What temperature do flathead catfish become inactivate?

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by KansasKatCatcher, Oct 16, 2008.

  1. KansasKatCatcher

    KansasKatCatcher Active Member

    Messages:
    461
    State:
    Kansas City, Ka
    It's been getting in the lower 40's at night and i was just wondering if i was just wasting my bait and time trying to catch 1? What time of the year do you guys stop fishing for flatheads in your area?
     
  2. patrickgd

    patrickgd New Member

    Messages:
    809
    State:
    Memphis TN
    Welcome to the BOC Mike! That is a real nice Flat in your pic.

    This is my first year for targeting Flatheads but from what I've heard and read they stay very active while the water temp is above 50. Around these parts the daytime temps have been around 80 and the night time temps in the mid 50's. The water temp right now is about 65-70 and the Flatheads are biting good.

    Again Welcome and I hope this helps!:wink:
     

  3. Baitkiller

    Baitkiller New Member

    Messages:
    1,029
    State:
    Akron, Ohio
    Both ways 55!!

    :wink:
     
  4. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,081
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    Flatheads are active year round but their motabolism slows dramastically anywhere below 50 degrees water temp. In colder water you almost have to put the bait on their nose.
     
  5. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    well said walter... Ask ole JW if he believes me now.. I said this same thing last winter, and got beat up by some... JW busted a big flathead in dead winter while fishing for blues made a believer out of him:smile2: rollo
     
  6. Flatheadhunter33

    Flatheadhunter33 New Member

    Messages:
    3,764
    State:
    Yuma, Arizona
    Im glad this thread came along. I once read an article where a giude was saying that the only way to catch flatties in winter is to snag them since they go inactive once water temp goes under 50. Im gonna keep trying this winter though since you guys say other wise.
     
  7. Cuda-Cada

    Cuda-Cada Member

    Messages:
    748
    State:
    Jacksonville, Fl.
    I fish in south Ga so the winters aren't too bad. I have caught flatheads in December with the water temp. as low as 53 degrees. I usually don't start again until about mid-April when the water temp is in the 60's...
     
  8. Flatheadhunter33

    Flatheadhunter33 New Member

    Messages:
    3,764
    State:
    Yuma, Arizona
    Got out last night on the Colorado river. Air temp dropped from 96 high during the day to forties at night:crazy:....We froze our butts off! Fish were slow but we got three over the course of the night with one landed just prior to sunrise. Water temp was roughly 69 degrees so I fiure we have a good month or so before the water drops below 50. All fish were released so they can grow up:wink:. Didnt get any pics.
     
  9. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,081
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
  10. river scum

    river scum New Member

    Messages:
    3,474
    State:
    hooterville indiana
    up here in northern Indiana we stop fishing for them early/mid nov. water temps in the mid 40s. they can be caught at times all winter im sure but yes it would be a lot of wasted time in between! after the temps go below 45 i put up the big rods till 60* watyer temps in spring.

    hope this helped ya: tim
     
  11. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    If the water is warm, THEY WILL BITE!

    Have many friends who are hardcore winter walleye fisherman who catch them on small white twister tails in December and January at a warm water dishcharge on the Susquehana River where the water temp is 60 to 70 degrees.
     
  12. drpepper

    drpepper New Member

    Messages:
    6,133
    State:
    Indiana
    Well Good luck to all you flathead diehards. I plan to experiment around with catching Flatties in cold water. My opinion as it is now, is that; here in Indiana, at some point around a stable 40 or so degree water temp- if you catch one in the mouth, it's only because you snagged him there. lol.
    From what I've seen first hand- in one case, Flatties were completely zonked and unresponsive-even when I poked and prodded them with a stick, so I just can't imagine they do ANY eating... but I'm going to play around with it this winter any way.
     
  13. Bill in SC

    Bill in SC New Member

    Messages:
    4,451
    State:
    South Caro
    <but I'm going to play around with it this winter any way.>

    All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Nice to see you playing with stuff, Bill. At least we know you are not dull! :smile2:

    Bill in SC, where the water temp is just dipping into the high 50s! :)
     
  14. Katatonik

    Katatonik New Member

    Messages:
    1,262
    State:
    Ogden, Kansas,
    When the water gets cold enough, flatheads tend to find spots that are deep
    and quiet in the river system that they are in to winter over. If the spot is
    good enough flatheads will travel several days to get to that spot which is
    generally about the size of your kitchen floor. The cats will hold as close to
    the bottom as they can manage fin to fin with the next cat and stay more
    or less in the same place for a couple of months. Every once in a great while
    one of the flatheads might leave to nose around for a little something to
    eat. If you happen to drop something worth eating in amongst the group of
    them flatheads, one or another of them might eat it. Like shooting fish in a
    barrel, I've been told. That's why in some states there is a closed season
    on them in the deep part of the winter. Just too easy to be called sporting.
     
  15. s_man

    s_man New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    Were you diving or were thes flats in shallow water? Just curious cause I was looking on another thread about prefered depths of wintering flatheads.
     
  16. drpepper

    drpepper New Member

    Messages:
    6,133
    State:
    Indiana
    Here is the link in the flathead Q&A thread where I explained it... http://www.catfish1.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1237901#post1237901

    As I thought about this, I remembered that I have some pictures of me doing this somewhere around here-- and I'm going try to to hunt them down.

    It's will be easy for me to find them wintered in my 3 acre pond with sonor and I literally will drop a bait smack dab on their heads.lol
    If I can get them to bite here after they're fully wintered in, I plan to find them in the river and try it there as well. We'll see.
    They're not stacked up here yet, but I'm pretty sure they're not going shallow either, but, instead, they're individually hanging close around the deepest part of the hole that they're all planning to winter in.
    I don't think they are doing much hunting or roaming in this stage they seem to be in.
    I'm guessing that when they do eat at this stage the are in, that they're not moving more then a foot or two to get food.... a take it or leave it attitude.
    The water temps here have been in the mid to upper 40's at the surface for only about a week now. I caught some little ones when the temps where in the 50's on the 21st and one on the 25th out of a featureless hole in small river,,, All where caught in day light- vertical jigging an 1/8 oz jig head directly over a deep hole off the bottom with a live WORM! The bites were lighter than a small bluegill or crappie tap- and once, I didn't even realized I had one until I felt his weight on the 'up-jig' - it's why I'm thinking one might have a better chance at cold water flatties using very SENSITIVE rod and lite line to feel that very lite "peck".
    Like I said in the other post,, I'd love to hear about other folks cold water flattie stories.
     
  17. kenlaw76

    kenlaw76 New Member

    Messages:
    2,323
    State:
    S.E. Pa.
    I caught a few last weekend on live bait. The water I would say is in the mid 50's. They hit live Suckers as if it was the spring time. A nice steady run. The last 2 weekends before that I went out I was catching them on cut bait and the water was warmer. :confused2:
     
  18. river scum

    river scum New Member

    Messages:
    3,474
    State:
    hooterville indiana
    caught a few today lower 40s water temp. only look be fishing them another week or so. all fish took fresh cut gill.
     
  19. kenlaw76

    kenlaw76 New Member

    Messages:
    2,323
    State:
    S.E. Pa.
    I got a small one lastnight on cut Sucker. The water temp. was about 52
     
  20. jason berry

    jason berry New Member

    Messages:
    819
    State:
    Evansville
    I put up the poles normally for flats in mid october. compared to the way I catch them the rest of the year they start dropping off on bite ratio drastically for me around this time. I went out the other night and caught two blues and no flathead bites at all. im going to go out one more time since its warmed up here into the 70's but then im done for flats until next year unless I land a couple or so. I personaly really like catching flats when the water temp is between 65-75 degrees thats when they seem to bite the best for me.