Why are catfish guides so reluctant to fish for flatheads?

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by slimcat, Dec 17, 2005.

  1. slimcat

    slimcat New Member

    Messages:
    952
    State:
    marion kentucky
    I would like to get one question answered. Why are catfish guides so reluctant to fish for flatheads. 90% of all guides target blues and incidentally catch a flathead or two. Why not step out and target flats as well?
     
  2. Catfish_Commando

    Catfish_Commando TF Staff Member

    Messages:
    7,005
    State:
    Georgia
    Slimcat,

    A large portion of the decision would have to be catch rates for the client. Most clients, based only off information I have received from past guides who have used the BOC as an advertising medium are interested in the experience, and putting fish in the boat.

    One put it pretty good, If you dont put them on fish, teach something in the proccess, and have a good time, they wont be back, and WILL tell their buddies.

    Stu Mckay from Canada was a long time sponsor in the past.

    This is not all guides, just my slice answer from the few I have talked with who provided feedback in the past.

    Thanks,
    Paul
     

  3. dinkbuster1

    dinkbuster1 New Member

    Messages:
    2,272
    State:
    Ohio
    my guess is blues are a lot like channels and are easier to find and catch.
     
  4. Big Country01

    Big Country01 New Member

    Messages:
    964
    State:
    brandon,florida
    my guess would be due to the abundancy of the flathead (not as avaliable)
     
  5. spoonfish

    spoonfish New Member

    Messages:
    3,780
    State:
    Warsaw, Mo.
    I think it's like these guys stated, the blues are just more abundant in most locations. With most guides if you specify you would rather just target the flatheads they are more than happy to do just that.
     
  6. BIG GEORGE

    BIG GEORGE New Member

    Messages:
    10,362
    State:
    JOISY
    From what I have experienced about flathead cattin ya better have alot of patience. As mentioned I would think the majority of payin customers want quanity and action for their money.
     
  7. TIM HAGAN

    TIM HAGAN New Member

    Messages:
    1,236
    State:
    Walkersvil
    Well slimcat as a guide i have to put my clients on fish most of them are looking to catch as many fish as they can. I do get some that will just be looking for that big old cat so then I look for blues as we didn't have flats here in Maryland. Most of the clients i would say like 75% are beginners looking to get help and make then better at catching fish. As a big part of most of the trips I do end up being Q & A. Just about everything from tackle, baits to where when and why I fish different water and I hope that I have made better fishermen out of most if not all I have had out this pass season.
    I have made alots of them very happy with the number of fish and the size. And I still get emails from alot of them about thing to try or just to check in and see how the fishing is going.
     
  8. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    Flatheads are not as abudent as the other catfish, and usually dont school..So finding more than a few in one spot is hard..And alot of the feeding activity of flats occurs at night.
     
  9. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    Plus I might ad that the commercial netters are taking a huge toll on flatheads in certain wateraways, and they dont usually stop till they have cleaned an area out.
     
  10. DeerHunter01

    DeerHunter01 New Member

    Messages:
    2,113
    State:
    Kentucky
    I am not so sure on that !! I have found alot of Flatheads, and it is more time spending looking not fishing learning how they feed and where there at. I really feel that if you spend the time on flats you will catch them. But I do agree with the guides most people that go on guide trips are just starting to learn the fishing art for catfish, and its better to get them on fish then spend half the paying customers time looking for them. We have caught as many as 25 Flatheads in one evening between me and my son on the Ohio River, and I think when Big George was visiting in two boats with his wife one evening out of four of us I think we got close to 21 that night. Now I know that don't happen all the time, but if the time is spent trying to learn where there at evening like I stated above can happen.

    I have moved south now and been getting into the blue population here, and its alot different then Flatheads. A whole bunch different. But I am sure the more we learn this area here will will get back into the flathead population again this spring and summer.
     
  11. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    No different then paying 1500 a day to fish offshore in the gulf stream.
    you got a few choices. You can drag 6 lines for dolphin and have all 6 lines hooked up at once or you drag a 6 line spread targeting blue marlin and have a good day with 2 hookups with a good captain or no hookups with a good captain.
    The average cost of boating a blue marlin in NC (one of the best locales for blue marlin fishing in the world) is 2500 dollars.

    A catfish guide could do an exact breakdown between blues, channels and flathead where available.

    A big part would be influenced by the clientele. If you have a boat full of beginners obviously first priority for the guide is to put fish in the boat.
    Where as an experienced flatheader should have and understand the patience it could take to boat one quality flathead.

    Offshore charter captains work on the same theories. If it's a once in a blue moon thing for a vacationing family obviously he is going to want to put them on good fish in quantity if it is his decision to make and he is going to steer them in that direction.
    Repeat customers make or break a business and the best advertising money can't buy is word of mouth.
     
  12. dinkbuster1

    dinkbuster1 New Member

    Messages:
    2,272
    State:
    Ohio
    its not that blues are more abundant but they are more of a schooling fish than flats. like channels. i personally think flats are more abundant than blues. flats are very solitary. you can catch a bunch in a small to medium sized river but in a large river you have to keep movin around to different ares with cover.
     
  13. photocat

    photocat New Member

    Messages:
    803
    State:
    HOCO, Maryland
    i saw someone brought up an interesting point about most flatties feeding at night... most people aren't willing to hire a guide to stay up from just before dusk to just before dawn unless your a serious catfisherman or your a party guy/girl and they don't usually fish. so there is just more of a desire for them,though if one wanted to do it they could charge more because its such a rare find. Sort of like photographers, they charge more based on skill and how unique their field is... a portrait photographer is going to charge more then most events photographers(excluding wedding photographers) and an aerial photographer is going to charge more then the portrait photographers... then you get into good underwater photographers and the price skyrockets usually... and its harder to find people willing to spend so much on these things


    Plus as most have said... majority of the clients just want to catch fish, don't care how big usually (though to some size matters) they just want to have a bend in the rod....
     
  14. Dreadnaught

    Dreadnaught New Member

    Messages:
    5,444
    State:
    Henderson,Ky
    You Know Why, LOL!!!
    They fish for Flatheads on their days off, for relaxation, LOL!!!

    Actually I think they do it for customer satisfaction. Because most people that use guide services are used to having everything NOW, because they are most likely living in the fast paced world of the city. They can't comprehend the concept of "you have to be patient". What do you axpect from people living in a place were fast food, faxes, and cell phones are a must to survive.
    Blues fit the bill rather nicely scince they hit hard and are easier to find than the Flathead. So the more fish they catch, the happier the customer is. they will tell their friends about what a great time he/she had with that guide. Now the ball is rolling and the guide makes more money in the long run.

    We live at a much slower pace and can't understand why they don't take time to enjoy life a little more like we do!!!
     
  15. MadKater

    MadKater New Member

    Messages:
    378
    State:
    Evansville,IN
    Their is a guide here in Indiana that targets flats more then any other cat and he is very good at what he does,I have sent him a few e-mails and what not to pick his brain about flats,this guy knows what he is doing and his clients seem to be very happy with the way he does things. anyone that fishes for flats "hardcore" can tell you that you can fish for several nights before you catch that 1 mature cat you are looking for. Ive fished the same spot for upwards of a week every night with out a single bite then one night it happens.Last year i fished a spot i knew had flats in it,i fished it for 4 days with no luck and almost gave up on it then all of the sudden i caught one then another and another,i pulled 4 flats out of this one hole and all where mature flats.{which is rare.atleast for me :) }
    so like most people have already said,when a person looks for a guide they want one that can give them a fun action packed day of fishing.targeting mature flat heads is not for everyone.
     
  16. Katmaster Jr.

    Katmaster Jr. New Member

    Messages:
    4,644
    State:
    Wilmington, NC
    As already stated Blue Cats school up alot more and "eater" size blue cats are very abundant. Flathead's can be alot more difficult, they are very structure oriented, I'm not saying that other cats dont relate to structure. But Flatheads dont usually school up. They live in little holes and things under tree's and stuff.
    And Flatheads are almost always nocturnal (mostly feeding at night). I'm sure that alot of customer's dont want to go out at night, esspeicaly considering alot of them are beginners. Overall, Flathead's are alot more difficult to catch then Blue Cats are. Blue cat's will school up in one little spot and actually fight over food, they remind me of sharks a little....the more there is usually, the more they will bite, at least the small blues. They will go on a "Feeding Frenzy".
    And that's what alot of customer's want, they want alot of action, they want to catch alot of fish.....This is the way I look at it.... :)
     
  17. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    IMO, few guides target flatheads for the same reason they don't target trophy blues; 99 percent of the people hiring a guide prefer to catch a bunch of fish rather than one or two larger fish.
     
  18. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    Heres 2 cents worth from someone that has fished for Flats with guides.Rule number one for a successful trip regardless of species;Make up YOUR mind what you want.Do you want big fish, or lots, then by species.I fished with Don Drose at Santee and asked him about Flats one May day when we were striper and bluecat fishing.He said "I can take you and your money but if you wait until Sept when I tell you they are in a certain location you can catch a bunch of big ones".SIGN ME UP!!!!!! :wub: If you have the patience to go with the guide and hunt the fish,then set up on them,and then wait til they bite then he will take you and do the best he can for you.ALL guides love someone who tells them "I want to fish for Blues and all I care about is catching big ones.I want to pick your brain for all the info I can get and I understand we may catch them or we may not"That takes all the pressure off.I also tell them that I don't want to keep any fish over 20 lbs.Now he can take you to his best holes and if the fishing is slow he can teach you things and school you on patterns etc.Its like having your own walking encyclopedia.I've learned more when the fishing is slow than any other time.If somebody just hires him and says I want to catch some of those giant catfish I've been hearing about,then he has to decide what to do as far as many small fish,whats big to this guy from Ohio thats never seen a 20lb Blue or what.We caught 9 Flats the day we went in Sept,from one spot without moving,didn't get a bite for 5 hrs and then BAM.The smallest was 38lbs,great day great experience for me and a great day for the guide because he said what he would do and we did it.
     
  19. Phil Washburn

    Phil Washburn New Member

    Messages:
    7,680
    State:
    Shawnee OK
    the flats are certainly as plentiful as blues, in a general sense. they are more picky than blues tho.
    i believe it to be a combination of things......most customers, as stated before, like lost of fish, and blues are easier to load up on....and flats moving more at night limits both guides and customers because or their unwillingness to fish all night.
     
  20. dreamcatcher

    dreamcatcher New Member

    I think it's a double-edged sword...

    I've only had one guy take me on trips, and it was for flatheads. He didn't know what my expectations were until the first trip was over. What he found out was I didn't really care about catching alot of fish, because I had read up on flatheads and knew what their feeding was like in comparison to channels. However, I believe the average person that goes on these trips could care less about the details of the fish, and would rather see the rod bending all the time. I went with this guy on three different occasions and didn't get one fish in the boat. Flatheads can make you look bad, and that's not good in the way people perceive catfish. The stereotype is they'll eat anything that you throw in the water because they're "dumb." I think that type of thinking puts more pressure on you as a guide, unless you have someone who understands the situation, and is willing to enjoy the experience regardless.