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Live Bait for Flatheads

Discussion in 'Catfish Discussion' started by jethro, Mar 16, 2005.

  1. Does the species of fish you are using make a big difference in terms of production? Bluegill seem like a good choice because they are very hardy and easy and cheap to obtain. Do any of you experienced catmen have a preference as to what baits you use?
     
  2. I prefer to use live Suckers 6 - 8 inches long.......TightLines!
     

  3. shad is my bait of choice on the river...as well as goldfish
     
  4. Baitkiller

    Baitkiller Baitkiller

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    Jethro

    I'm still wet behind the ears on the Flats but have a few OPINIONS, LOL!

    I LIKE LIVELY baits Gills, Suckers, Chubs, White Bass, Common Shiners, Rock Bass, Perch, Crappies etc etc. whatever seems to work for me. Last year when the water got hot in the Ohio River in August the Gills would not stay lively for me. Part of it was the water temps I believe, so I started using Bullheads and Channels which prefer warmer water then most other bait fish. They stayed lively for a few hours and caught Flats using them up to about 11 inches long. That is about as big of baits that I can cast well from the shore. Carp and Goldfish withstand the temps better too.

    Hope this helps
    <><Baitkiller><>
     
  5. flathunter

    flathunter Mellons mentor

    I have had more luck the past several years using cut bait for flatheads..3 years ago I caught a 50 and 40-lber on cut shad..This is in rivers, I dont fish lakes.
     
  6. RiverRat

    RiverRat Banned

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    "Does the species of fish you are using make a big difference in terms of production?"
    ......YES

    I prefer to use baits that are natural to the waters i fish, meaning what the flatheads are already eatting every meal. Plus i dont buy baits...to many baits to be caught myself with the right equipment.
    Suckers of all varietys, chubs, gills, rockbass, LM bass, sheephead,bullheads ect.

    Spring i use smaller baits live 4-6" long, also fresh cut baits.
    Summer sometimes they want live, sometime cut bait...they'll let ya know which is best.
    Fall, i prefer to use large baits 10-14" and up to 2 lbs....late fall cut baits can be a good choice.

    Like Jack, i too have found some years to be a fresh cut bait year, then years its only live...its not hard to get a pattern on the bait types(live or cut) or the specie of bait they want with experience.
    You have to experiment on your water to find out. Like some of us, you have to put in years of fishing before you get consistant on flatheads...but everyone has an "off" season...or 2 if your like Jack(just joke'in Flathunter).

    Scott
     
  7. I'm interested in giving the Bullheads a try....how do you guys hook them up?
     
  8. RiverRat

    RiverRat Banned

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    First thing to do with bullheads is to clip off the end of the "spikes" on each fin. Makes handling them MUCH more "user" friendly, if you know what i mean.
    I will either run the hook through the meat in the tail, or hook them right under the dorcel fin(there is a diamond shaped bone there, just deep enough to get under it, but not to deep as to hit any vitals).
    Very lively baits, just like gold fish...and as easy to keep alive.

    Doug Stange(from In-Fisherman) is a big fan of using bullheads in Minn. for flatheads.....and hes caught several to 50 lbs from med. sized rivers.

    Flatheads love bullheads , along with channel cats and even small flatheads....thats why when you find a GOOD flathead hole, you wont catch many channel cats(atleast small ones) or many small flatheads for that matter.

    Scott
     
  9. Baitkiller

    Baitkiller Baitkiller

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    RiverRat is "RIGHT ON" on everything he has said. I will not leave home without cut bait and live to let the Flatheads decide what they want.

    I too remove the barbs for the Bulls and Channels before I make the drive to fish. If I can I use a small bobber that will submerge on my rigs to keep them fighting for the bottom, you should see them "Dance". From what I've read, when introduced to new waters the first thing the Flats go for is Bullheads.

    <><Baitkiller><>
     
  10. rockbass

    rockbass Banned

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    I have been wanting to use bullheads, but now that I want to catch them, I can't seem to get into them. Figures for me though :rolleyes:
     
  11. RiverRat

    RiverRat Banned

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    Thanks Steve,
    Ive done my "homework" over the years....theres not many baits i have'nt used.

    I used to mainly fish for flatheads, spending the mornings smallmouth bass fishing, then catch bait before leaving the creek...then head to the ole river to fish for flatties at night.....EVERY week(3-4 days). I avg. for years around 75-100 flatheads a season over 20 lbs.(locally around Columbus) fishing only rivers, no lakes.

    Sadly the last few seasons ive changed up and fished more for other species....but i'll be back after the flatheads this fall hard and heavy for sure.

    Scott
     
  12. Native bait has always out produced store bought bait for me. Whether it's bluegill, sunfish, bullheads or the always popular shad check the waters you are fishing and find out whats in there. I also expereminted with bluegill heads last year. They outfished every other offering I put out there. Just take a nice sized gill, push the guts towards the head with your finger and cut that sucker off. The guts will be hanging out and like an old river rat once told me,"they can smell there inards better then there outards!".
     
  13. columbus? where do you catch flats around cloumbus? I been looking for a place closer to home to catch big flats. I heard there in the sciota but i didnt think they were this far up north.
     
  14. RiverRat

    RiverRat Banned

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    Carp,
    Yea the Scioto river holds a LOT more fish than most know about.....but i aint talkin'.


    Scott
     
  15. catking

    catking Banned

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    Green sunfish is my #1 choice......... Large goldfish will work in any waters, you don't have to worry about matching what the flats are used to if you use large goldfish. They will destroy the goldfish on any waters you use them. But they do cost money..... Large creek chubs ( up to a foot ) also work great..........The Scioto is loaded with flats , and a few lakes up that way also have a good number of flats, Buckeye is one lake.....but you never hear people talkin about them there.....Grand Lake St Marys also is LOADED with flatheads...........THE CATKING !!!
     
  16. oohh come on man please!!! The only place close to home i have to catch flathead are in a stupid paypound. Just give me a general area :D Please!!
     
  17. RiverRat

    RiverRat Banned

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    Carp freak,
    PM sent!


    Scott
     
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