Reservoir Flathead Catfish in my opinion are one of the very hardest fish to consistently target. These brown camo monsters typically live in areas that are very hard to fish with traditional rod and reel equipment. Over the years I’ve been successful catching reservoir Flathead Catfish in very specific areas, at very specific times, on very specific baits with very specific rigs on my home Lake (Grand Lake in Northeast Oklahoma). Most of this fishing has been done at dusk till midnight. I like setting up on River channel edges while targeting ledges or drops. These areas usually have heavy cover around them and I believe Flatheads use as resting sanctuaries. As nightfall comes Flatheads will move out of the heavy cover areas and start pursuing bait adjacent to the deep River channel and creek ledges. I always use live bait like Green Sunfish or Bluegill. I fish from an anchored position and try to keep my baits between 4 and 15 ft deep. Although I really don’t fish this pattern much, I have been very successful when I do. So, when I set out to Livescope some Blue Catfish the other day and caught a suspended Flathead Catfish in nearly 40 ft of water I was more than super surprised, I was astonished. I never thought for one minute the fish I saw hit my bait on Livescope was a Flathead.
For someone like me that is always tinkering with stuff and asking why things happen, this was a shock to my system. Truthfully catching this deep water wintertime suspended Flathead has had me pondering several things. First, how much time do reservoir Flatheads spend suspending in open water around structure looking for a meal? Why was this cat so active in the winter? Once identified, this Catfish came at my fluttering cutbait fast and then hit it hard. This was no mistake. That dude wanted what I had put in front of him. Watching it all go down “live” on Livescope reinforces exactly what happened. Without seeing the Cat hit live, and then having a video showing me locked onto the LiveScope screen as it hit, might have lead me to believe this was a total mistake, but it wasn’t. And last but not least, could Livescope consistently be used to target Flathead cats that live around heavy cover? Could you build a consistent pattern picking them off when they decide to suspend and feed around that cover? I was definitely fishing an old log that was laying on the drop off. That Flathead was roaming around slowly looking for a meal while suspended above that log.
In Oklahoma and many other States Flatheads are typically known to be semi dormant or at very best lethargic in winter months, especially when water temperatures are below 45 degrees. So, as I right this, I’m still pondering on this newly unique and strange situation. Please watch the Outdoors With Ole’ Pops video below. It has more details in it about how I caught my first Flathead Catfish using Garmin LiveScope.