Tips for low water Flathead Catfish fishing ?

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by kyron4, Jul 11, 2009.

  1. kyron4

    kyron4 New Member

    Messages:
    185
    State:
    Indiana
    The upper Wabash river is running 18"-36" . All the log jams and fallen trees are now out of the water. With no real structure , but a few large rocks, where's the best spot to fish for Flatheads besides the "deep holes" or floating the river for miles looking for bends and jam ? Keep getting small channels since river dropped. Should I fish the "deeper" slack water before the faster ripple current, the faster ripple current, or the somewhat slack shallow water past the ripple ? -Thanks
     
  2. patrickgd

    patrickgd New Member

    Messages:
    809
    State:
    Memphis TN
    If I had a boat and a fish finder I'd be looking for the structure/cover that is underwater year round (timber, sunk boats, cars, etc) . These are consistent spots that fish can always rely on. So my suggestion would be to keep looking surely theres some structure somewhere.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2009

  3. kyron4

    kyron4 New Member

    Messages:
    185
    State:
    Indiana
    I have a Al.flat bottom and fish finder. Problem is, I bang rocks alot, both with boat and prop, :crazy: :embarassed: not worth tearing up my motor prop and /or damageing hull. Also at 2 ft. the graph doesn't show much bottom .Even with a canoe I will bottom out every 300 yds. or so. Alot of 200-300 yds stretches of river "locked" by narrow, shallow, rocky, rapids. If i go over them I can't get back up. Am I making sense ? :confused2: Anyways, can Flatties move over these passes or do they get "locked" in as well ? Can they be caught in these shallow stretches of river or am I wasteing my time ? -Thanks
     
  4. recordbreakin1

    recordbreakin1 New Member

    Messages:
    746
    State:
    texas
    I would fish the slack water down from the current.I have a spot that sounds about he same and have caught flatties there.
     
  5. patrickgd

    patrickgd New Member

    Messages:
    809
    State:
    Memphis TN
    Sorry Mike I was giving you a suggestion that would be more practically applied on a larger system, although I'm sure the same would apply on a smaller system, navigating those shallows would be tough. If you can find a deep pool area below or above a riffle it would certainly be worth trying. Also along the bottom of steep bluffs in outside bends. I've have heard that fish will get "trapped" in the areas below and above riffles. Good luck Bro!
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2009
  6. USCA-RECLAIMED-ACCOUNT

    USCA-RECLAIMED-ACCOUNT New Member

    Messages:
    3,020
    I,d think that the bigger fish would move before they let themselves get trapped.I.m sure their used to the seasonal changes.I,d try a larger river system if that,s at all possible for you.
     
  7. shanelures

    shanelures New Member

    Messages:
    517
    State:
    ohio
    i've caught them in pools near shore that looked almost seperated from the river, and 10-15 lb. range. i think the bigger ones do escape before the water gets that low though!!
     
  8. RonSki

    RonSki New Member

    Messages:
    380
    State:
    Indiana
    But where would the fish escape to? If I understand his situation, the fish would need to swim for MILES to find deeper water, if they can at all. I was kinda planning a trip down there, but maybe I should plan on leaving the boat at home if it's that shallow. If it's down that low, anything that even resembles cover that's even a foot deeper could have a fish behind it. I think you'd just have to find the deepest water between rapids areas and look for whatever cover you can find. When it's that low, a 4 foot hole IS cover. I don't think you need to find a bigger river unless you're tired of tearing up the boat, they didn't leave, they just relocated (Sorry Pat :wink:). If anything, the low water will concentrate them. Find where they're concentrated and you'll catch a bunch. Might take some trial and error. Then again, I may not know what I'm talking about as I haven't fished under those circumstances yet. Just a slightly educated guess :tounge_out:
     
  9. Iowa_Josh

    Iowa_Josh New Member

    Messages:
    1,463
    State:
    Central Iowa
    If a 6' hole is all you got, find the longest one, or the one with the most rocks or whatever. All you compare the holes to is the ones next to it.
     
  10. catman13

    catman13 New Member

    Messages:
    43
    State:
    ARIZONA
    u look at the bank out of the water not n the water like trees n boulders on the edge that havnt fallen yet or tubbled thats wut would be submerged so u wana read the bank n thats whats under water and ripraff also u dont even need a fishfinder your eyes and the bank will bring your sucsess so good bank watchn:crazy:my biggest are n 3ft or less deep of water isnt that wild but true:eek:oooh:
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2009
  11. USCA-RECLAIMED-ACCOUNT

    USCA-RECLAIMED-ACCOUNT New Member

    Messages:
    3,020
    You make a good point there Ron.I was just thinking of our rivers over here.Almost all of them empty into a larger one.When the water starts getting too low and slow,all of the baitfish(especially the shad),migrate into the larger rivers below the dams.The cats seem to follow,I can see what you mean by if they have nowhere else to go.:big_smile:.
     
  12. bluehunter

    bluehunter New Member

    Messages:
    3,004
    State:
    Los Angele
    I believe the most important thing is the abundance of feed for the flats. They will go where the food is. If there is no food in the area you are looking it can make for a tough outting regardless of depth. Shad and sunfish are key in my areas that I like to look for. As far as dropping water levels and even for the baitfish, they seem to know when it is time to move on due to those factors. It may be time to try other vacinity's until the water level gets back right in the spot you like to fish. If the experience is not producing any flats, that is the indicator right there.

    B
     
  13. hock_paul

    hock_paul New Member

    Messages:
    246
    State:
    illinois
    Flatheads will not swim for miles just because the water is low. They are there and chances are there's a hole in the river section you're fishing that's got a ton of em' in it. You may have to cover 15-20 miles to find a couple of good spots, but they are there. When the water gets low they find the biggest and deepest holes with the most cover. I don't think they get trapped, but they will stack up in there. As far as baitfish go, if there are carp, crayfish, drum, anything that's swimming, they'll eat it. A pair of hip waders and a push pole are always in my boat when the water gets like that. It helps to just walk your boat through the shallow areas instead of plowing through it with your motor. GOOD LUCK!
     
  14. lookin_4_moby

    lookin_4_moby New Member

    Messages:
    1,143
    State:
    Guthrie, OK
    I always recommend slack water on the current edge or to where it makes a back current circular motion. those rocks you mentioned wouldn't be a bad idea given them a shot if they're in some deeper water
     
  15. slikk03

    slikk03 New Member

    Messages:
    2,507
    State:
    illinois
    flatscaint to hard to find in low water, they just go deeper,in structer, or find them holes,they will be there , in big rivers this is differant in smallons its not hard to find out if you got a boat, tyr them dams
     
  16. Dave53

    Dave53 New Member

    Messages:
    411
    State:
    Lonedell M
    We have a couple rivers like the one you describe..I was told by an old guy years ago when he fishes our river when it is at it's normal running depth he looks for steep banks and dead trees. He said the steep banks are good for the bigger cats to cut holes in to stay in the shade when the sun is baring down on the river. We call them cut banks..I stopped fishing that river years ago as I hated pulling my boat through the rappids every mile or so. good luck.
     
  17. patrickgd

    patrickgd New Member

    Messages:
    809
    State:
    Memphis TN
    Those bluffs usually hold lots of cover too which means plenty of baitfish.
     
  18. Welder

    Welder New Member

    Messages:
    4,834
    State:
    Missouri
    You find that one big hole in 10 miles of river you fishen you found 50% of the big flats. Fishing action can be off the wall. Fish the inflow and first deep section with cover you should have nonstop fishing for flats and channels. Just about everyone who posted here said to find the deep hole in the streach ya will find the fish. Wade it or drag a small boat but expore 10 miles of river you will find that one big still deep hole with a creek runnen into it.