Fishing Big Catfish Baits
By: Brook Martin
Big cats, especially flatheads, often prefer big meals. Offering big catfish baits may tempt the largest fish around and eliminate bites from smaller cats. Presenting live baitfish weighing a pound or more, though, presents problems. More physical demands are on put on tackle, and saltwater rigging techniques usually are required.
When to Fish Big Baits
When targeting flatheads, I usually fish one magnum bait weighing a pound or more. Realistically, though, a bait this size doesn’t get much action. Anglers are allowed two rods on the St. Croix River between Minnesota and Wisconsin, where I do most of my flathead fishing. I tip my second line with a smaller livebait or a fresh piece of cutbait. Even when fishing with a partner, we generally only deploy one large bait.
The Prespawn Period is the only time I fish as many big baits as the law allows. Flathead metabolism is near peak levels, and the fish often feed around the clock. I’m usually on a sandbar on an inside bend, adjacent to a big snag. I’ll catch a few baitfish in shallow water, then deploy the largest baits and wait for sunset when the biggest fish usually prowl. From midsummer to early fall, I sometimes fish two big baits from first light till the sun hits the horizon.
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