What's the magic water temp?

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by Littlejack, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. Littlejack

    Littlejack New Member

    Messages:
    15
    State:
    nc
    I am more a blue cat guy but i am rigging up for flats this year.What is the water temp that really sets off the flathead bite? Any sugesstions would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. SangamonCatKiller

    SangamonCatKiller New Member

    Messages:
    488
    State:
    central illinois
    I think we'll all agree,its right around 54 degrees or so when they start taking off.
     

  3. SSgt Fishslayer

    SSgt Fishslayer New Member

    Messages:
    1,241
    State:
    south carolina
    between 50 and 55 out here. water temp that is. once it hits 60 they are pretty much in the spawn already, so i head out when the water gets near 55 and slay em.
     
  4. john catfish young

    john catfish young New Member

    Messages:
    3,070
    State:
    Kentucky
    I usually start flatheaden in late march or early April. Not sure what the water temps are....probably around 50 or so.:eek:oooh:
     
  5. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    65 to 70 degrees is the magic temp!

    I get my biggest fish during this time frame.
     
  6. taborbr56

    taborbr56 New Member

    Messages:
    10
    State:
    Mississippi
    The 50 - 55 temp is this for a river or large/small lake?
     
  7. jason berry

    jason berry New Member

    Messages:
    819
    State:
    Evansville
    You normally wont even catch a flat with water temps under 50 degrees but in NC I would say April is going to be your month but all my big flats have been caught around the 75 degree water temp. I even do really well on the warmest days of the year also. Flats are pretty dormant in cold water. Youll still probably be able to get some in March also though.
     
  8. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,297
    State:
    Coshocton,
    There is no magic temperature. Traditionally they start moving at around 50-55 degrees. If you really do your homework, you can catch them in 37 degree water. For proof I offer you Rollo and JW Dreadnaught. I've caught them in 40-45 degree water but those two have caught some bigguns.
     
  9. comanchero

    comanchero New Member

    Messages:
    119
    State:
    Minnesota
    Interesting Post. Everything you read tells you at the magic 50 degrees they will start to move to prespawn locations to begin feeding heavily in preparation for the spawn.

    I keep a very detailed journal and I went back several years to see when I caught my first flatheads of the year and I surprised myself when I looked at this information. Here is the date I caught my first flat of the year; the water temperature; and the bait used.

    31 July 2003 - water 76 degrees - bullhead
    14 July 2004 - water 70 degrees - 2 fish - 1 on cut sucker/ 1 on bullhead
    24 May 2005 - water 64 degrees - cut bullhead
    30 May 2006 - water 79 degrees - 2 fish - 1 on cut sucker / 1 on bullhead
    28 May 2007 - water 63 degrees - bullhead

    Those first two years (2003 & 2004) I really struggled trying to learn my home waters and I had a hard time finding fish. From my experience the last few years I think middle to late May in Minnesota is about the time that the flathead bite starts in earnest and a temp in the low to mid 60 degree range seems to trigger it.
     
  10. brother hilljack

    brother hilljack New Member

    Messages:
    7,305
    State:
    Shelbyville, TN
    You can catch them cats anytime the water is above 40 degrees. Its just that most of us don't want to be out there in the open water when its that cold. I caught some nice cats about 2 weeks ago, water temp, 42 degrees.
     
  11. Eudora

    Eudora New Member

    Messages:
    272
    State:
    Lambertville, MI
    Hey all:

    Up here in Northern Ohio, I find that the flatheads start moving around 50-55 degrees. In this neck of the woods, things don't start happeningg til around early to Mid-may, depending on how much rain weve had and wen the thaw took place. I know some guys have said they catch them in April while fishing for walleyes, but I have my dobts, maybe just foul-hooked. I guess you have to just expoeriment with your location and local waters. Good luck.


    Andy
     
  12. Catman

    Catman New Member

    Messages:
    102
    State:
    Randolph, Nebraska
    The 50 to 55 degree range is about the time for prespawn flatheads but in my opinion it must be a rise in water temp. that is here to stay and go up. 1 week of warm water at least, on the day that the temp goes from 48 to 50 degree's is not the trigger that sends them into a feeding freenzy. Has to be a trend. You can catch them but the fishing will be slower.
     
  13. Catfishn22

    Catfishn22 New Member

    Messages:
    47
    State:
    WV
    Looking over my logs I see that I catch more and bigger flatheads when the waters from 65-68 degrees.