Tips/Tricks to catching lake flathead catfish

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by Branj796, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. Branj796

    Branj796 Member

    Messages:
    911
    State:
    Illinois
    I have a heck of a time catching flatheads. I was hoping that some of you more experienced flathead anglers would share some knowledge with a young fella. I just can't seem to figure them out.
     
  2. drpepper

    drpepper New Member

    Messages:
    6,133
    State:
    Indiana
    Looking at your avatar it looks like you at least figure one NICE one out lol.
    Give us a run thru of your typical flathead outings. i.e, What times of the day/night are you fishing? areas and structures your choosing, baits, bank? boat? etc. Between the lot of us, I guarantee you, we'll help you out!
    Thing is though, you might have to wait till next year to apply it!:0a18:
     

  3. playin4funami

    playin4funami New Member

    Messages:
    4,104
    State:
    Saronville Ne.
    I look for rocks and rip-rap where a current is near with a shallow flat with a deep water channel nearby. areas with cover and food just think like a fish,where would youi be for an easy meal and a place to hide when you needed too. In the daytime check out deeper water and heavy cover,at night check out shallow flats and other areas where catfish can find food easily,
     
  4. Branj796

    Branj796 Member

    Messages:
    911
    State:
    Illinois
    I have tried just about everything. I use live and cut bait. I fish rocks, channels, holes, log piles, everything. I use 30 pd mono and sometimes 65 pd braid. The lake I fish is only about 25 ft. in the deepest areas. I have a16 ft jon boat and my poles are ugly stick tiger and catfish. I use abu baitcaster and other misc spinners. I use baitclicks on some and try other without it. I use bobbers, carolina rigs with floats, carolina rigs, three way rigs. I fish ay Lake Springfield if any of you are familiar. I fish in the evening to the middle of the night. I fish a lot. I sometimes fish in the morning but not often. I just don't know what else to try.
     
  5. Branj796

    Branj796 Member

    Messages:
    911
    State:
    Illinois
    We also have a hot ditch to cool the power plant so I may still have some time.
     
  6. playin4funami

    playin4funami New Member

    Messages:
    4,104
    State:
    Saronville Ne.
    what kind of baits are you using? large live bait will greatly increase your odds,and clipping a bit off one pectorial fin will give the bait an injured look. I have historically had the best luck with flats at dusk and dawn times with super hot summer days sometimes paying off at 2 to 4 in the afternoon around moving water like inlets and outlets. Tthis last year has been a rough one for me,I have fished hard and used every technique known and a few I made up,and have left the water skunked more often than not. Try different things too,I have had flats not touch a bullhead or bluegill and then nail a creek chub. Or a different bait,I guess they can get real picky when they want,so take and use a selection of bait. fish shallow and deep and everything in between till you find them,then the next day they might be somewhere completely different.
     
  7. Branj796

    Branj796 Member

    Messages:
    911
    State:
    Illinois
    Yeah I use bluegill and shad for the most part. I do clip the fins. I guess I just don't spend enough time trying to figure them out. I just get frustrated and start drifting for channels and blues. I would love to catch a really big one. I know there is an 80 pound flatty in this lake and someone is going to get him in one of these days. I will just have to keep at it and the keep reading. Maybe one day it will just click. I am still getting used to lake fishing I grew up on the river. Big difference in my experience. In a lake they don't have to be looking a certain direction or sitting in a certain place. THey just do what they want and I havent figured out what that is yet.
     
  8. JEFFRODAMIS

    JEFFRODAMIS New Member

    Messages:
    2,537
    State:
    TEXAS
    use patience religiously:wink:
     
  9. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    I fish all big slip-floats with my livebaits under. Get yourself a map of the lake, and take a highlighter and mark places that the old creek channel or river bed running through the lake swings in to points, islands, or other abrupt shoreline changes. I like to target these spots for traveling flatheads, and makes for a good ellimination process as well in your pursuit! goodluck...rollo
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2009
  10. playin4funami

    playin4funami New Member

    Messages:
    4,104
    State:
    Saronville Ne.
    I want to add a couple things. Fishing for those big tackle busting monsters is a patient man's game,if your not willing to put in countless trips with countless hours of nothing being caught,then maybe giant flatheads are not your game. No offence,just you gotta be willing to put in the time,some guys are lucky and catch a big one right away,some guys have to wait years for a truly big fish.

    Big tackle and big bait,can't stress this enough,your going to need heavy duty gear to lob baits that might go 2 lbs or so,some guys use carp up to 5 or 6 lbs,your not gonna throw that rig anywhere with those snoopy rods. j/k. Anyway,if you want big fish you have to fish for big fish,and they don't always come easy.
     
  11. That's just about the right way to put it man. And I practically live on the water. The past few weeks have been tough up here in SE PA, the water temp dropped to the low 50's from the mid 60's in a matter of a day or two. It really shocked the s**t out of the bite, but I have been still putting a lot of time in soaking baits in the wintering areas, watching movies on my laptop until I finally get a bite, haha, and it can take a few trips for hours until I get it.

    The 23 lber I caught last week was the biggest I have seen from the Skuke for the past two weeks, and it was the only fish over 10 lbs I have caught in that time frame. It's a matter of putting the time in, and patience. That one fish for these conditions in two or 3 weeks of tough fishing was worth all the waiting and aggrevation.
     
  12. BubbaCat

    BubbaCat New Member

    Messages:
    5,868
    State:
    Arizona
    best advise ever !!:wink:
     
  13. screamnreels

    screamnreels Member

    Messages:
    599
    State:
    Halifax county
    Well the ole mighty flathead is my fish of choice, to catch anyway. Everything I've read so far is true. Put in alot of time and the bigger the bait the bigger the fish. Remember they are tackle busters, them ole bigguns pull like trains. I personally can't think of another fresh water fish that can pull that hard..

    Best of luck

    Chris
     
  14. kenlaw76

    kenlaw76 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,323
    State:
    S.E. Pa.
    I am a bank guy so I would prob. start off fishing the points of the lake and I would throw one rod outon the bottom and another rod off the tip of the point with a slip float on and let it drift around point. That way you could cover alot more area. With the rod on the bottom I would sling it out far and every 2 or 3 min. I would bring it in a few cranks in hopes of bringing it infront of a hole or some kind of structure that was submerged. If there is a Flathead in the vasinity of your bait he is going to eat it pretty quick. Most of my big Flats this year were caught within the first 5 min of me getting the rods out. Also find the food. Think about where you wold go to catch the fish that the cats are eating. Where there is Bass and gills there will be Flats to. I also like to cove alot of ground. If you have the room move around alot. If I can I like to move about every hour or so. Find the active fish. If you are fishing by boat I would prob. move every 15-20 min.
     
  15. CatFuStyle

    CatFuStyle New Member

    Messages:
    211
    State:
    Xenia, Ohio
    everyone has hit things right on the head, also do a search for lake flathead fishing, only thing i could add, you dont need to cast out far to get the big ones, especially in lakes, put one out deep and one shallow in the areas youve already pin pointed, and just remember you could spend 7 days and nights straight fishing a lake, waiting for just one big flathead and not get another run that whole time...
     
  16. rcbbracing

    rcbbracing New Member

    Messages:
    757
    State:
    Ohio
    Everything here i have read is true. I knew all this in past year BUT have learned more this year than any other. There are some small items that i saw were left out. I think being quite is a huge deal! I noticed a big difference in catch rate when someone is being loud vs quite. So many times there would be another fisherman around that we didnt know being loud and less than 20minutes after they leave we nail a flatty...Another one i noticed is go where the bait is. The flathead is a preditor that hunts all the time. If there is nothing to hunt they arent gonna stick around. If i can catch bait when i get to the hole i usually count on it not being too bad. Locating a good spot on a lake isnt easy. When having a dilema and ya want a tried and true spot ive had decent luck in certain situations. My favorite type of spot is a bridge where the lake bottlenecks down. Those fish have to travel from one end of the lake to the other to hunt. Any fish that moves from one end to the other has to pass under the bridge. Most of these have rip rap banks which is a plus too. Also a creek channel also flows underneith which is always good. I generally use rollos slip floats with a big bait suspended and find a depth they are feeding and it works out decent for me. I certainly hope my pointers help out someone....:big_smile:
     
  17. varmint_sniper

    varmint_sniper New Member

    Messages:
    700
    State:
    OHIO
    DAVE, iam glade you fishing with me this yr i have taught you some stuff some i showed you and some you figured out urself way to go man ...sniper
     
  18. ragincajun19

    ragincajun19 New Member

    Messages:
    361
    State:
    Arizona
    Another thing to watch for is your lights, flatties hate light. I have actually steered them away from snags with lights. That might be a trick in itself, use the lights to keep them out of snags. Also if your fishing in tight cover, which I almost always do, don't use a circle hook. Use a big kahle hook with a pretty tight drag and set the hook hard and fast because you have to rip them out quickly before they run into the forest. On another note, man I wish we had blues in Arizona.:sad2:
     
  19. flatheadslayer

    flatheadslayer New Member

    Messages:
    5,834
    State:
    Thomaston, Geor
    you got some excellent advice,only things i'll add is,i also use big bait,it normally results in big fish,but i have seen times when all i could catch a flat on was a small 3 or 4 inch bream,especially in colder water.and i catch a lot of fish in 4 to 6 ft. of water.i love deep water,but when their not biting there i'll go shallow.patience,patience,patience.hope you get on them bigguns soon.
     
  20. Cryophilous

    Cryophilous New Member

    Messages:
    30
    State:
    Ohio
    When I saw the thread, I thought I was going to be able to give some advice, but all I had to say was covered and I learned a little to boot :big_smile: