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Catching Flatheads On The River

This sport is not done by a lot of folks because it takes a little effort, but those I have talked into it have become fellow addicts.It doesn’t get any more exciting than dragging in a huge catfish and fighting it to the bank or boat.

You will need medium to heavy action fishing rods. I prefer casting reels with clickers that can be set on free spool and will click when a fish starts moving with your bait, spooled with 30lb test or heavier. For hooks 6/0 seem to work well. You will need big sinkers to keep your bait on bottom preferably run through type with a split shot clamped on the hook side around two feet above the hook works well. A big size landing net will help with getting the fish on shore or into the boat.

The fish seem to prefer live bait, the bigger the better. this can get quite costly unless you catch your own. where I fished on the Allegheny river in northwest pa there were plenty of streams where you could catch horn day chubs and shiners. the hard part is keeping them alive and healthy until you are ready to use them. for this a little ice in the bait buckets along with portable aireators helps a lot.

I prefer eight to ten feet of fast moving water with lots of rocks. the fish will move through here searching for food. the dark of the moon can be the best time to fish. for bank fishing I use a lantern with the side towards you blocked with alumnium foil this helps see the rods better. You will need some sort of rod holders. if the bank is soft a forked stick work fine. you can also lean the rods on bait buckets or tackle boxes or coolers.

when it comes time to fish just cast out let the bait settle take up the slack and if you are using a clicker reel engage the clicker and put the reel in free spool just don’t forget this part or the fish can leave with your fishing rod, making for a short night. when you a hit let the fish run with the bait. They usually move a short way and then stop to eat the bait. When the fish stops engage the reel and turn off the clicker, when the fish starts moving again let the slack go out of the line and set the hook real hard and hold on like you mean it. These fish can get quite large and they all fight hard. This will be the time when a fishing buddy comes in real handy.

if you chose to try this sport I think you will love it. and if you are in Arizona maybe I’ll see you out there.

This Tips items comes to us from T Drake in Golden Valley Arizona. A seasoned fisherman and something of a legend in his home state of Pennsylvania, Tom is a fisherman and hunter who’s got more years of experience under his belt than most people have hairs on their head. (well okay so he’s maybe not THAT old) His tips are well worth reading and paying attention to when it comes to pulling out the big guys.


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