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Offline FM

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North Branch Flathead Quest 2018
« on: August 30, 2018, 02:08:36 PM »
The North Branch Flathead Quest began a new chapter last night. As some of you know I have been targeting the rare NB flathead for 4 years now. Year one produced zero flatheads but some big channel cats, Year two, resulted in more big channels and finally in August a 30 inch flathead. Year three yielded the big channels and again in August one flathead this one was 24 inches. So this year I fished away catching some really nice channel cats, hoping that August would once again cough up at least one flathead as reward for my preservance. Sunday night I located some big old channel cats and knowing that the flatheads will tolerate them pinned my hopes on hitting one or two flatties in the same area. As it turned out I got three flatheads crushing my previous seasons and setting a new one year and one day total at the same time. I'm laughing at myself because I know that this is a paltry showing when compared to the catches guys get in the lower regions of the river but up here on the NB it is a revelation. What is it about August??? A couple thoughts come to mind. The spawn is well over, the water levels are low usually concentrating the prey and predators. They may start collecting in wintering holes early, or may be its none of these and something else. The ones I got were smaller than the one in past seasons. 17, 21.5, and 23.5 inches. I weighed the biggest for science and it was just a hair shy of 10 lbs, They are heavier inch for inch than channel cats. I'm not done I'm sticking on them for september and going after a big one for a pic. That 30 incher I caught two years ago might be a 40 incher now!
FM
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North Branch Flathead Quest 2018
« on: August 30, 2018, 02:08:36 PM »

Offline DRY

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Re: North Branch Flathead Quest 2018
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2018, 04:35:58 PM »
I've only caught 2 accidentally....

They are an attractive fish as catfish go.....

Do you eat them or release them?

Bill
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Offline FM

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Re: North Branch Flathead Quest 2018
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2018, 04:46:25 PM »
Letting them go so far. I was told by a guide down in Marrietta that the smaller ones are not prime eaters. At a larger size than I'm catching they are better for the table. Once they become a bit more common I will give them a shot. BTW the river is settling down nicely up this way. some wet wading should be on the table for locals this weekend.
FM

Offline chez

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Re: North Branch Flathead Quest 2018
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2018, 05:03:41 PM »
Nice fish Dave
ON MY INDIAN RUG,AND A PIPE TO SHARE!!!

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Re: North Branch Flathead Quest 2018
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2018, 05:03:41 PM »

Offline jonsie

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Re: North Branch Flathead Quest 2018
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2018, 08:28:22 AM »
The guide was right about the larger ones tasting better. The larger fish eat mostly fish (think walleye) where the smaller flats eat anything.

Don't worry about hurting the population - you can't period. Everyone kept them in my area of the Juniata and each year there are more. I can't believe how well they have populated the Juni. With guys keeping them and shooting them, we can't seem to put a dent in the population. They a cool fish and really like them, but we are seeing bass and walleye stocks dwindling in the winter holes.

Offline beernut

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Re: North Branch Flathead Quest 2018
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2018, 01:23:48 PM »
That's cool great job staying after them.  Do flatheads have a more abrasive mouth than channel cats?  I was out last night and caught a fallfish I was using for bait.  Put the head on and chucked it out and I hooked into a monster of fish.  Think it was about the heaviest fish I've ever hooked in the river.  Fought it for awhile got it near shore but didn't get a look at it and it dove again tried to bring it up because I wanted to see what I was dealing with and broke off about 10' away from me.  The line was shredded didn't look like the knot broke.  I snell my circle hooks, which is a really solid knot.  Hooked into another one soon after not as big with a hunk of fallfish and line was cut again.  I'm using 12lb berkley XT for my leaders and have pulled in 15lb channels with no problem.  The area I'm fishing isn't known to have flatheads yet but I have my suspicions.  Hope they continue to grow and get bigger an we'll all be buying bigger gear.  ;D  By the way what kind of scale are you using?  I'm in the market for new one.

Offline FM

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Re: North Branch Flathead Quest 2018
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2018, 02:07:39 PM »
The channels seem to have a grittier set of sandpaper for teeth than the Flatheads do. Another thing I'm noticing is that (imo) inch to inch the channel cats are harder fishters than the flatheads. If your using circle hooks the leader shouldn't be getting near them anyway. Probably scraped it on something. 12lb is kinda light imo I'm using 17lb spiderwire mono as line and leader. the scale is made/sold by Whisker Seeker. They have a website for online ordering. Mike Brown turned me on to the scale.
FM

Offline brownmk19

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Re: North Branch Flathead Quest 2018
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2018, 10:19:25 PM »
Congratulations and great work on the flatheads! You definitely put in the time and the effort to find them, and it's paying off now in spades. I think that the flathead fishing in our neck of the woods is only going to get better with time, and it seems like your results are evidence of that.  I had a disappointing outing at the Whites Ferry pool last week, I had a couple hours to spare and I drowned some frozen cut bait for a few hours in some water I really thought would be productive, not even a sniff! Bummer. However, to be fair, I had to pack it in just after it got dark (primo time) and I was using leftover cut bait from ice fishing as I didn't have the time to set a trap (such is life at the moment with a 1 year old kid at home  ::) Been busy recently......... I've got my heart set on a new to me (used) aluminum bass tracker boat to satisfy my river fishing addiction. Hoping to get that deal squared away in the near future  ;D

Quick note: I am definitely going to be selling my current boat. I don't want to hijack this dedicated flathead thread, so if you are interested, please PM me for details. I'm motivated to get it off my hands.....

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Re: North Branch Flathead Quest 2018
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2018, 10:19:25 PM »

 

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