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Question for Mike - Flatheads?
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Question for Mike or anyone other knowledgeable angler. What effect does the introduction of these huge non-native catfish have on the other fish in the River. I think I know the answer. I am aware that the FBC encourages anglers to remove all flatheads.

I always check out the fishing local reports on-line. There is an on-going thread for flathead angler reports on the Skuke. Here are photos and some reports on the Schuyllkill in the last week.
I believe these fish were caught in the Valley Forge are where Valley Creek dumps into the River. Several times I have posted about the apparent lack of smallmouths in good SM habitat, especially on that section of the River. Also the panfish population sunfish has also seemed to disappear. BTW, many of the anglers use live sunfish as bait.

The first photo’s comment:
Got my 8th and 9th over 25lbs.

The second photos comment:
Landed 4 fish tonight. 21lbs , 25lbs, 20lbs, 24lbs

Next question - how about the Susky and flatheads?

Attach file:



jpg  326209220.jpg (0.00 KB)


jpg  327115534.jpg (0.00 KB)


Posted on: 2008/7/25 9:21


Re: Question for Mike - Flatheads?

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afish,

Good question, though I personally think the problem with the river is several fold. I'm sure the non-native fish are in this fold. Looking forward and hoping you get the reply you are asking for. I know they like to use trout and sunnies on the Mon and Yough Rivers.

JH

Posted on: 2008/7/25 21:09
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Re: Question for Mike - Flatheads?
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I've always thought of catfish as a bottom feeder and not a real predator fish. I may be wrong about that. In addition, I thought that a fish this size (20lbs +/-) was a rarity. Apparently there is an abundance of these monsters lurking in the Skuke.



Report from last night:

"Got 3 more over 20lbs tonight.

26.5, 23, 20"

Attach file:



jpg  Flathead II.jpg (0.00 KB)


Posted on: 2008/7/26 7:49


Re: Question for Mike - Flatheads?
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Large flatheads are definitely predators focusing on fish rather than bottom scavengers. I think it's tough to say what impact they'll have, but some concern is warranted. When flatheads moved into the lower James River some years ago the bass and sunfish populations plummeted. When I lived near Richmond I used to fish that river above the falls line and smallies were rare. Most biologists in VA feel that an exploding flathead population is likely the cause. On the other hand, on the Allegheny and Ohio River systems where they're native, bass are flourishing.

Posted on: 2008/7/26 8:17


Re: Question for Mike - Flatheads?

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I'm wouldn't mind going on a fish fry on the Skuke. I caught one last year but I didn't know that they were this big and abundant in the river . All I have to say is this how many fish you think that one of those caties eat in a year ? I have no doubt that the next state record flat head is going to come out of the river because there not getting fished for as much in the skuke

Posted on: 2008/7/27 2:45
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Re: Question for Mike - Flatheads?

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They have an impact on all of the other fish populations I am sure! They target other fish. I caught some the past couple of weeks in the perky probably 30 lbs or bigger. I will leave it up to imagination as to where they are now. Lets just say HBO won't be doing a show down the road on the one's I caught saying where are they now.

Throw them on the bank and feed a local Raccoon! I am starting a local charity called "feed your local raccoon"! This weekend I will be posting up various contributers in different areas on the schuykill and the perky. Everybody gets a shirt and a door prize! Sorry, however, BYOB! The winner(the one who gives the biggest meal that is) will win a luxurios trip for two to Barbados Island, Norristown, PA 19403.

Actually Frederick I know a lot of people who target them in the Schuykill and Perkiomen and some of them say they wished they were in every stream in the state(Good thing they aren't in charge). They have been in the Schuykill actually for longer than most think. I can recall catching them in 1999. Others may have experienced earlier. I don't know for sure.

Rumor is is that the PFBC gets their channel cats they stock from a farm that raises flatheads too. Apparently some got mixed in and here we are now.

Posted on: 2008/7/30 0:28
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Re: Question for Mike - Flatheads?

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I want to catch a big one and see its stomach contents do ya think that they make a pump that big ? If they don't I think that I will have to do it the old fashion way

Posted on: 2008/7/30 6:17
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Re: Question for Mike - Flatheads?
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Frederick, we always used the shop-vac.

Posted on: 2008/7/30 12:51
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Re: Question for Mike - Flatheads?

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afish what site are you referring to?

Posted on: 2008/7/30 13:23
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Re: Question for Mike - Flatheads?
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Eastern PA Fishing Report


http://www.epfr.net/

Posted on: 2008/7/30 15:25


Re: Question for Mike - Flatheads?

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Here is a post I found on another forum . Looks like the Susky is about to fall next to the mighty Flathead

Someone tell me how to attach a pic thats not to compressed to see and Ill show you some susquehanna flatheads last sat. we got 30 plus flattys 4 channels 7 of the flattys were over 20# the largest at 31# 41" 25.75 girth. Then I went out sun and caught 3 over 20# among the dinks the largest at 32# 40".Wanna see em how do I post a pic? Ive done it before?? it says I have 2mb in 1 place,but its says Upload failed. The file was larger than the available space........ 200K is all i get ??

Posted on: 2008/8/6 5:53
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Re: Question for Mike - Flatheads?

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Quote:

Fredrick wrote:
Here is a post I found on another forum . Looks like the Susky is about to fall next to the mighty Flathead

Someone tell me how to attach a pic thats not to compressed to see and Ill show you some susquehanna flatheads last sat. we got 30 plus flattys 4 channels 7 of the flattys were over 20# the largest at 31# 41" 25.75 girth. Then I went out sun and caught 3 over 20# among the dinks the largest at 32# 40".Wanna see em how do I post a pic? Ive done it before?? it says I have 2mb in 1 place,but its says Upload failed. The file was larger than the available space........ 200K is all i get ??


I hope you fed the local critters with them!!!!!!!

Posted on: 2008/8/6 13:39
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Re: Question for Mike - Flatheads?

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Guys,

Here's an article on Flatheads in today's Pittsburgh Trib: Flatheads prey on whatever gets in their way.

JH

Posted on: 2008/8/17 20:18
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Re: Question for Mike - Flatheads?

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Though it is a bit off topic, I thought it was illegal to use a game fish as bait in PA?

As far as the flatheads affect on the local bass populations, they do consume pretty much anything edible and somethings that aren't. We used to pull them out of our local river fishing fathead minnows just a couple feet under the surface in the current.

So much for them just being bottom feeders.

Posted on: 2008/8/18 13:37
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Re: Question for Mike - Flatheads?

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theres a bunch of guys on bassbarn.com in the freshwater section that fish for them in the Skuke too. I know basically right where they catch them, I got tired of trying to explain to them why they should toss them on the bank but they don't listen. I can promise you I will if I catch one though, trouble is I don't feel like going out wasting a day of fishing just to rid the river of some flatheads. Seems like thats what it may be coming too though

oh, and the guys on bassbarn, they use smallmouths for bait also! Unreal!

Posted on: 2008/8/26 11:59



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