On Tuesday, July 7th, the river finally dropped to the usual level of this time of year, and the lowest level I have fished it this year. The lever in back, seperate from the main drag is dis-engaged when the handle is turned. Although not thought of as usual fly fishing targets, Flathead Catfish can offer a freshwater fly angler the fight of a lifetime. My rod was a Cabellas magtouch baitcaster … event : evt, Also, they’re nocturnal. Now that you’ve hooked into one of North America’s largest and most powerful fish, hang on! You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. I target them specifically for 3-4 weeks, and again in the fall and early winter months. Andy Howard - July 17, 2020. Next, use the biggest dumbbell weights you can fit on the hook. Tight lines! Can you use a weight forward line or a double tapered line? Flatheads have an amazing sense of smell and the smell of the cutbait will help them find your fly in the dark water. 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. Trying to cast the standard way will only result in snapped off flies and possibly a hook embedded in you somewhere. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. If you’ve never caught one on a fly rod before, imagine hooking your fly onto a diesel locomotive! I immediately froze for a moment as I saw its mouth open and engulf the fly. Learn how your comment data is processed. Different equipment is also needed. It seriously felt like I had hooked into a truck, and I was the one being controlled. WhatsApp . This allows the catfish to move away with your bait without feeling tension that can cause them to drop the bait. After about 15 minutes or so I threw again at the remaining group of flatheads who were seemingly unfazed by all of this commotion. For reels, a large reel with a disc-drag and line capacity of at least 200 yards of 30lb test backing is needed. Of course! Tie, or buy some flies that bear a close resemblance to these baitfish. But, losing a few flies is nothing compared to snagging your expensive new fly line. Fly fishing equipment for Flathead Catfish With that being said, you’re going to need some sturdy fly fishing equipment to hook and land these beasts. Fly fishing equipment for Flathead Catfish. Questions about Freshwater Fishing. Jan 5, 2014 - I caught this beauty while fishing for carp. 5 Old-School Snow Goose Tactics That Still Work Today. The contradictory but truthful expression “so ugly that they’re beautiful” comes to mind when closely inspecting a big flathead catfish. Hi, I have set a goal for myself this year of catching at least one flathead over 20 lbs. 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. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. 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. Aside from its flat head, this fish looks like any other catfish. The fish kind of turned in confusion for a slight second and shot downstream as it realized it was hooked. Within these waters they prefer submerged cover such as logs. Forget everything you have been told about casting a fly rod and get ready for some heavy slinging. A strong tippet material is also a must. Flathead are ambush feeders and lay in wait near drop offs and the edge of channels for food. A floating line will handle many situations. Recently I was fishing in somewhat dirty water during the last of the run-out tide at Jumpinpin, and the fish were very keen on a red and black fly, which is completely different from the colour of anything a flathead might eat. They frequent the pools during the day and come into the shallows at night to feed. This is why. My name is Andy Howard and I live in eastern North Carolina. Hunting. (Also known as, Mudcat and Shovelhead Catfish.) Fly Fishing for Catfish?!?!! Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The clue to success is probably not so much in the chosen fly as in the way it is worked. He’ll fish for big flatheads below dams where catfish prey is plentiful. The flathead catfish gets attracted to live bait heavily. by mte » Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:50 pm . At that time of the year, those are my target species. This dis-engagement is smooth. Many fly fisherman argue about this method, but it works. 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. By Keith Sutton. Home Fly Fishing American River Monsters: Flathead Catfish on the Fly. Ready to Explore & Travel Outside of the U.S? I called up my buddy, and after grabbing some tacos, headed out to target gar. I'm talking about the flathead catfish. Right Now is The Best Time to Be a Public-Land Small-Game Hunter . Cast out to likely hiding spots and twitch the fly along the bottom. Rarely, are they ever caught by fly fisherman. I get crap constantly from my buddy’s because I use straight 35-pound mono as my short leader (for toothy gar and bowfin) but I was glad I didn’t have anything less than it on. 9 posts • Page 1 of 1. This didn’t really work out as I fell many times just to keep up with this fish, but I didn’t care. I did catch a few bowfins after both of my catfish but my mind wasn’t all there. Strategy . Check out our range of flathead flies here. English (US) 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. I caught it on a mulberry popup boilie on a #6 Korda choddy rig. Many people look at the catfish's small eyes and think these fish probably don't have keen eyesight. I use at least 3x tippet, but prefer 2x for catfish. Flathead Catfish have a voracious appetite. It must also be close to the same strength as your leader. A post shared by Andy H (@andy.724) on Jul 9, 2020 at 1:57pm PDT. Luke and Jake are fishing a creek for flathead catfish! 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 … Fishing clear waters is likely to increase strikes on lures. I cast to the closest fish and just hovered it in front of its face, with a few short and abrupt strips. More Fishing. Today, we fish Rock Piles for Big Flathead Catfish! ); A Maryland angler has become the state’s first record holder for flathead catfish. Cast Iron Chef. I am an avid fly fisherman with a passion for a lot of the overlooked fish species found in the southeast. The forecast called for rain at 3 in the afternoon and said it would continue for the next 4 or 5 days. I recommend using anywhere from 17 lb test to 25 lb test leaders. Your email address will not be published. Big Flathead Catfish Fishing How To’s. The pools are closely connected and are very deep so I had to plan on where to step accordingly. After a fight close to 45 minutes, and when fish was finally growing tired I managed to guide it into one of the open rock crevice areas where I felt I could most safely unhook it and admire it. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. “Jug fishing” is also a popular method of catching flathead catfish, but pool noodles can also be rigged to be a form of jug fishing as well. } Catfish living in waters with little turbidity regularly use their acute vision to help detect food animals. I held on to my rod and barreled downstream after it, tearing my legs up in the process. 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. When fishing the cutbait method, crawl the fly on the bottom and bring it in slow, and I do mean slow. Because of this I am not able to boulder hop and wade this section during any other time of the year due to the very fast water and depth. If you choose not to tie, buy some larger clousers intended for bass, pike and saltwater applications. Flathead Catfish (Pylodictis Olivaris) is one of the biggest catfish species of North America and a great sport fish that can put up a great fight. These absolute giants were congregated and slowly cruising around at the top of the hole, and we both started freaking out. 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. Fly fishing is similar to spin fishing in that an angler baits the hook and wants to catch catfish. 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. (function() { Another option for those who choose to tie their own, they have materials out there that glow in the dark. { })(); Swinging for Striped Bass in Central Texas. The world record is around 124 lbs! Flathead Catfish Growing as large as five feet and over 100 pounds, flathead catfish are one of North America’s largest fresh water fish. That's not actually the case, though. Flatheads can grow to be very, very large in some waters. Their preferred habitats are deep pools, lakes, and large slow-moving rivers. Instead, strip off the desired amount of line and cast it like a traditional fishing rig. 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. window.mc4wp = window.mc4wp || { The Best Ways to Cook Every Cut of Venison. Yes, blues grow bigger and outnumber flatheads in most Alabama waters. But if you’re like most catfish fans and are more interested in catching a mess of catfish to keep and eat, I suggest you focus your attention on smaller flatheads, up to 10 pounds, which are much more common and easy to catch. Look for drop-offs and weed edges, these are perfect ambush positions. These cookies do not store any personal information. A nine ft, nine to 11 weight fly rod will be sufficient. This video was filmed live on 08/16/2018. Now, remember when I said I use a level fly line? 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 the river is this low and stays this way for a while it becomes incredibly clear and the sight fishing is insane. Try tying some up with that material sometime. In North America, only blue cats, white sturgeons and alligator gars grow larger. Our goal is simple: inspire the next generation to get outdoors and hit the water! Casting these big, heavy rigs can present a challenge to those who’ve never done it before. Post a reply. They prey on large baitfish such as sunfish, shad, herring, suckers, carp and goldfish. - Red River, Manitoba - YouTube This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. This summer has been one of the wettest ones in my memory and the river was the third-highest ever recorded last month, peaking at around 19,000 CFS. By. listeners: [], Other popular shore spots are around fallen trees with deep water nearby. Also keep in mind that catfish have very keen senses. I hope I get to wrangle with them again, but honestly, I’m content knowing I will probably never catch another that size. Latest. Yes, it’s an issue that happens sometimes with this type of fishing. The bowfin, which I would’ve been ecstatic with any other day, just didn’t compare after all of that. Flathead catfish seldom thrive in creeks, ponds and small lakes. callback: cb You will want to make sure your clousers are heavily weighted to get to the bottom and stay there. I knew this was the biggest catfish I’d ever hooked and my mind was just racing. Since 2012, Flylords has been a proud leader in telling the stories of anglers and guides from around the world. We (Phil Granato, Scott Lachecki and me) have confirmed this by catching them on salmon egg patterns as well as crayfish, hellgrammites and the ever popular Copper John. You want these bad boys heavy! April 26, 2018. If the flies you have tied are not heavy enough, don’t be afraid to add as much weight as needed to get these flies to the bottom. 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. At the bottom of the third or fourth massive pool, the catfish realized it couldn’t go any further downstream as the river started to shallow up, and decided it was heading back upstream. Clousers ride hook point up leading to less snags on the bottom and in cover. Fish during the warm months...July-September seems to be when catfish are most active in the shallows in the Midwestern U.S. 5-weight to 7-weight fly rods and lines are adequate for catfish in still waters up to around 10 pounds. The sheer size and weight of your flies will pull the line under and down to the depths. During the day, they are in dense cover, in deep holes seeking protection and comfort and avoiding the light/elements. on: function(evt, cb) { After that run is over, the bass get riled up during their pre and post-spawn phase. Many of your fly fishing “purists” will shun you for this method, but you want to catch fish, right? Not much, if anything, has been specifically written about fly fishing for Flathead Catfish. I tied on an EP brush fiber & deer hair gamechanger fly I tied the night before. It is an excellent spot for really big gar and bowfin, and a very visual one as well. Most likely, it will take a few casts to get used to it. Especially when they’re out hunting in the low light hours. Flatheads are frequently caught in the day as well. Which Is The Best Rock Climbing Rope Of 2020. I have caught a good number of catfish but this was by far the biggest I had ever landed, as well as my first flathead. At first, Joshua Dixon thought he hooked a submerged tree, but a half-hour later on Dec. 27 he landed the state’s first record flathead catfish. Hunting. Fish on! And it happened again. At night, they will exit the covered area and begin hunting for the next meal. forms: { They prefer deep, slow pools with lots of cover. By early June the rivers are running significantly lower than the rest of the year. Pinterest. Keep the retrieve at a slow pace with the fly … Primarily sought after by fisherman slinging heavy weights and large baitfish into deep pools, they are also incidentally caught by fisherman casting lures such as crankbaits and soft plastics. My name is Andy Howard and I live in eastern North Carolina. This flathead was even bigger than the first and was more of the yellowish color I’ve seen flatheads in pictures have opposed to the jet black first one. Flathead catfish on flyrod. 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. Fishing for Flathead Catfish During The Day. Shore fishing below a dam requires a long rod of at least 8 feet to cast to a distance and to be able to horse those fish in with the heavy current. A nine ft, nine to 11 weight fly rod will be sufficient. I honestly think it was a perfect storm of having the flood the month prior, the low water levels, the insane clarity, the low pressure of the next 4/5 days of rain coming in, and luck. Flathead catfish on flyrod. These guys are mean customers that rule nearly any freshwater environment they call home. They can snap fishing poles like twigs, break fingers, and capsize small boats. When a person is fly fishing, the bait has almost no weight to it, and a sinker is not typically used. Required fields are marked *. It was completely flooded. Fishing for Flathead Catfish at Night. Many are caught in large natural lakes and impoundments, but hard-hitting, pole-bending flatheads reach their greatest abundance in big bottomland rivers. Sinking tip and full-sinking lines can also be used if you’re fishing in areas that have a faster current and you need your fly to sink faster. Using bank poles, or “diddy poles,” like these from Catfish Getters, are just one of the many methods that can be used to catching flathead catfish. 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. Photos and story courtesy of Andy Howard, @andy.724 on Instagram! Be sure to include your fly rod, or the fly in the picture because your buddies might think you’re telling another fish story! You can either purchase commercial tapered leaders intended for saltwater use, tie your own tapered leader, or simply use a piece of level monofilament. 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. Your email address will not be published. Fly Fishing; Fresh Water; American River Monsters: Flathead Catfish on the Fly. 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. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has recognized Dixon as the first state record holder for the invasive catfish. } Flathead also love crabs and prawns, so in pays to keep a couple of these patterns handy. I just prefer a simple level line because I’m casting the rig, not the line. Another recommendation of mine, is that your flies are of the clouser type. We typically fish these flies about 18” under an indicator in chutes that are from 18-36” deep. Most of them average 5-20 lbs with some over 40 lbs being common. The Flatheads seem to really like flies that glow. The river level read at right around 200 CFS. If the cats are eating, they will come up for it. If you are fishing for big catfish like the flathead or blue catfish then you can set the tension tighter. Why Fly Fishing as Opposed to Conventional Fishing Methods? Keep moving, Flathead won’t come to you, so you must keep searching. 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. For reels, a large reel with a disc-drag and line capacity of at least 200 yards of 30lb test backing is needed. This one gave a pretty similar fight and after landing it I continued to be both exhausted and dumbfounded. I let the fish go and watched as it swam off. They are not a fish for everyone. window.mc4wp.listeners.push( If you tie your own, tie them on 2/0 to 8/0 circle hooks. 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. That is my first experience with flatheads, and only the second time I’ve ever seen one. I didn’t realize how big he meant until I caught up with him and looked where he was pointing. Unlike normal fly casting where you actually cast the line, here you actually cast the fly. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. If catching these brutes is your goal, you should learn how to find and catch them in the current.

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