Winter flathead catfish behavior

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by bluehunter, Nov 2, 2006.

  1. bluehunter

    bluehunter New Member

    Messages:
    3,004
    State:
    Los Angele
    Being that I was turned on to flatheads this year, I know nothing about their seasonal movements except that they can be caught easier during the Spring thru fall on live bait. What do they do during the winter time along the river? What do they look for and what do they feed on? I was told that you pretty much have to put the bait in front of them during the winter time. Anyone have success during the winter for the flats?
     
  2. NIMROD

    NIMROD New Member

    Messages:
    175
    State:
    Arkansas
    I've always heard Flatheads go dormant in real cold water. But we net fish wintering holes on Nimrod in Arkansas. Those Flatheads will have shad in them if it's cold enough for a shad kill.:smile2:
     

  3. bluehunter

    bluehunter New Member

    Messages:
    3,004
    State:
    Los Angele
    I heard the same thing. But also heard of some cases in which some were caught as well. I do know the bite shuts down in teh Colorado river where I fish the flatheads.
     
  4. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,172
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    Ive heard that they can be caught but the bite is few and far between.

    Most flatheads are busy this time of year decorating their lair with broken lines, hooks, leaders and sinkers and trading war stories with other flatheads.:big_smile:
     
  5. IrishO'Brady

    IrishO'Brady New Member

    Messages:
    367
    State:
    Ga


    Meanwhile, in the warmth of their own home, fisherman are spending all their hard earned pay checks on line, hooks, leaders and sinkers, and falsifying war stories about catfish :lol:
     
  6. catfishrus

    catfishrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,569
    State:
    north carolina
    look for deep water structure when the lakes turn over from a thermocline in the fall. its 99 percent location ,location,location(deep water structure). you will find them stacked up this time of year and they will stay on the location until winter is over. i know where they winter on some of my home lakes and its great flathead fishing in the fall but once the water temps get down to the high 50s i just cannot seem to do anything with them. i mark them on the graph but no bites. once the water temps reached 50 last spring they moved up river to prepare for the spawn. if your not on the flatheads in the fall you are missing out on the best flathead fishing for the year in my book.
     
  7. CatfishHateMe

    CatfishHateMe New Member

    Messages:
    669
    State:
    Il
    my thoughts exactly, i wanna go on a dive down to one of them big boys homes and see what alls down there. i herd a story one time of a huge flathead being cought here and havin 5 hooks in its mouth. prolly just a story but a good one to talk about while waitin on a bite:big_smile:
     
  8. s_man

    s_man New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    Michael, try fishing them with big one ounce lead jigs with white, yellow or chartruse bodies. Just drift thru the wintering hole, verticle jigging right on bottom. I'd like to know if it works on lakes. I've seen In-fisherman videos where they caught them on rivers that way. The flats wouldn't hit live or cut bait, but would snap up a jig close by. I'm gonna finally do it this winter, I saw this technique 4 or 5 yrs ago and have never tried it cause I can't find the wintering holes on my river. But I have it narrowed down this year. If you decide to try it let me know how it went. Big Flatheads for all, LOL.
     
  9. catfishrus

    catfishrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,569
    State:
    north carolina
    skip i havent tried that yet but i will this winter. dont know how good that will work with the holes that i know of. lots of wood/rocks in the water there. i will let you know if i get something. i did get a 25lber sat. morning and the water temps was 61. i love to see that tump and the line starting easing off.
     
  10. riverbud55

    riverbud55 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,948
    State:
    AZ Topock-/CA Riverside
    Name:
    Dale Miller
    well Blue buddy them flats I think are about done down there, water temp droped 5* in 2 weeks down to 66 this weekend, our colorado river blue and myself fish is about the deepest maybe 12' in a few spots and that out in the middle with no cover the average is about 5 to 7 ft with a few trees in 3or 4 ft of water along the edges , most of the bottom is sand with some dope offs of a few feet, the coldest the river got last year was 56*, the 1st of sept the temp was 84*. I'm thinking that the part of the river blue and myself fish would be more like a small river in TX:confused2: . this past weekend i was fishing a small hole near a log was fishing with a 4" gill and a big head of a mackeral, the gill never got a bite but the head got a nice run but missed hooking it and would be thinking it was a flat cuz the size of the head, my ? would be does it matter how cold the water gets for them to stop biting or is the time of the year cuz our river never get below 50* and how big a drop does it take to slow em down? also what about water level changes during summer the water runs maybe 5' higher then during the winter with a daily rise and fall of about 3' winter and summer
     
  11. catfishrus

    catfishrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,569
    State:
    north carolina
    river bud i dont know about your area of fishing. i just fish lakes here and have to deal with a thermocline about all summer long. once the lake do turn over in sept, it doesnt take the flats long to show up on deep water structure in the lakes. some structure is 60ft some is only 35ft. i dont target them too much in the summer but come fall i like to fish for them. last year they feed good on into mid nov here but this year we have had a cold snap in last week or so and they arent feeding as good as last year same time. i know the fish stayed on the one spot last winter due to the fact i was marking them but couldnt get them to hit for nothing. i would look for the deepest water i could find with a little current break and try it.
     
  12. bushwack

    bushwack New Member

    Messages:
    104
    State:
    missouri
    Have caught 22 in the last week,, water temp was 45-50 degrees, i have always heard that the bite slows or stops at 55, doesn't seem to be affecting them here this year