What's Your Techniques For Early Season Flatheads?

Discussion in 'LOCAL OHIO TALK' started by catfishrollo, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    Spring time is closing in fast. We are all getting the urge to get to our favorite river systems or lakes to chase after them hard feeding flatheads! As soon as the the weather stabilizes, and we get a warming trend, which includes early warm spring rains, I start hitting my spring places to target moving flatheads! Alot of the early season fish I get are in slack water areas, flooded drainage ditches, and creeks and streams that o hold water that warms quickly on them sunny days. These areas often draw shad, minnows and other fish in the spring to the warmer flooded banks that bring an easy meal for them as well! Flatheads don't like to swim far up in some of these narrow shallow streams, but will to get a quick meal, and like staging in the slack water mouths of these that meet the big water systems for rest etc. Before making their early season movements to pre-spawn areas. My favorite early spring baits are often the same as the late fall. They seem to like soft slender livebaits such as suckers, chubs, small bass etc. They also can be caught on cuts as well. I have not estabolished the daytime bite for flatheads throughout the year like some have, But spring and fall seem to be my best times to catch good flatheads during the day. So, my my post is not only being wrote for information for some, But,,,.. as information for myself! What spring baits work well for you? And, if you have any other info. on where, how you target daytime flats please post.. I am anxious to read and learn.... thanks, rollo
     
  2. One Legged Josh

    One Legged Josh New Member

    Messages:
    458
    State:
    Ohio
    I dont have nearly enough experience to teach Rollo anything, but I can offer my opinion I guess.
    In the early season I try to use slow smaller live baits, or easy big pieces of soft cutbait (chubs or yellow-bellies) . I tight line alot in the spring because of this approach. They seem to eat it but not run with it. A small "bite" could be a huge flat.
    I would also try to be at or near the mouth of a smaller more shallow (therefore warmer) tributary leading into the main river. If possible near a wintering hole. Just my opinion....olj
     

  3. jason berry

    jason berry New Member

    Messages:
    819
    State:
    Evansville
    I will use live bait more in the spring than any time of the year for flats. I try to find areas that are not in high current and have structure. In prespawn I like shallower water around a drop off and near rocks and really good structure. Rock slabs are my favorite if you get into flats around this time of year you can catch them one after another. Most flathead guys will tell you catchin three or more flats in one outing is good. However if you hit flats good in prespawn you might have your best day of flathead fishin ever. This is the only time of the year that I have pulled in large amounts of flatheads in one day. Ive broke the 15 flats in one outing a couple different times in the spring by myself. Its the only time of the year Ive ever come close to doing this. I caught so many flats one time in the spring with minnows bass fishing that I decided they had to be laying on top of each other to be catching them like that. If you find a good spot in the spring mark that area it will produce year after year around the same time depending on water and weather conditions.
     
  4. BobbyLee

    BobbyLee New Member

    Messages:
    858
    State:
    Zanesville, Ohio
    Well if I can get the boat in the water early enough. Gonna do some scouting and try and find a few of the deeper wintering holes and look for possible cruisin' lanes above the holes. From there I'm gonna look for the nearest creek mouths as well as nearby flats. Biggest strategy is gonna be getting the river mapped out. Locating drop off's small and large, structure, undercuts, and trying to choose the right bait and presentation for the conditions. Also gonna try and do an equal amount of bottom fishing as well as float presentation. Caught my biggest flathead last year off a homemade noodle bobber, it seemed to work well and will support a large weight...
     
  5. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    Little hint for ALL.... Fish the creek mouths and other shallow in coming tributarys! They have been proven great fishing for me in the spring!:wink: rollo
     
  6. hunted

    hunted New Member

    Messages:
    1,943
    State:
    washington court house,oh
    one of my favorite times to fish,i like the shallow waters in the spring time,can get you onto some fast and fun action when the water gets warmed up
     
  7. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    I fish for flatheads the same from april thru november.

    Deepest water, daytime, cutbait...LOL:smile2:
     
  8. ryang

    ryang Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,290
    State:
    Blacklick, Ohio
    Name:
    Gary
    Ummmm hook up with one of my bros to take to some spot (doesnt have to be a secret spot, realistily wouldnt matter since most places Ive never been to I usually dont drive to it and cant remember where it was in the first place :eek:oooh::smile2:
     
  9. misterwhisker

    misterwhisker New Member

    Messages:
    1,056
    State:
    T. Bowl
    And hit them hard, especially when the water is raising, I like to be on the water as much as I can when the water is on the raise, its got to be one of my most productive times, :wink: Good post jason..mojo to ya
     
  10. Joey6500

    Joey6500 New Member

    Messages:
    645
    State:
    Ohio
    Smaller baits work well for me in the spring
     
  11. rythymroach

    rythymroach New Member

    Messages:
    465
    State:
    United States
    I generally go for "thespot"! I'll scout out for nasty big logjams, and use a big gill on one pole and a smaller one on the other. I love to fish but am always on the prowl for a best catch. I would love to come back to the ohio river because it is jam pack loaded with huge flats. My best catch came from there and the rivers here do not produce like the Ohio does.
    I really envy you guys cuz you got one of the nicest rivers to slay the snot out of them big ones.
    I use a small trick someone showed me I'll skin off about an inch of scales off the gills tail, I believe it allows more scent and releases their amino acids into the water to some extent.(or I'd like to believe it that way)
    :roll_eyes:
     
  12. tbull

    tbull New Member

    Messages:
    3,318
    State:
    SW Ohio
    My technique is simple. First I do a rain dance, then I stand on my head for exactly 34 seconds. After that I jump on 1 foot, 7 times each foot. Then I pray to god for a 40+ lber....Hasnt worked yet, I suck at catching flatheads! :eek:oooh::sad2::beat_shot:
     
  13. stumpjumper

    stumpjumper New Member

    Messages:
    1,492
    State:
    Dallas, GA
    Wow, a bunch of great information here! Good post rollo.

    I can relate to Jason Berry's earlier post. I found one of these spots last April as the water temperature was gbeginning to hit low 60s. My wife and I started catching Flatheads like crazy. It was very close to the confluence of another tributary too. We will for sure go back there this spring.

    I like to use cutbait in the spring and live bait summer through fall.
     
  14. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    I do have one shallow highwater spot on my river that I can never figure out..

    It is pure slack water when the river is raging, depths from 3 feet down to 1 feet.

    Shad flock to this spot by the millions, and the fish are feeding on them like crazy..I have even saw the back of a big flat out of the water when he coraled a school of shad by the bank.

    But I have never caught a flathead from this spot using shad live and cut.
     
  15. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    I dunno if you have fished it during these conditions at night time Jack, im sure if you have seen them in there corraling shad, then you know they are feeding. May just have to change a few things up.. I also like flooded sandbars that have standing green grass or vegetation sticking out of the water. At nightime them flats love to swim up from the deeper slack water into these shallows, and you can actually see them moving working the grass. Lots of people see this and think its only carp, but thats not the case! I throw right up on the banks after dark, and have well this way also....rollo
     
  16. hunted

    hunted New Member

    Messages:
    1,943
    State:
    washington court house,oh
    a lot of good info here guys,thanks for all the tips
     
  17. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    I know for one thing that the flats will not go shallow like they do on summer nights so I try to stick with the deepest water possible in early spring hoping to snatch one coming out of their wintering grounds.
     
  18. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,081
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    In rivers ,Ive found that shallow flats with a lot of structure right next to a deep hole have produced big flatheads. Fish the transition area from deep to shallow water early in the evening and move to the shallows later in the night. Try the down current side of creek mouths also. I like the medium to larger live baits such as suckers and and large goldfish or coi.

    In the lakes, I look for the shallow coves and bays where crappie are spawning in submerged or standing timber. Flatheads will be invading those crappie beds at night.
     
  19. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    Very good post Walter!! VERY GOOD POST!!! rollo
     
  20. Hoopie

    Hoopie New Member

    Messages:
    818
    State:
    Ohio
    In the spring I do well in rising water with cut shad or gills. I fish deep water (10 ft.) or deeper and structure. I think the key in the river I fish is water condition, they seem to be more active when the water is rising and muddy.