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Fish Identification - Flathead Catfish

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Flathead Catfish
Species Facts

Science Name: Pylodictis olivaris
Other Names: yellow cat, mud cat, shovelhead cat, johnnie cat, goujon, appaluchion
Ideal Temp: 75 to 84
World Record: 123 lbs. 9 ounces, Kansas
Environment: streams
Techniques: medium tackle

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eebbooyy | Posted: October 1, 2010

the best war to get a fairly good sized flathead is to use small bluegill and small sunfish hook them near the tail and make a light cut in its side near the front of the bait

brad | Posted: February 27, 2010

gogreen104 is right... i only use live bait to catch flatheads. the best spot is in the river behind a snag (stuck tree limb). i sometime use bluegill, altho my favorite bait to use is bullhead catfish. hook them behind the rear most dorsil fin. Flat heads love these! good luck and hope you catch em all!

[email protected] | Posted: September 11, 2009

If you what to chatch BIG flatheads you need to use live bait!!!any small fish you can catch will work but gold fish seem to work best. Hook them though the eyes beleve it or not they will stay alive longer this way. dont worry about your hook showing a fish in 10'-15' water is not going to see a hook and turn away from a free meal. as a rule of thumb I've always been told flat heads bite live bait but chanles and blues will bite all the stinky stuff. I've have caught several big flat heads and they have all been on 3"-6" live fish. I hope this helps you on your next fishing trip. Good luck!!

Dan | Posted: December 7, 2008

use chicken hearts or claims as bait and set your trot-line close to the rivers edge, hearts and claims stay on the hook and aps love them we have cought many flatheads this best is 62lbs

CATFISH MASTER | Posted: October 24, 2008

Ive caught many many nice size flatheads here in michigan and found that cut bluegill or bream work the best for monsters. cut the head and tail off and use the middle section where most of the blood and guts are, frogs and toads work wonderful also. Use a trebble hook for maximum hooking ability, cats arent too picky and will not notice the hook usually. a good way to avoid detection is to let your rod sit with the drag set loosely. wait for your drag to sound off with a cat dragging your line, pick up your rod and hold the line just above your reel to set the hook, your line will not hurt your hand as the pressure point of the hookset will be at the end of your rod. this is a good technique also because your drag is already set and ready to go so you dont snap off a big cat. using this noise making technique will also eliminate the need for night bells, i hate fumbling with them, and trying to remove them from the end of my rod when i have a big cat biting. If you can find clams, crack the shell and use the mussel inside. clams are very hearty and you will be able to use a single clam over and over without it falling appart. Big cats love clams! I like to use a one or two ounce egg or bell sinker (depending on how strong the current is) and just rig it so your line can slip through it freely, place a split shot about 12 inches up from your hook as a stop for your egg/bell sinker. cast it out and let it sit on the bottom. this will enable your bait to flow freely in the current and bounce up and down attracting big cats. try fishing holes when the river water levels are low, this is when big flatheads like to lay in the holes just below currents and feed on baitfish and other types of food that get caught up in the pools and holes below currents. find a good bend on a river and you will usually find a hole on the wide side of the bend. try in front of downed logs also. good luck and stay out of my honey hole!!!

[email protected] | Posted: July 26, 2008

might sound crazy but i always seem to catch nice size cats off toads and frogs they bite all day but it takes a while for them to get hooked but when they do you know you have a good sized cat

catmaster | Posted: June 18, 2008

the most productive way i've found, is to locate a few deep holes with a fish finder/bottom machine, dive with scuba, and use a 10' piece of sch.80 p.v.c. with a 1/4" dia. poly cord running thru the p.v.c. and tied to a 6/0 treble using a snell knot. simply poke em in the nose till it snaps on the end and simply pull em out of the roots or rocks and finish him off just like you would a grouper, rip his gills out with your hands, "use your gloves!!!"

AJ | Posted: April 25, 2008

The people who have mastered this skill are few and far between, and 99 percent of them are not about to tell you the secrets that enable them to consistently land the big cats. But for some helpful tips, check out I used their techniques, and now I'm catching big cats.

TOm | Posted: June 24, 2007

Fishing Dams: I use a light really flexible old solid graphite rod with an abu garcia reel lined with 50lb gorilla tough line, use a couple splitshot sinkers with a fairly big hook and a nice size lively blue gill. Cast out and when the gill nears bottom let it sit only for about a minute then give your reel a couple cranks. Flatheads are more aggressive than bass usually and you will get more hits and catches rather then letting your bait sit in one spot.

[email protected] | Posted: April 3, 2007

try fishing a large goldfish set on a float about 4-6 feet deep in small rivers, just as the sun goes down, might take a while, but whatever hits is gonna be a monster, works best in late march to mid april

pimp | Posted: October 19, 2006

chicken liver on a treble hook is the bomb in deep water.

john | Posted: September 30, 2006

I like to use a big piece of cut mooneye or skipjack or sometimes cut a bluegill up.

I ll fish the bait either along cut bank where the current isnt fast or slow and where the is a decent size eddy at the base of a steep drop off, like a blowout portion of a wing dike or washout that causes a deep hole (10+ ft)

Cory Pearson | Posted: June 10, 2006

use a nice size brim and hook him through the back with a mustard hook

Tim | Posted: May 19, 2005

If you go fishing make sure you stay away from the trees

SDB_LMB | Posted: May 14, 2005

I like to let 3"-4" bluegill sit in a covered bucket for 3 days of heat/full sun, with a mixture of pig and chicken blood. I wouldn't open bucket around loved ones! But big cats love it!!

Jake Miller | Posted: February 1, 2005

When fishing in small to medium sized rivers, look for holes 8 to 25 feet deep. These holes will usually have submerged timber or very large rocks that will hol your 40+ flats.

James Gebo | Posted: July 15, 2004

Blood flavored catfish powerbait works awesome!!!

Governor | Posted: February 17, 2003

Use live bait like sunfish and fish in warm running water. In Okla, June is an excellent time.

Many are caught at the base of dams when water is being released.

Also, you'll catch more catfish overall if you fish when the river, or lake, is rising.

[email protected] | Posted: April 18, 2002

To catch Flathead, or any other catfish, try fishing at nite in warm weather. Use small blue gill as bait for bigger fish.