Weather/water/solunar affects on flathead catfish feeding

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by walexa07, Nov 8, 2005.

  1. walexa07

    walexa07 New Member

    Messages:
    15
    State:
    West Monroe, Louisiana
    Hey guys. I've been fishing for flatheads for a few years now and am looking for some info regarding weather/water/solunar effects on the fish feeding. We use limb lines with live bait. It's truly amazing how 2 trips can be so different.

    We went on October 21st and 22nd on the Ouachita river above Columbia, La, and had a fantastic weekend. Three 25 pound flatheads, one 21 pound flathead, an 8, 7, and 5 pound blue. What was better than what we caught was what we missed. Over the course of 2 nights we had at least 8 hooks opened up, some more severely than others. We were primarily using Mustad stainless 10/0 J hooks. Never had that many hooks opened up on one trip.........we had 20 hooks one night and 23 hooks out the next night.

    We went this last weekend, November 4th and 5th, same type bait, same locations, and absolutely nothing. Besides turtles cleaning bait off hooks during the day, we had no action.

    Comparing the trip a couple weekends ago to our most recent trip, the water conditions seemed identical.........little to no current because of no rain, but we had a cold snap for over a week and the water temp did drop some. Other than that, we were close to a full moon the first trip and right after the new moon for the last trip. I do not know what the barometric pressure or trends were during either trip.

    I realize that it is best to go when you can, but we put alot of time, money, and effort into these camping/fishing trips. It can be alot of work trying to come up with 30 baitfish per night, plus all the fuel for the generator and boat, as well as gathering firewood, packing the camper, buying groceries, etc. I don't mind the cost, but am interested in your experiences to try and reduce the number of times we get all geared up for a no-show.

    Waylan
     
  2. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,181
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    Flatheads in my area seem to be non existant after water temp falls below 55 degrees. The more experienced flathead catters here on the BOC will catch them in water colder than 55 but most agree that feeding activity slows down in cooler weather. My guess is that your flatheads have moved to deeper holes during that cold front. Try using the 12/0 Gamakatsu Big River hooks, I doubt that any cat could straightened one of those. Good luck.
     

  3. slimcat

    slimcat New Member

    Messages:
    952
    State:
    marion kentucky
    Waylan, are you using some type of shock absorber on your lines. I use heavy duty truck inner tubes on mine. Also try using at least an 8/0 roscoe or barrell swivel. I guarantee you will see less hooks straightened.
     
  4. Mathersm

    Mathersm New Member

    Messages:
    230
    State:
    Darbydale, Ohio
    I doubt the moon had much to do with it as I usually do better with a new moon than a full one. The only case that I know where the smaller the better, moon wise.
     
  5. MUDHOLE KID

    MUDHOLE KID New Member

    Messages:
    1,178
    State:
    Anderson,S.C.
    We all feel your pain Bro.I caught 157 lbs of fish one August night in 4 hours, all flatheads and I've been trying to re-inact that night for the past 3 years and can''t do it.I've caught fish at this spot,but no numbers.Alot of it is being in the right spot at the right time,and if we all could predict that spot and time every time we could all be in the money on a tournament trail.I just take the good with the bad and every time I'm on the water I use it as R and R and learning.I always want to catch fish when I go ,but I leave the house thinking I may not :D :D
     
  6. walexa07

    walexa07 New Member

    Messages:
    15
    State:
    West Monroe, Louisiana
    Thanks for the replies guys.

    wolfman, I retired all my mustad stainless J hooks after that weekend. I am trying some 10/0 and 11/0 owner super mutus, which are circle hooks, some 12/0 gamakatsu live bait (heavy duty) hooks, and have a couple other hook styles on order. Unfortunately we had no action at all this past weekend. You know it's bad when nothing will even take your live bait.........not even gar, lol.

    slimcat, we use small green limblines........they are excellent shock absorbers and very hard to break. Often we safety tie onto something additional that is more robust just in case the small limb breaks.

    Mathersm, from what I have read recently, I believe the new moon is supposed to be better in the warm months and the full moon is supposed to be better in the colder months. I just wanted to see what everybody's experience was.

    Mudhole Kid, I agree, I always take the good with the bad, but I do believe there are things that have impact on whether the fishing is good or bad rather than just chance. I am starting a fishing spreadsheet and am planning to start tracking all conditions to try and narrow down what I can.

    Again, thanks everybody for the replies.

    Waylan
     
  7. Catcaller

    Catcaller New Member

    Messages:
    1,511
    State:
    SoutheastKansas
    One day two years ago my fishing partner and I anchored in front of the dam on the Neosho river here in Se Kansas like we always do. We usually do well there...but it can be slow at times. Although we do consistently catch nice flathead there on a regular basis. A normal day would be 2 - 4 flats apiece...with at least one averaging 20 pounds or better....with a good chance at something over 30 lb. This day in particular was a sunny day with normal water conditions in mid june. We had a cooler FULL of black perch...probably 5 dozen...and we ran out of bait that day. We caught 24 flathead between us and both caught several nice blues from 5 lb up to 30 lb. Our biggest flathead weighed 40 lb...and we had two 35 pounders and several 25 pounders. We both kept five eater 8 to 10 lb flatheads and 5 more blues just like them apiece to fillet. We had a big ol' mess of fish that day...and we had just got done catching 27 channel cats the day before bewteen us wading the riffles down from the dam. We ended up having a big fish fry at the river when we camped there a couple weeks later. But anyhow...we're thinking that we've already had two great days in a row...why wouldn't the third day be the same? We both called in sick to work the following day and showed up at the river bright and early. The river had went up 5 feet overnight...and it was impossible to get to the boat ramp...the water was all the way up into the parking lot and lower lying sections of the river park. We had caught the river on the rise the previous two days. Not very much mind you....but the fish knew what was coming by instinct....and they acted accordingly. They needed to feed in order to have plenty of energy to fight the torrent of current headed their way. It takes three days for the water released at Burlington dam...which is the Neosho river coming out of Redman reservoir in east central Kansas (We're in the southeast corner)...to reach us. These subtle differences before and during a water level change or a change in barometric pressure...become indicators to when and if fish will be feeding aggressively. I have found that as long as the barometer is moving one way or the other...it doesn't matter if it's rising or falling....the fishing is good. It's when it's stagnated that the fishing turns off. Keep in mind barometric pressure has more of an effect on lake or pond fish than it does on river fish...at least by my observation. The moon plays more of an effect than you might think. Especially in tidal rivers...there you're subject to rising and falling tides which come and go like clockwork. The tides are influenced by the moon and it's position. I have always had more luck catfishing in the 4 days preceding a full or a new moon and the 4 days following either one as well. Another influence is an eastern front moving through. The old addage "Wind from the east...fish bite the least" actually has some merit to it. Typically a front moving from the east brings cold air and high pressure with it...such as the famous Nor'easters from the north Atlantic ocean...causing more of a disturbance in the force than the dryer warmer air typically coming from the west.
    With all that being said...I don't let a weatherman dictate when I'm going to go fishing. I go everytime that I have a good opportunity to do so. Sometimes it pays off...sometimes we can't buy a strike.