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I went out two nights ago on a whim and wasn't able to catch enough bait before dark. I caught two gills and a 13" channel cat. I figured that the channel cat wouldn't catch anything, but I tried it anyways since I didnt have enough gills. I cut off the spines, put a 10/0 circle through his back and flopped him in my spot. An hour later that line went and I hooked up with what I thought would be a huge fish. I was mildly disappointed when it came up and was only a 30" 12 pounder. My question is, if I were to specifically target "trophy sized" fish, what would be the bait/size of choice?
 

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Larger baits generally will catch larger fish at least from my experiences and make sure you keep the bait live on your hook. Flatheads prefere live bait. Also you have to consider the area your fishing. Do they have trophy size flats in the water? Try to find some deeper holes or large piles of timber gathered up from flooding if your fishing a river system.
 

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Keep trying to catch natural forage for bait selection I think that is key but if u don't have time just head up to a bait shop and pick up some giant shiners or goldfish. I have always had good luck with goldfish
 

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Ive found out over the years bigger baits do not catch bigger fish, its more about location. However bigger baits do seem to keep MOST channels off. There will always be a few of those realy aggressive channels around unfortunately. As far as flathead go though ive seen 10 lb flathead eat 8" goldfish and 12 inch suckers. I have been using bullhead this year a lot and they do keep channels away but ive caught small flathead on them.
 

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We've had this discussion quite a bit, and I think most of us agree that the majority of our bigger fish come on small to medium size baits. Extra large baits typically produce smaller flatheads, say less than 25 lbs. Not sure why, but that's just the way it's always been. A 5"-7" bait is usually perfect.
Edit: Ducky and I must have been typing at the same time.
 

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Older experienced fish are better at finding an easy meal? Small flatheads come "running" every time they see or hear something.
 

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We've had this discussion quite a bit, and I think most of us agree that the majority of our bigger fish come on small to medium size baits. Extra large baits typically produce smaller flatheads, say less than 25 lbs. Not sure why, but that's just the way it's always been. A 5"-7" bait is usually perfect.
Edit: Ducky and I must have been typing at the same time.
That has been my experience as well. My largest flathead took a 5-6 inch bluegill. Sure you'll get larger channel cats too, but that doesn't exactly upset me either ;)
 

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i use a lot of big baits and have caught big fish on them. But at the same time my pb came on a 6 inch live shad. As Magis and Brock said, its all about location, location, location. Also patience of course:p
 

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Cats are where it's at!
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As you can tell from posts, results vary from one waterway to another.

In the lakes there seems to be a constant for the big fish.
It seems that trophy flathead dominate and control the best
habitat. If you can isolate these areas and be patient, your odds of hooking larger flathead increase.

The bad news is that it may take years to pinpoint prime habitat through
trial and error. Also other environmental factors such as easily obtained food sources, water levels, oxygen levels or temperature, may cause fish to
relocate.

Trophy fishing is like a giant jigsaw puzzle with many puzzle parts missing.
The variables we don't know or cannot understand are the missing puzzle parts and the puzzle parts which hurt the worse are the ones upside down
that I equate with knowing what triggers the flathead to feed on any particular night.

Most of the time I have many more questions than answers to flathead behaviour.
 
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