Beastly Backlash

Fishing Flatheads

217 posts in this topic

I wanted to make a thread just about flathead catfish. Contribute or add what you guys want.

 

Just remember, catching big ones takes time and work much the same way it takes to land a nice musky.

 

 

My go to flathead outfit is a 9ft Tackle Industries XXH musky rod rated to cast 16oz paired to an Okuma Komodo 471SS loaded with 250yds of 65lb Sufix 832.

 

A lot of people use glass rods for catfish, but glass rods take all the fun out of fighting fish, so I like heavy powered graphite or composite rods the best. And, yes, I do use this outfit to cast weights and bait up to 1lb, often times more. It really does pay to have a rod that can cast more weight then what you might expect to actually use. The reel might seem like an odd choice for a catfish outfit as well, but the low profile platform has some distinct advantages vs your typical round conventional or baitcasting reel; namely a fast retrieve (close to 40in per crank), and in the case of the Komodo you get a main gear, frame, and drive train that can handle the stress of heavy cranking at those high gear ratios year after year. The reel also has the option of a bait clicker, but I don't use it very often.

 

My rig starts with a 9ft 80lb mono leader (80lb mono seems like a lot until you loose a PB because it pulled you into the rocks and slices that 80lb mono clean though), 8oz sinker, barrel swivel, 1ft of 50lb mono, and either a 7/0 Daiichi D85 or a 12/0 Daiichi D72 depending on the bait size.

 

Never underestimate just how large a bait you can use for flatheads either. 10in to 15in baitfish are child's play for flatheads 35in and up, using those size baits can help cut down on flatheads under 30in.

 

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IYE What is the effective northern limit of the Flatheads range?  They are starting to get sub-24" flatheads in washingtons crossing area on the Delaware.  

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Flathead's are found as far north as Wisconsin and Minnesota even though they thrive best in warmer waters and will not spawn until water temps reach the mid to high 70's.

 

The Deleware river conditions are well within the flathead's comfort range temp wise.

 

 

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Flatheads are also a big river fish that is bulit to handle swimming against heavy currents, they have a natural instinct to push upstream. They will likely spread throughout the entire Deleware.

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On 6/3/2018 at 6:30 AM, 55555s said:

IYE What is the effective northern limit of the Flatheads range?  They are starting to get sub-24" flatheads in washingtons crossing area on the Delaware.  

Been in the schuylkill for over 20 years

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I never targetted them when i lived in Chicagoland and fished the fox river for a few years but i caught a bunch as by catch while targeting smallies and walleye.  the biggest i caught was only 28" and ate a smallish crank bait in moderate water in the middle of a sunny day. I was always impressed with their fight and how aggressive they were. I know there were some brutes in the stretches i fished but never really targeted them, i should have at least a few times.  

I hope this thread grows legs, they are a neat fish imo.  

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45 mins ago, bigfish4me said:

A just shy of 42 lb fish from a few weeks ago on the schuylkill.... fish ate a fresh popped 6" long creek chub.

IMG_1360.JPG

That's a TANK!!!!!

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The float rig is a killer, we primarily boat fish but sometimes slum it from the bank lol....1/0 or 2/0 hooks with 30 lb mono leader and 50 lb braid for mainline and as little lead as I can get away with.... very rarely need more than an ounce unless I'm fishing a hero or zero bait .... which would be 12-16" suckers

IMG_1364.JPG

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There's also the poor mans bait runner lol.... you have to let them eat, a 10 count is what I give em before driving the hook home.... a piece of mono and a clothes pin turns any reel into a bait runner

IMG_1365.JPG

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9 mins ago, scoobydoo said:

That's a TANK!!!!!

We have been chasing them since they first arrived in the schuylkill, 90% of our big fish come out of 4 foot of water or less..... granted they are shallow flats that are in close proximity to deeper water.  We don't bother with log jams or heavy cover.... we can and do catch from the bases of dams but truthfully any decent flat with a moderate current near deeper water will have fish on the feed after the sun goes down 

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44 mins ago, bigfish4me said:

There's also the poor mans bait runner lol.... you have to let them eat, a 10 count is what I give em before driving the hook home.... a piece of mono and a clothes pin turns any reel into a bait runner

IMG_1365.JPG

^^ That is outstanding. :th:

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