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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, I am trying to give flathead fishing a try, and it seems that live bluegill are the way to go.

I am new to this kind of fishing so would anybody mind explaining EXACTLY how to set up the rig? What type / size hooks? What size sinkers?

Also where would be a good place to start in the aurora area? Is just down from the north aurora dam near the southern end of the island as good a place as any to start? We had some luck with channels there, and my friend caught a smallish flathead with a crankbait when we were trying for smallies?! We are stuck on shore by the way.

Also anybody had any luck with crayfish? Thats about the only thing I have ever personally had any luck with for flatheads. We only got smaller ones (around 2 footers), but I have never stayed out much past 8pm when it seems the big boys come out.

Any other pointers are very welcome, Thanks!
 

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The setup is easy enough. Mind you, a lot of this is a matter of personal choice. A few on here fish with very light line and enjoy the fight of it. I fish with 50 lb. braid and a 30 lb. braid leader, and horse 90% of my fish in. I enjoy catching fish more than the fight, but that's up to you.
So...with that said, here's the setup that I use on all of my poles:

Heavy pole, 7-8 feet long, with a big open-faced reel and 50 lb. braid line. I've used mono, and the only preference I have for braid is that it's smaller diameter makes casting easier, it doesn't spool up when off the reel, and it's heavier than most common monofilaments. Braid also does not stretch, so I don't have to rip my arms out of socket if I miss a fish, because with braid, I just don't have to set the hook so hard.
Put a sliding bullet sinker on the line, and tie a decent sized snap swivel at the end of the line.
Your hooks should be 2/0 or 3/0 for bluegill, and whether you use circle hooks, offsets, straight shank, or whatever is up to your preference. I use circle or octopus hooks-something with a little bit of a twist(offset) to them. I buy them in bulk packages, use 30 lb. test spider wire, and cut off about 30 inches at a time, and tie the hook at the end. I do this with 2 hooks, on SEPARATE leader lines, and then tie the ends of BOTH leaders to a barrel swivel, without the snap. Attach the barrel swivel to the snap swivel, and you're in business.
With the bluegill, one hook goes through about the middle of the tail, in the meaty section. When you push it through, you should feel like the hook has a FIRM hold. The other goes in right underneath, and toward the back of, the top fin. As with the tail hook, you should feel it push through the firm, meaty part of the fish. If you hook bluegill through the stomach, head, or middle of the body, you'll kill them. They won't swim anymore, either....lol...and that's what makes them attractive to flathead. Flathead eat live things.
If you don't have the pole and reel for this, you can buy a cheap setup at Wal-mart for a pretty reasonable price. The reel won't last as long, nor will the pole, but they'll do just fine if you're on a budget.
Hope that helps, and please come back and tell us about all of your monster catfish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks! I Have a pole and reel I can use, Its a heavy action spinning rod and reel that I use for northern pike and the occasional musky up north. I just need to get to the store for some hardware I guess.
 

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depends on where you're fishing. Use just enough sinker to hold your bait to the bottom, but make it as easy as possible for the catfish to take. In the Fox, you probably rarely need more than 2 oz. of sinker, unless you're right under a dam.
 
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