Tagged: catffish

Noodling For Flathead – Catfishing – Tips and Techniques Used By Pros

Picture by bigtncats.com

Picture by bigtncats.com

Flat head catfish are the largest variety of catfish found in the United States. They are extremely popular with fishermen as a game fish all across the United States. This species is also a known invasive species in some parts of United States having known to have depleted the native sunfish and eel populations in some regions.

They have also rid some areas of the native bullhead catfish population and are threatening the bass in some areas as a competing species. If you do not live in the great lakes area, Mississippi basin area, or the Ohio river system area, do not catch and release these fish; instead keep them in the freezer. You will have saved the American eel or the bullhead catfish population with your thoughtful actions. It is also a good idea to tell more people about this problem; this will stop people from introducing these fish in other ecosystems.

These large catfish can grow to be over a hundred pounds and can put up a good fight when you try to haul them into your boats. It is therefore a good idea to carry a monofilament 20 pound test line with you when you go fishing for these monster cats. It is also a good idea to carry crayfish or shrimp for bait. The best kind of bait for flatheads is live sunfish, shad, or goldfish. You will also need Kahle hooks of sizes bigger than 7/0 for these fishes. A medium to heavy action rod is a must.

Flathead catfish are active predators feeding primarily on smaller fish like shad, sunfish, eels and minnows. They usually come out at night to feed. The anglers will have better luck hooking them if they go fishing after hours. Drift fishing with live fish as bait during the night will yield best results. These fish can also be caught during the twilight hours and cloudy days.

They usually hide at the bottom during day time. It is therefore important to weigh the line properly when you go fishing during the day. A 5 oz roll weight will be good. These fish grow up to be considerably bigger than channel cats and blues and can break your rod or line when they are giving you a fight. Expect aching arms and fatigue after a day (or night) fishing for flatheads. These cats make the best trophy fish, so do carry your camera with you, if you plan to catch and release.

Some people also go noodling to snag these fishes. Noodling involves catching the flatheads with your bare hands. Needless to say, noodling is an extreme sport and should be approached with caution. It is a good idea to go with some friends when you go noodling for catfish; they can help you haul in the monster once it has clamped its jaws on your hand.

Always wear mittens when you go noodling; the catfish bite can hurt and its bite has also been known to draw blood.

by George Landrail