To Move Or Not To Move?

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by smoothkip25, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. smoothkip25

    smoothkip25 New Member

    Messages:
    1,320
    State:
    ohio
    Just curious how many times a night you guys usually move from spot to spot? I myself usually only move once maybe twice, I think this also is the reason I dont have as many multiple fish nights. Everytime the bite goes dead alot of guys move to a different spot, I always tell my self 5 more mins. then 15 more mins. I have heard pros and cons on this but I usually catch bigger fish when my bait has been soaking all night. Whats your guys input on this? Thanks!
     
  2. FLATHEAD STEVE

    FLATHEAD STEVE New Member

    Messages:
    1,772
    State:
    DESMOINES IOWA
    I move my baits around all the possible flathead spots in the area im fishing....It matters how long I am able to stay out/ the spot im in that determins how long I will let a bait sit.

    After I have tried all the "hot zones" in that "spot" I will pick it up and head for another after about a hour in most cases. There are alot of different variables so I try not to go by a SET TIME LIMIT in one spot, I just go with my gut feeling.
     

  3. ammo warrior

    ammo warrior Member

    Messages:
    868
    State:
    Columbia, MO
    Yea, I'm with you, I hava hard time movin to a new spot. Just a few more minutes turns into a very long time. I guess I am too stubborn to move...not good on my part
     
  4. USCA-RECLAIMED-ACCOUNT

    USCA-RECLAIMED-ACCOUNT New Member

    Messages:
    3,020
    GOOD QUESTION Kip!I,m with you on this one,I never hit more than 2 holes on any given night.The main reason for that is that my back can,t take more than a couple put ups and take downs.Some of the PA guys I,ve fished with know I like to be comfortable when i,m fishing.All the gear I drag along,it looks like the friggin carnivals coming to town.LOL.I get a lot of multiple fish night though,Usually always 3-4 at least or else none.I use different holes for different conditions,this is where my log books start playing such a big role.I know the deepest wintering holes in my area and start spreading out from them as soon as the water starts warming up.I try to follow them and stay on em.Sometimes I guess wrong and they,re the nights I get none.I like to sort the flats I catch into either home fish or travelers.The spots where I fish early in the evening are usually close to some major cover where they hole up during the day.My late spots(after midnite) are spots where I,ve found them travelling in between feeding spots.The ones that I catch traveling out in the channel,I try to figure out where they,re coming from or heading to,then on future trips I,ll try setting up earlier where I think they were coming from.I wish they could talk,so I could interrogate them and get that information out of them!LOL.Don,t get me wrong,there,s still an element of luck involved,but I like to keep the odds in my favor.You start looking back through your logs from previous years and you,ll see the patterns setting up like a light bulb goin off.I,ve got spots where I know they,ll be when the waters either up high or spots where I find them when the waters down and slow.I had a lot of people rib me about keeping notes,but it,s really paid off.It,s just too hard for me to remember where I got em under different conditions without them.It took me a hell of a lot of trial and error and fishless nights to get this system down.Some nights I was just finding where the flats weren,t!That helped out too in the long run.I only fish the bank now,but I,ve had boats for most of my life,those years when I had a boat and could try 6-10 spots a night,helped speed things up.The holes where they got the right cover for spawning,I can usually find them there year after year during the spawn.I don,t move more than once a night,but I may try 10 different holes in a week until I find em.Some holes are bait related,if I know the white bass are running around a crick in the spring,i,ll fish there and see if the flatties are following them.When the shad are stacking below the dams,i,ll hit some of my dam spots.In short(like that,s possable at this point),if your only getting 1 out of a spot and nothing more,It,s my opinion that you,re getting fish that are on the move.Try and figure out where they,re headed to or coming from and set up there,and I think you,ll get into the numbers nights.I,ve got a COUPLE holes that i,ll sit on all night,simply because they have a history of giving up big fish.One last piece of advice,if I fish a hole where i,m getting nice fish and then it starts just giving up #10 and under fish,i,ll still move from it the next night.I believe the big boys take the choice holes and the smaller ones follow behind at a distance.I won,t move far,cause I know the bigger ones are still setup nearby,just up or downriver a few hundred yds maybe.I have trouble putting my thoughts into words at times,I,m better at explaining things in person,but I hope this helps some to put you on some multiple big fish nights.Goood thread brother!I,d like to get together and do some flattin with ya sometime,if you get up this way or I can get down your way!:wink:
     
  5. ramon06

    ramon06 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,563
    State:
    Alabama
    at night im the same way. I can agree at night or in the day I get my biggest fish when whatever bait I am using sits for 30 minutes to an hour, sometimes even longer
     
  6. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    I am boatless so moving is a pain it the arse! You have to pack up you crap, carry the baitbucket through woods and trails, and drive to another location.
     
  7. lookin_4_moby

    lookin_4_moby New Member

    Messages:
    1,143
    State:
    Guthrie, OK
    I'll move maybe once or twice depending on how far the next spot is and time of day. I usually like to sit in a spot an hour or hour and a half before starting to think about moving. Then if I've caught a few smaller fish I'll probably stay because I know if lil ones are there, there has to be a biggun swimmin somewhere close by or at least will be swimmin by later on.
     
  8. stumpjumper

    stumpjumper New Member

    Messages:
    1,492
    State:
    Dallas, GA
    When I lived in Indiana we would typically fish a single spot all night. This particular spot was difficult to access, so we usually fished from a canoe that we would carry to the spot. It was acutally quite a bit of work to get everything there and set up. Now days I typically move after about an hour. If I am catching fish or have done good at the location in the past (= confidence), I'll give it more time. It's always a tough call to leave a spot; you just never know when a fish will hit. This past fall my wife and I were fishing a spot and we had been there over an hour. It was in the middle of the night, and she was wanting to leave. I asked for 5 more minutes. As we were reeling in our baits, the very last pole in the water starting ripping drag like crazy. Had we not stayed those additional five, we would have missed a big fish. That's what I love about catfishing!
     
  9. arkrivercatman

    arkrivercatman New Member

    Messages:
    4,472
    State:
    KS
    Most of the rivers I usually fish are filled with shallow sandbars (that seem to come out of nowhere) and trees just barely poking out of the water. This makes for some hazardous navigating at night.:laugh:
    So I do most of my moving in the daytime. Then I will camp on a prime spot for the night.
    Its a catch 22 for flatheads. During the day you have a good idea where they are at, you just have to get it close enough for them to bite. At night they are on the move, but will almost always take a bait if they are in the area.
    In the daytime I have much more confidence when it comes to precision bait placement. I can pitch it right in the middle of the wood. I wont do that at night.:Nop:
    Once I cover the stucture I will move after 30 minutes or so to the next one. Its so much easier to move around and anchor during the day, not to mention the scenery is much better.:laugh:
    At night I will set up on a likely spot, most likely a sand or gravel bar, and pitch a few rods out. Cook somethin to eat and wait for the bite. A good time for a small fire and some good conversation with a buddy. Kick back and get comfortable, it might be awhile.:waiting:
    Once day breaks, repeat.:glasses-cool:After breakfast of course.:coffee::eat:
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2010
  10. flatheadslayer

    flatheadslayer New Member

    Messages:
    5,834
    State:
    Thomaston, Geor
    well,i have one spot that i'll sit on all night,it's a proven big fish hole,and hard to get to.
    But anyother places if fish regularly i'll sit an hour to an hour and a half.but you have to be careful because the river i fish is rocky and stumpy.normally in an hour if there is a hungry fish he'll bite.i have caught lots of fish like this,if you find them normally you can catch them.
     
  11. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    Back to our conversation last night on the phone before we got cut off. lol.. When we lake fish, we setup on the bank in a good location and wait. Most places we target are traveling areas where you have a creek channel, associated with a feeding area. We like to target cruising flatheads that use the creek channel to move to and from, so we place baits accordingly and sit from evening till day break. However, on the rivers, I carry a tourney mentality more. Probably because I fished local tourneys for so many years, and the goal was to catch size, but also had to catch numbers for a 5 fish weigh-in, in an 8 hour period. I have learned to jump and run, fishing for active fish. Sometimes moving is only 30 or 40 yrds. before anchoring or tieing in again, sometimes motoring to another section. But, I like to be able to present baits, and to do so often you need to have the boat in position to do such esp. in heavy structure. I do agree on setting up on prime big fish areas though. We still fish that way often, esp. below riffles. Waiting for the fish to move in to feed. But, I enjoy covering water on a stretch of river. I have had nights where I have made 10-20 moves. For example Kip, you may remember a couple past trips to the Ohio in years past. If I remember correctly we caught 8 or more flatheads one night. Biggest in the mid 30's. Point is, if you know the system well enough where you are targeting, it can give you many more options to find the fish in a nights time rather than sitting and hopeing a big fish shows. Myself, I enjoy catching fish period, so I try to better my odds by learning many spots in a section so I can increase my chances of catching for my time spent on the water by hitting more than one. My advise to anyone is, simply fish how you are comfortable fishing. If you aren't comfortable with moving in the dark then don't. Nothing wrong by no means by not moving, and sitting on a known spot. This is just how I fish most of the time.. Goodluck....rollo
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2010
  12. lendog

    lendog New Member

    Messages:
    2,141
    State:
    berks, PA
    when i'm bank fishin and i'm at easy spots to get to i'll move 3 or 4 times within a couple mile stretch in a nite. if its a spot where i gotta hike into then i'll stick around that area within a couple hundred feet. now if i'm in the boat i usually anchor about 10 times if i'm not gettin any hits. and that all depends on certain spots that have produced in the past. alot of time in the boat i'll just raise anchor and drift about 100' and reanchor until i find fish.
     
  13. moose22dog

    moose22dog New Member

    Messages:
    718
    State:
    YINZERBURGH,PA
    i mostly bank fish so it's a pain sometimes to move but doesn't mean i will not. all depends on the fish if there bitting or not. there's a handfull of spots i fish right in town and there's a sidewalk that goes for almost a mile along the river. if i go there i'll move up or down stream til i find them if there not a holes i know. i got a garden cart(from bigpatcat) with rod holders that i use when i fish here, and it makes it real nice to "run and gun". tight liner justin
     
  14. kenlaw76

    kenlaw76 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,323
    State:
    S.E. Pa.
    I fish the bank 99% of the time so I will sit on a spot for a while if I know it has big fish potential. I still move around a little but it is usually only a short move (50 yards or so) at a time. I have found that in the past, I have better luck with the biggins on the first or second cast at a spot.
     
  15. moose22dog

    moose22dog New Member

    Messages:
    718
    State:
    YINZERBURGH,PA
    here's a question for you guys with a boat and fish river's with a dam. through your experience what direction do flats move through out the night, up stream or down stream? and where do start fishing at by the dam and work down stream or vise versa? i know time of year and water temp matter so lets say summer time. tight lines justin
     
  16. smoothkip25

    smoothkip25 New Member

    Messages:
    1,320
    State:
    ohio
    I myself am not 100% sure which way they move im gonna guess up and down stream, but Ill say this almost all my runs seem to be headed down stream. I only had one fish last year head back up stream and it was headed back up towards a big log jam. I like to position between log jams to catch them moving from jam to jam. Thats where i have my most luck.
     
  17. BassMassey

    BassMassey Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,883
    State:
    Oconee
    If I'm fishing off the bank there is no moving unti it's time to go home. It's hard enough work getting set up properly for a night of bank fishing as it is to be packing it all up and heading to a new spot. When anchor fishing off the boat all night I will usually fish around 10 anchor spots.

    One very memorable night sticks out in my mind from last summer fishing with stumpjumper and bumper up on the Tennessee. Let me start out by stating most of our trips on the tennessee result in awesome bluecat fishing, with a flathead mixed in the catch only every now and again. Well as we fished our first couple spots we caught a couple 10-15 lb bluecats but the bite was kinda slow, for tennessee that is. Bumper had mentioned that he had caught a few flatheads off this particulaur rip rap bank just the week before.

    This rip rap bank stretches about 500 yds long before it hits the mouth of a feeder creek. We acnhor down up near the top of the bank and proceed to soak some bait. didn't take too long and the first rod was doubled up, flathead was put in the boat, and not too long after that another one. After about 45 min- 1hr without any action we pulled anchor and moved probably only about 50 yds down the bank and did it again. We fished probably 5-6 anchors along that bank through the night and into the morning, and caught atleast 2 flatheads on each anchor, including bumper's new pb flathead which went for around 45#. We were all amazed at this action as none of us have ever experienced anything like it. One of the most remarkable facts were most these fish were biting whole cut handsized bream......we offered some live but they didn't really want it. We still talk about that night, and remember the date and everything........we beleive they were there for a reason, and willing to bet they will be like that in there the same time next year........
     
  18. kitsinni

    kitsinni New Member

    Messages:
    1,573
    State:
    Ohio
    I usually stay at a spot until about 5 minute before an actual fish shows up at that spot then I move right before they get there.
     
  19. Cuda-Cada

    Cuda-Cada Member

    Messages:
    753
    State:
    Jacksonville, Fl.
    For me I usually have a plan to move and fish 5-7 places. I set an alarm and when it goes off I move. Good thing about moving is that I am moving and setting up on a piece of cover. Usually within 10 minutes I have caught at least one flathead off the new spot.
     
  20. countryboy79

    countryboy79 New Member

    Messages:
    358
    State:
    nc
    In the summer, day or night 30 to 45mins with no bite I'am up and gone somewere else. I know the river over here pretty good i can move just as fast in the dark as i can in the day.. Most people that try to fish in the part of the river i fish in, idle around. I trim up and hold it to the floor... In the winter i will stay in 1 spot for the most an hour, then move...