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Another rookie question

Discussion in 'Catfish Discussion' started by Rooster, Aug 15, 2004.

  1. First, I want to thank everyone for their help. I caught two flatheads last night, and the help that I have received was of great assistance. I used a three-way break away rig (light line on the lead), snelled circle hooks, down sized the hook because I could not get larger goldfish, and stopped the clicker with my thumb before engaging the reel. All of which were suggestions from this site. Two runs tonight, and two positive hook-ups!

    Now the questions. Each of the fish that I caught tonight and the one that I lost last week hit the bait within minutes of it being in the water. I know that flatheads are very efficient predators, but is this common or did I just get lucky and hit them on the head? Do you move spots often because of this? That is, since they are such good predators, if they are in the area they will quickly find your bait. If you do not get bit quick, can you assume that they are not in your area, or at least not feeding?
     
  2. RiverRat

    RiverRat Banned

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    Casting into the best spot will get you bites quick...ive had big flats take a bait after casting out before i could get the rod in the holder..happens a lot.
    If the cats are holding in another area of the "hole" your fishing it will take a little time for them to home-in on the bait then hit.

    As for circle hooks, i have no comment other than i will NOT use them...only 10/0-12/0 4X-strong Gamakatsu's for me and big baits for flatheads...but to each is own.

    Scott
     

  3. misfit

    misfit MOD SQUAD

    nice job.rr is right in that if they'refeeding,and you happen to drop a bait closeby,it won't take them long to find it.if you're fishing in their "territory(when they're feeding),it may take awhile,sometimes hours,before they come across it,while "making their rounds".fishing a river spot where their territory can be much smaller than a lake,should make for quicker action when they're on the feed.
    i'd say lady luck had a hand in it also,as you just happened to be there when they were hungry ;) .
     
  4. I think eveyone has a different answer on that one. I know guys that say if it sits for 10-20 min. then it will sit there all night, so move. Other guys tell me, leave it there they will find it.

    If i sit for very long without a bite i like to move. Unless i have lots of different baits, then i will cycle through my bait first. Some guys recast the same bait, this direction, then over there, now down here. I only do that if i notice places that the cats may be holding up. As for me in the river i hate letting it sit to long because i hate the thought of letting a line sit out there in a snag. Man that makes me mad..

    But we all know it depends. Nothing is never or always, and that is very true in fishing. Get to know your holes, thats what will tell you.
     

  5. Hahaha, well said but i wish it was that simple.
     
  6. RiverRat

    RiverRat Banned

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    Well it IS that simple IF you know your prey(meaning Flatheads) very well....finding the best spots is not that hard...only pulling them out of the heavy timber ..lol! Of course im speaking of rivers..i do not fish lakes for flatheads...too much time wasted searching for them & wasted time hoping for one to bite...no thanks!

    I dont "move" baits around, if your meaning recasting them? I do however "tug" on my baits if they stop bouncing my rod tip for a few mins.

    They biggest keys to flatheads are #1 location...and #2 nice big WILD lively baits!!
     
  7. katfish

    katfish Cats are where it's at!

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    Rooster,

    Flathead seem to have a distinct routine except at spawning time.

    Normally they stay relaxed under their security cover such as culverts or logs.
    When they are hungry or conditions are good for feeding they venture out and make circular feeding routes. Since they are efficient predators these feeding forays may be anywhere from once every 3 or 5 nights.

    Smaller flatheads are like teenagers and their appetites and growth mean they feed more often. They are not as skilled at finding and catching prey as mature flatheads. This means they must hunt more often and for longer periods.

    I believe you will start seeing reports of more fish activity due to the water cooling. It sounds like you have a good location and the fish were active.
    If you keep flathead fishing you will experience good times for catching and bad times for catching. The flathead will still be in the same areas but their activity level will dictate the results of your trip.

    Good going on the flathead :D
     
  8. RiverRat

    RiverRat Banned

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    Robby brings up a very good point not many cat anglers think about.

    Large cats might feed only once -twice a week(of course depending on many conditions)...but a large fish will not waste time and energy feeding only on small prey, if they have the right amount of good sized prey they will try to fill up on big baits, then settle back to resting...wouldnt be wise to hunt lots of small fish, if bigger prey is available IMO.
    Also remember that a 40+ lb. flathead can easily eat a fish up to (and maybe bigger) than 6-8lbs.....so is the water your fishing holds good numbers of drum, carp, bullheads, LM bass...thats probably what they hunt for the most...and if they cant catch one of them, then a couple hand-sized bluegill will do too.


    So if you hit a certain spot that holds say 10 big cats...you could have nights where you catch nothing...then nights where you hit the jackpot...in large bodys of water or where the flathead population is low..you could easily fish 5 nights in a row on a prime spot before you catch the local big boy.


    I can always tell a good large flathead holding spot because of the lack of small to mid-sized channel cats...they will not lay in brush with cats that will eat them, so they either hold in lesser prime holes...or get eaten..lol.

    Scott
     
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