If you haven’t already, you should try chasing after the underrated trophy that is the flathead catfish.
The flathead catfish is either an elusive trophy or a trash fish, depending on your fishing up bringing.
I’m guilty of thinking negatively of catfish. I was younger and didn’t know better. So take this from a former skeptic; you need to hook into a flathead.
Just once, that’s all it takes, and you’ll never look back. Why? We thought you’d never ask…
Flatheads are a very widely dispersed species of catfish and also some of the biggest. A 20-pound flathead is fairly common, 50-pound flatheads are less common, and cats weighing 100 pounds and reaching five feet long are trophies.
Unless you are able to fish for blue cats, white sturgeon, or alligator gar, you won’t hook into a fish that grows larger. If that isn’t reason enough, keep reading. We’ve got more.
Elusive and Challenging
Flathead catfish are apex predators. The voracious-albeit-opportunistic predators will eat almost anything.
This doesn’t make them easy to catch. Catching flatheads on a regular basis is a challenge of its own.
Adding to its elusive reputation, flatheads are solitary animals. While targeting flatheads, live bait is the best technique for trophy cats. Night hours are the most active time for catfish, as are summer months.
The Fight and Reward
Once you hook into a flathead, you’re in for the fight of your life. I have yet to hook into any fish that fights as long and digs as deep. A flathead will rip drag off of your reel, wrap you up, and stick tight to the bottom.
Bring some heavy tackle, endurance, and some muscle. When you finally tire out that fish and get it to the boat, you know there are few moments that can reach that level of accomplishment.
And we couldn’t forget arguably the most important part. Flathead are some good eating.
Catfish are the focus of many a fish fry and if you decide to keep a few you’re in for an amazing fish fry. Hot sauce optional.