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TIGHTLINER
06-19-2012, 07:17 PM
I'd like to spark a discussion about Flathead Catfish in Northeast Ohio.

Specifically focusing on West Branch Reservoir, Dale Walborn Reservoir, Berlin Lake, Lake Milton and the Mahoning River. I would like to refrain from mentioning Flathead Catfishing in Lake Erie, Mosquito Creek Reservoir, the Ohio River and the Muskingum watershed areas.

Rather keeping focus on: West Branch Reservoir, Dale Walborn Reservoir, Berlin Lake, Lake Milton and the Mahoning River.

It's rarely talked about, so what gives? I know Flathead Catfish are being caught in these areas but I'm not sure about the numbers, quantity, size, etc. I believe West Branch to probably be the best out of these five places from past experience but I'm interested to see what all of you guys know and think.

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yogi
06-19-2012, 07:53 PM
I catfish at walborne berlin and mahoning never caught a flatty at these plases in the past 8 yrs


Fish long and Hard

Rmelz
06-19-2012, 08:12 PM
I'm pretty sure a guy caught a flathead close to 50 lb this time last year at west branch

TIGHTLINER
06-19-2012, 09:46 PM
The lid is definitely on the Flathead fishing on these 5 areas and I'm sure trying to twist it off, I have seen photos of West Branch coughing up some heavy fish, mostly coming by chance to anglers trolling. I have caught a few weighing no more then 10 pounds in West Branch Reservoir and the branch of the Mahoning from below the dam. I have witnessed a 30 pounder come out of Dale Walborn, I've seen some people bring an occasional Flathead from lake Milton into Northcoast Bait & Tackle when I worked there in high school. I've heard reports of rogue Flatheads being caught during high water periods from the Berlin Spillway and in the Mahoning River below Lake Milton.......

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Rootstown308
06-19-2012, 11:29 PM
I honestly think the mahoning river is the best bet....there arent LARGE numbers in the lakes you listed (i do not believe)...but since theyre all there because of the mahoning pretty much...its probably the best place to start looking (which i plan i doing VERY shortly)

johnboy111711
06-19-2012, 11:42 PM
caught one about 20lbs out of berlin two falls ago

carpslayer
06-20-2012, 08:53 AM
If your fishing from shore with no depth finder how do you locate spots? meaning what should i look for.. i really want to LEARN not STEAL...

TIGHTLINER
06-20-2012, 05:28 PM
It seems like we're getting too many reports to consider the Flatheads in these areas being caught as flukes. So I wonder if there is any way we can get some information from the ODNR about past stocking programs or whether or not they believe that there is a sustainable Flathead Catfish population in West Branch Reservoir, Dale Walborn Reservoir, Berlin Lake, Lake Milton and/or the Mahoning River.

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AllEyezOnMe
06-20-2012, 06:32 PM
What's the best tactic when fishing from a boat for flatheads. Never done it but it would be a nice date for the wife and I. What is the depth or structure I should target?


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wilsoncastaway
06-20-2012, 07:45 PM
Fished walborn for many years before it was a stark park, back when it was just a creek bacause of the dam never ever caught a flathead.

westbranchbob
06-20-2012, 08:13 PM
as far as Westbranch is considered I have whitnessed two catches one at about 20 and another a little larger and I did catch one at 51 pounds last spring.This has all been in the last three years,However all three of these were caught as flukes becuse we were not even close to targeting them.I caught mine on a large swimbait while walleye fishing in less than 10 feet of water.I'm not sure about the numbers in that lake but from personal experience alone I would say it's better than some people think.May be a sleeper lake like Mosquito was 10 years ago!As far as the rest of the lakes,if it's in berlin it's in Milton and the Mahoning.Not sure about walbourn but if they are there then shouldn't they be in deer creek as well?????

RiverRager11
06-20-2012, 08:20 PM
I have in fact caught a flathead catfish out if Dale walborn. I caught it in a channel about 10 to 12 feet deep. The shovel head was no less then 25 pounds. Before that day if someone told me there are shovels in walborn I would have called u crazy. Hope this helps.


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ezbite
06-21-2012, 12:12 AM
ive caught several from below the dams on the mahoning river over the years. nothing ever over 20#'s.

Bulldawg
06-21-2012, 09:56 PM
Atwood has a decent population of them and Leesville might surprise ya . A buddy of mine works for the division of wildlife and was at Leesville when they shocked it 2 falls ago and they shocked a 30 pounder right at the marina by the dam .

lennyzrx
06-22-2012, 11:04 AM
I've not heard or seen posts on many flatheads pulled from the waters you've mentioned.

for sure limited numbers could be there though. I have read posts of flatheads being in RestHaven? I've pulled nice channels from resthaven over the years, never a flathead though.

me and my partner usually do a few late summer road trips south for flatheads. my best at delaware res. by the dam back about 15 years ago on a big chub. a few nice ones from saltfork also.

I wish they were around up here. I don't ever expect to connect up here though.

TIGHTLINER
06-22-2012, 12:42 PM
I reached out to Michael J. Kirwan online and they responed with the following:

"Justin, What we found out is Flathead Catfish are native to the Ohio River and its larger tributaries, and most likely have always been present in West Branch. They were stocked in the reservoir once, in 1973. The fish currently present in the lake are self-sustaining."

lennyzrx
06-22-2012, 12:49 PM
I reached out to Michael J. Kirwan online and they responed with the following:

"Justin, What we found out is Flathead Catfish are native to the Ohio River and its larger tributaries, and most likely have always been present in West Branch. They were stocked in the reservoir once, in 1973. The fish currently present in the lake are self-sustaining."

there ya go!

Now getting into them is another ballgame! I think most agree on live bait fish of one sort.

best of luck. this is an interesting thread for catters up north here.

years back a fair sized blue cat was found dead at wallace lake in the cleveland metro parks. so I guess anything is possible!

AkronCATS
06-22-2012, 04:57 PM
I would love to see the DNR stock a healthy population of flatheads somewhere close to the Akron area. It's too far of a drive to go back n forth to Mosquito, Tappan or the Ohio river and they are too scarse in WB or Nimisila to target them.

lennyzrx
06-22-2012, 05:12 PM
I would love to see the DNR stock a healthy population of flatheads somewhere close to the Akron area. It's too far of a drive to go back n forth to Mosquito, Tappan or the Ohio river and they are too scarse in WB or Nimisila to target them.

I hear ya. it's a good trek for most of us. 2 1/2 hrs. for me to get to decent spots.

at least we can see pic's of big flats and blues from our southern ohio brothers. if ya can't be there thats the next best thing. LOL

rangerjulie
06-22-2012, 07:58 PM
You guys wanna see what a monster flat head looks like? A guy got a 70-pounder at a Corps lake in Arkansas! I've posted it on our FB page.



RangerJulie

vc1111
06-23-2012, 07:21 AM
I've caught the noble flathead in the Mahoning as recently as last summer. Haven't targeted them this year yet, but now would be a great time.

I also have a picture of one boated on West Branch in my boat about 4 years ago and a friend of mine. Also OGF member, Mac Mac, boated a real horse on West Branch within the last few years.

Flatheads are generally not as prolific as channels and therefore not as easy to catch. They are also not as receptive to anything other than live bait, although they are occasionally known to hit crawlers or cut bait, etc.

It seems that because of their propensity to respond to primarily live bait, along with their finicky nature in general, fewer of them are caught, and as a result, they are not frequently targeted. Because they are not an easy target, I would not stand on one leg waiting for the ODNR to engage in any widespread stocking program. Instead they are usually stumbled upon by someone fishing for some other species...which only further adds to their mystique.

In my opinion, that may be a good thing to a degree. Large flatheads, like pike and musky, are often strung up for nothing more than a photograph...which often kills them.

I have always loved catfishing. The flathead is really something special. I once had the pleasure of targeting them on Santee Cooper where they can grow to legendary lengths. Glad that place isn't closer or I'd probably hurt myself chasing them.:D