of these creatures. use the added stretch to your advantage! you may need the extra second for error!! lol.. try 5-10/0 hooks. either in j-style, or kahle!! no circles yet... you need to learn how they hit!! the j-style is what i still use they work great!! . i suggest gamukatsu j-style octupus hooks around 8/0 or 9/0.. sinkers 2-5 oz. either flat or egg work fine...you can rig simply by adding the sinker, a bead, then the hook allowing the sinker to slide to the hook... flatheads aren't shy and will gladly grab the whole rig and bait without thought!!

    5. talk to locals, fish rivers that have an abundant amount of flatheads, then
    fish basic until you start understanding them more..fish only obvious spots that look good to hold catfish, such as eddy holes, defined inside bends or outside bends, or other holes that have current close to them. most likely there is a flathead nearby.... use the livebait hooked either through the lip, back under the dorsel, or through the tail, cast out, set the reel either in clicker mode, or some type of free-spool, and wait for that big flattie to start running your line.. tighten down, feel the consistent pull and set and fight!!!! remember to adjust the drag if needed!!!

    and a added number 6.

    6. take pride and enjoy your expeience, but remember....a few small fish are fine to eat!!! but a picture of your catch is worth as much as the story behind it!!!!
     

  3. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
     
  4. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
     
  5. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    3. You need to have a decent outfit with atleast a med/hev. rod that can handle line up to 20-30lb. rod pref. over 6' in length. with a reel that is capable of holding around 100yrds. of 20-30lb. mono. if spinning rod/reel...you can learn to use the drag on the top for a baitclicker, if it isn't a baitrunner reel with both.. if using a baitcast type reel i would suggest buying one with a baitclicker/ fighting drag..... doesn't have to be expensive for a starter...remember...you are learning and need an outfit that will work.. Wal-Mart has these for less than 60 bucks for the whole combo!!!

    4. 20-30/lb. line of decent quality like Berkely Big Game.. even 40lb. line if mono.. i wouldn't suggest a braid until you learn the wrath of these creatures. use the added stretch to your advantage! you may need the extra second for error!! lol.. try 5-10/0 hooks. either in j-style, or kahle!! no circles yet... you need to learn how they hit!! the j-style is what i still use they work great!! . i suggest gamukatsu j-style octupus hooks around 8/0 or 9/0.. sinkers 2-5 oz. either flat or egg work fine...you can rig simply by adding the sinker, a bead, then the hook allowing the sinker to slide to the hook... flatheads aren't shy and will gladly grab the whole rig and bait without thought!!

    Put away the wussy bass rods. 7-8 foot stout musky or saltwater rod, baitcaster spooled with 30-40ln mono and big hooks.
     
  6. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    5. talk to locals, fish rivers that have an abundant amount of flatheads, then
    fish basic until you start understanding them more..fish only obvious spots that look good to hold catfish, such as eddy holes, defined inside bends or outside bends, or other holes that have current close to them. most likely there is a flathead nearby.... use the livebait hooked either through the lip, back under the dorsel, or through the tail, cast out, set the reel either in clicker mode, or some type of free-spool, and wait for that big flattie to start running your line.. tighten down, feel the consistent pull and set and fight!!!! remember to adjust the drag if needed!!!

    It's gonna take plenty of time and patience! Fishing once a week and on weekends and holidays will only lessen your odds into running into a monster.

    Don't expect to catch big river catfish right away! You might even get to the point of giving up. I know plenty of people who have fished at least 2 years before running into a biggun.
     
  7. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    I will speak for the whole state, the rivers herein PA aren't too clean so eat at your own discretion.

    Eat the flatheads and you'll be asking these same questions again in the future:wink:.
     
  8. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    I catch 90 percent of my flatheads in the daytime, and on cut bait...I target deep water during the day...I dont pay any attention to structure, if it's deep there will be flats holding there during the day...Nite time is a different story, the flats will raom the shallows looking for food...Oh, and if you want to catch them in the future, turn em lose alive and healthy.
     
  9. DIESELkat

    DIESELkat New Member

    Messages:
    1,931
    State:
    PA
    Forget circle hooks at first. 6/0, 7/0, 8/0 Kahles or J-hooks.
     
  10. DIESELkat

    DIESELkat New Member

    Messages:
    1,931
    State:
    PA
    Look at overhead maps of the river you fish. You can narrow down likely spots. Look for outside bends, incoming creeks, bridges, backwater areas, coves. While you can find flats on straight sections of rivers with no real structure, its best to start in areas where the concentration will be greater.

    And DONT GIVE UP. It will most likely be very frustrating at first.
     
  11. kenlaw76

    kenlaw76 New Member

    Messages:
    2,323
    State:
    S.E. Pa.
    That all sounds good. I think that a circle hook will increase hookups for newbies. I used to use a kahale but I have been using circles and I very rarley miss fish.