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Finding Flatheads in Pool 9??

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Things sure look different on this site since I was here last oh...over a year ago! Hopefully some of the same cat-daddies are still hanging around. Anyhoo...

I live in Decorah, Iowa now and my closest stretch of The Missy is pool 9. Pool 9 is more like a mesotropic lake, than a traditional river; LM bass, pike, sunnies, walleye, sucker & drum. I've found some channel cats, but not many. The backwater system is extensive with several strong sloughs and many shallow lakes. I have found a couple of deep holes (20'+) in the backwater systems, but haven't shaken anything from them.

My question is a two-parter.

1) Does anyone out there have any experience with flatheads on pool 9?

2) With the above description, do any of you veteran river-rats have suggestions regarding search strategies?

Oh yeah - sunfish are legal bait, I can get bullheads but not easily and gizzard shad, while legal, are illegal to transport even within the same water system. I have a canoe but I am mostly shore-bound.

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You have to be pretty swollen down that way right now.

I would just look for snags or structure on shore, jumping bait fish or other fish. You find that, you will get on some fish. If not flats, but channels.

Good luck and let us know how you did.

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Look for areas within the backwaters right now with the high water. Any area with in the backwater with current should concentrate baitfish on the edges of it. Deep water or snags near by would be good. Good luck, have fun and let us know how you do. Big rivers have a big learning curve.

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Ya I agree with both of them. I'll take the bait part of it and say I have fished in Iowa and I know first had that sunnys work awesome for flats. I've pull out a few big guys using them. Also if its anything like the backwater around were i'm from then yeah they for sure should be in there. Like ec30_06 and shack said lots of structure and moving water are the key. Just watch for them water surface to start coming alive with bait and you should have a blast. I also must say that using a canoe is also a blast when you get a big cat on. They will drag you, oh and watch if you are anchoring down that if you do get a big one on that you pull up the anchor. I had one almost tip and a buddy one night from pulling the canoe and the anchor getting stuck on the bottom and the fish kept pulling. lol

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