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#1554250 - 10/14/09 07:53 AM Flatheads
Tubakka
6 Point


Registered: 12/19/07
Posts: 782
Loc: Tennessee

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I'm looking for a place to troll and cast artificials around here for a dense population of big flatheads. Where is the best area in middle TN?
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#1554320 - 10/14/09 08:14 AM Re: Flatheads [Re: Tubakka]
ShaneHallum
Good ol' Boys
16 Point


Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 11466
Loc: Belk Tennessee

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If you want big flatheads, your best place would be Nickajack. IMO


If you just want some nice ones, the lower side of Center Hill has always been good.
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#1554891 - 10/14/09 11:56 AM Re: Flatheads [Re: Tubakka]
B.D.
8 Point


Registered: 03/24/08
Posts: 1484
Loc: Hendersonville TN

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I don't know of anywhere local that you'd call a "dense population." I'd say for a "dense population" of flatheads you should look west, maybe to Kentucky Lake, Sardis, Arkabutla, or one of the reservoirs close to the Mississippi River.

My experience is limited, but from what little I know, it seems to me that flatheads are different from the other catfish like big blues and channel cats. Instead of moving along the river channel ledges from hole to hole like the big blues do, it seems to me like a big flathead is almost more like a big bass. He'll find a likely spot - say, a deep rock overhang under a boathouse with some brush - and he'll set up camp there, coming out at night to prowl in the vicinity and feed.

I theorize that their fondness for setting up a "home base" in specific types of cover is why the "noodlers" catch so many flatheads.

I know there are some spots on Old Hickory where we've caught a lot of flatheads between 10 and 30 on plastic lizards while nightfishing for bass. (A 15 lb. flathead can cause a lot of excitement in a night bass tournament). About all I'm going to tell you is "mouths of creeks on the lower 2/3 of the lake" though until I get a chance to spend a night out there with some live sucker minnows on a line. I don't want somebody else grilling my fish before I get a crack at them. \:\)

bd


Edited by Brian Dunigan (10/14/09 11:59 AM)

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#1554920 - 10/14/09 12:07 PM Re: Flatheads [Re: B.D.]
Tubakka
6 Point


Registered: 12/19/07
Posts: 782
Loc: Tennessee

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Noodlers only get those fish during the spawn when they hole up in logs and rocks. I used to get into schools of them on occasion troling for muskies and bass on points, but haven't had the chance here to try that. I have a friend who does EVERY well on big spoonplugs in the creek channels on Santee Cooper...biggest is 80 pounds. They are almost entirely piscivorous and like live prey. They fight harder than muskellunge pound for pound. I was looking for the best place to try trolling for them....and Old Hickory was highly suspect. I'll give it a shot. I imagine too that they will readily take big swimbaits. We should go try some of your spots sometime BD. And...come spring time....I want to try noodling for myself. But you are right, they are ambush predators.
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#1554958 - 10/14/09 12:25 PM Re: Flatheads [Re: Tubakka]
B.D.
8 Point


Registered: 03/24/08
Posts: 1484
Loc: Hendersonville TN

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I have caught a couple on deep-diving crankbaits, but most of the flatheads I have caught on artificials have been on big plastic worms and lizards. In other words, very slow moving baits near the bottom.

I will defer to others because I don't consider myself a catfish expert, but I'd think you'd do better on a lure they can sneak up on without having to chase, like a jig or plastic worm rather than a trolled lure or swimbait.

Really, I think my first choice would be a carolina-rigged sucker minnow or bluegill.

bd


Edited by Brian Dunigan (10/14/09 12:25 PM)

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#1555017 - 10/14/09 12:51 PM Re: Flatheads [Re: Tubakka]
rsimms
10 Point


Registered: 09/08/02
Posts: 2696
Loc: Chattanooga, TN

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 Originally Posted By: Tubakka
I'm looking for a place to troll and cast artificials around here for a dense population of big flatheads. Where is the best area in middle TN?


Actually I used to catch quite a few flatheads on JPP while nightfishing for smallies.
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#1555044 - 10/14/09 01:06 PM Re: Flatheads [Re: rsimms]
Tubakka
6 Point


Registered: 12/19/07
Posts: 782
Loc: Tennessee

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Hmmm...carolina rigged live bait...good idea BD. Thanks.
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#1555455 - 10/14/09 04:37 PM Re: Flatheads [Re: Tubakka]
B.D.
8 Point


Registered: 03/24/08
Posts: 1484
Loc: Hendersonville TN

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If you can net some good-sized stonerollers or white suckers in the 6 to 7 inch + range, catfish eat them like candy. Plus, if you roll one past a big largemouth, they won't turn them down either. The suckers seem to be a preferred prey over spiny-finned fish like a bluegill.

bd


Edited by Brian Dunigan (10/14/09 04:38 PM)

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#1555809 - 10/14/09 07:24 PM Re: Flatheads [Re: B.D.]
Tubakka
6 Point


Registered: 12/19/07
Posts: 782
Loc: Tennessee

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...which is why trout are the ultimate forage base....
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#1557538 - 10/15/09 05:54 PM Re: Flatheads [Re: Tubakka]
Scud
Spike


Registered: 07/30/08
Posts: 90
Loc: Tennessee

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These were some we caught on Center Hill noodling. We start catching them in May until September. All caught on bream.

26 pounder


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