What do Flathead Catfish Like - Sand, Mud, or Clay?

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by sharpshooter, Feb 26, 2006.

  1. sharpshooter

    sharpshooter New Member

    Messages:
    18
    State:
    wharton, TX
    What kind of bottom does the yellow cats prefer (mud, clay, or sand)? On the river I fish it is mostly sand with some clay banks and a little mud in places? On the clay banks I ain't sure if it is clay under water or on the bottom but in some places it feels like it is.
     
  2. Fishgeek

    Fishgeek Active Member

    Messages:
    1,149
    State:
    Indiana
    Good question. I did a little digging and found some info about juvenile flatheads (< 6 inches) but I'm sure I can find something about adults. My first thought was, that if they have cover and a good feeding area near by, substrate really might just be a secondary consideration for them.
     

  3. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,297
    State:
    Coshocton,
    My thoughts are if there is structure near deep water and a food supply ove rocks, that's where they'll be. If it's structure near deep water and food supply over mud that's where they'll be, ditto for sand. It is not the substrate but the whole picture for the area.
     
  4. sharpshooter

    sharpshooter New Member

    Messages:
    18
    State:
    wharton, TX
    Thanks for the input. I kinda figured that cover and food were more important but I don't think I have ever caught a yellow cat in a muddy section of the river.
     
  5. slimcat

    slimcat New Member

    Messages:
    952
    State:
    marion kentucky
    Flatheads are like all catfish they prefer a hard bottom, usually either hard mud or gravelly bottoms.
     
  6. center12

    center12 New Member

    Messages:
    1,444
    State:
    KS
    Give that clay bank on your river a good looking over. Clay banks will sometimes erode off and leave a steep ledge, flats will follows those to and from their feeding area's.........catfish highway, great place to intercept a hungry fish!!
     
  7. Fishgeek

    Fishgeek Active Member

    Messages:
    1,149
    State:
    Indiana
    Sorry it took me so long to respond. I talked with two guys last week who have done research on flatheads, and particularly dealing with habitat. They both said that substrate really didn't appear to be an important factor for habitat selection. As Loanwizard & I mentioned earlier, the determining factor was large woody debris (structure). If there were log jams, there were flatties -- regardless of substrate type.
     
  8. river scum

    river scum New Member

    Messages:
    3,474
    State:
    hooterville indiana
    center12 is correct about the claybanks. large chunks offten dislodge and creat small current breaks.



    i will add that the sections of river that have more turn are can hold more and bigger fish. they tend to have more of the stuf your talking about.
     
  9. Sinker

    Sinker New Member

    Messages:
    216
    State:
    Missouri
    Cats, and especially flathead follow banks purty consistently. They'd wear theirselves purty thin hunting for rocky bottoms where I fish. Mud,mos'ly.
     
  10. FlatGetter

    FlatGetter New Member

    Messages:
    196
    State:
    Illinois
    I dont think it really matters that mush as long as its more of a hard bottom. They dont like silt bottoms.
     
  11. Drum Andersen

    Drum Andersen New Member

    Messages:
    221
    State:
    Nebraska
    I think depth and cover is more important than anything where I fish.
     
  12. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,187
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    Most of the flatheads that I catch are around rocks, concrete slabs, and submerged timber.
     
  13. okiekrawler

    okiekrawler New Member

    Messages:
    147
    State:
    roland ,oklahoma
    i have noticed that the flats i have caught tend to relate to logs and rip rap. i dont believe i have ever caught a flathead that wasnt tight to some sort of structure.