Wintering flathead catfish movement

Discussion in 'CALIFORNIA RIVERS TALK' started by bluehunter, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. bluehunter

    bluehunter New Member

    Messages:
    3,004
    State:
    Los Angele
    I had a few people ask me about winter flatheads and if they can still be caught during those time periods. The answer is yes; however one needs to be aware of how to go about them, plus need to be careful of not overharvesting them. A few years ago a member on my board came across some mighty big flats during the winter that congregated in a hole along the coachella canal. The fish were apt to feed on crawlers and you had to pretty much put the bait right on them as they were not really active as far as moving. Various articles I have read pretty much talked about flats congregated in hole that had stucture like logs jams, rocks, etc, that served as a block against the current and these fish just sat there in a hibernating like mode. Grant it that these waters do not get as cold as our midwestern and eastern counterparts but the waters out here get cold enough to cause a habitual change in the flatheads that needs to be recognized. General concensus is that when you come across a wintering flathead hole, you have come across a honey hole as they are stacked almost on top of each other. Anglers reported catching several of these fish plus some have caught them accidently by snagging them while fishing for other fish with a jig. I am very sure that these fish can be caught on the Colorado River and its canals in the same way if one happens to come across a hole that has what the wintering flats want. It will take a mighty bit of searching, but defnitely can be found if one puts in the effort. I for one target my flatheads during the spring thru fall months and would rather go after the blues during the colder time periods. But just to answer some questions that been generated yes flatheads can be caught but can be at a slower rate. However if one comes across a wintering hole, you could have multiple flatheads right in that zone.

    Here is a few references to site in wintering flatheads - In fisherman magazine & a U tube video.

    http://www.in-fisherman.com/magazine/exclusives/if2901_CatfishArchives/

    [youtubevid]wMtBNmLwM-Q[/youtubevid]


    Hope you find the info useful.

    B
     
  2. shania

    shania New Member

    Messages:
    5,942
    State:
    San Leandro, Ca
    That was a good report & some very good information on the actions of that fish at that time of the year Blue. :0a23:
    :0a31:
     

  3. bluehunter

    bluehunter New Member

    Messages:
    3,004
    State:
    Los Angele
    Thanks Bert. Just something to help generate learning thats all and it can answer a lot of questions as far as winter flatheads go.
     
  4. n2fishn

    n2fishn New Member

    Messages:
    7,333
    State:
    Topeka,Kan
    Good post Brian.
    Yes they can be caught in the winter time even in the midwest.And your right if you find them they will stacked like cords of wood.

    Really need to CPR these fish or you can clean out a whole hole in the winter time.
     
  5. bluehunter

    bluehunter New Member

    Messages:
    3,004
    State:
    Los Angele
    Talk about some winter flatheads this one was caught last week of November in the parker area at 42#s. Parker is on my 09 list for fishing and maybe even a gathering after I collaborate with a source up there.
     

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  6. daystarchis

    daystarchis New Member

    Messages:
    11,521
    State:
    Clovis Cali
    That is a hog! Thanks for the pics Blue.
     
  7. riverbud55

    riverbud55 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,948
    State:
    AZ Topock-/CA Riverside
    Name:
    Dale Miller
    hmmm May have to look for some bait over the holiday's down there, any info on the lake, the strip, or below the Indian diversion dam. Day time or night time, bait?:wink:
     
  8. CatMan(Cali)

    CatMan(Cali) Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,070
    State:
    Fresno Californ
    Thanks for the good info Blue. I will have to keep on listenin and learnin as I prepare for the gathering this summer, or whenever it may be. I have never caught a flathead. Hell, I have never even caught a cat bigger than 14lbs. Look forward to meeting the socal folks this year at the gathering. Tight linez!

    Sean!
     
  9. bluehunter

    bluehunter New Member

    Messages:
    3,004
    State:
    Los Angele
    Thanks you. I am sure Dale will host his annual BOC gathering which I showed up to the last few years. I will also host another one mid June so there will be plenty of chances to fish the river with knowledgable folks this summer. Look forward to meeting you.

    B
     
  10. bluehunter

    bluehunter New Member

    Messages:
    3,004
    State:
    Los Angele

    The only info I have Dale is the Parker Strip. Dont have the specifics. It came from a website of the Parker area that does weekly reports. Apparently that is a good area. I have not fished above Blythe yet but we have to put something in the cards for Parker as they have good catfishing just like the rest of the Lower Colorado River region we fish. So less time, so much river to fish.:big_smile:

    BTW the bait was bluegill.
     
  11. CatMan(Cali)

    CatMan(Cali) Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,070
    State:
    Fresno Californ
    Am lookin forward to it too. I'm sure we'll get down there and get it crackin. Is there good bank fishing down there on the river, or do you pretty much need a boat? And the flats only take live bait?

    Sean!
     
  12. bluehunter

    bluehunter New Member

    Messages:
    3,004
    State:
    Los Angele
    I have it crackalating all the time down this way so anytime Sean.

    This past season due to the gas rates I improvised and used the bank and fished the canals. But I also had 2 pb's and missed 4 other big ones. Should have had 6 big flats and I believe the spots were just as good as the main river. Caught fish on every trip from April thru August. So you will do well fishing the bank and also the river just depends on if you are willing the bring the boat. Hopefully the gas prices will remain what it is now and I will bring mine a few times this coming season as I want to fish the main river a little more this time around. But on the other hand I know of spots where you can get 30-40's just as well or if not easier than the main river, plus you can camp out, bbq, and line up your chairs and chit chat and all that. I kind of like that better to tell you the truth.

    Live bait is the ticket. Both gills and Tilapia. That not much of a problem to get as there are small creeks and canals full of them. Goldfish works too but I had the best luck with goldies in the early season and as the gills and tilapia made themselves more present in May and June the flats took a liking to those more than goldfish.
     
  13. woodchucker

    woodchucker New Member

    Messages:
    128
    State:
    La Quinta,Ca
    Hey Brain,
    I can just imagine some holes stacked with some phat flatheads on the canals.....I have heard of holes up to 16ft in there,but I have only graphed a depth to 8ft on the stretches Ive been on,with an average of about 4-5ft.Sure would be cool to be a local out there.Sooo much water and soo little time is an extreme understatment with all the water between havasu and the border...
     
  14. bluehunter

    bluehunter New Member

    Messages:
    3,004
    State:
    Los Angele
    Hey Billy hows it going?

    Yeah I am sure there are holes in the canals. I came across the same depths you came across for the canal. The flats I caught last season came from 4-5 feet of water. The water fluctated just like the main river did as it went up and down. The strectch that is below Palo Verde with the canal heading to the main river is the deepest I came across so far maybe getting to 10ft at one hole I fish. Current is faster there too. But the slower current areas did the best for me.

    The locals do have a heads up on the area. I would be there like every weekend almost if I lived near a great body of river and canals full of big flatheads.:big_smile:
     
  15. CatMan(Cali)

    CatMan(Cali) Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,070
    State:
    Fresno Californ
    Sounds like I'm gonna have to kick it with you when I come down for the gathering. I don't even have a boat bro, that's why I was asking how the bank fishing was. Most people I have talked to about the Blythe area say they use boats. It would be nice to go out on the boat, but if there is pretty good bank fishing I'm game for that. I like to chill with the fellaz, BBQ, BS, and fish at the same time. Just line up the banks with BOC members and somebody gonna catch somethin. I hear the gathering down there is usually around June. Is that true? I guess I better prepare for the heat. It gets real hot in Fresno, but it gets even hotter down there. Can't wait for you to put me on some of those 30-40#ers.:wink:

    Sean!
     
  16. plumbertom1

    plumbertom1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,902
    State:
    Eugene, Or.
    Sean, the best bank fishing in that area is not on the river but on the canals and drains in the Palo Verde area.
    Last year at the BOC Blythe Gathering I got a good flathead along with some smaller ones and Brian got one of his big cats fishing on the same Drain not very far from where I got mine.
     
  17. bluehunter

    bluehunter New Member

    Messages:
    3,004
    State:
    Los Angele
    Cool Sean. The BOC gathering normally been the first fews weekends in June. Normally there is a vote though and people may want it to be later or earlier this year we will have to see.

    Mines will be 3rd weekend in June. But I will also be there for Dales gathering as well.

    Its all good you can roll with me there is all kinds of areas and space. Its in Palo Verde like Tom said and its about 15-20 miles south of Blythe but still in close proximity to the gathering zones. I dont fish till around 6pm for the most part anyways. There are spots of the river to get flats from the bank as well a few in Blythe above Mayflower and also good ones off the Cibola area too that puts out flats. I have not fished them yet but old associates got some up to 20 pounds and lost a few there in the rocks.

    Make sure you have plenty of repellent as the mosquitos will be in force. Eventough its hot I wear a long sleeve to help combat the bites and a hood at night.
     
  18. Snagged2

    Snagged2 New Member

    Messages:
    6,252
    State:
    Verde Valley AZ
    I'm looking forward to making one or both of those Gatherings,,,

    Ditto on the Skeeters,,,, full coverage on the clothing, lots of bug spray, and I've been known to burn a cigar to help smoke'm out also!! Pray for a breeze!!
     
  19. bluehunter

    bluehunter New Member

    Messages:
    3,004
    State:
    Los Angele
    Sounds good Snagged.

    I also make way to that area twice a month starting in April. The flats bit well for me in April and May last season. We were getting them in the day time too in April and May which was a first for me. Bass and pig tilapia too. But when night fall hit, it was crazy running up and down the bank. We literally ran out of 12 gills by 8pm one time from when the fish started biting around 7pm when the sun went down. Had to result to goldfish. It was something else I tell you. I have to admit it was the funnest time I had in a while with the fellas out there. I will still hit it up with some of the fellas and hopefully some of you all and get in on the action.
     
  20. shania

    shania New Member

    Messages:
    5,942
    State:
    San Leandro, Ca
    Hey Sean,

    I was there with all of the gang last year, (and Man :crazy:)

    I was with "Tom" (Plumbertom1) the night he landed a nice Flat & was at the camp of the Gathering were "Blue" & some of the others there came by to show us some of the ones they got - & Buddy - you are going to want to be a part of that.
    (Trust Me on that one Buddy :wink:)
    :0a23: