Wow!! You guys are still fishing?

Discussion in 'OHIO RIVERS TALK' started by Capt_Culver, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. Capt_Culver

    Capt_Culver Member

    I'm back!!! I figured you all would be out chasin' bambi. There are 2 weeks left for duck season and I am already starting to think about fishin. Like last year, I have a few questions regarding these elusive critters. I didn't really get into this seriously until mid summer. So, I wasn't around this past spring to ask questions. As some of you may remember, I landed my first flathead last Sept...I think? At any rate, I want to take advantage of the spring bite this year.

    First of all, do these flatheads inhabit the same waters as they do in the fall? Deep holes in eddy's or do they tend to come up a bit to more shallow waters? Are they still lurking around the dead timber or do they move up to gravel/sand flats....and drop points from there?

    Bait: I have heard that a lot of the shad are killed off in the winter. Is this true? Does this mean that the shad will be smaller this spring as they were compared to last fall? I was reading the Virgina board and those guys are using gill nets on the James river to catch their baits. Have any of you had any luck with this type of net? How do they work? Do you drag them behind the boat or just set them at anchor in a river and come back 20 mins later to check on them. My shoulder gets really worn out quick from all the cast netting I have to do to get enough bait for a trip. Sometimes spend upwards of 90 minutes throwing a cast net.

    Spawn: How do catfish spawn and when is the spawn? Most of my fishing in the past couple of years has been up on Lake Erie for Walleye. I know that they spawn around the middle of April and last to the middle of May. I don't know anything about the flathead spawn. Does the fishing slow down during this time of year? With walleye, as soon as the females are done laying eggs, they are eager to feed and it is one of the best times to land some nice trophy hogs.

    Anyhow, just thought I would stop by and say "hi" again. I didn't forget about you guys. I hope this year I can learn more and get better in my technique to land more fish.
  2. Salmonid

    Salmonid New Member

    SW Ohio
    Josh, Gill nets and shad trawls are both illegal in Ohio so youll have to cast net like the rest of us with sore shoulders.:smile2:
    As far as bai, yes , shad will typically die off when a mix of water temps below 44-46 degrees and low oxygen happen from Ice covering the surface. In rivers shad will find the deeper warmer water or warm discharges and hang out all winter, in lakes where there may not be any warmer discharges, the best shad kills are in the shallow canal lakes like St Marys, Indian, Buckeye etc because they ice up early and are real shallow, a bad combination for the shad. they float to the surface, and become frozen into the ice which is why you dont notice the dead shad until they thatw out and they look fresh but in reality, were perfectly preserved in the Ice, when Ice fishing, sometimes you can see shad frozen under your feet, pretty cool, My buddy with a hand auger chewed right through one...

    Flattie are still a wintime mystery, reports and studies say they hunker down in slow water deep holes and basically almost hibernate on the bottom so best bet for flatheads is when water temps are around 50 degrees and higher.

    I hope this helps, I am still a beginner in all this catfishing stuff...

  3. s_man

    s_man New Member

    south east ohio
    Josh your best bet will be the Pre-spawn through spawning season. Catfish do not all spawn at the same time, they spread it out over a few weeks. So you can always find some in pre-spawn mode and post-spawn mode. The pre-spawn "movement" will start as soon as the water gets over 55 degrees. I start fishing from 50 to 60. Once it gets over 60 you are dead in the middle of pre-spawn. That just means the flats are moving and covering more area than they will the entire year. Which gives you the best chance for numbers and size of fish. The spawn starts at 70 degrees. So if you wait till then to start fishing you wasted 2 months. I start late april early may on normal yrs. Sometimes the water heats up sooner or later. You just have to take readings, or look for posts.
  4. prostreetS10

    prostreetS10 New Member

    sman hit the nail on the head there. Pre spawn and after is my favorite time to fish flatheads. Catch alot of fish like sman said and alot of nice ones.
  5. tbull

    tbull New Member

    SW Ohio
    I made the mistake last year of waiting too long, with the weather being as screwed up as it was last year, the water temp heated up much quicker than I thought, and I missed the pre spawn. Usually at the large lakes, we fish the banks with live bait and catch the flatheads cruising the bank feeding and looking for a place to spawn. Some of the best flathead fishing of the year is done during this time IMO..
  6. Spencer_Blanton

    Spencer_Blanton New Member

    Franklin, Ohio
    I fish the GMR almost exclusively. The classic window pre-spawn is from May 15 to June 15. This past year was all screwed up with swings from hot to cold and dry to wet though. I'm hoping for a better season this year.