What was going on??

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by KansasKatter, Jun 29, 2006.

  1. KansasKatter

    KansasKatter New Member

    Messages:
    807
    State:
    Wichita Kansas
    I witnessed something a while back that I have never seen in all my years on the river, and have yet to figure out what the heck was happening.

    We were sitting on the riverbank, the river is a smaller river, average about 30 to 50 yards wide, with some deep holes around 30', but mostly between 10 - 15' with a lot of shallow riffles, with a decent current most places. The hole we were fishing was about 50 yards below a riffle that is probably a quarter of a mile long, and the water where we were fishing was probably between 5 - 12' deep depending on where you cast.

    Just before dark, before we even fired up the lantern, we started to notice it. Flatheads, by the DOZENS, were swimming/floating by very slowly with their mouths gaped open, pointing straight up at the sky! They were not acting like they were in distress or anything, and we caught fish later that night off the bottom, so I don't think they were in trouble or anything. This went on for an hour or more. My brother and I could not figure out for the life of us what was going on. There was no moon that night, and it was well before the spawn, probably mid June or so.

    Any ideas what was going on??
     
  2. Redd

    Redd New Member

    Messages:
    790
    State:
    Southeast Kansas
    feeding frenzy maybe? Then again who knows?

    -Red
     

  3. The J-Man!

    The J-Man! New Member

    Messages:
    321
    State:
    St.Paul, MN
    Weird. That must have been quite a sight. I have no idea what they were doing. What size catfish were they?
     
  4. KansasKatter

    KansasKatter New Member

    Messages:
    807
    State:
    Wichita Kansas
    They were all fairly small, between 3 and 7 pounds probably, but a few larger ones.

    I am stumped, it did not look like they were feeding, they were just kind of moving there mouths real slow open and shut, and like I said, in no hurry to go anywhere. I threw a bait or two in front of them, did not even spook them much?
     
  5. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    I have seen carp do that, but never flatheads, that is strange.
     
  6. Mutt

    Mutt Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    18,470
    State:
    Ca
    Name:
    Mutt
    Maybe having thier annual laugh at the fishermen parade? Beats me no cluse as to what they were doing
     
  7. KWSMITH

    KWSMITH New Member

    Messages:
    159
    State:
    Virginia
    Would have loved to have seen it, definately something to make you go Hmmmmm.:confused2:
     
  8. bigcatwannabe

    bigcatwannabe New Member

    Messages:
    166
    State:
    rowland, nc
    you think they may have been having a territorial dispute? lol
     
  9. Taliesin

    Taliesin New Member

    Messages:
    680
    State:
    Missouri
    My first thought was something like that.

    Some sort of insect spawn they were feeding on? I don't know too much about flats so I don't know if they would feed on that. I think they would, but not sure.
     
  10. KansasKatter

    KansasKatter New Member

    Messages:
    807
    State:
    Wichita Kansas
    You know what? I bet it might have been a hatch of some kind, I bet it was Channel Cat frey!! The time of year was right, and I bet that is what was going on, due to the fact they were going against the current, floating back down, then back up again. I would bet anything that is what they were doing!
     
  11. Taliesin

    Taliesin New Member

    Messages:
    680
    State:
    Missouri
    Now that is a thought. Bullhead, channels, or just about any other type of fish could have been hatched.
     
  12. Arkansascatman777

    Arkansascatman777 New Member

    Messages:
    7,782
    State:
    AR
    Ive seen big blues do this when the may flies are laying thick on the water they will swim along with there mouth open feeding. And the times that Ive seen this is right as its getting dark. Dont know much about flatheads but I would imagine they would act the same way when an abundant food supply and easy meal is floating on the water. Just a thought
     
  13. KansasKatter

    KansasKatter New Member

    Messages:
    807
    State:
    Wichita Kansas
    I think we are on to something here!

    Did you see my post on the channel cat forum about the Mayflies here in Kansas a few weeks ago? I wish I had a fly rod, and better yet, knew how to use it! Fly fishing for cats during the mayfly run would be a blast!
     
  14. bwanatony

    bwanatony New Member

    Messages:
    580
    State:
    Grand River Valley, Weste
    May not be the same thing, but I have seen largemouth bass stick their heads up out of the water exactly as you are describing. The ones I saw were using gravity to help them swallow a mouthful of something. I'm not making this up, either, I have a witness who was with me at the time!
    One actually had a fish tail sticking out of its mouth.
     
  15. 223Smitty

    223Smitty New Member

    Messages:
    478
    State:
    Indiana
    They were practicing for the catfish version of Americal Idol :big_smile:

    Smitty