Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
snatcher20

Flathead Size vs. Location

18 posts in this topic

So what are some thoughts on flathead size verses where they are caught? My crew pulled a couple nice fish early in the season on Pool 2, but now can't break the 15lb mark. This leads to the first point. Each trip out we usually catch at least one flathead, so the spots we are hitting have something the fish like/use. So as far as locations, whether they be holes, wing dams or timber, we are dialed in to active fish. However we aren't pulling multiple 3-4+ fish nights.

This leads to the question do bigger and smaller fish coexist in the same spots? I've read that bigger fish will get the prime feeding spots. With that said, if we are only catching smaller fish, are we in reality fishing secondary spots in relation to large flatheads? Do multiple flatheads utilize one area? Pool 2 is a different animal as some holes can be 50-100 yards or longer while others very compact. I'm sure this variance can lead to more or less fish in a given spot.

This also ties back to the topic of luck. We have also caught 30lb+ fish from some of the same spots we are currently only catching smaller fish. I'm guessing there is some "right time, right place" involved as well. So to me, this leads to the question, how much time to spend on any given spot?

We really run and gun on Pool 2. Usually won't spend more than 30-45 minutes, 1 hour at most in any one spot. I'm also starting to question if we are moving too much. I like looking for active fish and if we don't get a run in that 30-60 minute window, I really start to question the location, or presence of active fish. I'm sure there are two types of cat guys, always on the move and those that will sit on a known spot or two for an entire night. Which side do you relate to and why?

I know I listed a lot of talking points. Just looking for a discussion as we had into the doldrums/spawn of the cat season. Heading out tonight, can't wait!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those are some very good questions and I will give you my opinion. This is just what I think.

If you are catching Flats of any size, you are in the right spot. Plain and simple. I know some guys will say that they don’t coexist, but I know for a fact that they do, especially prespawn when everything is in “eat” mode.

I’ve caught 5lb and 50lb fish within minutes of each other.

While I think a person can move too much, I’ve had some horrible nights saved by making a short move to a different spot. One of the hardest things about this type of fishing is second guessing your spot and if spot B or C is producing better, and what if I leave spot A? Is there a fish there waiting to eat?

About the smaller fish you seem to be catching. There seems to be a pattern this time of year in which the little ones get really aggressive. They were crazy active last night. I sometimes wonder if those are the non-spawners and or small males taking advantage of the big girls doing their maternal thing. Just a theory.

I am a firm believer that if you have caught some smaller fish in an area, then sooner or later mama or papa will be there too.

I have confidence spots that I’m willing to sit at for 5 hours without a run and others that I do 30 minute drive by just to give it a try. A lot of times those drive by spots evolve into a confidence spot.

Good luck tonight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

couldn't have put it any better dtro

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am limited to shore 99% of the time I often fish the same spots I have had luck at previously. I have had several people ask me how I'm doing and when I say I caught a couple 30 inchers they tell me it must be a small fish spot and I should try elsewhere for the big mamas. Little do they know, my GF picked up two 40+ lb fish in a little over an hour just a week before.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I echo what Dtro said. If you caught a flathead from a spot - remember that spot because you will catch fish there again. I log all my spots in my journal with the date, time, river conditions, weather conditions, etc. That way next year or at some future time when I am struggling to catch fish I will try to match that day's river and weather conditions to where I have had success in the past. I also consider a small flathead a success. I have one spot where I caught my PB a 55 lb fish and at least 5 over 40 lbs but it also gives up a lot of small 20" to 30" fish. I will sit for hours on that spot with confidence that eventually a big one will be coming along.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve, I know it seems as such here on the MN (no facts to prove it), but maybe your journal is a better indicator. Have you found a window that corresponds to the spawn in which all you are catching is small fish? And if so, is there enough data to give a good idea how big that window might be (timewise).

I really wish I had the discipline to keep such good records as you. Every year I have good indications to do so, but fail miserably.

My fear is that with all that data at my disposal, I would overanalyze it instead of just fishing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you found a window that corresponds to the spawn in which all you are catching is small fish? And if so, is there enough data to give a good idea how big that window might be (timewise).

My fear is that with all that data at my disposal, I would overanalyze it instead of just fishing.

It is very easy to overanalyze the data. This summer I have dropped back to just keeping my log active with the river conditions annotated in the Remarks section. I haven't been able to use the historical data to determine spawning conditions - there are just too many variables linked to the spawn.

I find the journal and log information most useful in the early spring when we have high water and the river is hard to read. I will fall back on spots that have produced in the past and the river and weather data is more valuable then to matching spots and conditions that worked in the past. I will use my low water photos a lot in the spring too - that is where a few minutes prepping from past trips pays some dividends.

Chasing cats is a lot like hunting and I think that is why I enjoy it so much. Learning your quarry and the locations that you are going to hunt. I will look at a river section like a turkey hunter or a deer hunter will look at a section of land. Think about what it looks like under the water - where do they bed down?, where and how do they move to feed?, when will they feed and where would I set up to intercept them?. How will today's weather and river conditions affect their movement and when and where is the best place to find them based on today's conditions?. That is how I approach cats and all my previous trips and the information that they have given me are valuable to my hunting.

I am planning a Cat Tip of the Day on Journals and Logs and I've been trying to figure out how to present my information. I have built the log and journal system using MicroSoft Excel and Word so it is computerized and relatively easy to enter, store and recall the data. It does take discipline which can be hard after a long nights fishing.

.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info, and I look forward to your CTOTD.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have thought about keeping track of stuff but never got around to it until I signed up for the catfish angler survey. It's a good springboard for something like SteveD is talking about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well we had a decent night on Pool 2 and a funny story that relates exactly to my post. Night started out rough when Moore's was out of bullies. Confidence was not high with suckers and the first two spots didn't produce any action. We were also in the middle of a mayfly hatch. Then enroute to our third spot, I made a game time decision and hit an old favorite that hadn't produced in a couple years.

Within half an hour Big O Cat had our first run and landed a 3-5lb flat. Then as we released the fish my clicker started screaming and fish on. A nice 40x24. So as Dtro said yesterday he's caught a 5lb and 50lb back-to-back, we managed a 3lb and 30lb back-to-back. Also had a decent feeling fish come unglued shortly after hookup within a half hour of the 30lb.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice fish and follow up to your post.

Last night we sat at the same spot we caught 6 the previous night and didn't boat one flat.

Go figure...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dtro- I'll be getting the picture over for KOTC after work. That puts me one nicer fish away from cracking the 200 mark.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice fish and follow up to your post.

Last night we sat at the same spot we caught 6 the previous night and didn't boat one flat.

Go figure...

That is funny. Last night I sat in the same spot as the night before the same as you and had no luck at all. There was very little bait activity also. The water was dead calm and except for quite a few sturgeon jumping I didn't see any activity at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had the same luck friday night dtro thursday night mopped up on them and friday in thaose spots could buy a bite.

snatcher20 I like to see those mayflys cause that means the bait fish are really gonna start feeding well and that means kittys are gonna be feeding on the bait fish which are way easier to find and pattern.

what I dont like about the mayflys is the splat in the face and eyes when cruzin down the riv, dont open your mouth a high speeds either. grin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scott M donated two pair of goggles to my boat that came in handy last night.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back on topic. I rarely fish the same spot two nights in a row this time of year. Kind of like a deer stand I think you can burn out a spot if you hit it every day. I look for spots similar to places I caught fish the night before.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's funny we hit multiple spots and only one had activity with one flat and a total or 4 runs last night. All the spots looked very good but just didn't produce. We kicked ourselves in the fanny for leaving the one spot looking for something better as we worked our way back to the landing. Oh well. The fish will be where they think they should be. wink

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back on topic. I rarely fish the same spot two nights in a row this time of year. Kind of like a deer stand I think you can burn out a spot if you hit it every day. I look for spots similar to places I caught fish the night before.

Wish I could hop around more but not having a boat limits where I go by 95% at least.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Posts

    • Live link.   http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/features/webcams/falconcam/index.html      


    • BEFORE BEGINNING

      Before you begin, make sure you have a good strong battery and make sure it's charged up. If you have a bad or weak battery, you may want to replace it because if it doesn't crank good and strong, you are likely to get a low, inaccurate reading. Make sure your engine is warmed up to operating temperature(if possible). About 10 minutes of riding should do.

      First, take out the spark plug and thread in the adapter for the compression tester. Make sure you have the correct size adapter for your particular ATV. Slide your kill switch to the "off" position. Some ATVs won't crank over with the kill switch in the "off" position, so if yours is like this, then you will need to either unhook your ignition coil or ground the end of the spark plug wire to a good ground. You can use a jumper wire with alligator clips on each end to ground it. Next, make sure the throttle is in the wide open position. You can either hold the throttle lever with your thumb or you may be able to tape it or use a zip tie to fasten it to your handlebars to hold it in the wide open position. If you don't have the throttle in the wide open position, you will probably get too low of a reading. Also, if you are testing a newly rebuilt engine, the engine needs to have been run for, at least, 30 or 40 minutes or you will probably get too low of a reading.

      NOTE: Before you begin with the actual test, make sure the threaded adapter is screwed in good and isn't leaking any air out around it.

      ACTUAL TESTING

      With the throttle in the wide open position, push the start button and crank the engine over until the hand on the gauge stops moving. Each time the engine turns over the hand should raise a little more until it reaches the maximum compression of the engine. When it stops, that is your compression reading. This usually takes no more than 10 seconds. Try to avoid cranking an engine for more than 10 seconds at a time as this is hard on the starter and the battery. Now, push the relief valve on your compression gauge and that will reset the hand back to zero. It's a good ideal to repeat the test a couple or three times to make sure you get an accurate reading. On kick start models, it will be the same procedure, but obviously you will be kicking it over instead of using a start button. Worn piston rings and cylinder walls will increase the number of strokes it takes to reach the maximum reading. If you're kicking, it could possibly take as many as 10-20 kicks to get the highest reading.

      THE READING

      You will need to check your repair manual for your particular model for the correct compression specifications. See note below. Usually, an engine will run OK if it has at least 100 PSI of compression. Most engines will have somewhere between 100-250 and some as high as 300 PSI, depending on the engine. Sometimes they will run with under 100 PSI, but usually not very well. If you get a low reading, you can do a "wet test" to try to help determine the problem.

      If your reading is too high, then you probably have carbon built up on your piston and combustion chamber.

      NOTE: You may get a low reading on some engines because some engines have a decompressor assembly built into the camshaft. Check the service manual for your quad to see whether or not your quad has a decompressor assembly built into the cam.

      WET TEST

      If you got a low reading, pour about 1-2 teaspoons of clean motor oil down into the cylinder through the spark plug hole and do the compression test again. If your reading increases, then your rings or cylinder walls are probably worn. If your reading doesn't increase, then it's probably your valves. You could have a bent valve, you may have leaky valve seats, or your valve clearance may not be adjusted properly. Also, low compression can be caused by a blown head gasket.

      CAUSES OF LOW COMPRESSION

      *Worn piston rings or worn or damaged cylinder walls
      *Leaking valves
      *Valve clearance not properly set
      *Blown head gasket

      CAUSE OF HIGH COMPRESSION (stock engines)

      *Carbon buildup in combustion chamber and on piston

      NOTE: Compression testing is a good way to keep track or "gauge" the wear in your engine. When you first get your ATV or when you rebuild the engine in your ATV, you can do a compression test and then later on, you can do them periodically. This will help you determine the wear in your engine each time you do a compression test and will guide you in knowing when your engine needs rebuilding.

      This is about all I can think of. I hope I didn't leave anything out and I hope this helps everyone with their compression tests.
    • As dumb as this sounds how is this done?
    • Try a compression check. And make sure the choke is opening all the way.
    • They are not the best out their but for the price and your average person not too bad I guess, Its going to send lead to where its pointed. This is probably what is going to happen he is going to buy a package shoot it for awhile then start upgrading everything to how he wants it and it is going to end up costing way more than if he just built one himself how he wants it.  
    • Hello, well I convinced my brother in-law to pick up my buddies old 1980 185 although pretty sure he said it was bored out to a 200? Here is the deal it's been sitting for a solid 8 years. I know it ran fine before. Not the delema-----   It starts right up (he bought a new carb odd amazon) although it sounds like a jet with high rpms. Looked at the throttle cable that's fine. Floats are fine. So he plugged this hole in the air filter and got it to idle down although when he hit the gas wouldn't get any power. Read a few things online and they tell you to just bypass the filter box and all that so back to amazon we went to get one of those filters that mount right up to the carb and it's still the same issue..   I just haven't seen anything like this? Do you guys have any thoughts or tricks that we/he could try?! Thanks in advance
    • Hi Everyone,  I'm looking into buying my first true fish finder and I'm a little perplex with the mapping card situation.  I'm looking at Humminbird Helix 5's and 7's.  I'm drawn to the autochart feature.  From my understanding, you can record 8 hours of charting onto the internal storage, but, is there any native mapping included on the unit or do I absolutely have to get some sort of mapping chip, zerolines or lake master, or navionics?  Can I store data on a blank SD card?  I've been researching this a lot and haven't found any conclusive answers. Thanks everyone!
    • Saul Good, Man.....  LOL 
  • Our Sponsors