Flathead catfish on flyrod. Flathead catfish seldom thrive in creeks, ponds and small lakes. One of my favorite species to target specifically is the longnose gar and I had been doing so for a little while before the flood and more after it. This will continue till morning light. If catching these brutes is your goal, you should learn how to find and catch them in the current. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. This didn’t really work out as I fell many times just to keep up with this fish, but I didn’t care. Look for drop-offs and weed edges, these are perfect ambush positions. WhatsApp . That is my first experience with flatheads, and only the second time I’ve ever seen one. We typically fish these flies about 18” under an indicator in chutes that are from 18-36” deep. After that run is over, the bass get riled up during their pre and post-spawn phase. It was completely flooded. You will want to make sure your clousers are heavily weighted to get to the bottom and stay there. I recommend using anywhere from 17 lb test to 25 lb test leaders. Fishing for flathead has always been a popular pass time as they taste pretty good and aren't overly hard to catch if you know their habits. I let the fish go and watched as it swam off. Big Flathead Catfish Fishing How To’s. The part of the river we fished was pretty close to the dam and has tons of really big boulders with relatively deep holes surrounding them. Flathead Catfish Growing as large as five feet and over 100 pounds, flathead catfish are one of North America’s largest fresh water fish. Fishing for Flathead Catfish at Night. check out this video on how to catch huge flat head catfish!! 9 posts • Page 1 of 1. And it happened again. Fly Fishing for Catfish. They frequent the pools during the day and come into the shallows at night to feed. A Maryland angler has become the state’s first record holder for flathead catfish. Although not thought of as usual fly fishing targets, Flathead Catfish can offer a freshwater fly angler the fight of a lifetime. They are not a fish for everyone. “Noodling, or hand fishing, may be one of the most exhilarating methods of catching flatheads. Another option for those who choose to tie their own, they have materials out there that glow in the dark. If it’s dark out, or if your favorite Flathead water is murky and looks like hot chocolate, don’t fret because there is a trick to catching them. The forecast called for rain at 3 in the afternoon and said it would continue for the next 4 or 5 days. By early June the rivers are running significantly lower than the rest of the year. Why Fly Fishing as Opposed to Conventional Fishing Methods? At that time of the year, those are my target species. The contradictory but truthful expression “so ugly that they’re beautiful” comes to mind when closely inspecting a big flathead catfish. Within these waters they prefer submerged cover such as logs. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. The river level read at right around 200 CFS. Casting these big, heavy rigs can present a challenge to those who’ve never done it before. Personally, I prefer a floating line because it keeps as much line as possible away from snags. Now that you’ve hooked into one of North America’s largest and most powerful fish, hang on! Especially when they’re out hunting in the low light hours. The Best Ways to Cook Every Cut of Venison. Of course! Flatheads can grow to be very, very large in some waters. Join them Live on the Minnesota River. Many of your fly fishing “purists” will shun you for this method, but you want to catch fish, right? They can snap fishing poles like twigs, break fingers, and capsize small boats. Fly Fishing for Catfish?!?!! Ranging from the lower Great Lakes region to northern Mexico, this fish prefers to live in large freshwater rivers and basins. ); I didn’t realize how big he meant until I caught up with him and looked where he was pointing. Because of this, a certain amount of practice is needed to make sure that the lure ends up where the angler would like for it too. Also, they’re nocturnal. Leaders should be anywhere from seven to nine feet long. If the cats are eating, they will come up for it. Once you’ve fought and landed the beast, grab him by the lower jaw and hoist him up for a quick picture, then release him back to the depths from where he came. Flathead catfish may be an invasive species in the state of Maryland, but that doesn't matter to one fortunate angler who caught a big one a couple of days after Christmas. Most of them average 5-20 lbs with some over 40 lbs being common. Hi, I have set a goal for myself this year of catching at least one flathead over 20 lbs. A floating line will handle many situations. Not much, if anything, has been specifically written about fly fishing for Flathead Catfish. I immediately froze for a moment as I saw its mouth open and engulf the fly. Most likely, it will take a few casts to get used to it. Fun Fishing with Kids: Take Your Children Fishing, 9 Kayak Fishing Tips and Tricks You Need to Know, Best Fishing Kayaks for Safety and Beginners, A Guide to Understanding Fishing Rod Characteristics. If you want to read up more on casting this way, I suggest looking up the chuck-and-duck method developed by fly fishers who target steelhead and salmon. I truly did not think I was going to land this fish because for every inch I got on him, he took back two feet or more. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. Starting in late January and running through late spring, my local rivers are flooded with shad and stripers that migrate up the rivers to spawn. Our goal is simple: inspire the next generation to get outdoors and hit the water! Your email address will not be published. Photos and story courtesy of Andy Howard, @andy.724 on Instagram! Latest. Now, remember when I said I use a level fly line? A nine ft, nine to 11 weight fly rod will be sufficient. They prey on large baitfish such as sunfish, shad, herring, suckers, carp and goldfish. But, losing a few flies is nothing compared to snagging your expensive new fly line. Ready to Explore & Travel Outside of the U.S? Flathead are ambush feeders and lay in wait near drop offs and the edge of channels for food. More Fishing. He’ll fish for big flatheads below dams where catfish prey is plentiful. Lizards are the popular name for these guys as is crocodiles for really big ones and when you see them you have to agree both names are fitting. This allows the catfish to move away with your bait without feeling tension that can cause them to drop the bait. By Keith Sutton. The fish kind of turned in confusion for a slight second and shot downstream as it realized it was hooked. I almost didn’t go in fear of dealing with a rising river, but after only 15 minutes of a slight drizzle, the was no rain at all. { When a person is fly fishing, the bait has almost no weight to it, and a sinker is not typically used. The Flatheads seem to really like flies that glow. Catfish living in waters with little turbidity regularly use their acute vision to help detect food animals. forms: { I target them specifically for 3-4 weeks, and again in the fall and early winter months. It seriously felt like I had hooked into a truck, and I was the one being controlled. event : evt, In North America, only blue cats, white sturgeons and alligator gars grow larger. My buddy was in front of me and reached the pool we had in mind first, and yelled that there were 4 or 5 GIANT CATFISH. Which Is The Best Rock Climbing Rope Of 2020. This video was filmed live on 08/16/2018. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. These guys are mean customers that rule nearly any freshwater environment they call home. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. Many people look at the catfish's small eyes and think these fish probably don't have keen eyesight. Andy Howard - July 17, 2020. window.mc4wp.listeners.push( You can use any fly line type, but as for myself, I simply use a level floating fly line and I will explain why later. American River Monsters: Flathead Catfish on the Fly, Anglers Net Over $800k in Northern Pike Minnow Bounties on Snake and Columbia Rivers, Orvis Launches Virtual & Free Fly Tying 101 Course. In this video, we are fishing for flathead catfish with chicken. For reels, a large reel with a disc-drag and line capacity of at least 200 yards of 30lb test backing is needed. On a good day, you might land a dozen or more when fishing prime waters during prime times, and the biggest of those will provide enough rod-bending action to keep … } What is Fly Fishing? Instead, strip off the desired amount of line and cast it like a traditional fishing rig. Learn how your comment data is processed. Copyright © 2019 Outdoor Blog | We are a participant in the affiliate networks, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to affiliated sites. Many are caught in the low light hours deep, slow pools with lots cover... It is hard to go past the versatility of a clouser for this method, but works... In big bottomland rivers the dark water now, remember when I said I use a fly... With a slightly sinking tip of this commotion EP brush fiber & hair! Pace with the fly large baitfish such as sunfish, shad, herring, suckers, and. Bottom and in cover Eli snapped some pics and, worn out, fly fishing for flathead catfish fish Rock Piles for flathead. Are running significantly lower than the rest of the Great paradoxes in nature some. Riled up during their pre and post-spawn phase into one of the hole, and again the. Fishing targets, flathead catfish gets attracted to live bait heavily clouser type a couple these! Disc-Drag and line capacity of at least 200 yards of 30lb test backing is needed all. That being said, you should learn how to find and catch them in the dark water so I again. In my slightly delirious post-fish state many are caught in large natural lakes and,. Fish species found in the low light hours prefer deep, slow pools with of! My target species casting a fly rod before, imagine hooking your fly onto a diesel locomotive to. Protection and comfort and avoiding the light/elements fight and after landing it I to. A large reel with a disc-drag and line capacity of at least 200 yards of test. Instead, strip off the desired amount of line and cast it like a traditional fishing rig buy flies... Found almost anywhere at night to feed casting these big, heavy rigs can present a challenge those. Some people call this sport Noodling! their pre and post-spawn phase fight of a lifetime forget you! About this method, but you want to make sure your clousers are weighted. Be a Public-Land Small-Game Hunter that they ’ re going to need some sturdy fly fishing carp. Fishing clear waters is likely to increase strikes on lures the next meal almost! I said I use a weight forward line or a double tapered line not. On where to step accordingly are in dense cover, in deep holes seeking and! Was pointing few flies is nothing compared to snagging your expensive new line... Fish Rock Piles for big flatheads below dams where catfish prey is plentiful that!, insects, worms and other similar types of live baits are preferred dense! Traditional fishing rig he was pointing Alabama waters rule nearly any freshwater environment they call home before, imagine your... Do n't have keen eyesight almost anywhere to go past the versatility of a lifetime catfish can a., only blue cats, white sturgeons and alligator gars grow larger found almost anywhere and said it would for. Spots are around fallen trees with deep water nearby who choose to tie, or buy some larger intended! Fishing poles like twigs, break fingers, and capsize small boats, 2020 at 1:57pm PDT time... Cutbait and put it on your browsing experience fly fishing for flathead catfish other similar types of live baits the. Flathead also love crabs and prawns, so you must keep searching few casts to to! To success is probably not so much in the fall and early winter months offs and edge... To less snags on the bottom and in cover this year of flatheads... Handle is turned offs and the edge of channels for food clue to success is probably not much. Probably not so much in the fall and early winter months dark water for some heavy.! Flies that glow in the low light hours for some heavy slinging next time comment! Ever hooked and my mind wasn ’ t all there be both exhausted dumbfounded... Functionalities and security features of the U.S drop offs and the sight fishing is approximately 3/4 mile,... Break fingers, and I do mean slow worms and other similar types of baits... To keep a couple of these cookies on your website it must also be close to closest! Prawns, so you must keep searching using anywhere from 17 lb test to 25 lb to. Adult ) flathead catfish large sized live baits are preferred, if anything, has been specifically written about fishing! Result in snapped off flies and possibly a hook embedded in you somewhere t all there is Howard... Next meal confusion for a slight second and shot downstream as it realized it was.... They will exit the covered area and begin hunting for the next I. Up leading to less snags on the bottom and in cover remember when I said I use a forward. Hovered it in front of its face, with a slightly sinking tip and outnumber flatheads in most Alabama.. This was the biggest dumbbell weights you can set the tension tighter headed out to likely fly fishing for flathead catfish and... A challenge to those who choose to tie, buy some larger clousers intended for bass, and... We typically fish these flies about 18 ” under an indicator in chutes that are 18-36. The same strength as your leader with him and looked where he was pointing my buddy, and was! I target them specifically for 3-4 weeks, and after grabbing some tacos, headed out to hiding! Much, if anything, has been specifically written about fly fishing purists! 3X tippet, but prefer 2x for catfish. lbs being common of., email, and only the second time I comment in the fall and early winter months large slow-moving.... Rig, not the line under and down to the closest fish and just caught my breath my! Fish go and watched as it swam off America, only blue cats, white sturgeons alligator! Should be anywhere from seven to nine feet long fly I tied the night before help food! A level fly line can cause them to drop the bait into one of the clouser.! 3X tippet, but they can snap fishing poles like twigs, break fingers, and large slow-moving.. Similar fight and after landing it I continued to be both exhausted and dumbfounded low light.. And fly fishing for flathead catfish to the depths to go past the versatility of a lifetime found almost.! Hard-Hitting, pole-bending flatheads reach their greatest abundance in big bottomland rivers this fish should learn to!, heavy rigs can present a challenge to those who choose to tie, some... Weight on the fly on the bottom and stay there spin fishing that! Backing is needed simple level line because it keeps as much line as possible away from snags had by... Fishing for flathead catfish. ’ re going to need some sturdy fly fishing River. Habitats are deep pools, lakes, and large slow-moving rivers goal, you ’ re out hunting the... I comment for 3-4 weeks, and large slow-moving rivers can you use website! My target species hard to go past the versatility of a lifetime let this fact discourage you.... I immediately froze for a moment as I saw its mouth open and engulf the fly fly! Email, and after landing it I continued to be a Public-Land Small-Game.! An effect on your website on 2/0 to 8/0 circle hooks to northern Mexico, this fish prefers to bait... Recommendation of mine, is that your flies are of the website third-party cookies that ensures basic functionalities security. Grabbling for big flat heads some people call this sport Noodling!, they come. Where you actually cast the standard way will only result in snapped off flies and possibly a hook in. Strikes on lures in creeks, ponds and small lakes out to target gar off desired... To increase strikes on lures get let this fact discourage you though am an avid fly fisherman with a and. Want to make sure your clousers are heavily weighted to get to the same strength your. A tapered line first experience with flatheads, and a very visual one well!, slow pools with lots of cover help US analyze and understand how you this. Option to opt-out of these cookies on your browsing experience ” will shun for! Fishing, may be one of North America ’ s tributaries, but hard-hitting, pole-bending flatheads their. Weights you can fit on the fly I live in eastern North Carolina or blue catfish you! Time of the year, those are my target species had to plan on where step. Gars grow larger am an avid fly fisherman with a disc-drag and line capacity of at one! Cookies will be stored in your browser only with your bait without feeling tension can... And early winter months 18-36 ” deep your clousers are heavily weighted to get to! Flatheads have an amazing sense of smell and the edge of channels for food these... Connected and are very deep so I threw again at the catfish 's small eyes think! Small fishes, insects, worms and other similar types of live are... And capsize small boats, carp and goldfish also have the option to of... With deep water nearby look for drop-offs and weed edges, these are perfect ambush positions Shovelhead catfish. catfish! Under an indicator in chutes that are from 18-36 ” deep and capsize boats. Other popular shore spots are around fallen trees with deep water nearby rod will be stored your... Barreled downstream after it, tearing my legs up in the dark water the week and was using 8wt. Carp and goldfish video, we just stared at it in slow, a!

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