Wabash River - Need Advice On How A Big Cat Takes Bait

Discussion in 'INDIANA RIVERS TALK' started by Titghtline, Jun 11, 2007.

  1. Titghtline

    Titghtline New Member

    Messages:
    41
    State:
    Indiana
    Ok, Saturday night was a little slow on the Wabash. Had a few bites on shad sides but missed each time. About 8 o clock I throw a 5 inch bluegill out on my heavy rod. Never done this before except on jugs. Kept him weighted down with 3 ounce weights. Every now and then my bell would ring a little indicating that he was moving around. Nothing major. About 10 o clock I hear the bell, look over and my rod tip is slowly bending down toward the river. By the time I get to it the fish has let loose. Pull the gill up and the back part of him had a small gash in it. Was this a big cat. Now for my questions. I had my drag tight so that a big fish could not run with it. Is this right or should I leave it loose to let him take it out. I have a bait alert on it but the drag did not let out to indicate it. What should I have done and was this a decent size fish. Sorry guys, I am used to 2-5 pound fiddlers on crawlers and stink bait. This was the highlight of my night and I ruined it from inexperience. Please help
     
  2. Kentucky Jelly

    Kentucky Jelly New Member

    Messages:
    11
    State:
    Kentucky
    If it had a gash out of it it may have been a turtle. If i miss a good hit on a gill they usually are scaled. I would loosen your drag a little bit. The big boys like to take off when you hook'em. You didn't ruin anything you gained experience. You can't catch them all. sometimes getting big pole bending hits are just as fun as reelin' one in imo.
     

  3. Redd

    Redd New Member

    Messages:
    790
    State:
    Southeast Kansas
    Slow and easy is how 99% of my bigger fish take it. I won't be payin' much mind to my rods then happen to look over and see one bowed and slowly but surely going down farther. I have to agree with the previous post though..sounds like a turtle, but guess we'll never know. Better luck next time, bud.

    -Red
     
  4. Bobwheelr

    Bobwheelr New Member

    Messages:
    104
    State:
    NC
    I,v hooked big cats that slamed the rod down so tight it took everything i had to get it out of the rod holder, and other times they just ease off. blues will take it hard and most flats i,ve caught will move out slow. If i use circle hooks i keep a tight drag, but if using kale or trueturn i like to keep a med -heavy drag so when i set the hook it gets a good stick, but gives me a little give but still have a good drag.
     
  5. proline99

    proline99 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    State:
    Indiana
    I use baitcasters with a clicker. That lets the fish pick up the bait and run.
    Before I started using the clickers we would get hits just as you described.
    The rod tip would drop. and the cat would let go of the bait when they felt
    the resistance. I also have had better luck by using the least amount of
    weight possible to hold the bait down. Keep trying different set ups until you find which one works best for you.
     
  6. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,081
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    With flatheads its a game of patience once one finds your bait. Some will start a solid run and never stop, but the most common is known as a kill strike where the flathead will grab and crush the life out of the bait then let go. Most often than not he returns to eat his kill, this second strike or run is when I catch most all my flatheads because they usually have the entire bait and in the process of eating it, which is a longer more steady run.

    I have seen a picture of a big flathead when it was tangled up in broken fishing line but was able to survive and a angler caught this fish when the hook snagged the fish line arond the flathead. Then when this person landed the flathead the flathead had a sucker in its mouth sideways, taken it in from the belly first.

    On another occasion, I watched a large flathead in a huge aquarium catch a descent size trout about 1.5 pounds and he let the trout go after killing it. Then he just sat on the bottom and watched the trout for about 3 minutes before eating it. This time was also with the belly of the trout going in first.
     
  7. treddinwater

    treddinwater Active Member

    Messages:
    1,123
    State:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    I agree with the turtle comment, sometimes I'll notice those gashes on my bait and the next cast I'll get a softshell. I also agree with the scaling, big catfish have very rough mouths and when they clamp down on the bait they often times pull scales off the bait fish. I've also read that most catfish eat their prey head first, so any gashes on the tail end are most likely from a turtle or maybe even a gar?
     
  8. Titghtline

    Titghtline New Member

    Messages:
    41
    State:
    Indiana
    Thanks for all the great info fellas. It may very well have been a turtle. I know its got me wanting to again soon with some bluegills. Will be in Florida on vacation with the Family next week. Maybe when I get back I can try again unless we go bowfishing.
     
  9. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    The bite sounds like a flathead, or a gar. Either will take the bait fairly slowly. The dirrerence is that the flatheads generally hold on, while the gar tend to drop a bait as soon as they feel some tension.

    I fish with the rods in holders (in my boat) and with the reel engaged with kahle hooks. Most of the time, the fish hook themselves very nicely. Now and then I get one that comes toward me or just dort of hangs on, then I get to do thehook setting myself.
     
  10. bnorth

    bnorth New Member

    Messages:
    539
    State:
    Indiana
    TightLine-- I was having the same problems last night. For a quick answer it was more than likely gar. I don't know which stretch of the Wabash you are fishing but they are especially thick around the Lafayette area. Everytime I would cast out, within 20 minutes I would get a slow pulling on my line strong enough to bend the rod towards the water. As soon as I would pick up the rod and apply more pressure it would let go. Bait would come back covered in teeth marks. In my experience turtles are less willing to let go of their dinner once they start eating on it, making me think that it most likely was not a turtle.
     
  11. Catman_Chuck

    Catman_Chuck New Member

    Messages:
    21
    State:
    *
    Yeah in my experiance Flatties will make athe kill strike(thxs wolf) then come back sometimes after 5 minutes or so. Blue usually run with it. Whats the water depth your fishing in. I find that if i get above 30 ft i tend to get alot of gar stikes. Big slash in the side or belly of your bait=gar that long seraded nose is for killing. I fish both circle and clicker. Lighter rod i fish circle hook. Lets the rod bend more and sets the hook for you. My heavier poles i go clicker Let her run and then cross its eyes
     
  12. flathead20000

    flathead20000 New Member

    Messages:
    137
    State:
    Indiana, Delphi
    I would have to agree with alot of the last few threds. I set alot of limb lines, and I actually camped on an island on the Tippy with limb lines all around me. I had several fish take the bait and every time I shinned the light and it was a gar they seemed to drop the bait with the tension of the line, and their signature bar like mark had taken a row of scales off the bait.
     
  13. thenightstalker

    thenightstalker New Member

    Messages:
    105
    State:
    indiana
    ALWAYS USE CIRCLE HOOKS
    #8/0 GAMAKATSU OCTOPUS


    baitcasters with clickers

    freespool with clicker on
    fish will hit(click click click)you rod tip is usually up a little bit from the water. take the rod GENTLY and lower the tip down allowing slack
    the fish will then feel absolutly no resistance...if using a slider rig...
    let the fish run a bit you can feel the fish either pull and with heavy enough line, you can feel him mouthing it. you understand what i mean after being on the water night after night after night. when the fish has a stedy pull engage the spool. DO NOT set the hook the circle will grab the bone (its lips) lift with steady even pressure other wise youll pull the hook right out of its mouth. ive had horrible experiences with kahle hooks straightening out. so please for ur own sake, use the hook i told u to use and youll have great success both big and small


    spinning combo

    do the same thing i said up there. you dont have to worry about giving the fish so much slack at the run. keep the rod time up somewhat though. when u know hes there, tighten that drag fast and give a good steady pull up...DO NOT YANK...and hell be there if its a cat

    im in louisiana right now and im catching the holy hell out of massive gar. ill post some pics here in a few days. im after that 100 lb flathead. when i catch him, ill be on my way home​
     
  14. yellerbelly69

    yellerbelly69 New Member

    Messages:
    24
    State:
    indiana
    most likely to be one of them der gone yeller bellys, sumbitches.
     
  15. catstalker459

    catstalker459 New Member

    Messages:
    343
    State:
    state line city, indiana
    same problems around the covington ramp. cuaght 9 fish last sun night and 5 of them were gar. i threw them on the bank lol. i would get the pulling too and when i went to jerk it it would come free and teeth marks.:angry: