Flathead Catfish

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fishing' started by olbriar, Jan 13, 2016.

  1. olbriar

    olbriar Moderator Staff Member

    I love fishing for Flathead. Besides being one of the best fish to eat, they are fun to catch. I used to spend countless hours catching bait to set limb lines. Now I just pole fish. I have a cabin along the Ninnescah River in Kansas. The fishing is good and the river is lousy with cats. If I use live bait it's black perch but more often than not, worms or chicken entrails suffice. It's a very slow paced form of fishing. Casting out with enough weight to keep the bait fixed in the river about a foot off of the bottom. If nothing hits, lift the weight off the bottom and let it drift to the bottom again ever once in a while. Lots of time to smoke my pipe and drink my beer between fish but so what. I enjoy the leisure of it all.

    Any other cat fisherman out there?
  2. phases

    phases Administrator

    I love catfish. I use to love to catch them, and now I have one in my Koi Pond who is my buddy :) Love to watch him eat.
    olbriar likes this.
  3. olbriar

    olbriar Moderator Staff Member

    Don't tell me where you live. :eek: I love catfish too. I've fished for them about every way you can imagine except noodling.
    Noodling is illegal where I live though I don't think I'd care to try it anyway. One of the more interesting/intense ways I fished for them was spillway fishing. The dam below the lake I always fished above is typically opened after heavy spring rains. The increase in water flow to the river below and the added fish through the dam brings the big cats up the river. Casting from high on the spillway's side walls you sit and wait in the cold and usually wet. When you hook one, you have to play him until he's tired... not an easy trick. With all of the current and man-made breakwaters against you try to play him down river so you can get a gaff or net on him.

    It was fun to fish that way for a couple of reasons. First off, the chance of getting a fish on was pretty good. Secondly, the same group of die-hards were there year after year. There was a sort of camaraderie among us crusty spillway fishermen. If a fish was on, everyone reeled in to get out of the way. It was a group effort to land the lunker. And, there was always a group exclamation scream much like madmen when the catch was secured. Was crazy hard work but so much fun.
    phases likes this.
  4. phases

    phases Administrator

    My uncle caught some ridiculous like 90 pound catfish one time. What's the largest you've caught?
  5. olbriar

    olbriar Moderator Staff Member

    Given the chance to lie here:rolleyes: naturally mine was bigger than your uncles. :p But to tell it like it is would be more to my nature. The largest cat I caught on a pole was just under fifty pounds. That was an incredible catch for me though I've seen lager ones caught by my long time fishing partner. We did a lot of limb line fishing for cats. We managed a few over fifty through the years. He actually caught "ol big" years after I wondered away from the sport. That is another story that I'll tell sometime.:D
  6. olbriar

    olbriar Moderator Staff Member

    It's been a couple of months so now I tell the story of Ol big. My long time fishing buddy was married to my cousin. My aunt and uncle hated the guy. He was a great guy.. just enjoyed life a bit more than they cared for. He was third generation cat fisherman and taught me most everything I know about fishing for big cats.

    We didn't just fish.. we FISHED. We spent every hour possible fishing for ol big. Daylight was spent catching bait and setting lines. Night time was spent pole fishing and checking lines. We spent countless hours on the water together, always in pursuit of the elusive record cat. So much time was spent that we both about ruined our young marriages. I finally gave up fishing for that very reason. My buddy never stopped. His loving wife understood but his in-laws never forgave him for his foolish fishing.

    Many years later, only his mother in law survived to hate my buddy. She was old and feeble and was in a home that furnished skilled care. He was still fishing.. trying to catch ol big. One night it happened. In our favorite hole... black perch on a limb line tied to an over hanging willow.. ol big took the bait. He knew fish was on the minute he saw the branch pulled into the water. It had to have been quite a feat to get the fish in the boat by himself but he managed. Keep in mind that the state record here for flathead is 123 pounds. Ol big was bigger... BIGGER! Naturally one doesn't report a record catch from your favorite hole.

    The night he caught ol big his mother in law passed away.

Share This Page