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Fishing For Flathead Catfish: What Makes Them Different?

Dec 16, 2007
Catfish fishing is an exciting experience for just about any angler, especially those that are new and fresh to the fishing experience. It has long held a place of happiness with many anglers as their favorites.

One of the first things that you will notice about catfish fishing is that there are many great species out there to enjoy fishing. We highly suggest giving any and all of them a try because each offers a new experience and provides you with a different method to catching them.

Before you start fishing for catfish, take the time to find out what type of catfish you have in the location you will be fishing. It pays to learn this so that you can tailor your bait, your fishing equipment and even your fishing line to those fish. Many people see a very large difference in the way these fish behave, others do not.

The main differences in catching flathead catfish is the flathead species of catfish are not always in the same locations you will find other species of catfish. Another difference is that flathead tend to live their whole lives near the same places. Spawning grounds and territorial habitat are often in the same small area of water.

This makes flathead catfish very territorial, and they will defend their home territory from any other fish including other flathead. This tendency to remain in one small location makes flathead cat aggressive biters, and makes them respond very well to live bait, since any other living creatures they very likely will view as interlopers, causing them to aggressively defend their territory. Flathead are even know to eat other catfish.

The best months to catch flathead are May through the earlier portion of the month of June and then the catch picks up once more in July all the way to September. Remember if the water temperatures are anywhere from about 58 to 75 degrees, you should find it easy to catch flathead, particularly if you remember to fish the bottom when or where the fish are out of direct sunlight.

Particularly if you are fishing for large flathead, it is always productive to capitalize on the fish being territorial by fishing with live bait such as smaller fish that inhabit their territory. Shad, carp, and other types of fish that would feed on the eggs of the flathead are good choices.

Another difference when fishing for flathead catfish is that flathead do not tend to get as large as some other species of catfish. Don't let this make you think they will not give as good a fight, because the opposite is often true. These fish are ferocious, energetic fighters able to give any angler a respectable tousle.

Most fishermen tend to believe that nighttime is the very best time to catch catfish. Those accustomed to fishing for flathead cat will likely tell you different stories depending on which catfish angler you are speaking with and the areas in which they are accustomed to fishing. Some will tell you that, as is the case with most catfish, the best time to catch flathead cat is at night. Others will say it is during the daylight hours that flathead will be the most easily caught.

Fishing during the day is particularly productive for the months of May into the earliest part of June and in July all the way into September. Just remember, if you are fishing during the daylight hours, to fish the bottom of your fishing hole, paying particularly close attention to submerged structure, slow moving areas such as coves, and use live bait when it is at all possible.
About the Author
Dan Eggertsen is a fishing researcher and enthusiast who is committed to providing the best catfish fishing information possible. Get more information on fishing for flathead catfish here: http://www.askcatfishfishing.com
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