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How to read the river?

Discussion in 'Catfish Discussion' started by Rooster, Jul 28, 2004.

  1. I can look at a section of river, and point out where the smallmouth are likely to be holding. Same thing with trout. However, I have not been able to develop an eye for a flathead spot. What characteristics do you look for when choosing a new section of river? I think that flatheads have a preference for wood cover (as opposed to rocks). I would also guess that there needs to be some fairly deep water near by? What about current, do they hold in pools out of the current, or should I be looking for breaks in the main current? I plan to look for some flatheads this weekend on the Great Miami River here in SW Ohio, and want to at least pick a spot that has good potential! Thanks!
  2. Last months In-Fisherman had a good article on river flatheads. Cover is the first priority. Deep water isn't absolutley critical. If you can find the article, it explains it much better than I can.

  3. Thanks! I’ll look for the magazine.
  4. flathunter

    flathunter Mellons mentor

    I have been fishing one spot on the scioto this year for flatheads which is the deepest hole I have found on that river..My results are 0 flatheads..Because there is no cover or snags in the hole..I gave up on it because of this reason.
  5. I forget what month it is, but the cover looks like this:

    Attached Files:

  6. shuvlhed1

    shuvlhed1 Banned

    You should keep fishing that deep hole and throw in a tree limb or christmas tree and a couple of cinder blocks in each time you go out. after a few months you should have plenty of cover!
  7. I'm not very experienced in reading rivers for Flats myself (Fish mostly Lakes), but I have been able to locate them with some success. I look for an area with a nice shallow flat close to some deeper water with cover. Deep could be as little as 6-8 fow depending what size river. I fish Big Walnut Creek for Flats and in some stretches of the Creek 10 ft. would be as deep as it gets.

    The most obvious and easy to find spots for me have been railroad crossings. Logs and trees get snagged up over time around the pilings which creates plenty of cover. Check these crossings until you find one with nice log jams that has a shallow flat close by. These logjams will also occur in a deep bends. Check areas where the river takes a sharp turn. Muskrat holes are also a good sign. They tear holes under the banks and create channels on the river bottom that the cats lay in.

    There are some guys on here with loads of experience; maybe some of them will chime in? :confused:

    Good Luck Rooster!
  8. I plan to fish from the bank, but may use the kayak to get to spots that cannot be as easily reached by other methods. Although catching a nice flat out of the kayak is appealing, fishing a small river at night from a kayak is not very safe.

    Funny you should mention muskrat holes Fish-N-Fool, I noticed a few the other day while smallie fishing the GMR. I might have to give that area a try! I also noticed an area with a few beaver slides and a ton of visible wood cover.

    In general, do flatheads sit-n-wait under cover to ambush pray, or do they leave their cover at night to hunt for pray? That is, should I be fishing deep into the cover, or should I look for cover and fish the main current near an area with cover?
  9. Fish shallow flats near cover at night. Flatheads hold in heavy cover during the day, then cruise the flats at night to feed. I'd stay away from the main channel, unless you have no choice.
  10. catking

    catking Banned

    Like M Magis said. Fish the large flats with cover nearby at night. Not the deep channels. Most of the time if not all the time, the flatheads are not in the deep channels. That would be for the daylight hours, and even then there must be cover. Cover superseeds everything else. The biggest mistake some make when chasing flatheads is heading to the deep waters, weather it being a smaller river or lake.Flatheads LOVE warm water. Also, cut out banks are a good choice during the day. But the mud flats at night are by far the best.with cover ;) THE CATKING !!!
  11. Great post Catfishhunter! Thanks!