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Discussion in 'Central Ohio Fishing Reports' started by Mushijobah, Feb 28, 2005.

  1. Mushijobah

    Mushijobah Urban Angler

    I was wondering how you guys hook your live baits when fishing for these monsters. Also, how long do you wait when one has your bait in its mouth, I always miss them!
  2. flathunter

    flathunter Mellons mentor

    I hook mine in the back, and I dont wait long to set the hook, just long enough to pick the rod up usually...If you are missing fish, it may not be flatheads.

  3. moke11


    It probably makes a difference where you are fishing (lakes or rivers)? Flatheads prefer live bait. Depending on the type of bait and rig used, casting a bait can kill it on impact with the water. In lakes, some folks use a boat to drop their baits before heading to shore. This avoids casting and ensures the bait is lively. In this situation, it might also be possible to hook the fish through the snout.

    I fish mainly in the Ohio River, and a hardy bait such as a blue-gill will survive the impact of a cast. I also typically do not fish from a boat after dark on the river. So, a blue-gill is hardy enough to cast, and I prefer to hook them behind the dorsal fin.

    One other consideration is that a flathead takes the bait head first. So, a hook behind the dorsal fin helps to ensure the fish does not take the bait deep in the throat. Some prefer circle hooks to accomplish similar concept, but I do not. I want control of setting the hook.

    I also do not wait long to set the hook. Once I pick up the rod and he takes up the slack line, I let him ease the rod down into a hook setting position before crossing his eyes. I want to feel tension on the line indicating he has the bait in his mouth and is swimming away.
  4. acklac7

    acklac7 S.S.

    Although I've only caught 1 flathead I have done a bunch or research on them.. has allot of good info. Also watch out for the "Kill shot". Sometimes Flatheads will strike a bait, and kill it instantly. Then they will grab it again and rotate it around in there mouth in order to "take the bait head first"...This happened the one and only time I caught a flathead. I was using a live bluegill hooked in the dorsal. I got one vicious strike (moved my pole 1ft off the ground) and then nothing....I picked up the rod and waited...................I felt something there but not much............Then the line began to tighten as he started to swim away, thats when I set the hook :). Also if you are using Bluegill they really freak out when a predator is closing in. I mean line will start to "dance" and then BAM!...Reminds me...I've got to get my Cat tackle out for spring :)
  5. Hey Mushi, still fishin' JCC? ;)

    Maybe one of these days we'll make it out cattin' one night!

    I've caught more big channel cats while flatheadin' than I've caught flatheads. The spot I used to go all the time sucked this year......only caught one fish.....and it was a channel cat.
  6. How we hook depends on conditions.

    If you're fishing in moderate to heavy current, sometimes a back-hooked bait will twist your line, even with a swivel. Most of our bigger bluegills and chubs get hooked thru the eyesocket so they run in the current. In slack water, it's the other way 'round - bait swims against the line better hooked thru the back or tail, and the nose-hooked abit twists the line.

    Conditions somewhat dictate how long to wait to set the hook. We use 3/0 to 7/0 O'Shaunessy hooks (gave up on circle hooks for now on flats). If you're reel's locked down and the rod's tied down, the fish will generally hook itself and pull against drag. When the rod goes down, set hard. If you're running the clicker, depends on how the run progresses as to how much line to pay out. You have to develop a feel. Usually, thumb the spool down so the line comes taught, then hit it hard.

    Hope you get a big bunch.
  7. Mushijobah

    Mushijobah Urban Angler

    Thanks a lot for your help guys...Just what I was looking for....And yes, I still fish the JCC. PM me bouncer!