Early summer target the flats in the rivers when they are on the spawn! Any log jam! 8-10fow is a plenty to hold a big flat. Anchor up current and let the bait sink in under the jam! This is why 40-50 lb line and heavy leaders is so inportant! When fishing in heavy current use large weights also around 5oz to keep that bait where you want it! Live bait! Big gizzards or bluegills and sun perch! I use my bait clickers when targeting the flatheads, when they run thumb the spool to set the hook (don't play with them when you set it, cause they ain't going to play with you)! GL
I pretty much do the same as Gotcha. I have had luck fishing more at night than the daytime. Almost all of my fishing no matter the species is on the Blackwater arm. I know people also catch them on Gills Creek, and have saw reports of them being caught on the roanoke arm too. I have had luck using large goldfish also when that I am in a rush to go and can't get the bait that I want.
Post by catfishking on Jul 18, 2012 20:03:23 GMT -5
I fish at night for Fatheads during the summer Bait goldfish or brim hook tro the tail 7 or 8 King Kahle hooks, Carolina Rig and I use the bait clicker on the reel I stay in one spot for hour then move on I just look for crazy stuff on the fish finder and post up on that spot
Post by catsnstripers on Jul 23, 2012 17:54:19 GMT -5
Catfish can be like stripers. You just have to adapt to them as the year changes. Going catfishing, you have to think about what you want to catch. Flatheads or channels. Unless you ride to Buggs island or the lower Jamers River, we wont catch many blues. So we'll just leave them out. They can be a whole nother story.
Channel cats can actually be silly fishing. As easy as a tub of liver or bag of raw shrimp sitting on a dock. But you can actually succesfully target channels and big channels aswell. Since its summer time we'll talk summer tactics. we'll stick mostly to the lake fishing, tactics can change a bit different when you fish a river...
I havent used liver in years. But it does work. I do see, that liver wont catch as many big cats. but a Big cat will come from time to time. Shrimp works, so do crawdads. Catalpa worms, or just as simply as a gob of nightcrawlers. I prefer To go natural bait. Cut alewives would have to be my favorite. Cut shad, peanut shad works well to. crawdads work well but i havent caught none to used in a long while. I'd hook them in the tail, and crush the head.
A simple carolina rig is what i use. on a 7ft M action ugly stick with a abu 6500, 25lb main line. 1-2ounce sinker is all i use, and it depends on the distance i want to cast is to the size of the weight. I use 40lb leader and a 4/0-6/0 gamakatsu octopus circle hook. I use such heavy line due to abrasions. There is time when you'll have the monster cat surprise you and take you through a bunch of crap. You'll thank that heavy line then.
I focus on points and underwater humps alot of channel cats. 5-25ft this time of the year. I place baits at various depths until i find them. Channel cats are roaming hunters. They wont sit and wait on a chicken liver to swim by. So i'll point hop, i call it. Hitting various points until i find an active point. Giving no more then 20-30mins at each spot, if that. before i relocate. You will know its a live area if you have fish on before you get all your poles out. You can drift flats for channels cats aswell. But SML has so much standing timber, you'll have limited areas and short runs to drift in....You can target larger channels by simply sticking with cut bait and livebait. Some of the biggest channels ive cuaght have came from livebait while targeting flatheads..........
Flatheads are awesome but an unpredictable fish. There soley predators. So the majority of my baits are live. But I will use fresh cutbait. If it aint alive when i cut it up, i dont want it. Flatheads arent picky on bait species. Shad, bluesgills, crappie, suckers, shiners, even goldfish can be used as bait. Anything thats legal. and yes Crappie and bluegills are are legal bait as long as you catch them on hook and line. No nets or traps allowed. No i dont trim the fins or slice the baits side etc etc. I want it to appear as a struggling baitfish. Clipped fins and sliced sides kills a bait ALOT faster.
7ft mh ugly sticks is what i use. 30lb mainline and 40-50lb mono leaders. 2-3ounce sinkers. And thats mainly just to hold the baitfish from swimming into a snag. I use 7/0-8/0 gamakatsu octopus hooks. I set the clicker and let the flathead run a bit before setting the hook.
Flatheads in the summer are shallow water fish, and low light hunters. They will roam, but will swim to have an area to stay in an hunt. So therefore i will stay in one spot for 30mins to 1hour.
This time of the year, look for flatheads in steaming shallows. Natural banks i do better on, but dont overlook rip rap banks aswell. I love structure and so does flatheads. Most any structure is good. trees, logs and rocks do well. I dont do well on fast falling contours. Slow tapering into deep water is what i want to set up on.
I hope this sums up a little bit.
Lets practice catch and release. I turn lose all cats over 12lbs. There nothings much better then catfish for supper. hell i eat it for breakfast sometimes. But Releasing the larger fish can preserve the future.
great info. should be a big help next time i make the trip down. quick question.....i have used chicken livers off the dock and have caught some smaller cats (we stay across from th damn in mid may). i always have trouble keeping them on the hook. they seem to fly off when i cast them. i double and even tripple hook em. i have tried to use them somewhat frozen but ive heard they work better if completely dethawed. any suggestions?
Panty hose is littering if it comes off the hook (kill the next fish that finds it). Use chicken breast, even better save your leftover deer scraps from hunting season! If it's blood they will eat it! Scavengers, like buzzards! They will find it!
to keep chicken livers on the hook, i use a small piece of elastic thread and wrap around the liver and hook and i can cast them much further without them flying off in the air. also i can reel it in some to another spot without it falling off, and sometimes they even survive bites i missed.
using them frozen usually just splits them in half when i put the hook through, so thats no good either, theyre just going to thaw in the water anyways...
Post by flathead1802 on Feb 26, 2013 19:53:16 GMT -5
I do a lot of deer hunting. A few years ago I decided to save the livers for catfishing since I have a house right on the James. I never got the first bite on deer liver! I wound up throwing about 10# of it in the river. I don't think I'll try that again.
"Some people spend their lives climbing to the top of the ladder only to find that it's been leaning on the wrong wall!"
Post by hugefishon on Mar 25, 2013 20:15:29 GMT -5
When at the ::)coast, stop by inlet where headboats come in. Ask where fish are cleaned. I'm sure they will give up the bloodlined pieces of fillet that are removed. They make great bait for channel cats.